Tag Archives: Tre Jones

A Look Back at Wake Win & Ahead at Clemson

Looking Back at the win over Wake

Duke played some very good basketball in the teams 90-59 win over Wake Forest in Cameron Indoor Stadium this past Saturday. During the contest, the team wore their Brotherhood jerseys made special for the program.

The uniforms were a hit as was the play of the Blue Devils which pushed their ACC mark to 5-0 on the season while going to 15-1 overall. In short, Duke looked the part of a highly ranked team.

Tre Jones who has been named to the John Wooden National Player of the Year Watch List with teammate Vernon Carey Jr, led Duke with 23 points and his steady play has been a major key to success.

The Blue Devils had contributions from nine players as the rotation continues to go deep. While the offense was majorly efficient in the 900th win in Cameron Indoor Stadium, the play of the defense was just as solid where Duke had 11 steals to go with 8 blocked shots.

The win was the 9th straight for the Blue Devils the polls dropped them one spot this week to the nations #3 rated team in the polls. During the postgame press conference, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski praised his teams' effort and focus in the win over Wake.

Looking Ahead to Clemson

The Blue Devils travel to Death Valley to take on the Clemson Tigers this Thursday at 7:00 on ESPN. They will be playing the Tigers the day after tonight's national championship football clash with LSU.

Duke will also be playing a Tigers team that ended the ACC's most dubious streak with a win over North Carolina in their last outing. In fact, this will be the second straight opponent Duke has faced after they defeated the Tar Heels.

The Blue Devils should be able to handle the Tigers which evened their season record to 8-8 in their last outing. Duke has enough depth to wear down the Tigers but Krzyzewski knows they'll be riding high and tough at on their home court.

The Tigers are a good defensive team and ranked 6th in the league in scoring defense. They will try to slow the Blue Devils down from pushing the ball down court In fact, they will try to play the game in a muck.

Clemson has not been able to shoot the three-point shot with consistency to date. As long as Duke pushes them off the stripe as they did the Demon Deacons, they should win. And it most certainly helps if Duke continues to hit their own three's as they have of late.

Tre Jones Q&A

Duke point guard Tre Jones addressed the media the day before the Wake Forest game.

On how the team benefitted from being in a close game on Wednesday night:

“Definitely just getting used to how road games are in the ACC usually. Just how the atmosphere was – crazy atmosphere – but then just going through a battle like that, coming down to the last few possessions and then having to just lock in and make the right plays to get us the win.”

On what has been the biggest improvement in Vernon Carey Jr.’s game:

“Probably just how hungry he is to continue to post up inside and continue to dominate inside. I know a lot of people questioned how he was for a center [with his] back to the basket [and] things like that coming into college. Just transitioning from floating around the arc and things like that to being back to the basket, pretty much unstoppable unless you have to double-team him.”

On what kind of challenges Wake Forest presents:

“I think we just got to take them out of their transition to start off with. They like to get out in transition and get easy buckets that way, but controlling their guards and perimeter [will be a key].”

On what some of the things are that Javin DeLaurier has been able to teach Carey:

“I think just continuing to play hard every single possession. With Javin being able to come in for him and give him minutes, Javin comes in and is always playing hard, always trying to be in the right spots, talking to guys, so just his leadership for sure.”

On if this team’s success is flying under the radar after the media attention that the team received last season:

“I would say compared to last year, for sure, it’s different. I think that feeling of being a top team still is there, but the attention that we got last year is something that’s never been there on any team, so definitely – you can’t compare any year to last year as far as the attention goes.”

Duke Survives Jackets Rally

The Duke Blue Devils moved to 4-0 and atop the Atlantic Coast Conference standings holding off a second half Georgia Tech rally for a 73-64 on Wednesday evening in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Blue Devils outscored the Yellow Jackets 7-0 over the last 2:23 of the game to seal the win.

Duke used a balanced attack for an 18-2 run on 10-13 shooting to take a 40-29 lead over Georgia Tech after a slow start in the first half. But the Yellow Jackets played their heart out in this one and made it a game.

The Blue Devils were led in scoring by Tre Jones who was playing on his birthday and helped push Duke to an impressive 14-1 record. Jones ended the game with team high 16 points to go with 8 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 steals.

Vernon Carey battled through foul trouble to score 14 points and Cassius Stanley added 14 as well as for the Blue Devils scoring leaders.

Cassius Stanley had several key dunks in the game off Tre Jones assists.

"I was just connecting with Tre Jones, honestly, so playing with him is a blessing," said Stanley after the win.

Matthew Hurt coming off this past weeks ACC Rookie of the Week Award continued his consistent play of late tallying numbers of 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocked shots. Hurt was 3-7 from the three point stripe.

Alex O'Connell added 9 points off the bench and Duke captain Jack White came in to hit a key three pointer which helped squelch the pesky Yellow Jackets.

With the win, the Blue Devils have now won 13 straight games over Georgia Tech. The Blue Devils now ride an eight-game winning steak into their next game with Wake Forest in Cameron Indoor Stadium this Saturday.

All in all, it was a solid win for the nation's second-ranked Blue Devils. The team played through some adversity while adjusting to life with the injured Wendell Moore. Duke survived a solid Georgia Tech effort for a road win and I am sure Mike Krzyzewski is happy with his teams effort.

After Break, Duke Preps for ACC Run

The Duke Blue Devils (1-0 ACC, 10-1 overall) return to the court tomorrow to face Brown after their last long layoff of the season. Most of the team's players returned home to spend the holidays with family.

During the downtime, current players can reflect on the season to date and discuss things with their families. The coaches do not have the same kind of break for they are attending high school basketball tournaments for recruiting never stops when you are a high profile program.

Despite the busy schedule, the staff still works with current players and there are individual discussions on what to ponder before the season begins in earnest.

The season to date has been a success despite the upset loss to Stephen F. Austin. And for what it is worth, a loss to an eventual NCAA Tournament team will not look as bad as the season progresses.

Duke has early wins over Kansas and Michigan State in their backyard. In their last outing, they demolished Wofford which sent them into the break with momentum and a number three ranking in the coaches poll.

Here are some reasons why Duke is playing winning basketball -

In a year when offensive production is down in the league, Duke is atop the league in scoring. The Blue Devils also have the largest margin of victory at 18.8 ppg.

Vernon Carey has been as solid a freshmen as Duke has had. He is a walking double-double and Duke will continue to grow his game while adjusting their offense to fit his skill set. Carey is 4th in the ACC in scoring and the 3rd leading rebounder and 1st in made FG percentage,

Tre Jones has been a solid leader and has expanded his aggression on the offensive end while setting the tone with his defense. He is 9th in the league in scoring and Jones leads the ACC in assists and charts at 2nd in steals per game.

The Blue Devils are still very much in the process of grooming this year's team. In the preseason, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said that different players could step up in each game. He was not kidding.

Duke has not had a lot of separation from players past Carey and Jones, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. While ideally, you want players to step up and take command, Duke is developing depth and playing ten players on a regular basis. Here is a brief take on each player in the rotation -

Matthew Hurt has been steady while learning is one of four players averaging double-figure scoring. If he can learn to go inside out it will expand his game further. Part of learning to be aggressive in the paint comes with continuing to get stronger.

Cassius Stanley was playing great before his injury. He is athletic and capable of doing some good things as his consistency picks back up. Stanley has shown signs of being a great decision-maker, meaning when to pull the trigger. He is a double-figure scorer to date.

Joey Baker has become an offensive go-to guy off the bench and has provided a much-needed spark. Duke wants him to keep this up while learning to contribute in other areas.

Wendell Moore has shown flashes of brilliance and is a defensive disrupter. Better decision making on offense will earn him even more chances as ACC play begins.

Jordan Goldwire has worked hard to stay in the rotation. He provides spark and hustle.

Alex O'Connell has had his moments and helped Duke win some games with his offense. Duke is looking for him to put it all together in a consistent manner,

Javin DeLaurier has not played quite as good as expected. But who out there thinks things will not come around? If so, I point to last year's Michigan State game.

Jack White has shown on more than one occasion, he has earned Coach K's trust. Duke is very lucky to have these senior captain veterans going into ACC play where DeLaurier and White will contribute.

All of the aforementioned players have had winning moments eleven games into the season. It will be interesting to watch and see the growth now that games will come every few days.

Duke has some interesting pieces to work with in a year where there are few dominant teams. The Blue Devils will need to improve their free throw shooting in that they have flourished with their opponents being 13th in the league against them. You cannot depend on other teams missing that many free throws moving forward, so knocking down your own comes into play.

On the other hand, Duke will build on its strengths. The offense, while good can get even more efficient. The defense has been mostly solid save a few breakdowns and this team has the potential to get better.

So strap in and get ready for January until hopefully April basketball. The ACC season begins in earnest after the Brown game and Duke looks poised to compete.

Vernon Carey, Tre Jones on Wooden POY Watch List

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (November 5, 2019) – The John R. Wooden Award® presented by Wendy’s® announced its Preseason Top 50 Watch List today on ESPN’s SportsCenter and on ESPN.com. Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for the most prestigious honors in college basketball, the Wooden Award All American Team™ and Most Outstanding Player Award.

Several universities boast multiple players on the list: Florida (Kerry Blackshear Jr., Scottie Lewis, and Andwew Nembhard) leads all schools with three selections, while Davidson (Kellan Grady and Jon Axel Gudmundsson), Duke (Vernon Carey Jr. and Tre Jones), Kansas (Udoka Azubuike and Devon Dotson), Kentucky (Ashton Hagans and Tyrese Maxey), Maryland (Anthony Cowan Jr. and Jalen Smith), Memphis (Precious Achiuwa and James Wiseman), Utah State (Sam Merrill and Neemias Queta), and Washington (Jaden McDaniels and Isaiah Stewart) each have two selections on the Preseason Top 50.

Of the 50 players on the preseason list, 34 are upperclassmen, including 22 seniors. The recent trend of recognizing outstanding freshmen continues with ten named to the list: Memphis’ Achiuwa and Wiseman, North Carolina’s Cole Anthony, Duke’s Carey Jr, Georgia’s Anthony Edwards, Florida’s Lewis, Airzona’s Nico Mannion, Kentucky’s Maxey, and Washington’s McDaniels and Stewart.

The Preseason Top 50 list represents 12 conferences. The Pac-12 leads all conferences with 8 selections, followed by the Big East and SEC with seven apiece, the Big Ten with six, the ACC with five, the Big 12 with four, the American and WCC with three apiece, the A-10 and Mountain West with two each, and the America East, Conference USA, and Horizon League with one selection apiece.

The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2020 John R. Wooden Award Men’s Player of the Year presented by Wendy’s. Players not chosen to the preseason list are still eligible for the Wooden Award™ midseason list, late season list, and the National Ballot. The National Ballot consists of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the Wooden Award. Nearly 1,000 voters will rank in order 10 of those 15 players when voting opens prior to the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during early round games. The Wooden Award All American Team™ will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the 2020 John R. Wooden Award will be presented by Wendy’s during the ESPN College Basketball Awards on Friday, April 10, 2020

About the John R. Wooden Award

Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award Program hosts the most prestigious honors in college basketball recognizing The Wooden Award Most Outstanding Player for men and women, The Wooden Award All American Teams for men and women and the annual selection of the Wooden Award Legend of Coaching recipient. Honorees have proven to their university that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the John R. Wooden Award as set forth by Coach Wooden and the Wooden Award Steering Committee, including making progress towards graduation and maintaining at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA. Previous winners include Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Kevin Durant (’07), Candace Parker (’07; ’08), Maya Moore (’09; ’11), Chiney Ogwumike (’14), and last year’s recipients, Sabrina Ionescu of Oregon and Zion Williamson of Duke.

Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed nearly one million dollars to the universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the Wooden Award All American recipients and has sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with the Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament brings together Special Olympics athletes and Wooden Award All Americans and coaches in attendance. It is hosted at the Los Angeles Athletic Club during the John R. Wooden Award Weekend.

For up-to-date information on the Wooden Award, please go to www.woodenaward.com and follow the Wooden Award on Facebook at www.facebook.com/woodenaward and @WoodenAward on Twitter and Instagram.