Tag Archives: Duke Hoops


One of the key performers in the Duke win over Pittsburgh last evening was Vernon Carey Jr. The big freshman tallied a team-high 26 points to go with 13 rebounds but he also had a career-high 4 assists. Carey now has nine double-doubles this season and he has scored 20 points or more and grabbed 10 or more rebounds in eight games. Blue Devil Nation caught up to Carey for a brief post-game chat.

It seemed like they wanted to get the ball into you early and often. Was that part of the plan against Pitt?

That was our gameplan coming in, to look inside early and just kind of play through me and I feel like we did a pretty good job of that as a team.

You have come into Duke and had a good shot from day one. What kind of work did you do in the offseason and here for that to happen?

I have always worked inside-out game or post and perimeter. We just work on screens and pops and just everything really.

The team was a little sluggish early after the break and you allowed them to make a comeback in the second half.

We came out a little sluggish and they cut the lead to three and just need to be more poised and turn the ball over less and get more stops.

You get to play in that [Carrier] Dome next. Have you ever played a game in a dome before and are you looking forward to it?

No, I have not played in one yet. I am looking forward to it.

Duke Hoops Monday Musings

Vernon Carey Coming Out Party

After four consecutive games where he tallied double-figure points and rebounds, Vernon Carey Jr. has officially arrived as one of the nation's best players. Once Carey started to take his game inside first, it has allowed him to be a stat stuffer in the Blue Devils 6-0 start. Carey leads the team in scoring and rebounding and has shown the ability to knock down various outside shots with his great touch for a big man. He is also realizing his ability to clog the lane on defense. Look for the staff to push Carey to be even more dominant moving forward.

New York Trip Beneficial for Duke

The Blue Devils took care of business with two wins over California and Georgetown during this past weeks 2K Empire Classic. In the first game, the Duke defense smothered Cal. In the second game, Duke seemed a little tired at first while learning the lesson every team will come after you hard when wearing the four letters on your chest. Duke was able to gather itself and play a complete second half defeating a Georgetown team that was playing its best basketball of the season. The team grew up a lot while defining the roles of certain players on the trip which is a major positive moving forward.

A Sign of Things to Come?

During the trip to New York, it became evident that Cassius Stanley and Wendell Moore were seeing more minutes. They did not disappoint and at times played off one another. In the win over Georgetown Stanley tallied 21 points and 8 rebounds in 27 minutes. Moore 16 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists in 36 minutes. More importantly, they showed signs of growing chemistry between themselves and teammates. If the two versatile freshmen continue their growth while playing efficient and together good things will follow.

Next - Getting Matthew Hurt Untracked

Anyone who saw Hurt in high school knows he can be a solid contributor on the court. I think Hurt has struggled a bit with the physicality of the game as he grows into his body. Sometimes a player needs to go inside first and then float out to get it going. Some buckets near the rim while working on rebounding could open his game up. It is not a question of if things will come together for the talented freshmen, but when.

Duke Still #1

The Duke Blue Devils will remain the top ranked team in the country when the polls come out later today. Duke takes on Stephen F. Austin tomorrow evening in Cameron and then entertain Winthrop this Friday at 7:00. The Eagles are better than their 3-3 record suggests (likely 4-3 after taking on Pfeifer on Monday) and likes to play a slow down style. They have a 2 point loss to St. Marys on the road

Next up - Stephen F. Austin

Duke will take on Stephen F. Austin which is off to a 4-1 start including a 30 point win over Durhams' own North Carolina Central. Guiard Kevon Harris leads the way for the Lumberjacks who have four players averaging double-figure scoring. Tomorrow night's game has a dreadful 9:00 tip off time in Cameron.

Random Duke Hoops Thoughts – Empire Edition

A few notes on Duke Hoops going into the 2K Empire Classic.

Vernon Carey Efficiency

Vernon Carey Jr is connecting on 62% of his shots this early season. He scored a career-high of 20 points in the Blue Devils win over Georgia State. More importantly, Carey has recorded back to back double-doubles. Carey is still learning to play inside, but the versatile young big man is capable of taking his game to another level if recent success in the paint continues.

Cal -- Better Than Advertised

The Golden Bears were picked towards the bottom of the Pac-12 this season but Cal comes into the Duke game 4-0. First year coach Mark Fox already has the program going in the right direction and they own an early win over UNLV. The Bears are led by a tough sophomore shooting guard in Matt Bradley (20.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg). Duke holds a 1-2 all time mark versus the Bears. One of the more deflating Duke upset losses in history came against the Jason Kidd led Cal team in the NCAA Tournament.

2K Empire Classic Past

Duke is no stranger to this event where the Blue Devils are 10-2. The only two losses the first two games against Stanford and Connecticut in 1999. There were a lot of questions after the 0-2 start but Duke rebounded to go 29-5 on the season. The Blue Devils are 10-0 since that time in what was called the Coaches vs Cancer Classic when the tournament started.

Duke Labeled a 19 Point Favorite

The Blue Devils have been tabbed a 19.5 favorite in tonight's game with Cal which tips at 9:00 on ESPN 2.

If Duke Wins

If the Blue Devils defeat Cal tonight, they would then face the winner of Georgetown (3-1) and #22 Texas (4-0). Some familiar names on the two possible opponents are Omer Yurtseven who transferred from N.C. State and is leading the Hoyas in scoring and rebounding. Texas leading scorer is Matt Coleman III whom Duke kicked the wheels on for a good time on the recruiting front. Texas is a 6.5 favorite over Georgetown coached. Shaka Smart who coaches the Longhorns once led Virginia Commonwealth to an upset win over Duke in the NCAA Tournament.

Duke Basketball Monday Morning Notebook

The Duke Men's Basketball team headed back to Durham yesterday morning where they turned their attention to the announcement of the 2012 NCAA Tournament pairings.  As expected, Duke landed in Greensboro where they'll take on Lehigh around 7:10 on Friday and should they advance, they take on the winner of the Notre Dame vs Xavier game.  The Blue Devils have been one of the top eight seeds in 14 of the last 16 NCAA Tournaments.

Taking a quick look back at the ACC Tournament

I can assure you the team is already focused on Lehigh but let's take a quick look back at what happened in the tournament.  First off, it was clear that the Duke offense missed Ryan Kelly and that they were adjusting to his absence.  The Blue Devils managed just 59.5 ppg while shooting 37% in the two games.  The Blue Devils got 17 ppg from Austin Rivers and 12.5 from Seth Curry but the rest of the team struggled to score.  Of course, that was partly due to playing some really hungry teams and the Duke defense played as well as it had all season, thus the close games.  The loss to Florida State certainly hurt, but the Seminoles then beat North Carolina proving that they were the best team in Atlanta.  Had Duke got another stop or had a made bucket here or there, they would have been in the final game.  The Blue Devils have dominated the tournament in recent years winning 10 out of the last 14 and the experienced Seminoles won their first tournament ever.   The Blue Devils played with effort but a few mental lapses proved their undoing but in the end, there is no shame in losing to a red hot FSU team that earned a 3rd seed in the NCAA Tournament with their play. The one thing which Duke will need to control going forward are their turnovers if they want to advance.  The Blue Devils had but 8 against Virginia Tech but that number doubled against Florida State with a total of 16.

The seeding

Duke was selected as the #2 seed in the South Region which means they will head to Greensboro and if they survive two games, they will head right back to Atlanta.  One might call me biased, but the Blue Devils got one heck of a Road to the Final Four.  The South Region features the #1 overall seed in Kentucky who will play on familiar turf.  Then there are three of the last four teams from last seasons Final Four in the field not to mention the last two national champions.  Duke faces a pesky Lehigh team in their opener and could run into Mike Brey and Notre Dame in the next game should they advance or an Xavier team that started the season ranked 14th in the A.P. poll.  And then there is an ultra long and athletic Baylor team should they advance to Atlanta.  It is clearly one of the two toughest regions and as I said, I think it's the toughest of them all.

Battled tested Blue Devils

Duke is battled tested due to playing one of the toughest schedules in the land.  With wins over Kansas, Michigan State, Michigan, North Carolina, Florida State they can play with anybody, so don't think this team cannot make a run.  This team now has some tough skin and they know what it is like to play in close games, be they high scoring or defensive stand offs.  When the games get tight in the tournament and they will, Duke has been there before and that will certainly help.

Duke finishes 8th in the Coaches Poll

Rankings mean little right now, but unlike the A.P., the coaches poll comes out again after the conference tournaments and Duke is ranked 8th in the final poll.  Duke started the season as the 6th rated team in the country.

Getting Andre going

Dawkins is in a shooting slump as teams have learned to play him for the three point shot and the Blue Devils could sure use one of his explosive 20 point efforts in the NCAA Tournament.  Not a single point from Dawkins in the ACC Tournament is a red flag indeed and Dawkins is vital to the Blue Devils long term efforts.  Sometimes a player just needs to do all the other things on the court, such as crashing the boards, a pass for an assist or a defensive play and let his offense come at it's on pace.  If Dawkins plays well off ball or without touches, his offense will come back.

Austin Rivers

Rivers has scored in double figures in 29 games this season and he's been the Blue Devils most consistent scorer but his defense impressed me this weekend as did his hustle.  If there was a loose ball on the floor, Rivers was there and his overall game is catching up to his offense.  Rivers probably should have just pulled up for his missed three pointer against Florida State and that only proves that the freshman still has a few lessons to learn but perhaps the lessons to date will prove vital in the NCAA Tournament. 

Day to day for Kelly

Ryan Kelly has made progress with his foot injury but it's be slow going for the Duke junior in an attempt to fend of reinjury.  Kelly is the 3rd leading scorer for Duke and his points were missed in Atlanta as was his ability to stretch a defense with this outside stroke.  Here is to a quick recovery for a key player in the Duke rotation.


Duke NCAA Tournament Factoids

Duke is 12-0 when playing NCAA Tournament games in Greensboro, N.C. Duke won the 2001 NCAA Championship after playing its first two games in Greensboro.  Duke has beaten a No. 1 seed eight times, the most No. 1 upsets in NCAA history. From 1991-93, the Blue Devils won 13 consecutive NCAA Tournament games which ranks as the second longest streak in NCAA history behind only John Wooden's 38-game run at UCLA from 1964-74.  As the No. 2 seed in the tournament, Duke owns a 23-7 record. Duke won the 1991 NCAA Championship as the No. 2 seed.  Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski is 79-23 (.775) in the NCAA Tournament and is college basketball's all-time leader in NCAA Tournament wins. North Carolina's Roy Williams is the next closest active coach with 58 NCAA wins.  Duke is 96-31 (756) all-time in the NCAA Tournament, ranked as the highest NCAA Tournament winning percentage of any program. Duke's 96 wins are the third most behind Kentucky (105) and North Carolina (105) per Duke Sports Information.

A look at Lehigh

Lehigh gained an automatic NCAA bid as the Patriot League Champion and they ride an eight-game winning streak into tournament play. Lehigh has played NCAA Tournament teams Michigan State, losing 90-81 and Iowa State, losing  86-77  all on the road. Lehigh's roster boasts the nation's 5th leading score,  C.J. McCollum (21.9 ppg.)  This is the 5th NCAA Tournament for Lehigh.

 And tickets remain for Greensboro at Ticketmaster for face value, so hustle up and support the Blue Devils!



ACC Tournament Game Notes for Duke

Game 32 • ACC Tournament Quarterfinals

[6 AP / 6 Coaches] Duke2 (26-5, 13-3) vs. Clemson7 (16-14, 8-8) / Virginia Tech10 (15-16, 4-12) winner

Friday, March 9, 2012 • 7:00 p.m. • ESPN2/ACC Network

The Opening Tip

• No. 2 seed Duke (26-5) received an opening-round bye and will face the winner of No. 7 seed Clemson and No. 10 seed Virginia Tech in the ACC Tournament Quarterfinals on Friday, March 9, at 7 p.m. in Phillips Arena.

• Mike Patrick (play-by-play), Len Elmore (analyst) and Jeannine Edwards (sideline) will call the game for ESPN2. Tim Brando (play-by-play), Cory Alexander (analyst) and Debbie Antonelli (sideline) will call the game for the ACC Network.

• Duke is ranked No. 6 in the AP Poll and in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Neither Clemson nor Virginia Tech are ranked in either poll.

• Duke, Michigan State and North Carolina are the only teams in the NCAA to rank in the top 10 in RPI, Strength of Schedule, the AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls.

Duke in the ACC Tournament

• Duke has won three consecutive ACC Tournaments and 10 of the last 13 tournaments. Duke has won more ACC Tournaments (19) than any other ACC program.

• The Blue Devils are 90-39 (.698) all-time in the ACC Tournament, including a 52-17 (.754) record under head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Duke’s 90 victories are the most in ACC history.

• Coach K’s 13 ACC Tournament Championships are tied for the most in ACC history. His 52 wins are the second most in ACC Tournament history.

• Duke has won nine straight ACC Tournament games and is 35-4 in the tournament since 1998.

• Duke is 9-3 when the tournament is held in Atlanta, Ga. Duke has won the last two tournaments held in Atlanta (2001 & 2009).

• Nine of the last 13 ACC Tournament MVPs have been Blue Devils.

Numbers Game

l Seth Curry is Duke’s active leading scorer in ACC Tournament play, averaging 10.7 points in three ACC Tournament games. Curry scored in double figures in all three games in 2011 and was named to the ACC All-Tournament second team.

l Duke enters the ACC Tournament as one of the top two seeds for the 31st time in the league’s 54-year history. The Blue Devils are a combined 63-17 (.788) when seeded No. 1 or No. 2 in the tournament and have won 13 of their 19 ACC Championships when seeded No. 1 or No. 2.

l Duke has had a 20-point scorer in eight of the last nine ACC Tournament games (all victories).

l Miles Plumlee has at least 10 rebounds in five of his last seven games and is averaging 11.9 rebounds per game during that span. He also averages 8.6 ppg. during that stretch with two double-doubles.

l Austin Rivers was named ACC Rookie of the Year and All-ACC first team, becoming only the seventh freshman in ACC history to earn All-ACC first team honors. Rivers leads Duke in scoring (15.3 ppg), double-figure scoring games (27), 20-point games (8) and minutes per game (32.9).

l Rivers ranks in the top 10 on Duke’s freshman record lists in points (6th – 459), scoring average (T-3rd – 15.3), field goals (9th – 154), field goal attempts (T-6th – 348), three-point field goals (5th – 54), three-point attempts (6th – 135), three-point percentage (6th - .393), free throws (T-8th – 98), free throw attempts (3rd – 152), minutes per game (8th – 32.8), double-figure scoring games (T-4th – 27) and 20-point games (T-5th – 8).

l For only the fourth time in school history, four Duke players — Andre Dawkins (66 made 3fgs), Seth Curry (59 3fgs), Austin Rivers (54 3fgs) and Ryan Kelly (40 3fgs)— have hit at least 40 three-pointers.

l Duke leads the ACC in both three-point percentage (.387) and made three-pointers (258). The Blue Devils have hit at least eight three-pointers in eight of the last 10 games.

l Duke is holding opponents to a .313 three-point shooting percentage this season and an average of just 4.5 three-pointers per game. ACC teams are shooting just .294 from the three-point line against Duke.

l Duke has been ranked in the top 10 of the AP Poll for 92 straight weeks, tied for the second-longest streak in NCAA history. Duke’s 95 consecutive weeks ranked in the AP Top-25 is the longest active streak in the NCAA.

l Duke has eight wins over teams that went on to win or share the regular season conference title in their respective conferences, including wins over power conference champions North Carolina (ACC), Kansas (Big 12), Michigan State and Michigan (Big Ten) and Washington (Pac-12). Duke has played 11 games against teams that won their conference this season.