Tag Archives: Tre Jones

Duke at Syracuse Primer

When Duke travels to Syracuse to take on the Orange it will be the first time several players on the roster have played in a [Carrier] Dome. It is not easy to adjust to the surroundings in some cases so this is something to keep an eye on.

And do not sleep on the Orange. With a 13-8 record and a 6-4 mark in the ACC, they are especially dangerous at home. After a slow start to the season the Orange; after losing to Notre Dame and Virginia Tech, Syracuse reeled off five straight wins. And that streak started with a win over Virginia in Charlottesville.

Syracuse lost their last game by a point at Clemson, but they have played a solid schedule and they are more than capable of pulling an upset over Duke which has been labeled a 6.5 point favorite.

The Orange features the ACC's leading scorer in Elijah Hughes. Another key to recent success is freshmen Joe Girard, a player you cannot leave open for a three-point attempt. If his name sounds familiar, Duke kicked the wheels on recruiting him a season ago.

Another factor is that Mike Krzyzewski will be going up against his friend Jim Boeheim. And then there is the coaches son Buddy Boeheim who is a top ten scorer in the league. With family ties and emotion strange things can happen and this is when upsets occur.

For Duke to have success they must push the aforementioned three players off the three-point stripe and make them drive. Marek Dolezag anchors the post with Bourama Sidibe in what is usually a seven-man rotation.

Duke needs the win as much as Syracuse to stay in the ACC regular season race. A loss would likely drop the Blue Devils out of the top ten and there are ten games left in the season after this matchup.

The Blue Devils are led by their most consistent players in Vernon Carey Jr. and Tre Jones. But this is a game where a third wheel needs to have a breakout game and they must adjust their shooting to the Dome in short order.

I feel like the Blue Devils will come out on top this evening, but it would be far from shocking if they lose. Duke will get every teams best shot with tournament time fast approaching.

We will learn a lot about the ACC today where key matchups are played a 12, 2, 4, 6 and then the 8:00 tip-off for the Blue Devils at the Orange.

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.