Tag Archives: Vernon Carey Jr.

What Could Have Been and What Was for Duke Basketball

The dust has finally settled on the 2019-20 basketball season and it is now time to reflect on what could have been. As some in the media, I took the trip up to Greensboro for the ACC Tournament and took my seat at courtside as I watched the unusual situation unfold.

It was surreal seeing just the bands from Clemson and Florida State making noise where no fans were in the stands. There were cheerleaders, essential coliseum personnel, some media members, and television crews as Clemson and Florida State took to the court to warm up.

Duke and N.C. State was to have played next, so I was dug in with my laptop ready to cover something like we had never witnessed. I was wondering which parent might make a name for themselves in support of their team for those who stood out would be getting plenty of camera time.

For a brief moment, it appeared the games would go on, but there was a problem, you see. That being something called the Coronavirus and it was at the forefront of everyone's mind, even fanatical fanbases desperate for life to go on as normal.

I could not help but think Duke did not get a good draw in the tournament. The Blue Devils would have likely gotten past the Wolfpack, but it would not have been easy. The draw came from finishing fourth in the standings and it was hard not to think about the collapse in Winston Salem, for a win against a so-so Wake Forest team would have put the Duke in the top spot.

There was also a late-season loss by a two points at Virginia which was costly as well, These two games kept Duke from winning the regular season.

So, when it became evident that the long-awaited ACC Tournament return to Greensboro was about to be canceled there was still not ample enough evidence that the season would end. I mean, no season had since the inception of the NCAA Tournament.

As it became clear that we had seen the last dribble of the ball this past season, you could not help but wonder many things. As Florida State was awarded the ACC Tournament Championship trophy in a way that was highly awkward, it just felt like Duke should have been there.

Yes, one could argue they stole a win at Chapel Hill over North Carolina but had Mike Krzyzewski known the season would end as it did, perhaps he would have coached a little differently.

While this may seem a controversial statement, some coaches are looking to teach lessons during the season. I am not saying Duke did not want to win those close or critical losses, but I am saying the staff never thought the win over North Carolina in Cameron Indoor Stadium would be the last game the team would play.

Some may have seen Duke collapsing a bit after the losses to Virginia and Wake Forest in the regular season, but I saw it as ongoing lessons for the upcoming NCAA Tournament. And I think this team was better built for the tournament than some think.

We will never know for sure how things may have fared, but the team had a solid year with some memorable wins. They owned a win over Kansas the nation's top-ranked team and they had a veteran point guard in Tre Jones ready to go for what would have been the sixth national championship.

Perhaps the Blue Devils would have hoisted the ACC Championship Trophy had the games been played, but the Seminoles had a much easier road to do so. So I am thinking the team was better built for the NCAA's and like many, I wanted to see how it played out.

Duke showed they could be caught off guard in some losses this past season, but the Blue Devils could have beaten any team on a given day. Trust me, it is all about matchups in the big tournament and so we will never know how things would fare, but the feeling here is that Duke would have gained some more wins and been a tough out for anyone they faced.

Duke had a good locker room this past season. Their players represented the brotherhood well. They were a likable bunch of young men where each brought something to the table.

Since my last article, Duke has seen Tre Jones, Vernon Carey Jr., and Cassius Stanley all enter the NBA Draft. It was fun watching those players.

Tre Jones returned to Duke to win a title. It is painful for many he never got that chance. But people will fondly remember what he and his brother Tyus, did for the program.

Vernon Carey Jr. was evidence that Duke does develop big men and he had a stellar season. He is a very underrated player going into the draft and will likely land with a winning team per source.

Cassius Stanley showed off some serious athleticism which will help him achieve his goals at the next level. Duke proved they do as well with west coast talent as any other part of the country.

Duke also says goodbye to Javin DeLaurier, Jack White, and Justin Robinson. These three young men as all destined for some great things in life.

So, if you haven't guessed yet, this is me closing the door on the 2019-20 season. It was not easy to do so for many reasons, but anyone reading this article likely lives for the basketball season and when it is cut short, there is a part of us seemingly missing,

While many are still dealing with the outbreak which has forever changed our lives, we still covet the constant success that has defined Duke Basketball.

A popular tagline is that "Duke Basketball Never Stops." While that statement has been challenged, it is clear to see via social media that the Brotherhood is still active.

I am a glass half full type. So, I think we will see the Blue Devils soon enough and the staff is hard at work even from home preparing for another season. Heck, they are recruiting for much more than next season, so it is time to start talking about that and in the coming days, Blue Devil Nation will start to cover what is to come next in our own way,

So, let us remember that amazing putback by Wendell Moore Jr. one last time But it is time to make some new memories and move on.

Carey, Jones Named A.P. All Americans

The Associated Press All American Basketball teams were released today.

Duke freshman center Vernon Carey Jr. was a second-team honoree, while sophomore guard Tre Jones picked up third-team honors.

Carey averaged 17.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game while shooting 57.7% from the field. The Southwest Ranches, Florida, was named the ACC Rookie of the Year and claimed First-Team All-ACC honors. Carey was the lone freshman on the AP All-America Team this season.

Jones averaged 16.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.8 steals per game this season. The Apple Valley, Minnesota, native was voted the ACC Player of the Year and ACC Defensive Player of the Year while also garnering First-Team All-ACC honors.

Vernon Carey Sweeps ACC POY AND ROW Awards

Duke freshman Vernon Carey Jr. has been named ACC Player of the Week and ACC Freshman of the Week after averaging 26 points and 15 rebounds in leading the Blue Devils to conference wins over Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

Carey scored 26 points in both victories, shooting 11-of-17 from the field with 13 rebounds and a career-high four assists in Tuesday night's win over Pitt. At Syracuse on Saturday night, he grabbed a career-best 17 boards and went 9-of-14 from the field and 8-of-10 at the free throw line. Carey's 17 rebounds against the Orange matched Adonal Foyle and Patrick Ewing as the most by a visiting player at the Carrier Dome.

The native of Miami, Fla., now has 10 double-doubles this season, with each having been 15-10 games and eight 20-10 efforts. The eight 20-10 performances trail only Iowa's Luka Garza (10) for the most by major conference players.

Carey currently leads the ACC in field goal percentage (.597) and is the only player ranked in the top five in the ACC in scoring (third, 17.8), rebounding (fourth, 8.9) and field goal percentage.

The honors mark the second ACC Player of the Week (11/25) and fourth Freshman of the Week (11/25, 12/9, 12/23) recognitions for Carey. Over the last six-plus seasons, Duke has had an ACC Freshman of the Week in 60 of a possible 121 weeks. Fifteen different Blue Devils have won the award at least once in that time.

The Blue Devils continue their three-game road on Tuesday, February 4, when they take on Boston College at Conte Forum at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. - Duke Sports Information


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.

Vernon Carey Named ACC Rookie of the Week

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke freshman Vernon Carey Jr., was named the ACC Freshman of the Week and also earned Co-Player of the Week honors after leading the Blue Devils to the 2K Empire Classic title last week.

Carey totaled 51 points and 22 rebounds for No. 1 Duke, which defeated Cal and Georgetown last week at Madison Square Garden to claim the 2K Empire Classic crown. Carey extended his streak of double-doubles to four, including a monumental 31-point, 12-rebound, 4-block effort against Cal in the semifinals, and was named the MVP of the 2K Empire Classic.

A native of Southwest Ranches, Fla., Carey scored 31 points in 22 minutes, marking the fewest minutes played in a 30-point game in Duke history -- surpassing Shane Battier's 31 points in 24 minutes against Davidson on 12/21/99. It was just the sixth 30-10-4 game in Duke history, and third by a freshman, joining Marvin Bagley III and Zion Williamson. In Friday's Empire Classic title game, Carey scored 20 points with 10 rebounds as the Blue Devils held off Georgetown, 81-73.

Carey, who was 19-of-32 from the field (.594) for the week, ranks fifth the ACC in scoring (18.3) and is tied for fourth in rebounding (9.2), while his .609 shooting percentage is tied for the ACC lead. Georgia Tech's Michael Devoe earned ACC Player of the Week honors, along with Carey.

The Blue Devils (6-0) host Stephen F. Austin (4-1) Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The game can be seen live on the Regional Sports Networks, including Fox Sports South.