Blue Devils Take Down Gardner-Webb, UCLA
Duke improved to 9-2 with back-to-back wins over Gardner-Webb and UCLA this past week, taking down the Runnin’ Bulldogs 85-66 Monday in Cameron Indoor Stadium and handling UCLA 80-63 Thursday in Madison Square Garden. The matchup against UCLA drew 15,410 fans to the Garden for Duke’s second largest crowd of the season. Freshman Jabari Parker was his usual self, leading the way with 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Rodney Hood and Quinn Cook chipped in 14 points each. One of the bigger stories of the night came from Duke’s bench, as sophomore Rasheed Sulaimon contributed a productive eight points, four assists and five rebounds in just 18 minutes of action. That was a welcome performance from Sulaimon, who had hit just six shots over his previous seven games. Said Krzyzewski after the game about a three-pointer Sulaimon hit late in the game, “I was so happy he hit that big shot. He has been practicing well the last two weeks, and it paid off.”
Parker At Home in the Garden
Jabari Parker played on many big stages in high school, but few things can prepare a college freshman for games in front of thousands of spectators and millions more on national television. That goes for most college freshmen anyway, as Duke newcomer Jabari Parker has had little trouble performing on one of the biggest stages in all of sports, that being Madison Square Garden. In three games at the Garden, Parker averaged 23.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.0 blocks while shooting 50.0 percent (23-of-46) from the field in games against No. 5 Arizona, Alabama and UCLA. His most recent trip, an 80-63 win over UCLA, yielded 23 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. But while the numbers are impressive, it’s nothing that Parker hasn’t done all season. In fact, he already seems to be over the awe factor of playing in such renowned venues, saying after the UCLA win, “It's the mecca of college basketball, for sure, but you kind of get over the shock after you play here a few times.”
Duke Postgame Report Available After Each Game
Following the win over UCLA, the Blue Devils unveiled a new way for fans to learn about each Duke game immediately after its completion. Built by Team Infographics (www.teaminfographics.net), GoDuke.com and the team’s social media outlets publish a detailed infographic recapping the story of the game. To check out the first edition, visit the link below, and for more, follow Duke Men’s Basketball on Twitter (@Duke_MBB) and Facebook (facebook.com/DukeMBB).
Long Break for the Holidays
After the Blue Devils went 13 days between games for the university’s exam week, the Blue Devils will get a nine-day break for the holiday before hosting Eastern Michigan next Saturday, Dec. 28. From that point on, however, the games come quickly with the start of conference play, which begins with a bang as Duke takes on ACC newcomer Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., on Jan. 4. Duke’s last two non-conference games – Eastern Michigan and Elon – come just before that tilt with the Fighting Irish.
Murphy Names Florida as Transfer Destination
Last week, the Duke basketball program announced redshirt sophomore forward Alex Murphy would transfer, and this week Murphy announced he would join the Florida Gators program next semester. Murphy will be eligible to play next December with two remaining seasons of eligibility. At Florida, he follows in the footsteps of his older brother, Erik, who was a 1,000-point scorer and first team All-SEC pick for the Gators and is currently a member of the Chicago Bulls. The Duke basketball family wished Murphy well in his departure with Coach K stating after the transfer announcement, “Alex has been absolutely great for our program and our university. He is a top-notch young man and an excellent player. He comes from an amazing family, and it was an honor for us to have him here at Duke. We wish him the very best, and we always want to be a part of his future. We are friends and friends of the family and totally supportive of his decision.”
NBA D-League Can No Longer Contain Curry
Seth Curry can’t do much more in the NBA Development League, and the Memphis Grizzlies have taken notice. According to multiple reports, the former Duke star signed a contract with the Grizzlies and will make his NBA debut this week. Curry was red-hot before the signing, rattling off six straight 20-point games until an off-shooting night limited him to nine points Friday, which was his first non-double-digit scoring game in 14 D-League outings. Curry still managed eight assists that night, bringing his season averages to 21.3 points and 7.3 assists per game. He becomes the 16th Duke player to appear on an NBA roster this season, the most of any program behind Kentucky (18).
Sulaimon returns to playmaking ways against UCLA (Raleigh News & Observer)
Parker unfazed by New York stage (Sports Illustrated)
In Duke’s win at the Garden, a ‘Natural’ draws comparisons to Anthony (New York Times)
Firming up spots outside Big Three will be deciding factor for Duke (CBS Sports)
Tweet of the Week
Marcus Stroman @MStrooo7 (Former Duke baseball player and member of Toronto Blue Jays system)
Spike Lee seats at #MSG to watch them #DUKEBoys go to work! Let's get it. #BlueDevilNation @QCook323 @tythornton3 @jhairston15
Stat of the Week
Duke has had a 20-point scorer in every game this season. Freshman Jabari Parker already has nine 20-point games this season, tied for the third most of any Duke freshman in school history. The Duke record for 20-point games by a freshman is held by Gene Banks, who totaled 11 in 1977-78.