Exam Week In the Rearview, Basketball On The Horizon
With finals and the fall semester in the rearview mirror, Duke will return to the court after a 13-day hiatus from game action. The Blue Devils welcome Gardner-Webb to Cameron Indoor Stadium tonight at 7 p.m. and then take on a red-hot UCLA team in Madison Square Garden during the CarQuest Auto Parts Classic.
Gardner-Webb has won four of its past five games, including three in a row away from home, and enters the Monday matchup with four players averaging double-figure scoring under first-year head coach Tim Craft. The meeting is only the second time Duke has faced Gardner-Webb, the last time coming on Dec. 15, 2009, during Duke’s 2010 NCAA Championship season. Duke won, 113-68, that night behind a 36-point, nine-assist effort from Jon Scheyer, who will watch this year’s game from the sidelines as Duke’s special assistant. Graduate student Andre Dawkins was also on the last Duke team to face Gardner-Webb and scored 16 points with three three-pointers.
College Basketball Powers Square Off
Following the Gardner-Webb game Monday, Duke heads to Madison Square Garden in New York for the second time this season to face UCLA in the CarQuest Auto Parts Classic. The meeting will be the first between Duke and UCLA in more than a decade, renewing a series whose last matchup came on Nov. 30, 2002 when the Blue Devils defeated the Bruins 84-73 in Indianapolis, Ind. Duke has won three straight against UCLA and owns a 7-2 series lead under head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Below are some notes on the series:
- Duke and UCLA have combined for 15 NCAA Championships. UCLA has won 11, most recently in 1995, while Duke has four, most recently in 2010.
- The teams have combined for 3,770 wins and a .700 winning percentage.
- The programs rank No. 2 and No. 3 in total Final Four appearances. UCLA has reached the national semifinal 17 times, while Duke has made it 15 times.
- Duke’s streak of five consecutive Final Four appearances from 1988-92 trails only UCLA’s streak of 10 from 1967-76.
- Duke and UCLA have both finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll 15 times, tied for the second most in NCAA history.
- Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski has led Duke to a No. 1 ranking in the AP poll in an NCAA-record 16 different seasons. Former UCLA head coach John Wooden achieved the feat 12 times, the second most in NCAA history.
- The programs have the longest streaks of being ranked in the AP poll. UCLA leads the way with 221 straight weeks in the AP top 25, while Duke ranks second with 200 weeks.
- Duke leads the all-time series 9-6. Duke has won three straight games against UCLA and last lost to the Bruins, 73-69, on Feb. 23, 1997.
- The CARQUEST Auto Parts Classic will mark the seventh neutral site matchup between the teams. Duke is 5-2 against UCLA on neutral courts with three straight victories.
- Duke is 4-0 against UCLA at home and 0-4 on the road.
- The closest margin of victory in the series is four points. UCLA defeated Duke 73-69 on Feb. 23, 1997.
- Duke and UCLA have met three times in the NCAA Tournament, including the 1964 national championship which UCLA won 98-83. The teams have also met twice in the Sweet 16 with Duke winning both matchups, 90-81 in 1990 and 76-63 in 2001.
Miles Adds to Highlight Reel
Since an offseason trade landed him in Phoenix, Miles Plumlee has had the breakout year his size and athleticism have hinted at since his days as a Blue Devil. The second-year forward has started all 22 games for the Suns, averaging 9.7 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting .505 from the field. He has helped spark Phoenix to a 13-9 record at the start of the season while giving the Suns a mistake-erasing defensive presence in the paint. That was no more evident than this past week when Plumlee landed a poster-worthy block on Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins in a 116-107 win over the Kings.
Plumlee was not completely innocent on the play, as he failed to reign in an off-the-mark inbounds pass at midcourt that Cousins picked up and took down the court on a fast break. Plumlee kept pace with Cousins the entire way, however, and came from behind to slap the would-be-easy layup into the backboard. Phoenix regained possession after the block and hit an easy jumper for two.
The play garnered the No. 3 spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 that night. To watch the clip, visit the link below:
No Duke Basketball Radio Show This Week
The Duke Basketball Radio Show on 620 AM WDNC will not air this week due to Duke's game schedule. The show, which features associate head coach Steve Wojciechowski and assistant director of athletics for external relations Art Chase, will resume its normal schedule next week.
Duke Women Face UConn Tuesday
The Duke men's matchup against UCLA Thursday will not be the only clash of college basektball powers this week, as the Duke women take on No. 1 UConn in Cameron Indoor Stadium Tuesday. Both Duke and UConn are 10-0 and are the top two teams in both the AP and USA Today Coaches polls. Unfortunately for the Duke men, they will be in transit to New York for the UCLA tilt and will be unable to attend, but you can bet the entire team will be watching intently on the flight.
Krzyzewski’s Collegiate Coaching Tree Racking Up Wins
Mike Krzyzewski’s coaching tree is as broad and deep-rooted as they come. With four former players currently head coaches in the Division I college ranks, four others working as college assistants and five more on NBA coaching staffs, Krzyzewski’s influence on all levels of basketball is far-reaching.
It’s not a matter of quantity over quality, however, as the K-coached quartet of Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker, Northwestern head coach Chris Collins, Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins and Buffalo head coach Bobby Hurley have a combined record of 25-11 this season; not too shabby considering Collins (5-5) and Hurley (4-3) are both in their first years as head coaches. Under Amaker, Harvard has emerged as an annual Ivy League Championship contender and this year is off to a 9-1 start. Dawkins, meanwhile, has Stanford sitting at 7-2 with matchups against UConn and Michigan looming this week.
Duke’s other elite prospect (SportsIllustrated.com)
Marshall Plumlee shows some promise for undersized Duke (Fayetteville Observer)
Grant Hill doesn’t mind Jabari Parker comparisons (USA Today)
Jabari Parker stays true to self (USA Today)
Singler proves value of four-year seniors (HoopsWorld.com)