Duke Falls in NIT Season Tip-Off Final
It was a mixed bag for the Blue Devils this past week, as Duke defeated Alabama, 74-64, Wednesday in the NIT Season Tip-Off semifinal but fell, 72-66, to No. 4 Arizona in the final. Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood combined for 40 points in the final, but it was not enough to overcome a balanced team effort from the Wildcats who had five players score in double figures but none more than 15 points. Duke actually turned in one of its best defensive performances of the season against Arizona, forcing the Wildcats into 16 turnovers, but Arizona made the most of its second-chance scoring opportunities and outscored Duke 39-30 in the second half.
Parker and Hood were both named to the NIT Season Tip-Off All-Tournament team, and with good reason as Parker averaged 22.0 points per game, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.3 assists and Hood averaged 19.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.3 assists in Duke’s four NIT Tip-Off outings.
The loss to Arizona snapped a streak of 26 consecutive in-season tournament game victories for the Blue Devils, who had not lost since March 21, 2006 against Marquette and won six in-season tournaments during that span.
Another Week, Another Award for Parker
It was just another Monday for Jabari Parker, who received his third straight ACC Rookie of the Week award after helping Duke past UNC Asheville (91-55), East Carolina (83-74) and Vermont (91-90). Parker has earned every ACC Rookie of the Week award this season and could earn his third today after averaging 23.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.0 steal this past week against Alabama (74-64) and Arizona (66-72). While it’s still early in the year, Parker is nearly one-third of the way to tying the league record for ACC Rookie of the Week citations, a mark shared by North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough (2005-06) and Georgia Tech’s Kenny Anderson (1989-90) who each had 10 honors.
Michigan, ACC/Big Ten Challenge On the Horizon
Duke will get little downtime before its next big test, as No. 22 Michigan visits Cameron Tuesday, Dec. 3 for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The back-to-back top-25 matchups – following Duke’s loss to No. 4 Arizona this past Friday – will be Duke’s first time facing ranked teams in consecutive games during the regular season since November 24 and 28 when Duke defeated No. 2 Louisville and No. 4 Ohio State. Coincidentally, the Ohio State matchup was also part of the 2012-13 ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
The Michigan matchup has been a well-played series with Duke holding a 21-8 advantage since the series began in 1963. Duke has won two in a row and nine of the past 10 meetings, though the last three games were all decided by single digits. Duke is 15-5 against the Wolverines under Coach K with the last Michigan win coming on Dec. 6, 2009, by a score of 81-73 in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Duke has had plenty of success in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, posting a 12-2 record to lead all teams in wins and winning percentage. The Blue Devils are 5-0 when playing ACC/Big Ten Challenge games in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Duke Basketball Radio Show Debuts Tonight
Hosted by the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club throughout the season, the Duke Basketball Radio Show with associate head coach Steve Wojciechowski airs live Monday night from 7-8 p.m. on WDNC 620 The Buzz. Fans are invited to join coach Wojciechowski this Monday on location in the Bull Durham Bar at the Washington Duke Inn or watch the show live on GoDuke.com. The Duke Basketball Radio Show is a production of the Blue Devil Sports Network from IMG College and features Wojciechowski along with special appearances by players and prominent college basketball figures. Art Chase, Duke assistant director of athletics for external relations, hosts the show alongside Wojciechowski.
Kelly Scores 24 in NBA D-League Debut
While former Duke teammate Seth Curry made a splash by scoring 36 points in his NBA Development League debut last week, Ryan Kelly earned the spotlight this week when he poured in 24 points in his first D-League appearance. Kelly did a little bit of everything for the Los Angeles D-Fenders, hitting 8-of-16 shots from the floor, 8-of-9 free throws, grabbing nine rebounds – including four offensive boards – and recording two assists, one block and one steal. He followed that performance with a 21-point effort in which he dished out seven assists, grabbed eight rebounds and posted two more blocks and a steal. Kelly, who made the Lakers’ opening day roster and hit a three-pointer on his first NBA shot attempt, could earn a call-up back to the NBA later this season.
Singler left with empty feeling despite career-high 22 points (MLive.com)
Curry stays patient in NBA D-League (Mercury News)
Duke’s greatest recruiting class (DukeBasketballReport.com)
Coach K: “I love Dean [Smith]. He’s remarkable. Truly remarkable.” (Raleigh News & Observer)
Tweet of the Week
Stat of the Week
Freshman Jabari Parker opened his career with seven straight 20-point games matching the longest such streak by a freshman since Texas’ Kevin Durant scored at least 20 points in seven straight as a freshman in 2006-07.