DUKE GETS BACK ON TRACK WITH WIN OVER
In the first half of Thursday's ACC matchup against Georgia Tech, the Blue Devils got off to a slow start that could have been attributed to lingering effects from the 84-76 loss at No. 20 N.C. State. Through the first 17:48 of the game, Duke hit just 6-of-30 shots (.200) and trailed Georgia Tech, 26-19, as the half came to a close. With 2:12 remaining, however, Seth Curry hit one of his six three-pointers to spark a Blue Devil rally that carried through to the second half and eventually propelled Duke to a 73-57 victory. Curry and Rasheed Sulaimon hit back-to-back three-pointers as the final minutes of the first half ticked away, and Amile Jefferson punctuated the late surge with a layup that cut the deficit to 28-27 before the break. It took just 24 seconds in the second half for the Blue Devils to take over, as Quinn Cook sank a three-pointer that put Duke in the lead for the remainder of the game. Curry went on to shot a perfect 4-of-4 from beyond the arc in the second half, Mason Plumlee took over in the paint to finish with his ACC-leading 11th double-double of the year, and Jefferson continued to ascend as a legitimate option in the post with a career-high 10 rebounds to go along with six points, two steals and a block.
RANKED NO. 1 AGAIN?
With home losses by No. 1 Louisville and No. 2 Indiana this week, the Blue Devils are expected to regain the top spot in the national polls on Monday. Duke has been ranked No. 1 overall four times this season and 126 time all-time. Since 1990, the Blue Devils have been ranked No. 1 95 times, which is 43 more weeks than the next closest school (North Carolina - 52).
DUKE GETS BY WITHOUT KELLY
While Duke played without senior captain Ryan Kelly for the second straight game on Thursday as the 6-11 sharp-shooting forward continues to recover from a foot injury, the Blue Devils showcased their offensive versatility and answered concerns regarding how good the team could be without a key lynchpin of the offense. Duke shifted the offensive focus to the long-range shooting of Curry and Rasheed Sulaimon, who combined to shoot 9-of-11 from three-point range and accounted for 39 points in the victory. Plumlee supplied the rebounding and post presence under the basket, while Jefferson cleaned up on the offensive glass and pulled down six of Duke's 15 offensive rebounds that led to 10 second-chance points. Point guard Quinn Cook ran the offense, dishing out five assists that led to four three-pointers and a fastbreak dunk by Sulaimon. While the Blue Devils will be without Kelly for the foreseeable future, Duke showed on Thursday that it has plenty of firepower in Cook, Curry, Plumlee, Sulaimon - and now Jefferson - to stay the course until Kelly returns.
ACC FRONTRUNNER MIAMI AWAITS WEDNESDAY
Two weeks into the conference season, neither ACC preseason favorite N.C. State or second-place pick Duke are atop the league standings. Instead, the Miami Hurricanes - who were picked to finish fifth by the league's media in the preseason - boast a perfect 4-0 league record to hold the top spot. Miami has defeated Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Maryland and Boston College this season, but Duke will have the opportunity to knock the Hurricanes down a notch on Wednesday when the Blue Devils travel to Coral Gables, Fla., for a 7 p.m. tipoff on ESPN. Duke is 15-3 all-time against Miami, but the Hurricanes got the best of the Blue Devils in the last meeting with a 78-74 overtime win in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke had won the previous five meetings in the series.
DUKE BASKETBALL RADIO SHOW ON MONDAY
Duke assistant coach Jeff Capel will make his debut as a host on the Duke Basketball Radio Show on Monday, Jan. 21, stepping in in place of associate head coaches Chris Collins and Steve Wojciechowski. The show will air live from the Vista Restaurant Bar at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club beginning at 5:30 p.m. and broadcasts on WDNC 620 AM The Buzz. Fans can submit questions for Capel and co-host and assistant director of athletics for sports information Art Chase at the link below:
MILES PLUMLEE VISITS PAWNEE, INDIANA
Indiana Pacers first-round pick and former Blue Devil Miles Plumlee has had an eventful 12 months. In March the 6-11 forward capped a four-year Duke career, in November he began his NBA career, and last week, he made his television debut with a cameo appearance on NBC comedy "Parks and Recreation." The episode aired on Thursday but will soon be available on NBC.com.
HANK AARON VISITS BLUE DEVILS
As one of the most historic sports venues in the country, fans popping in and out of Cameron Indoor Stadium is nothing new. The stadium draws hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, but none as accomplished in the sports world than the one who dropped by last week. The Blue Devils got a surprise visitor when Hank Aaron - yes, THAT Hank Aaron, he of the 755 home runs - stopped by Cameron Indoor Stadium to check out the historic facility. Little did Mr. Aaron know that the Blue Devils were beginning practice as he arrived. Coach K welcomed the home run king to the closed practice and even took a break for photos and a few words from the former holder of one of the most famous records in sports.
STORMING THE COURT A GIVEN AFTER
BEATING BLUE DEVILS
Much was made of N.C. State's rushing of the court at PNC Arena last Saturday when the 20th-ranked Wolfpack took down top-ranked Duke, 84-76. The celebration drew national coverage on ESPN and NBC's Today Show, but according to a recent article by The Wall Street Journal, fans taking over their home court after beating Duke is nothing new. The study delved into the 31 times that Duke has lost true road games over the past 10 seasons - for comparison's sake, Duke has 60 true road wins during that span - and found that opposing fans stormed the court after 25 of those games. That's a total of 80.6 percent of road losses in which fans have taken over the floor after beating Duke. As Coach K said after the loss in Raleigh, "That's a sign of respect, a sign that it means something." To read the complete article, visit the link below:
Duke has quality pieces, still looking for right fit (Fayetteville Observer)
Sulaimon looking to bounce back after
hitting freshman 'wall' (StarNewsOnline.com)
Blue Devils hard to beat if they're
healthy (Times Free Press)
Austin Rivers gets the best of his
father (The Boston Globe)
1,000 reasons for Grant Hill to smile
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
Blue Devil Network @BlueDevil_NTWRK
Third-ranked @Duke_MBB with the 73-57 win against GT! Go to http://GoDuke.com for highlights from the #ACC win! pic.twitter.com/lfvstPtW
Seth Curry @sdotcurry
King James vs the mamba is great TV.. Playoff atmosphere
Christian Laettner @laettnerbball
@duke_fan52 come on duke!! Looks fun, wish I could go back and play in Cameron!! #goduke
Stephen Wiseman @stevewisemanNC
Duke made 53 percent of its shots after halftime. Mason Plumlee said they are running new plays w/o Kelly. #adjustments
Quinn Cook @QCook323
Back in the lab. Big game on Wednesday. RiP DAD!
mason plumlee @masonplumlee
Hank Aaron, "yesterday's news is only good for wrapping dead fish" http://instagr.am/p/Uj_0RJlPq9/
Kyle Singler @KyleSingler
#Buckets!!! #NBALondon http://sprts.is/BucketsLondon
STAT OF THE WEEK
Since the 2009-10 season, Duke is 15-1 in games following a loss. Duke's only back-to-back losses during that span came in the 2011-12 postseason when the Blue Devils fell to Florida State in the ACC Tournament and Lehigh in the NCAA Tournament.