It had been 13 games, 53 days and two turns of the calendar since Ryan Kelly had taken the floor, but the senior captain made up for lost time in impressive fashion when he returned to the court on Saturday against Miami. Kelly, who had not played since Jan. 8 after suffering a foot injury against Clemson, scored a career-high 36 points to lead Duke to a 79-76 win over Miami in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Kelly hit a career-high 10 field goals and seven three-pointers on the way to a performance that Coach K called "One for the ages" and that "we were all privileged to see." Even more impressive was that Kelly was cleared only in enough time to participate in "half of a half of a practice" before Saturday's game.
From start to finish, Kelly found open looks on the perimeter, drew defenders away from the basketball and gave Duke another much-needed presence on the boards. He scored 20 points in the first half alone and led Duke in rebounds for the game. Said Miami head coach Jim Larranaga after the game, "Well I thought we prepared for Ryan Kelly, but obviously not for that Ryan Kelly."
CUTCLIFFE NAMED ACC'S BEST COACHING DUO
Taking into account several factors, including past performance, current and recent results, future expectations, and how good a fit a particular coach is for their school, AthlonSports.com listed the ACC's best men's basketball and football coaching pairs. In the end, the rest of the league found itself looking up at the combination of Duke head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and head football coach David Cutcliffe. To see Athlon's entire list of the ACC's top coaching duos, click the link below:
THORNTON NAMED TO
NABC GOOD WORKS TEAM
Just as junior point guard Tyler Thornton's contributions to Duke basketball's success often go unnoticed, his work in the community is rarely acknowledged by those outside the Duke program. But one of the top "glue guys" in the ACC finally received recognition for his community service efforts on Wednesday when Thornton was named to the NABC Good Works Team presented by Allstate. The award recognizes a unique group of men's college basketball student-athletes who have made outstanding contributions in the areas of volunteerism and civic involvement including building homes for the elderly, leading basketball clinics, reading to students and working with children with hearing disabilities.
In addition to participating in the Read with the Blue Devils program and with the Duke Children's Hospital, Thornton also began working the SONS (Students Of New Success) program at CC Spaulding Elementary School this fall. This unique program, which was created to both educate and mentor at-risk males, is integrated into the educational curricula for third through fifth grades. The program also provides students with historic cultural lessons, tutoring and test preparation as well as a safe place for them to share and receive guidance for their struggles at home and in the community. Through the program, Thornton has developed strong relationships with the students and become a positive male role model as well as someone they look up to, rely on, and confide in.
For more information on Thornton's involvement in the program check out this blog post from Duke Blue Planet - Ty's New Friends - http://blog.dukeblueplanet.com/2013/01/tys-new-friends/.
Duke's win over Miami Saturday moved Coach K further ahead on two prominent lists and added to the ever-expanding resume of the winningest coach in NCAA Division I men's basketball history. Duke's 79-76 win over the Hurricanes gave Krzyzewski 400 career ACC victories, a mark that only one other coach - Dean Smith at North Carolina - has reached. Krzyzewski trails Smith by 22 conference victories on the ACC's all-time list. In addition to the landmark ACC win, Krzyzewski also tied Smith for the most wins by a coach at one school. With 879 wins in 33 seasons as Duke's head coach, Krzyzewski trails only Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim for the most wins by a coach at one school.
SULAIMON NAMED ACC
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK AGAIN
Rasheed Sulaimon was named ACC Rookie of the Week last Monday for the second time this. Sulaimon, the second-leading freshman scorer in the ACC, averaged 22.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 steals per game in leading Duke to ACC wins over Virginia Tech and Boston College the week prior. He was 17-of-26 (.654) from the field, including 6-of-9 (.667) from three-point range. Sulaimon opened the week with 17 points, five rebounds and two steals in a road win over the Hokies. Last Sunday, Sulaimon scored a career-high 27 points to go along with three rebounds and three assists. He went 10-of-15 from the field, including 3-of-5 from three-point range, and 4-of-4 from the free throw line in the win over the Eagles.
ARTWORK FOR AUCTION
As part of the NCAA's 75 Year of March Madness celebration, the NCAA and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) commissioned world-renowned artist Opie Otterstad to create 75 one-of-a-kind paintings depicting prominent coaches, programs and moments in NCAA Tournament history. Otterstad created several pieces honoring Duke basketball, including portraits of Coach K and all four Duke national championship teams. The pieces were on display at the Duke-Miami game on Saturday and are now available for auction at the link below:
Ryan Kelly returns
for Duke and Blue Devils return to elite (CBSSports.com)
The Brotherhood of
Nolan Smith and Quinn Cook (OregonLive.com)
coach Team USA in 2014 World Championships in Madrid (Mike & Mike on ESPN)
A star returns as
Duke shows its back (New York Times)
When Jay Williams
was Jason Williams (Dime Magazine)
joins Boston Celtics (NESN.com)
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
People may think I'm nuts about putting Duke back in drivers seat for national title, but this team is now 16-0 with Ryan Kelly in lineup.
Rob Lowe @RobLowe
@RyanKelly34 is BACK, baby! Look out below!!! #Duke
Glad to be back playing with my team
A gr8 night at the office-just got home from terrific Duke - Miami battle . Has there been a better performance this yr than Ryan Kelly's?
Nolan D. Smith
Ryan Kelly RT this!!! Hahaha might be one of the best welcome back games I've seen!! 36 and 7 on 14 shots!! Yessir!!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"I don't know how you're going to write about it. I'm interested what words you're going to say because as a guy with a low SAT verbal, I'm always looking to learn. My math was off the charts."