Duke Downs Reigning Division II Champion Drury For the sixth time in the past seven seasons, Duke hosted the reigning NCAA Division II Champion, this year the Drury Panthers from Springfield, Mo. The Panthers weathered the Cameron Indoor Stadium atmosphere and were locked into a 44-44 tie with just over 15 minutes left in the game before Rodney Hood and Amile Jefferson took over and carried the Blue Devils to an 81-65 win. Hood finished with 21 points and nine rebounds, while Jefferson powered his way to 13 points and a game-high 16 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end. Quinn Cook and Tyler Thornton contributed two three-pointers apiece, while Cook and freshman Matt Jones picked off three steals apiece.
Hood, Parker & Jefferson Lead the Way in Preseason In Duke’s two preseason games, co-captain Rodney Hood averaged a team-high 20.0 points per game, followed by freshman Jabari Parker with 14.5 points and sophomore Amile Jefferson with 14.0 points. Jefferson was Duke’s top rebounder with 10.0 boards per game, while Hood grabbed 8.5 per contest. Hood also finished with a team-leading eight assists, while co-captain Tyler Thornton nabbed a team-leading five steals. Parker had a team-high four blocks, while Duke forced its two opponents into 40 turnovers.
Season Opens Friday Versus Davidson The regular season is finally here, as Duke hosts Davidson Friday evening, Nov. 8, at Cameron Indoor Stadium at 7 p.m. The Davidson series is the most played non-conference series in Duke history, spanning 106 meetings in which Duke is 89-17 with 24 consecutive wins. Duke has lost just one of the 33 meetings against Davidson in Cameron Indoor Stadium and is 24-1 all-time against the Wildcats under Coach K. Friday's game will air on ESPNU and the Blue Devil IMG Sports Network.
Duke Earns No. 4 National Ranking in AP Poll Duke’s streak of 117 consecutive top-10 rankings in the Associated Press remains intact as the Blue Devils received the No. 4 spot in the preseason AP poll. Duke received two first-place votes and was one of four teams to get a first-place nod on the ballots filed by writers across the country. Kentucky took the poll’s top spot, followed by Michigan State and Louisville. Kansas followed Duke to round out the top five. Five ACC schools earned top-25 nods, including No. 8 Syracuse, No. 12 North Carolina, No. 21 Notre Dame and No. 24 Virginia. ACC newcomer Pittsburgh and Boston College also received votes.
Uncle Drew Returns Former Duke star Kyrie Irving’s alter ego “Uncle Drew” returned for a third chapter in a video debuted last week. The Uncle Drew moniker originally went viral during Irving’s rookie season when he donned the getup of an elderly man and took the court for a late-night pickup game amidst a group of unknowing street-ballers. Irving put on a show by himself that night, but he invited some special guests for the second helping of Uncle Drew, which aired last season. For the third installment, Drew begins his quest to “get the team back together” and brings along several special guests. Check out the article from USA Today for the video:
Plumlee Soars in 2013 NBA Debut Miles Plumlee made the most of his starting opportunity in the Phoenix Suns’ season opener, amassing 18 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks in a 104-91 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. He matched the double-double effort with 13 points, 13 rebounds and three more blocks in his next outing, an 87-84 win against Utah. He is shooting an efficient 14-of-25 (56.0) from the field through Phoenix’s two games, but his success was not a surprise to those who saw him perform in the preseason. Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby singled out Plumlee as the most surprising player on the roster during the preseason, and it looks like his forecast is spot on so far.
Kelly Earns a Roster Spot For someone who missed 13 games during his senior year and half of his first NBA training camp, former Duke forward Ryan Kelly is doing just fine. The 6-11 sharpshooter learned this past Thursday that he earned a roster spot with the Los Angeles Lakers, becoming the 15th active Blue Devil in the NBA this season. Kelly has yet to see action through the Lakers’ first three games, but he summed up his potential best, saying, “The bottom line is there aren't that many people who are 6 foot 11 who can shoot the ball. That’s something that clearly Coach [Mike] D'Antoni appreciates.”
Grant Hill Hosts Rebooted “NBA Inside Stuff” The once-renowned NBA series, “NBA Inside Stuff,” aired its first episode in eight years this past Saturday on NBA TV, and former Duke star Grant Hill made his debut as a co-host. Hill, who retired last season following an 18-year NBA career, made his Inside Stuff debut with a one-on-one interview with veteran Kevin Garnett. Said Hill of his first interview, “I was really nervous beforehand. I thought it went well. It was great to talk to Kevin. He opened up and I asked him questions that I wanted to know.”
The show will air Saturdays at noon on NBA TV with several more features from Hill.
Inside Duke Basketball With Coach K Airing Saturdays This past Saturday marked the season’s first episode of “Inside Duke Basketball with Coach K,” the weekly show on Fox Sports South that recaps the week in Duke basketball and shares unique insights from the renowned coach. Produced by Blue Devil IMG Sports Network, the debut episode recapped the Duke Elevate New York trip and previewed the fast-paced style of play that was on display Saturday against Drury. Check local listings for time and station, as the show re-airs in most markets.