Stock watch: Countdown to Craziness entertainment trending up

Stock watch: Countdown to Craziness entertainment trending up

The bell of the Blue Zone stock exchange has rung again, meaning it's time to take a look at who is rising and falling with their performances for Blue Devil sports teams. Each week, the Blue Zone will look at whose stock is on the rise and whose stock has taken a hit from the week in the world of Duke athletics.

Bull Market—Trending Up

Countdown to Craziness entertainment: Even before Saturday night's 20-minute scrimmage got underway, the Blue Devils impressed the Cameron Crazies in their annual showcase. The excitement started in pregame introductions, with freshman guard Frank Jackson's dance moves and sophomore Chase Jeter's water bottle flip—which may or may not have gotten some help from a doctored bottle—dazzling the crowd. Once Duke got ready for its intrasquad scrimmage, Grayson Allen had a surprise for fans, debuting a pair of shorter shorts ahead of his junior campaign. 

Many of the highlights from the night can be viewed in the video below—the Blue Devils open exhibition play against Virginia State Friday at 7 p.m. at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Read more »

This week in Duke history: Female kicker sues after being cut from Duke football team

Most college sports are segregated by gender—men’s and women's soccer, men’s and women's basketball, etc.

But football is not one of them, and with Duke’s kicking troubles over the years, it made sense that at some point a woman might give a male kicker a run for his money.

In the fall of 1995, then-sophomore Heather Sue Mercer vied for a spot on the Duke football team as a kicker. She began her efforts the previous year, but was told by head coach Fred Goldsmith that she would need to get better.

Perhaps the climax of her career came on April 15, 1995, in the team’s annual spring game. Starting kicker Tom Cochran was sidelined, and Mercer came on in the closing seconds for a chance to win the game. Read more »

Thoughts on the AP poll: Week 8

Three top-25 matchups and two big upsets headlined an exciting week of college football.

Alabama outlasts Aggies

In a matchup of the last two unbeaten teams in the SEC, Alabama continued to pad its College Football Playoff résumé. Although the then-No. 6 Aggies led the No. 1 Crimson Tide midway through the third quarter, momentum shifted following a four-yard touchdown pass by Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts that gave the Crimson Tide a 20-14 lead the team never relinquished. Two drives later, Alabama’s star defensive end Jonathan Allen returned a fumble for a touchdown, deflating the Aggies and effectively eliminating any chance at a comeback. The Crimson Tide added another touchdown in the fourth quarter to put an exclamation point on the 33-14 win at home. 

With another solid win over a ranked opponent, Alabama solidified its case as the best team in college football. But with two ranked opponents remaining on the schedule in bitter rivals LSU and Auburn, the Crimson Tide cannot afford to take a break before the conference championship. On the other hand, Texas A&M dropped to No. 9 in the polls, with hopes of a conference championship and a playoff appearance dashed unless Alabama drops two of its next four games. Read more »

Chronicle postgame: Countdown to Craziness

Chronicle postgame: Countdown to Craziness

The Chronicle's Brian Pollack and Hank Tucker analyze what they saw at Countdown to Craziness Saturday night as the White Team earned a 52-37 win against the Blue Team. Freshmen Jayson Tatum and Frank Jackson led their respective teams and showcased their offensive skills for the first time in front of the Cameron Crazies, combining for 30 points. The Blue Devils will take the court against another opponent for the first time next Friday when they host Virginia State in an exhibition contest.

Duke in the WNBA: Beard, Gray help Sparks to WNBA title

Duke in the WNBA: Beard, Gray help Sparks to WNBA title

For the third straight season, a former Blue Devil has lifted the WNBA championship trophy.

This time, however, it is not one, but two Duke standouts that helped the Los Angeles Sparks to their third title in franchise history and first since 2002.

Alana Beard and Chelsea Gray both played significant minutes throughout the championship series that came down to the final seconds of the deciding Game 5. Los Angeles forward Nneka Ogwumike—the 2016 WNBA MVP—knocked down a 5-foot jump shot as she fell to the ground with just 3.1 seconds remaining to give the Sparks a 77-76 advantage. The game-winner wrapped up a frantic 12-second sequence after Minnesota Lynx guard Maya Moore nailed a turnaround baseline jumper to put the hosts up by one with less than 16 seconds to go.

Recruiting roundup: Prospects flock to Durham for Countdown to Craziness

With Countdown to Craziness around the corner, the Blue Devils will host three of their top targets in the Class of 2017 this weekend. 

Five-star recruits Wendell Carter, Gary Trent Jr. and Quade Green will all be in attendance when Duke competes in its annual intra-squad scrimmage and will get a glimpse of what it is like to play in front of the Cameron Crazies.

Carter and Trent Jr. both attended Countdown to Craziness last year and are reportedly leaning toward Duke. The two have spoken extensively about signing as a package deal, and it is becoming increasingly likely that the Blue Devils will come away with the No. 3 and No. 8 prospects, respectively, in the 2017 ESPN 100.

Earlier this week, Green listed Duke as one of the final five programs he is considering. The senior is the Blue Devils’ top target at the point guard position and could be the type of floor general head coach Mike Krzyzewski will need next season. Read more »

Chronicle pregame: Countdown to Craziness

Chronicle pregame: Countdown to Craziness

With Countdown to Craziness coming up Saturday night, The Chronicle's men's basketball beat writers Amrith Ramkumar, Brian Pollack, Sameer Pandhare and Hank Tucker previewed Duke's annual season kickoff event and discussed the high expectations surrounding this year's Blue Devils. Check out which newcomers our writers will keep an eye on Saturday night and why veterans like Grayson Allen and Amile Jefferson may have different roles this year than in the past.

Chron Chat: Breaking down Duke football's 3-4 start

Chron Chat: Breaking down Duke football's 3-4 start

The Chronicle's football beat writers Amrith Ramkumar, Sam Turken, Brian Mazur and Ben Feder took a step back during the Blue Devils' bye week to analyze Duke's up-and-down season so far. Although the Blue Devils are just 0-3 in the ACC with disappointing losses against Wake Forest and Virginia, they notched a major nonconference upset at Notre Dame Sept. 24 and stayed competitive at No. 7 Louisville Friday night. 

Duke returns to the field next Saturday at noon on the road against Georgia Tech, looking to make a late-season run to a potential fifth straight bowl appearance.

Duke in the NFL: Weeks 5 and 6

Duke in the NFL: Weeks 5 and 6

Four of Duke’s five players on NFL rosters have continued to see consistent playing time as the season progresses. The Blue Zone takes a look at how all of the former Blue Devils fared in Weeks 5 and 6.

Jamison Crowder, WR, Washington Redskins

After a strong start to the season, Crowder seems to be coming back down to earth offensively. His targets have dipped recently, with quarterback Kirk Cousins throwing the ball to Crowder only 10 times in the past three weeks compared to 25 targets in the first three. In a Week 5 win against the Baltimore Ravens, Crowder caught all three of his targets for 35 yards. The 5-foot-8 wideout failed to capitalize against a Baltimore secondary depleted by injuries, but made his presence felt on special teams when he returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown.  Read more »