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 »

The Chronicle's Amrith Ramkumar goes on the Krazie Times podcast to discuss Duke's 2016-17 team

The Chronicle's Amrith Ramkumar goes on the Krazie Times podcast to discuss Duke's 2016-17 team

Ahead of Countdown to Craziness Saturday, The Chronicle's Amrith Ramkumar was a guest on the new Krazie Times Podcast, which was created by three of Duke's line monitors to discuss what it's like being a Duke fan. On this week's episode, they brought Ramkumar in to break down this year's Blue Devil team. Check out the conversation starting at about 22:00 below: 

Stock Watch: Duke men's basketball rakes in preseason accolades

Stock Watch: Duke men's basketball rakes in preseason accolades

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

Duke on preseason men's basketball watch lists: With the start of the regular season about three weeks away, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has started announcing 20 players to watch at each position for its annual awards. So far, the watch lists for point guards and shooting guards have been revealed, and freshman Frank Jackson made the list for the Bob Cousy Award—which goes to the nation's top point guard—and junior Grayson Allen made the Jerry West Award watch list with several of the nation's best shooting guards.

With watch lists for the remaining three positions left to come and forwards Jayson Tatum, Harry Giles, Amile Jefferson and Marques Bolden among the most talented players in the country, the Blue Devils will likely have several more honorees in the coming days. Read more »

This week in Duke history: Football construction on East Campus

This week in Duke history: Football construction on East Campus

Duke football is nearing the end of a period of construction projects that have included more seats, a new press box and a 3,175 square-foot scoreboard.

A lot of that can be taken for granted, and one needs only to go back 92 years for some context.

Before Duke played started playing football at Wallace Wade Stadium in 1929, the Blue Devils played on East Campus at Hanes Field. Hanes Field was also home to the baseball team and was located near present-day Baldwin Auditorium.

It also was the first home of the Durham Bulls, before they moved to El Toro Park in 1926. Read more »

Duke in the MLB: Blue Jays on brink of elimination after Stroman struggles

In a must-win game for the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Championship Series, former Blue Devil Marcus Stroman could not stop the bleeding against the Cleveland Indians.

The Indians topped the Blue Jays 4-2 Monday to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the series, a deficit only one team has overcome in 35 tries in playoff history. Stroman threw 94 pitches in 5 1/3 innings and gave up four earned runs on three walks and three hits—two of which were home runs—to the potent Cleveland offense.

With the score tied at two in the top of the sixth, Stroman surrendered a leadoff home run to Jason Kipnis to put the Indians in front for good. Toronto manager John Gibbons replaced Stroman with Joe Biagini after his young right-hander issued a one-out walk to Mike Napoli, and Stroman was charged with his fourth earned run when Napoli came around to score.

The Blue Jays' postseason run started with Stroman on the mound in the American League wild-card game, when the Medford, N.Y., native delivered a quality start before his team won in dramatic fashion in the 11th inning. Toronto then swept the Texas Rangers in the American League Division Series to get to four postseason wins in a row, but the Blue Jays will now need to beat Cleveland four straight times to keep their season alive and advance to the World Series. Read more »

Thoughts on the AP poll: Week 7

In a week that featured two games between top-10 opponents, there were few surprises, resulting in little change at the top of the rankings.

Lamar Jackson is unimpressive against Duke

Although Heisman frontrunner Lamar Jackson and Louisville were heavily favored in their matchup with the Blue Devils Friday night, the game came down to a late roughing the kicker penalty on Breon Borders, negating a missed field goal by Louisville kicker Evan O'Hara with two minutes remaining. As a result, the Cardinals were granted an automatic first down and eventually scored a touchdown to take a 24-14 lead. Jackson only recorded one passing and one running touchdown, tallying 325 total yards. Louisville's defense was strong, only allowing 129 passing yards and 110 rushing yards to the Blue Devils, but Duke stayed in the game by controlling time of possession and converting 8 of 16 third-down opportunities. The Cardinals remained at No. 7 this week.

Clemson narrowly avoids an upset against N.C. State Read more »