Duke in the NBA: Redick, Hood have slow starts in playoffs

Duke in the NBA: Redick, Hood have slow starts in playoffs

Most of the former Blue Devils in the postseason have struggled to make an impact thus far in the first round.

J.J. Redick, Los Angeles Clippers

With the series between the Clippers and Utah Jazz tied at a game apiece, there have been several notable storylines already. One of them has been Redick’s near absence on offense after he averaged 15.0 points per game in the regular season. Through two games, the former 3-point assassin for the Blue Devils has not looked like his usual self. Redick has gone just 1-for-5 from deep thus far in the series, and is shooting just 38.5 percent from the field with a grand total of 11 points.

Although Redick’s teammates have expressed that they are not concerned about the veteran’s performance, Redick himself was clearly frustrated on the court during the Clippers’ eight-point win to even the series. However, this was likely more a result of the officiating crew, which whistled him for five fouls. Looking ahead to Game 3 Friday night in Utah, the Clippers have said they will try to run Redick off more screens to get open looks and force the Jazz to commit to him defensively and open up other offensive options. If Redick can get hot in the next game or two, the Clippers will be a tough out this early in the postseason. Read more »

Recruiting roundup: Duke targets Knox, Duval, Bamba showcase skills at Jordan Brand Classic

Recruiting roundup: Duke targets Knox, Duval, Bamba showcase skills at Jordan Brand Classic

As decision time rapidly approaches, Duke's coaches are making their final pitches to several blue-chip recruits and renewing their involvement with the top players in the Class of 2018.

Meanwhile, the recruits, while considering their options and deciding when to make their announcements on where they will go to school, have been participating in national showcases—the most prominent one being the Jordan Brand Classic, which took place April 14 at the Barclays Center in New York.

In ESPN’s final top 100, Trevon Duval—the top-ranked point guard—found himself ranked No. 5 overall. At the Jordan Brand Classic, Duval shot 2-of-3 from downtown and scored eight points to go along with four assists for the East Team, which lost 124-116. With Grayson Allen announcing his return to Duke for his senior season and Frank Jackson expected to remain for a sophomore campaign, the Blue Devil backcourt would be experienced, talented and lethal with the addition of Duval.

Duval is a natural floor general, a role the Blue Devils sorely missed last season. Duval’s handles and court vision paired with Jackson’s explosiveness and Allen’s shooting will spread the floor and make Duke hard to defend. Gary Trent Jr, No. 7 in the ESPN 100, who has already committed to the Blue Devils, would likely provide much-needed depth off the bench. Trent Jr. chipped in six points and three assists in the Jordan Brand Classic for the West Team, struggling from the field at 16.7 percent shooting. Read more »

This week in Duke history: Duke baseball coach encourages players to use steroids

This week in Duke history: Duke baseball coach encourages players to use steroids

It was bad enough for Duke baseball that the team was 9-27 late in the 2005 season.

Then The Chronicle broke a story that the team’s head coach, Bill Hillier, had implicitly encouraged his players to use steroids during his six-year tenure.

The Chronicle ran an editorial on April 15, 2005 demanding the firing of Hillier after two former players told The Chronicle they had taken steroids during the summer of 2002. One of the players who spoke to the Chronicle, Aaron Kempster, attempted suicide in the fall of 2002. He said mood swings induced by the steroids he was taking likely led to the incident.

During Hillier’s time at the helm, the team went 121-214 and saw 22 of its players leave early, with 12 transfers. Six former players estimated that between four and 12 baseball players took steroids at some point. Read more »

This week in Duke history: Duke swimming coach resigns after falsifying times, teaching paper class

This week in Duke history: Duke swimming coach resigns after falsifying times, teaching paper class

Falsifying achievement in the sport. Allegations of a paper class for athletes. Sorry Duke fans, this is not referring to North Carolina, but to Blue Devil swimming in 1978.

On April 10, 1978, Duke head swimming coach Bill Barton resigned amid evidence that he had falsified the times of his swimmers to help send them to the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women swim meet, which Duke had hosted. Several members of the team spoke with The Chronicle in an April 13 article that year.

In response, many former swimmers and colleagues admitted that the practice was common around the sport, not limited to Duke, perhaps raising questions about the state of the sport at the time.

As for the paper class, Barton taught a full-credit class—Physical Education 191—open only to juniors and seniors that was considered an independent study class. The only requirement for the class, according to the article, was one paper, and a number of freshman and sophomore swimmers were admitted to the class. Read more »

Duke in the NBA: Irving, Redick, Hood headline former Blue Devils preparing for postseason

Duke in the NBA: Irving, Redick, Hood headline former Blue Devils preparing for postseason

The Blue Zone takes a look at the former Blue Devils who are healthy and ready to contribute for playoff teams.

Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers

The regular season wrapped up Wednesday with the Cavaliers in an unfamiliar spot—second place. The defending NBA champions lost the top seed to the Boston Celtics after a lackluster second half of the season and have a losing record since the All-Star break. Although most analysts assume Cleveland should have little trouble dispatching Paul George and the seventh-seeded Indiana Pacers in the first round, the Cavaliers are going to need Irving to step up and help Lebron as the duo look to make it back to the Finals for the third year in a row. 

Irving been a mainstay in the Cavaliers' lineup since the All-Star break alongside Kevin Love and Lebron James, who have played significant minutes during the past two months. Read more »

Stock watch: Duke women's lacrosse on the rise, men's lacrosse also rolling

Stock watch: Duke women's lacrosse on the rise, men's lacrosse also rolling

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. The Blue Zone takes a look at whose stock is on the rise and whose stock has taken a hit from the week in the world of Duke athletics.

Trending up

Duke women’s lacrosse: Winless and toothless, the Blue Devils had looked lost in ACC play so far this year—until Saturday.

After a 2-6 slump left them in danger of not making the NCAA tournament, they bounced back with a 15-12 upset victory against No. 14 Boston College on the road. Duke had built some defensive momentum in a close loss to Syracuse April 2, forcing 19 Orange turnovers, and eventually translated it into a win against the Eagles.

The Blue Devils started slow on defense, but rallied to outscore Boston College 9-4 in the second half to earn their first victory against a ranked team this season. Duke now isn’t by any means a lock to make the field of 26, but it certainly gave itself a good chance with just three games remaining—a road to trip to No. 18 Northwestern Saturday and home games against Presbyterian Monday and second-ranked North Carolina April 22. Read more »

Duke has 5 national championships, and finally is featured in its own Lego Mural

Duke has 5 national championships, and finally is featured in its own Lego Mural

"College Gameday" is a building block for college basketball fans—both literally and figuratively.

ESPN has made a mural entirely out of Lego blocks—207,360 of them in fact—of commentators Rece Davis, Seth Greenberg and former Blue Devils Jay Bilas and Jay Williams on the show at Cameron Indoor Stadium. It took 240 hours to complete, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Duke has hosted the show a record seven times at Cameron and has played in a game that the show has featured 14 times, the second-most all-time. 

Duke in the NBA: Irving, Cavaliers cling to top seed in the East with the postseason approaching

Duke in the NBA: Irving, Cavaliers cling to top seed in the East with the postseason approaching

Several former Blue Devils are already readying for the playoffs heading into the last week of the regular season.

Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers

One of the biggest storylines in the NBA in 2017 has been the struggles of Irving’s Cavaliers, who are suddenly struggling to hold off the surging Boston Celtics for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Irving has been one of the few constants for the team, averaging more points in the last month than the rest of the season and recording two 40-plus point games during that stretch as well. His eight-point effort against San Antonio last week was the first time he failed to reach double figures since November.

Besides his offensive output, Irving has also been a key spark for the Cavaliers as of late as they try to ramp up their play in anticipation of the playoffs. In the midst of a 17-point win against the 76ers last week, Irving took exception to what he felt was a dirty play by Philadelphia’s Justin Anderson on star teammate LeBron James. The next time Anderson had the ball, Irving retaliated by shoving the second-year forward from the University of Virginia into the first row of seats.  Read more »

Recruiting Roundup: Duke zeroing in on top point guard; Kevin Knox to announce decision soon

Recruiting Roundup: Duke zeroing in on top point guard; Kevin Knox to announce decision soon

With the NCAA tournament said and done, Duke will join other elite teams in turning its attention to battles for blue-chip recruits.

Having already signed ESPN 100 No. 3 player Wendell Carter and No. 8 Gary Trent Jr., the Blue Devils will look to attract other top prospects to pair with the duo. The ability of the two to sell the Duke program to other recruits will be critical if the Blue Devils hope to replenish a roster that could see Luke Kennard and Grayson Allen both leave for the NBA on top of Jayson Tatum and Harry Giles.

At 6-foot-9 and 254 pounds, Carter could replace Giles and Amile Jefferson's post presence next season. The McDonald's All-American forward is strong and quick and could fill the void Jefferson leaves on defense. Trent Jr., is a big shooting guard at 6-foot-5 and has the potential to be an elite scorer alongside his friend, Carter. 

Despite its already impressive recruiting haul, after going all season without a true point guard, it comes as no surprise that Duke is zeroing in on Trevon Duval, the top point guard in the 2017 class. Two days after the loss to South Carolina in the NCAA tournament's Round of 32, the Blue Devil coaching staff visited the 6-foot-3 IMG Academy guard in Florida March 21. Read more »

Stock watch: Kyle Rowe surges for Duke men's lacrosse, Blue Devils near top of next year's men's basketball championship odds

Stock watch: Kyle Rowe surges for Duke men's lacrosse, Blue Devils near top of next year's men's basketball championship odds

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. The Blue Zone takes a look at whose stock is on the rise and whose stock has taken a hit from the week in the world of Duke athletics.

Trending up

Kyle Rowe: Against its arch rival North Carolina Sunday, Duke quickly found itself in a 6-1 hole, tied for its largest deficit this season—until Rowe came to the rescue.

After losing six of his first nine draws, Rowe surged, earning 14 of his final 15 draws to propel the Blue Devils to an improbable comeback victory in Chapel Hill. On the back of Rowe and lockdown defense, Duke used an 11-2 run to stun the then-No. 18 Tar Heels 12-8. The Blue Devils dominated in crunch time, scoring five unanswered goals in the fourth quarter while holding the ball for roughly 13 straight minutes.

“Kyle Rowe was a huge part of that, not giving them the ball," junior attackman Justin Guterding said. "They had the ball for 75 seconds in the 4th quarter—that’s how you win games.” Read more »