Recruiting Roundup: 4-star wing Jermaine Samuels gets Duke offer, cuts list to 5

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski coined the phrase "Eight is enough" when the Blue Devils won the 2015 national championship with just eight scholarship players for the second half of the season.

But after Duke faltered down the stretch last year with a seven-man rotation, Krzyzewski and his staff are recruiting aggressively to ensure that depth is not a question mark in future years.

The Blue Devils extended their 15th scholarship offer in the Class of 2017 to four-star small forward Jermaine Samuels Thursday, a day after offering four-star shooting guard Alex O'Connell a scholarship.

Duke football 2016 position preview: Offensive line

Duke football 2016 position preview: Offensive line

With the 2016 season right around the corner, The Chronicle's football beat writers break down each of the nine major position groups: quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, offensive line, defensive line, defensive backs, linebackers, kicker/punter and kickoff/punt returners to prepare you for the regular season:

Make it two straight seasons now that Duke will be forced to replace a first-team All-ACC offensive lineman. In 2015, the Blue Devils had to fill the void left by guard Laken Tomlinson and this year, they will be looking to find someone to fill the spot of former captain and center Matt Skura. Fortunately for Duke, 60 percent of its starting offensive line in 2015 is back this season, with each of the three returners more experienced and ready to improve on a roller-coaster 2015.

The Blue Devils’ front five were crucial pieces in leading the ACC’s third-best offense to nearly 440 yards per game, and they also allowed the third-fewest sacks of any team in the conference. With a Blue Devil offensive attack led by a duo of talented running backs and last year’s leading rusher on the team—quarterback Thomas Sirk—the line will need to be at its best if Duke hopes to contend for the Coastal Division title.

Key Players Lost: C Matt Skura and LG Lucas Patrick

The loss of one of 2015’s senior co-captains cannot be understated for a Blue Devil unit that will run the ball often in 2016. Skura was selected to the All-ACC team in each of his final two seasons and was named a second-team All-America by USA Today as a redshirt senior—a testament to his talent and consistency as the anchor of Duke’s offensive line. The Columbus, Ohio, native helped the Blue Devils to the fifth-highest scoring offense in program history and was a leader on and off the field as Duke played in a bowl game in each of his four seasons of game action. Read more »

Duke basketball legend Grant Hill helps Class of 2020 students shop for dorm room items from Target as part of O-week tradition

Duke basketball legend Grant Hill helps Class of 2020 students shop for dorm room items from Target as part of O-week tradition

The annual late-night Thursday trip to Target for dorm room items is a Duke orientation week tradition, but this year's event for the Class of 2020 got an added boost from a former Duke basketball star.

Grant Hill ventured to the retail store on N.C. Highway 15-501 at about 10 p.m. Thursday to greet several members of the Class of 2020 and help them pick out items for their new homes on East Campus. The visit came after Hill took part in an Els for Autism charity golf event Monday.

Check back later for some comments from Hill and students who shopped with the two-time national champion. Read more »

Recruiting Roundup: Blue Devils offer 2017 4-star shooting guard, Duke legacy Alex O'Connell

If four Duke freshmen elect to leave school after one year, head coach Mike Krzyzewski and his staff might have to replace a total of seven players from this year's team.

The way they are offering players in the Class of 2017, it seems like they will be ready for that scenario come next spring.

The Blue Devils recently offered four-star shooting guard Alex O'Connell a scholarship, making him the fourth shooting guard they have offered and 14th player in the class overall. 

Duke football 2016 position preview: Wide receivers and tight ends

Duke football 2016 position preview: Wide receivers and tight ends

With the 2016 season right around the corner, The Chronicle's football beat writers break down each of the nine major position groups: quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, offensive line, defensive line, defensive backs, linebackers, kicker/punter and punt/kickoff returners to prepare you for the regular season.

With Zac Roper now at the helm of the Blue Devils’ offensive attack, Duke will look to push the ball more downfield and create opportunities for big plays from its wideouts and tight ends. The Blue Devils will face an uphill battle as they look to mitigate the losses of key seniors at the skill positions.

Although Thomas Sirk could be healthy in time for Duke's opener against N.C. Central Sept. 3, the Blue Devil wide receivers and tight ends have worked throughout the spring, summer and fall with Sirk’s backups as he rehabbed from an Achilles injury. Duke concludes training camp with a cloudy picture at both positions and clarity may not come until the Blue Devils have a few games under their belts.

Key players lost: WR Max McCaffrey, WR Johnell Barnes, TE David Reeves, TE Braxton Deaver

Duke will lose four players who all appeared in at least 10 games a season ago and were responsible for half of the team’s passing touchdowns. McCaffrey ranks as arguably the biggest loss for the Blue Devil offense, as he developed a solid connection with Sirk in the slots and intermediate passing game. The wide receiver was also one of the team’s leaders in the locker room and will leave a void that some of Duke’s young talent will be tasked to fill. Read more »

Duke football 2016 position preview: Running backs

Duke football 2016 position preview: Running backs

With the 2016 season right around the corner, The Chronicle's football beat writers break down each of the nine major position groups: quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, offensive line, defensive line, defensive backs, linebackers, kicker/punter and punt/kickoff returners to prepare you for the regular season.

With the help of dual-threat quarterback Thomas Sirk, Duke's running attack gashed defenses for 192.9 yards per game last year, its highest total since 1977. But since Sirk went down with a ruptured Achilles tendon in spring practices, the running backs may not have much help at the beginning of the season, especially in the read option, a favorite of ex-offensive coordinator Scottie Montgomery in 2015.

With Sirk a question mark as the season’s signal-caller, the running backs will be called on to lead the offense, as the two-headed monster of junior Shaun Wilson and redshirt senior Jela Duncan with the help of reserve Joseph Ajeigbe will need to set the tone for the Blue Devils to sustain drives and move the chains.

Read more »

Duke football 2016 position preview: Quarterbacks

Duke football 2016 position preview: Quarterbacks

With the 2016 season right around the corner, The Chronicle's football beat writers break down each of the nine major position groups: running backs, quarterbacks, receivers, offensive line, defensive line, defensive backs, linebackers, kicker/punter and punt/kickoff returners to prepare you for the regular season.

It’s no secret that the fate of Duke football’s offensive success this season lies under center, but the position still carries a lot of uncertainty for the Blue Devils less than two weeks before their Sept. 3 season opener. Returning starter Thomas Sirk ruptured his left Achilles tendon back in February, and although the redshirt senior has made a swift recovery, he still has not participated in any live-action drills in fall camp.

Sirk will almost definitely step in as the starting quarterback as soon as he is fully recovered, and there is reason for optimism that he can replicate impressive passing and rushing stats from 2015. But Sirk will be facing a slew of tougher defenses this fall and will have to adapt to new offensive coordinator Zac Roper.

Key Players Lost: None

Read more »

Report: Tommy Amaker adds Duke men's basketball staff assistant, former manager Mike Sotsky to coaching staff

Former Duke player and assistant coach Tommy Amaker has hired Blue Devil staff assistant Mike Sotsky to be an assistant coach at Harvard, CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein reported Sunday evening.

Although Harvard had made no official announcement as of late Monday night, Duke associate head coach Jeff Capel congratulated Sotsky—a former Blue Devil manager—on Twitter.

Twitter reacts to Mike Krzyzewski winning third straight Olympic gold medal

Twitter reacts to Mike Krzyzewski winning third straight Olympic gold medal

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski wrapped up his 11-year tenure as Team USA's head coach with a 96-66 victory Sunday against Serbia in Rio de Janeiro to win his third straight Olympic gold medal. Duke associate head coach Jeff Capel was on Krzyzewski's staff this summer and former Blue Devil point guard Kyrie Irving was a major contributor for Team USA.

Several current, former and future players at Duke and other NBA stars took to Twitter to congratulate USA Basketball and the trio of Blue Devils for winning the gold medal. The Blue Zone compiled some of their reactions here.

Jabari Parker says in Player's Tribune column he hopes to eventually use Duke degree to become a teacher in Chicago

Jabari Parker says in Player's Tribune column he hopes to eventually use Duke degree to become a teacher in Chicago

Multiple former Blue Devils have said after leaving school early for the NBA that they want to return to Durham to get their degrees. 

Few have done so with goals as lofty as Jabari Parker's. 

In a first-person column in The Player’s Tribune published Monday, the Milwaukee Bucks forward and former Duke star discusses his experience of growing up on the south side of Chicago. Parker pledges to help tackle gun violence and inequality in the city. The 2013-14 All-American says after finishing his NBA career, he plans to return to Duke to finish his degree and become a teacher.

Parker notes that his father, Sonny, seventh grade teacher, Ms. Reed, and former NBA player Juwon Howard—another Chicago native—helped inspire him to give back to the community.  Read more »