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Grayson Allen is the preseason National Player of the Year favorite and was named to the Jerry ...

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.

Duke has already been touted as the favorite to win the national championship by oddsmakers, with Allen the favorite to earn National Player of the Year honors. The All-American also landed at No. 3 on Sports Illustrated's top 100 projected scorers this season with 20.1 points per game, though he had the highest projected offensive rating—which measures efficiency—at 128.7. Tatum was No. 21 on the scoring list with a projected average of 16.8 points per contest.  

Duke men's basketball social media presence: No more having to go back and forth between @Duke_MBB and @DukeBluePlanet on Twitter to keep up with the latest Blue Devil news and videos. Duke announced Monday it was merging its accounts into one @DukeMBB account—the name will also be used for the program's Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat accounts—to make it easier for fans and recruits to engage with the program. 

Blue Devil women's sports: Another undefeated week for Duke women's soccer, Duke field hockey and Duke volleyball is in the books. On the soccer field, the No. 4 Blue Devils won their fifth straight game with a gritty 1-0 victory against No. 5 Virginia Saturday. Senior Christina Gibbons scored the game's only goal on a penalty kick and continues to spark Duke, which has surged to the top of the ACC standings despite playing without three injured starters. The Blue Devils take on No. 9 Florida State on the road this week.

In field hockey, No. 2 Duke notched its ninth and 10th top-20 wins of the year, and fellow top-five teams North Carolina and Syracuse faltered, meaning the Blue Devils are atop the ACC standings entering their showdown with the Tar Heels Saturday at Jack Katz Stadium.

On the volleyball court, Duke downed Wake Forest and Virginia to improve to 9-1 in its last 10 games and move into a tie for second in the ACC standings. Senior Jordan Tucker led the way, eclipsing the 1,000-kill mark for her career, and the Blue Devils moved up to No. 67 in this week's RPI rankings as they try to get back to the NCAA tournament for the first time in two years.

Duke women's cross country had its last meet before the ACC championship delayed, but still came up with its best race of the year even without freshman star Sophia Parvizi-Wayne. The Blue Devils captured the VertCross Invitational title last week in Kernersville, N.C., and will carry plenty of momentum into the ACC title meet in Cary, N.C., Oct. 28. 

Bear Market—Trending Down

Poor football officiating: Duke had a chance to shock No. 7 Louisville on the road Friday, and the outcome of the 24-14 Cardinal win could have been different if not for a questionable call early in the third quarter. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson found tight end Cole Hikutini on an out route deep in Cardinal territory, and Blue Devil sophomore linebacker Ben Humphreys appeared to cleanly strip and recover the ball inside the Louisville 20-yard line. 

But instead of Duke taking over with a chance to take the lead, the officials ruled that Hikutini's forward progress had been stopped even though no whistle blew. Following the sudden change in fortune, Cardinal running back Jeremy Smith exploded for an 80-yard touchdown run to put Louisville up 17-7.

The questionable calls extended to the professional ranks, where officials missed a clear pass interference call on All-Pro Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. The no-call decided Seattle's win against another NFC power in Atlanta, and was another example of bang-bang calls or no calls potentially having a major impact on the outcomes of games. 


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