Duke women's basketball releases 2015-16 nonconference schedule

A season after playing a grueling nonconference schedule that included three road games against top-15 opponents, the Blue Devils will again challenge themselves prior to ACC play.

Duke announced its nonconference schedule for the 2015-16 season Friday, featuring six games against NCAA tournament teams from a season ago.

Highlighting the Blue Devils' home slate are a Nov. 18 contest against Texas A&M and a Dec. 3 game against Minnesota in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Duke will also play three true road games, heading to Columbia, S.C., to take on Final Four participant South Carolina Dec. 6 and traveling to Lexington, Ky., to take on Kentucky Dec. 20. Head coach Joanne P. McCallie's squad will play its season-opener at one of the most iconic gyms in the country—The Palestra in Philadelphia—against Penn.

Three of the marquee games on the schedule will be rematches. Duke defeated Kentucky last season in Durham and suffered a close loss against the then-No. 1 Gamecocks... Read more

Jahlil Okafor throws out first pitch at Phillies game

Many thought Jahlil Okafor would be headed to Hollywood after the NBA Draft.

Instead, the Chicago native seems to making himself right at home in the City of Brotherly Love.

Five days after being selected third overall by the Philadelphia 76ers, Okafor made an appearance at Citizens Bank Park Tuesday night to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Phillies hosted the Milwaulkee Brewers. The 6-foot-11 center's toss to the Phillie Phanatic ended up just a bit high for the mascot.

The reigning ACC Player of the Year also posted pictures of himself on his Instagram account, showing off his batting stance and a No. 8 jersey... Read more

Football Recruiting Roundup: Blue Devils add 3 to Class of 2016 despite Surratt setback

Khloe Kim / The Chronicle

The Blue Devils are building a 2016 recruiting class that has a chance to be one of the best in program history. Although the program suffered a major setback when quarterback Chazz Surratt flipped his commitment to North Carolina, the Blue Devils rebounded with three verbal commitments this past week.

Duke snags trio of verbal commitments

Duke raised its Class of 2016 numbers to 16 when head coach David Cutcliffe and his staff received commitments from defensive end Tre Hornbuckle, multi-position talent Jacob Morgenstern and linebacker Alexander Gagnon.

We'll start with Hornbuckle—who is currently ranked as a two-star prospect by 247Sports and has not yet been evaluated by ESPN. The Murray, Ky... Read more

Quinn Cook signs on to play in NBA summer league

Eric Lin / The Chronicle

Like sharp-shooting teammates Seth Curry and Andre Dawkins before him, Quinn Cook will have to try to make it onto an NBA roster the hard way.

After not hearing his name called Thursday night at the NBA draft, Cook will now try to enter the NBA as an undrafted free agent. The former Blue Devil point guard has reportedly agreed to play for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA’s Orlando summer league, which begins July 4 and runs through July 10.

Another report Saturday indicated that Cook would play summer league ball for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland will play in the Las Vegas summer league, which runs from July 10 to July 20.

After an up-and-down first three seasons in Durham, Cook blossomed into a senior leader, showing the consistency and under-control intensity that head coach Mike Krzyzewski needed from his captain with an inexperienced team... Read more

Four-star quarterback Chazz Surratt flips commitment to North Carolina

A four-star quarterback's recent flip from Duke to North Carolina this week has become latest installment of the Tobacco Road rivalry.

Chazz Surratt became the latest high-profile prospect to verbally commit to the Blue Devil program back in April, but the Denver, N.C. native has decommitted from Duke and committed to the Tar Heels, according to a post on his Twitter account Friday.

Surratt is ranked as the 22nd-best dual threat quarterback in the country by ESPN and the Read more

Twitter abuzz as former Blue Devils make jump to next level

With three former Blue Devils selected in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft—including two in the top 10—celebrities and current and former NBA players took to Twitter to give their immediate reactions.

As was expected, the first Duke standout off the board was center Jahlil Okafor. But, the Chicago native may not have gone as early as people imagined, slipping one spot to the 76ers at No. 3 after the Timberwolves and Lakers passed on him with the top two picks.

Mason Plumlee traded to Portland Trail Blazers in draft-night deal

The NBA draft means an infusion of talent into the league. And trades—lots and lots of trades.

As a result, two former Blue Devils will have to get accustomed to life on the West Coast.

The Brooklyn Nets sent center Mason Plumlee and former Notre Dame swingman Pat Connaughton—who the Nets selected with the 41st pick in the draft—to the Portland Trail Blazers for veteran guard Steve Blake and former Arizona forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson—the 23rd pick in Thursday's draft.

Plumlee reacted to the news on Twitter, before the ESPN broadcast of the draft had reported the deal.

Plumlee will join former Duke guard Gerald Henderson in Rip City. Henderson was traded to the Trail Blazers by the Charlotte Hornets in the days leading up to the draft for stretch four Nicolas Batum.

The Chronicle's 2015 NBA Mock Draft

With the NBA draft hours away, five of The Chronicle's current and former editors in the sports department give their final predictions for tonight's draft, including the landing spots of the four former Duke players, their predicted lottery picks and their take on who will be the draft's biggest potential bust, biggest steal and Rookie of the Year.

Ryan Hoerger

V. 111 Sports Editor and V. 110 Sports Managing Editor

Duke Picks

Jahlil Okafor: 2nd, Los Angeles Lakers. If Karl-Anthony Towns goes first overall to Minnesota, Okafor is the logical pick for a Lakers team that desperately needs a scoring big man. With the opportunity to go to a winning franchise, glean some insights from Kobe Bryant and avoid the harsh Minnesota winters, going No. 2 might suit Okafor just fine.

Justise Winslow: 5th, Orlando Magic. Winslow has an NBA frame at a built 6-foot-6 and a relentless will to attack the basket, two skills that will take him a long way in the pros... Read more

Chron Chat: Previewing the 2015 NBA Draft

With the NBA draft a day away, the Chronicle's V.111 Sports Editor Ryan Hoerger, and writers Sameer Pandhare and Brian Pollack discuss Duke's quartet of draft entrants.

Jahlil Okafor's dominance at the college level was on full display from the moment he hit the court last season. But many analysts have pegged former Kentucky big man Karl-Anthony Towns as the best prospect in the draft and the likely No. 1 pick. Do you believe Okafor is the best player in the 2015 NBA draft?

Ryan Hoerger: I think Okafor is currently the most polished player in this draft class. He was the most dominant player in college basketball last season—anyone who tried to defend him with single-coverage got burned, repeatedly. The post moves are there, the back-to-the-basket feel is there, the ability to pass out of double-teams is there. But being the best player entering the draft doesn't guarantee a No. 1 selection... Read more

Recruiting Roundup: Duke targets Frank Jackson, offers pair of 2017 talents

Lets start this week with an update on the Class of 2016. Although the Blue Devils remain focused on landing a package deal consisting of Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum and Dennis Smith Jr., Duke has turned its recruitment in a different direction starting with point guard Frank Jackson.

The 6-foot-3 guard originally committed to BYU in September 2013 only to decommit last December following a strong season at Lone Peak High School. The Alpine, Utah native began to receive serious interest from a number of programs including Stanford, Maryland and Duke and landed offers from the Cardinal and Terrapins. During the guard's visit to campus Monday, Jackson picked up an offer from the Blue Devils and now appears to be a highly coveted Duke target—especially if the aforementioned Smith commits to N.C. State as many expect.

One of the reasons Duke delayed offering the five-star talent could be the 2-year religious mission Jackson was scheduled to take before entering college... Read more