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Duke in the Majors Update

As the dog days of August drag on, The Blue Zone takes a look at how Blue Devils are faring in the major leagues.

Nate Freiman, Oakland Athletics: Back with the big-league club for yet another stint, Freiman had a huge weekend series in Atlanta, belting three home runs—including a pair of 400+ foot bombs on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball—against the Braves. Unfortunately, Freiman's power display was not enough to carry his teammates, who have been scuffling at the plate of late. The A's have lost five straight and seven of their last eight, and their lead in the AL West has turned into a half-game deficit to the surging Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. With Brandon Moss, Stephen Vogt and Kyle Blanks all competing with Freiman for at-bats, the power surge is sure to help Freiman's bid for more playing time. The 6-foot-8 first baseman is hitting .234 with four home runs and 11 RBIs in 19 games.

Marcus Stroman, Toronto Blue Jays: Since posting two dominant outings against the defending champion Red Sox in July, Stroman has had a rollercoaster August... Read more

Duke tight end Braxton Deaver to miss 2014-15 season with torn ACL

The blows keep coming for Duke football this preseason.

One week after starting linebacker Kelby Brown suffered a torn ACL, the Blue Devils lost another preseason All-ACC selection and leader for the season when tight end Braxton Deaver succumbed to the same injury Monday. According to reports via 247Sports.com, Deaver was running a route and fell to the ground, making it a non-contact injury.

“This certainly seems redundant after Kelby’s injury last week, but again our thoughts and prayers lie with Braxton and his family with this news,” Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said in a press release. “While we’ll miss his presence on the field, the priorities with Braxton right now shift to his health and spirit... Read more

Duke targets perform well at FIBA 17U championships, Jeter and Jones take Ice Bucket Challenge

With many of the top high schoolers either representing their country in FIBA 17U World Championships or at the Nike Global Challenge, it was a quiet week in terms of actual recruiting news but an exciting one on the court.

Starting in Dubai, Team USA concluded their impressive tournament run with a 99-92 victory in the championship game against a talented Australian squad. Throughout the tournament, Team USA outclassed the rest of field, averaging more than 100 points per game and shooting better than 51 percent from the field.

As we covered last week, Duke had three high-priority 2016 targets on display in Jayson Tatum, Harry Giles and Tyus Battle. Tatum averaged 11.3 points per game on 46.4 percent shooting. Giles averaged nearly 11 points on 59.3 percent shooting along with six boards.

Battle did not have as strong a tournament, as he averaged less than four points. The two-standout stars for Team USA, however, were the talented duo of Diamond Stone and the tournament MVP Malik Newman... Read more

Duke in the NFL: Broncos rookies continue to impress in second week of preseason, Renfree bounces back

With several former Blue Devil standouts on the gridiron trying to make NFL rosters in the coming weeks, here is a look at how Duke's former players fared in week two of the preseason with teams giving starters more playing time and looking forward to the first cuts after week three:

Kenny Anunike, defensive end, Denver Broncos: Anunike had another strong game, recording half a sack, a tackle and a quarterback hit off the bench in Denver's 34-0 rout of San Francisco. The undrafted rookie has kept up his torrid pace of improvement in training camp and now has a good chance to make the team.

Juwan Thompson, running back, Denver Broncos: Thompson struggled on the ground, only gaining 10 yards on six carries, but added two catches for 19 yards. Anunike's fellow undrafted rookie has kept with his college teammate in practice, though, and his ability to pass protect Read more

Duke football unranked in preseason AP Poll

At least the Blue Devils won't have to work very hard to find motivation at the start of the season.

Just days after losing preseason All-ACC linebacker Kelby Brown for the season with a torn ACL, and after being unranked in the USA Today/Amway Coaches Poll July 31, Duke was also left out of the preseason AP Poll that was released Sunday afternoon.

The Blue Devils were fourth on the list of teams receiving votes that were outside the top 25. Duke received 71 votes, trailing UCF, Florida and Texas for teams that were unranked.

Just as it did in the preseason USA Today/Amway Coaches Poll, reigning champions Florida State took nearly all of the first place votes... Read more

Duke football 2014-15 position preview: Linebacker

Although the Blue Devils return 14 starters this year, there are still new names to learn. We will break down each of the 10 major position groups: running backs, quarterbacks, offensive line, receivers, defensive ends, defensive tackles, linebackers, defensive backs, kicker/punter and punt/kickoff returners to prepare you for the regular season.

Duke's linebacking corp was a core part of a much improved defense last season that helped the Blue Devils to one of the best scoring margins in the ACC and one of the nation's best fourth quarter defenses. Both Kelby Brown and David Helton combined as one of the best tackling duos in the ACC, amassing more than a combined 200 tackles last season, which put them individually as top 10 tacklers in the ACC. With Brown out for the season with a torn ACL, every other member of the linebacking crew will have to step into a new role on the gridiron... Read more

ChronChat: Duke football without Kelby Brown

The loss of redshirt senior linebacker Kelby Brown has the media and fans alike questioning Duke's ability to repeat as ACC Coastal Division champions. The Chronicle's Daniel Carp, Brian Mazur and Nick Martin tackle three of the biggest questions now facing the Blue Devils as they move forward without their emotional leader.

What does the loss of Brown mean for the Blue Devils right this moment?

Losing Brown completely changes the makeup of Duke's defense, removing its top playmaker in the middle and putting significant pressure on the players around him to fill in the void.

Without Brown, Duke's defensive front—which will feature three new starters in 2014—will have to provide a better push at the line of scrimmage for a defense that ranked near the bottom of all power conference teams in tackles for a loss a year ago (Brown was responsible for 11 of those).

Brown's running mate, senior David Helton, will have to be Duke's assertive force in the middle... Read more

Coach K takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, challenges Team USA

This is the one we've all been waiting for.

Less than a week ago, former Blue Devils Mason Plumlee and Todd Zafirovski took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and we asked the question—when will someone challenge Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski?

That question was answered Wednesday afternoon, when Krzyzewski completed the challenge outside Cameron Indoor Stadium after receiving the challenge from Monty Williams, head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans and Krzyzewski's assistant for USA Basketball.

WATCH: Coach K takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Krzyzewski was doused in ice water by his nine grandchildren, and the two filled Gatorade containers was a nice touch... Read more

Duke football 2014-15 position preview: Defensive Backs (The Cheetahs)

Although the Blue Devils return 14 starters this year, there are still new names to learn. We will break down each of the 10 major position groups: running backs, quarterbacks, offensive line, receivers, defensive ends, defensive tackles, linebackers, defensive backs, kicker/punter and punt/kickoff returners to prepare you for the regular season.

Sometimes, a nickname just fits. When it comes to Duke's secondary, the Cheetahs—as bestowed upon them by Coach Derek Jones—fits perfectly. As a part of Duke’s 4-2-5 defense, the secondary represents the largest group on the field and with that comes their responsibility to chase down any and all offensive players that make it past the front six. Head coach David Cutcliffe has said multiple times he looks for players who are defensive backs, not just corners or safeties. The Cheetahs are proof of this. And the scariest part for opposing offenses is that they just lost their best player—their top cat, if you will—and they might be even better... Read more

Kelby Brown to miss 2014 season with torn ACL

Duke has already been dealt its first major blow more than three weeks before the 2014 season is set to begin.

The Blue Devils announced Tuesday morning that they will be without redshirt senior linebacker Kelby Brown for the entire 2014 season after he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in a scrimmage Monday night. Brown, a preseason All-ACC selection, ranked second in the ACC with 114 tackles and added 11 tackles for a loss and two interceptions in 2013.

Brown is scheduled to have surgery Wednesday.

“Obviously our hearts go out to Kelby and his family,” Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said in a statement released by the team. “Here is a young man who is an All-ACC and All-America-type player on the field, and even a better person off the field. He has been and will continue to be an integral part of our program. He’s as fine a representative of our program as we have, and nothing will change that. He’s seen this type of adversity before, and I’m confident he’ll overcome this challenge.”

Health has been an issue for Brown during his collegiate career... Read more