Duke basketball Player of the Week: Week 1

Brianna Siracuse / The Chronicle

Quinn Cook

Statline: Nov. 14 vs. Presbyterian: 14 points, 5-of-11 shooting, 4-of-9 from 3-point range, five assists, five rebounds; Nov. 15 vs. Fairfield: 17 points, 7-of-9 shooting, 3-of-4 from downtown, four assists; Tuesday vs. Michigan State: 19 points, 7-of-12 shooting, 3-of-4 from long range, six assists; Friday vs. Temple: 17 points, 6-of-12 shooting, 3-of-8 from 3-point range, five rebounds; Saturday vs. Stanford: 18 points, 5-12 shooting, 4-9 from three, three defensive rebounds, five assists

The good: Cook emerged as the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic MVP as he led the team to win the tournament in New York and to five wins in the first eight calendar days of the season. Although it’s early in the season, it is clear that Duke’s captain, alongside fellow captain Amile Jefferson, is playing some of the best basketball of his college career. Throughout the first five games of the season, the Washington, D.C... Read more

Duke football falls out of AP Poll after disappointing loss to North Carolina

As expected, the Blue Devils plummeted out of the AP Poll after their second consecutive home loss.

Duke, which was ranked No. 25 last week despite a disappointing 17-16 home loss to Virginia Tech, was thrashed on national television 45-20 by its rival North Carolina in its first Thursday night game since 1994.

As a result, the Blue Devils dropped out of the AP Poll Sunday afternoon and only received nine votes, fifth most among unranked teams.

Last week, Duke made history by staying in the poll for the fourth consecutive week, the first time that had happened since 1955... Read more

Jahlil Okafor talks tanking following victory in the Big Apple

NEW YORK—Less than six miles from Duke's victory against Stanford at the Barclays Center, two of the NBA's worst teams were battling for the chance to draft Blue Devil center Jahlil Okafor.

With another star-studded freshman class expected to make the jump to the pros after one collegiate season, conversation of tanking in the NBA is running rampant. On the evening when the hometown New York Knicks (4-10) knocked off the Philadelphia 76ers (0-13), talk of the NBA's bottom-feeders seeped into the Duke locker room.

The 6-foot-11 freshman, who many expect to leave the Blue Devils after one season and be the top pick in the NBA draft this June, said he hears from fans of the league's most lovable losers on a regular basis via social media, hoping that Okafor will be the answer to their team's prayers come summer.

"I get Sixers fans tweeting me, Knicks fans tweeting me, Lakers fans tweeting me, so I see a lot of that stuff when I get on Twitter," Okafor said... Read more

Watch Jahlil Okafor's uncle bust a move at the CVC final

NEW YORK—Jahlil Okafor earned all-tournament team honors as Duke coasted to victory at the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, but his uncle may have won the internet Saturday night.

During an extended timeout in the second half, the dance cam captured Okafor's uncle breaking it down just like his nephew attacks the rim—with no regard for human life.

If you don't believe me, check the clip, shot by Matt Norlander of CBS Sports.

The more Okafor's uncle danced, the more the camera kept panning back to him. At one point, the videoboard operator attempted to incite a dance-off between him and a Stanford fan to no avail—there wasn't a soul in the arena who could match these dance moves... Read more

Beyond the Arc: Duke basketball vs. Stanford

Former Blue Devil star Johnny Dawkins and his Stanford squad gave Duke a fight Saturday, but the Blue Devils were more than up to the challenge.

Behind 18 points from tournament MVP Quinn Cook, Duke dispatched the Cardinal 70-59 at the Barclays Center to win its fifth game in eight days. Stanford senior guard Chasson Randle registered 22 points—the first time an opposing player has topped 20 points this season against the Blue Devils—but didn't get enough help from his support cast to pull off the upset.

Stefan Nastic wasn't nearly the heralded recruit Jahlil Okafor was coming out of college, but the Cardinal senior won the battle down low for much of the night, piling up 13 points and 13 rebounds before fouling out. Duke's dominant center struggled against size and strength for the second game in a row, shooting just 4-of-10 from the floor, but did finish with 10 points and 12 rebounds to record his first career double-double in a Blue Devil uniform.

Revisiting theRead more

HALFTIME: Duke 40, Stanford 29

NEW YORK—Focusing most of its attention toward stud center Jahlil Okafor, Stanford played the first half of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic championship game daring the rest of Duke's supporting cast to beat them. So far, that plan isn't working too well.

With one half of play in the books, the Blue Devils hold a 40-29 lead against the Cardinal at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Senior guard Quinn Cook leads a balanced Duke scoring effort with 11 points. Redshirt senior Stefan Nastic has paced Stanford with 10.

After the first 10 minutes of the contest were very back and forth, the Blue Devils were able to expand their lead to double digits with four minutes left in the half on on a 3-pointer by Cook. Duke shot 6-of-17 from beyond the arc in the first half.

Here are some observations from the first half:

  • The Blue Devil-Cardinal matchup presented a battle of youth against experience. Duke went with its usual starting lineup, which included three freshmen... Read more

The key three: Duke basketball vs. Stanford

After its defeat of Temple in the semifinals, Duke will play Stanford in New York at the Barclays Center in the final of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic Saturday at 9:30 p.m. The matchup will mark the first time that Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins will face off against his alma mater. Three things that the Blue Devils will need to do to finish the tournament strong:

Play strong perimeter defense and close out to shooters

In its semifinal match up against UNLV, Stanford shot an astounding 70.0 percent from beyond the arc and senior guard Chasson Randle—a career 39.4 percent three-point shooter—played a large role in making that happen. The Rock Island, Ill. native exclusively attempted 3-point shots on the night, going 6-of-10.

Aside from this game, the Cardinal has not been a proficient long-range shooting team this season—Stanford averaged just 23.8 percent from deep through its first two games—but Dawkins’ teams in the past have been efficient from the 3-point line and Friday night’s game against the Rebels showed just that... Read more

X factor: Duke basketball vs. Stanford

Brianna Siracuse / The Chronicle

Duke looks to wrap up the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. at 9:30 p.m. Saturday against Stanford. Before every game, we'll break down a player from each team who could be the difference in the upcoming contest:

Duke: guard Quinn Cook

The senior captain has given coaches and fans alike a demonstration of exactly why he is the leader of the team. With bravado and swagger, Cook has averaged 16.8 points on 57 percent shooting from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc while turning the ball over just once.

Before the season, it seemed as though he would be coming off the bench as backup to highly touted recruit Tyus Jones, but head coach Mike Krzyzewski has opted to go with both point guards in the starting rotation. The platoon has paid dividends for the Duke offense, as Jones has kept the ball flowing consistently and creating plays while Cook has gotten the chance to show off an improved stroke this season.

The Washington, D.C... Read more

Duke in the NBA: Parker has career day in Brooklyn before Coaches vs. Cancer Classic

With the NBA season going strong, former Duke stars have adjusted to their new roles, new offenses and new teams with varying levels of success. We take a look at how some of the former Blue Devils have performed so far:

Jabari Parker, Milwaukee Bucks

After struggling to begin the season, the popular preseason Rookie of the Year selection seems to finally have turned a corner. The Chicago native has averaged 13.8 points per game on 53 percent shooting in the best five-game stretch of his career. However, Parker’s improvements on offense go beyond an improved shooting percentage. Early in the season, the forward had difficulty earnings trips to the free-throw line—resulting in just 20 free throw attempts through 11 games.

But in Parker’s last two games, he has attempted a total of 16 free throws, which is indicative of a new-found understanding of how to be successful in head coach Jason Kidd’s offense... Read more

Beyond the Arc: Duke basketball vs. Temple

When the shots weren't falling early Friday night, the Blue Devils didn't panic.

No. 4 Duke overcame its worst shooting performance of the young season to defeat Temple 74-54 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., on the back of a 21-9 extended run in the first 9:27 of the second half. The Owls held the Blue Devils to just 39.1 percent shooting, but couldn't find an offensive rhythm themselves, firing at just a 37.3 percent clip on the evening.

Freshman Jahlil Okafor struggled mightily in the first half, shooting just 3-of-13 in the opening 20 minutes. Still, the center headed to the locker room with eight points and seven rebounds, and finished the game with 16 points and eight boards. Okafor was joined in double-figures by captain Quinn Cook—who scored a team-high 17—and classmate Justise Winslow, who chipped in 15.

The Blue Devils finish out a brutal five-game, eight-day stretch to start their season Saturday at 9:30 p.m. against Stanford, which rolled UNLV 89-60 in Friday's first semifinal... Read more