X factor: Duke football vs. Wake Forest

Aiming to close out the regular season on a high note, the Blue Devils will look to bounce back after two consecutive losses against Wake Forest Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. at Wallace Wade Stadium. Every week throughout the football season, we'll break down a player on each team who could be the difference-maker in the upcoming contest.

Duke: wide receiver Issac Blakeney

For the Blue Devils to get back on track against Wake Forest to finish the season on a high note, redshirt senior wide receiver Issac Blakeney will have something to do with it. Blakeney has been out wide for Duke this season, especially in the red zone.

He has six touchdowns on the season, including two in a big ACC matchup against Syracuse earlier in the season. With 36 catches for 414 yards to this point, Blakeney and senior wideout Jamison Crowder will try to lead the Blue Devils to victory in their last game at Wallace Wade... Read more

Boone accepts invitation to East-West Shrine Game

Duke quarterback Anthony Boone will have one last chance to play with some of the nation's best players and impress professional scouts in the months leading up to the NFL Draft.

According to multiple media reports and, Boone has accepted an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Game Jan. 17, 2015 in St. Petersburg, Fla. He is the third Blue Devil to accept an invitation to a postseason all-star game after both Jamison Crowder and Laken Tomlinson accepted invitations to the Reese's Senior Bowl.

Although CBS Sports tabbed Boone as a preseason top 10 quarterback and Phil Steele named him a third-team All-ACC selection, the Weddington, N.C., native has struggled to put up flashy numbers this season. Boone has completed 221-of-391 passes for 2,232 yards and 16 touchdowns, compared to just seven interceptions... Read more

Duke basketball gets more custom shoes from former star Kyrie Irving

The Blue Devils got custom LeBron 12's for their regular season debut and will likely show off some new custom kicks from another Cavaliers star soon.

Duke Blue Planet's twitter account showed off the No. 4 Duke's new custom Kyrie Irving Air Force 1's Friday afternoon.

The shoes feature Irving's signature, the No. 2 he wears for the Cavaliers alongside James and the logo that is used on all of Irving's Nike apparel. All of these elements are coordinated with a white, gray and blue color scheme that make them fit with Duke's uniforms perfectly.

Irving played in 11 regular season games as a freshman for the Blue Devils in 2010-11 before missing the rest of the regular season with a toe injury... Read more

Duke legend Steve Wojciechowski slaps floor to motivate new Marquette squad

Duke legend Steve Wojciechowski perfected the floor-slap as a player and made it a popular trend throughout his time on the Blue Devil bench as an assistant and associate coach.

He was at it again Thanksgiving night in his new position, head coach of Marquette.

With the Golden Eagles in a second-half battle against Georgia Tech at the Orlando Classic in Disney, the former fiery point guard used his famous floor-slap to inspire his team, according to Gary Parrish of CBS Sports.

Although video is currently not available, it will almost certainly appear soon.

Wojciechowski made the floor-slap an art form in his time at Duke and earned National Defensive Player of the Year honors as a senior in 1998... Read more

Beyond the Arc: Duke basketball vs. Furman

The No. 4 Blue Devils stayed focused in their return to Cameron Indoor Stadium, jumping out to a 9-0 lead and never looking back en route to a 93-54 win against Furman Wednesday evening.

Revisiting the three keys to the game:

  • Take advantage of a struggling Furman offense: The Paladins' 54-point showing was slightly less than their season average, but most importantly, much shorter of Duke’s 93. Furman shot an inconsistent 33.9 percent from the field and only managed to have 10 assists on the night. The Paladins also had problems handling the ball and getting to the charity stripe, but did shoot relatively well from the line, only missing two of their free throw 12 attempts.
  • Contain Kris Acox: The Blue Devils' strong defensive effort included shutting down Acox. The Reykjavik, Iceland, native didn’t even take his second shot until 12:47 into the second half... Read more

Krzyzewski discusses chaos of preseason tournaments

The beginning to the college basketball season is hectic, with teams flying cross-country to exotic destinations for several games in tight windows. It's enough to tire out a team, both physically and mentally.

Luckily for No. 4 Duke, the Blue Devils didn't display any of that weariness Wednesday, cruising to a 93-54 win against Furman at Cameron Indoor Stadium. After playing five games in nine days to start the year, Duke finally got some rest leading up to Wednesday's tilt.

After capturing the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic title at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., Duke did not make it back to Durham until about 4:30 a.m. Sunday, head coach Mike Krzyzewski said after Wednesday's game... Read more

HALFTIME: Duke 50, Furman 22

Another quick start by No. 4 Duke has it comfortably head in its first game at Cameron Indoor Stadium in a week and a half.

The Blue Devils came out and punched Furman in the mouth in the first five minutes, bursting out to a 9-0 lead by the first media timeout. Duke converted with relative ease on the offensive end and forced the Paladins into scrambled offense on the defensive end. Eight turnovers by Furman led to plentiful transition opportunities for the Blue Devils, including soaring dunks from Justise Winslow and Jahlil Okafor.

Sophomore Matt Jones provided a spark off the bench for Duke in his 10 minutes on the floor. The Desoto, Texas, native drilled an open 3-pointer from the right corner on his first shot of the afternoon, then doubled down by sinking another triple from the opposite baseline in transition on the next possession.

Here are some observations from the first half:

  • Furman struggled mightily shooting in the first half, characteristic of the nation's 303rd-ranked scoring offense... Read more

Nolan Smith joins D-League affiliate of Philadelphia 76ers

Nolan Smith is one step closer to getting back in the NBA.

The former Blue Devil guard was acquired by the Delaware 87ers—the Development League affiliate of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers—Wednesday afternoon, as announced by the team. Smith had been playing for Galatasaray Liv Hospital in the Turkish League, but parted ways with the club at the end of October after a towel-throwing incident that drew the ire of Galatasary head coach Ergin Ataman.

A national-title winning guard in his four years in Durham, Smith has had a turbulent start to his professional career. After being selected 21st overall by Portland in the 2011 NBA draft, the 6-foot-2 guard made 44 appearances in his first season with the Trail Blazers, averaging 3.8 points per game... Read more

X factor: Duke basketball vs. Furman

Brianna Siracuse / The Chronicle

After five wins in nine nights, No. 4 Duke gets back in action Wednesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium with a 5 p.m. tilt against Furman. Before every Blue Devil contest this season, The Chronicle will select a player from each team who could be the critical piece to the puzzle:

Duke: guard Rasheed Sulaimon

Sulaimon has yet to have a breakout game offensively this season, averaging 4.6 points, 1.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. The strong performances of Quinn Cook and freshmen Justise Winslow, Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor have limited Sulaimon’s opportunities to score, but the Houston native has still contributed to the vaunted Blue Devil offense with his ability to break down defenses off the dribble and make passes to open teammates.

During his freshman campaign, Sulaimon showcased the offensive and defensive prowess that made him a top high school recruit. With senior Seth Curry hobbled with shin splints, Sulaimon often filled a key role as Duke's leading backcourt scorer... Read more

The key three: Duke basketball vs. Furman

After successfully claiming the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic championship, No. 4 Duke will head home Wednesday to face Furman at Cameron Indoor Stadium in the midst of Thanksgiving break. Three things the Blue Devils will need to do against the Paladins before enjoying the holiday:

Take advantage of a struggling Furman offense

Furman currently ranks 303rd in the nation in points per game with 59.7 and is the third team Duke has played this season that at the moment sits below the 60.5 points per game mark. In both of those previous contests—against Presbyterian and Temple—the Blue Devils were able to come away with at least a 20-point victory. Duke, on the other hand, boasts the 13th-highest scoring offense in the country, averaging 89.4 points per game. Furman will be trying to desperately to keep pace with the frenetic Blue Devil offense and Duke will need to keep the Paladins uncomfortable in their own end and force them to commit turnovers... Read more