Around the ACC: Week 13

No. 1 Florida State and Louisville both held on to secure late-game victories, and Duke was dealt its second straight loss Thursday by North Carolina at Wallace Wade Stadium.

North Carolina 45, No. 25 Duke 20

The Blue Devils dropped their second consecutive game and surrendered the Victory Bell Thursday night with a 45-20 loss against North Carolina at Wallace Wade Stadium. Senior safety Tim Scott set the tone early with a 10-yard fumble return for a touchdown to put the Tar Heels up 14-0 in the first quarter. North Carolina would finish the game with 21 points resulting from Duke’s three turnovers.

Junior quarterback Marquise Williams led the way offensively for the Tar Heels, turning in a complete performance through the air and on the ground. The Charlotte, N.C., native completed 18 of his 27 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for 98 yards and two more scores. Running back T.J. Logan added 116 rushing yards and a one-yard touchdown run for the Tar Heels... Read more

Duke women's basketball Player of the Week: Week 1

Lily Coad / The Chronicle

Ka'lia Johnson

Statline: Wednesday vs. Old Dominion: 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting, 11 rebounds and 13 assists in 35 minutes; Sunday vs. Marquette: 4 points on 0-of-5 shooting, 6 rebounds and 6 assists in 30 minutes

The good: Triple-double. Not two words heard very often in Women's basketball and yet Johnson found a way to get it done. In a homecoming for the Virginia native, she was highly efficient, only missing two shots the entire game against Old Dominion. Johnson also shot 67 percent from beyond the arc that game. She ran the offense well as the starting point guard with her 13 assists and was really hustling on defense to get nine defensive rebounds. Although she did not shoot the ball well Sunday, Johnson's leadership and special performance Friday earn her the first player of the week honors of the young season

The bad: Although Johnson brought it big time against Old Dominion on Wednesday, the Duke guard was not heard from often against Marquette Sunday... Read more

Thoughts on the AP Poll: Week 2

Duke off to a fast start with big challenges ahead

The Blue Devils stayed at No. 4 after a strong performance in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic this past weekend in New York. Duke (5-0) took care of a pesky Temple team 74-54 Friday—using tenacious defense on the perimeter to make up for a weak-shooting performance on offense. The Blue Devils then turned in arguably their most complete performance of the season with a 70-59 victory against Stanford Saturday, en route to hoisting the championship trophy.

Earlier in the week, Duke defeated previously 19th-ranked Michigan State 81-71 in the Champions Classic, which further bolstered its case as one of the top teams in the nation. Even more important than Duke’s victories or ranking is the fact that the Blue Devils appear to have fixed two major glaring weaknesses from a season ago—rebounding and defense—with their new freshman class... Read more

Thoughts on the AP Poll: Week 13

Duke drops the ball

The Blue Devils were crushed on national television this past Thursday, losing 45-20 to rival North Carolina. As a result, Duke tumbled out of the No. 25 spot it held last week. In addition to falling out of the rankings, the Blue Devils also lost their hold on the ACC Coastal Division and a chance to make it to the ACC title game in Charlotte.

North Carolina went up 38-7 before Duke scored two garbage time touchdowns, a 18-yard catch by Jamison Crowder and 1-yard run from Thomas Sirk. The score was a lot closer then how the actual game played out. Anthony Boone was 22-of-40 for 262 yards, two touchdowns and a costly interception on the opening drive of the second half.

Duke will look to recoup and get ready for Wake Forest Saturday at 7 p.m. If they beat Wake Forest, the Blue Devils will have their first ever back-to-back nine win seasons... Read more

Okafor named ACC Rookie of the Week for second straight week

Another week, another ACC Rookie of the Week honor for Jahlil Okafor.

For the second straight week, the 6-foot-11 center won the award after sparking five double-digit Duke wins in his first five games. He won the honor last week after shooting 85 percent in his first two contests.

In the Blue Devils' three games against No. 19 Michigan State,Temple and Stanford last week, Okafor averaged 14.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.3 steals per game.

He continued his hot shooting against the Spartans, going 8-of-10 from the field to score 17 points despite battling foul trouble, but saw his first adversity on the offensive end against Temple.

The dominant big man made just three of his first 13 shots in the first half before knocking down four of his seven second-half attempts as Duke cruised to a 20-point victory against the Owls... Read more

Crowder, Tomlinson accept invitations to Senior Bowl

For the first time in 25 years, a pair of Blue Devil seniors will play beyond this year's bowl game.

Wide receiver Jamison Crowder and right guard Laken Tomlinson have accepted invitations to play in the 66th annual Reese’s Senior Bowl Tuesday, Jan. 20 at 4 p.m. The game will be held at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., and will be televised by the NFL Network.

With both players accepting their invitations, it will make the first time since 1989—when Clarkston Hines and Chris Port were selected—that Duke will have multiple representatives at the Senior Bowl.

In Crowder's 50 career games, he has hauled in 268 receptions for 3,437 yards and 22 touchdowns. His receptions mark is only 15 behind the ACC record set by fellow Blue Devils Conner Vernon, a 2012 graduate. He also ranks second in the conference in career reception yards, trailing Vernon by 312 heading into Saturday's tilt. He leads Duke with 70 receptions and 840 yards so far this season... Read more

North Carolina causes $10,000 in damages to Duke locker room

North Carolina strolled into Durham last Thursday and went on to destroy the then-No. 21 Blue Devils' ACC title hopes via a 45-20 beat down. But the Tar Heels did not let the destruction end there.

North Carolina players racked up $10,000-worth in damages to Duke's visiting locker room at Wallace Wade Stadium after they went a little wild with the spray paint used to paint the Victory Bell.

As is custom, the winner of the rivalry game is awarded the Bell and paints it their respective shade of blue on the field. But as the celebration, players and Victory Bell made their way back to the locker room, so did the spray paint.

According to the Herald-Sun, the players allegedly tagged the walls and carpets in the locker room with the spray paint, and would go on to write the letters "UNC" on the wall next to the entrance door... Read more

Recruiting Roundup: Highlights from a chat with 2017 guard Blake Harris

As we discussed before, last weekend, Duke hosted two five-star recruits: 2015 wing Brandon Ingram and 2017 point guard Blake Harris. The former has been discussed here many times, and this week his high school coach spoke to Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog and had this to say:

“He will decide early but sign in the spring,” Perry Tyndall said. “Exactly when he commits, I’m not sure. He still has some uncertainty.” Ingram has a final six of Duke, N.C. State, North Carolina, Kentucky, UCLA and Kansas.

Although many knew Ingram before last week, the name Blake Harris was new to many people... Read more

Grant Hill inducted into College Basketball Hall of Fame

Grant Hill added one more honor to his decorated basketball career Sunday evening—Hall of Famer.

Hill was part of the eight-man class inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in a ceremony held in Kansas City, Mo. The Blue Devil legend was a star on Mike Krzyzewski's first two championship teams in Durham, helping Duke finish March Madness in both 1991 and 1992 by climbing the ladder to cut down the nets and leading his team back to a third championship game in 1994.

If there's any surprise in Hill's induction, it's that it hadn't already happened. The 6-foot-8 small forward won both the Wooden Award and the Naismith Award during his four years at Duke, tallying 1,924 points in a Blue Devil uniform, the 16th-most in program history. His No. 33 hangs from the rafters in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Hill averaged 14.9 points and 6.0 rebounds for Krzyzewski, a model of consistency from a four-year player. The Reston, Va... Read more

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