Duke women's basketball Player of the Week: Week 5

Elizabeth Williams

Statline: Wednesday, Dec. 17 vs. Oklahoma: 26 points on 10-of-18 shooting, 20 rebounds, three blocks, three assists and two steals; Friday, Dec. 19 vs. UMass Lowell: 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting, seven rebounds, four blocks, three steals; Sunday, Dec. 21 vs. No. 8 Kentucky: 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting, 10 rebounds, three blocks and three assists

The good: Williams led the No. 13 Blue Devils to their most successful week of the season after a nine-day layoff following a heartbreaking loss to No. 1 South Carolina. Motivated by head coach Joanne P. McCallie, who demanded more from her only returning starter, Williams became the third Duke player to ever record 20 points and 20 rebounds in a single game Read more

Duke basketball Player of the Week: Week 5

Jahlil Okafor

Statline: Monday, Dec. 15 vs. Elon: 25 points, 10-of-14 shooting, 20 rebounds, one assist, three blocks, two steals; Thursday, Dec. 18 vs. Connecticut: 12 points, 3-of-5 shooting, eight rebounds, two assists

The good: Jahlil Okafor helped the Blue Devils overcome their rust from not playing in twelve days. Okafor set a freshman-record with 20 rebounds to go along with his 25 points against Elon. Okafor’s dominant performance made up for Duke’s lack of rhythm on the offensive end.

In Duke’s next game against Connecticut, Okafor showcased his ability to facilitate and pass out of double-teams. The Huskies often paid a price when they double or triple-teamed Okafor who then kicked the ball out open shooters on the wing. Okafor also Read more

Kyrie Irving named 2014 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year

2014 has been a good year for Kyrie Irving.

After being named MVP of the NBA All-Star Game last season and leading Team USA to the gold medal at the FIBA World Cup in September en route to MVP honors, the dynamic point guard was named the USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year Sunday.

In nine games, Irving scored in double figures six times and was extremely efficient with his shots, putting up his numbers on 56.3 percent shooting, including 60.9 percent from 3-point range.

The Cavaliers star saved his best games for the end of the tournament, scoring 18 points and adding six assists in the semifinals against Lithuania before catching fire from long range to pour in 26 points in the final against Serbia... Read more

Duke football Recruiting Roundup: 2015 class loses two commits, but top RB Frasier now considering Blue Devils

With signing day less than two months away, we take a look how Duke's 2015 recruiting class is shaping out and whether head coach David Cutcliffe and his staff can secure commitments from their few remaining targets. We also take a look at why the 2016 recruiting classes could be the team's best in program history.

2015 Trending Down

Duke's 2015 recruiting class was poised to finish ranked in the top 25 in the nation earlier this month, but a pair of decommitments has put that goal in jeopardy. It all started when ESPN 300 tight end Tyler Petite announced that he was flipping his commitment to Southern California back on December 12... Read more

Duke in the NBA: Parker out for year, Henderson, Plumlee crack starting lineup

In the last weekly round-up before Christmas, The Blue Zone takes a spin around the NBA to check in with former Blue Devils in the pros:

Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers—As LeBron James and Irving begin to find their rhythm in head coach David Blatt’s offense, the Cavaliers are slowly shaking off their early-season struggles. With Irving’s new logo hanging on the walls outside Quicken Loans Arena, it was a special night for the Cavalier’s fourth-year point guard Friday. Even though Irving only went 6-for-18 from the field, he managed 16 points and 4 assists and he and Mike Miller made enough plays in the backcourt to lead the Cavaliers to victory against the visiting Brooklyn Nets, 95-91.

Irving also Read more

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski discusses injury and future of Bucks forward Jabari Parker

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski addressed former Blue Devil forward Jabari Parker’s recent season-ending injury in his postgame press conference Thursday night.

Parker, who earned first-team All-American honors last year as a freshman for Duke and was selected second overall in June’s draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, was averaging 12.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game through 25 contests before tearing his ACL Monday night.

“It’s sad because he was on his way to being rookie of the year, and the Bucks were doing so well,” Krzyzewski said.

Parker posted the second-highest scoring average behind Brandon Knight for a surprising Milwaukee squad that sits in third place in the Central division of the Eastern Conference. At 14-13, the Jason Kidd-coached squad is just one game short of its win total from last season.

The Bucks forward joins a long list of injured rookies as seven lottery picks have been dealing with significant injuries this season. No... Read more

Beyond the Arc: Duke basketball vs. Connecticut

It didn’t look pretty—especially in the first half—but the No. 2 Blue Devils were able to escape with a 66-56 victory against a scrappy Connecticut team Thursday night at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J. Despite having all five starters reach double figures—led by point guard Tyus Jones with 21—Duke was unable to find a true rhythm offensively, shooting less than 40 percent for the game. The Blue Devils used a 15-2 run in the early minutes of the second half to pull away from the defending national champion Huskies, who had erased an early deficit and tied the game at 30.

Revisiting the three keys to the game:

  • Win the battle of the titans: Thursday’s 12-point, eight rebound performance from Jahlil Okafor was a far cry from Monday’s stellar 25-point, 20 rebound clinic, but other post players stepped up for Duke as Okafor faced constant double teams on the block... Read more

Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving visits Duke basketball following Duke-UConn

Izzi Clark / The Chronicle

Another high-profile neutral site game, another high profile visitor for the Blue Devils.

Former Duke star Kyrie Irving was on hand for No. 2 Duke's 66-56 victory against Connecticut at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J. Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers host the Brooklyn Nets Friday night, but the former Blue Devil standout still found room in his schedule to take in the action courtside and visit the team in the locker room.

Irving's Read more

HALFTIME: Duke 30, Connecticut 25

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—Head coaches Mike Krzyzewski and Kevin Ollie both were disappointed coming off lackluster wins against weaker nonconference opponents. They cannot be too much happier with their first-half performances tonight as Duke squeezed out a 30-25 lead heading into the break.

Connecticut struggled from the free throw line, shot 20 percent, committed nine turnovers and racked up foul trouble down low. The Blue Devils, despite their five-point lead, turned the ball over 12 times and shot just 33 percent from the floor—its lowest first-half average for the season.

After a 40-point, 13-rebound game against Coppin State Sunday, Connecticut center Amida Brimah took himself out of the first half. After being benched for picking up a blocking foul 12 seconds into the contest, the seven-footer picked up his second foul immediately upon returning to the court, guarding Jahlil Okafor high in the key.

Okafor and forward Amile Jefferson combined for 13 rebounds against the Brimah-less Huskies, but Okafor did not capitalize on offense... Read more

Duke legend Jay Bilas directs Duke Alumni Band during100th performance before Duke-UConn

Jay Bilas has worn a lot of different hats—Duke basketball forward, lawyer, sportscaster and even author.

He added another one to the list before Thursday's game between the No. 2 Blue Devils and reigning national champions Connecticut at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J.

The ESPN commentator conducted the Duke Alumni Band during its 100th performance before the game and showed off his skills with a baton.

Bilas definitely thought his performance was worthy of applause and a few bows and made the occasion special for the alumni that volunteered to play at the marquee matchup.

The Alumni Band has become an important part of the Duke University Marching Band's ability to support Blue Devil athletics at regular-season neutral site games and at home games when school is not in session... Read more