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Duke in the NBA: Playoff Preview

With the NBA playoffs underway, seven Blue Devils head into the postseason looking to recreate some of Duke’s postseason magic. Although a title seems realistic for only a couple of the former Blue Devil standouts, expect a few spectacular performances from Duke's best on the way. We take a look back at the season it's been for some of the Blue Devils playoff-bound NBA talent and what lies ahead:

Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers: About to take on the Boston Celtics in the first playoff series of his career, the explosive point guard capped off an All-Star year averaging 21.7 points per game and 5.2 assists per game while shooting a scorching 41.5 percent from beyond the arc. After an early slump for the Cavaliers, Irving and two-time champion LeBron James managed to gel together to finish the season with the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The former Duke guard had the two highest scoring games in the NBA this season—55 points against the Blazers and 57 points against the Spurs—reminding the league just how deadly of an offensive weapon the young gun is... Read more

Duke baseball battles Clemson in football during rain delay

For the third time this week, the Blue Devils had a game postponed by ominous weather, as Friday's series opener against Clemson was pushed back to Saturday afternoon.

But this time, Duke made sure it got a game in anyways.

Several Blue Devils engaged in a game of seven-man, two-hand touch football against the Tigers in the foul territory surrounding home plate at Clemson's Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Featuring everything from a rugby scrum-style kickoff return by the Duke team to a few of Peyton Manning's famous "Omaha" calls to an unsuccesful attempt at a a Fumblerooski, the game had it all.

Clemson athletics posted a video showing part of the game on YouTube, which you can see here.


Duke would figure to have an leg up in a game such as this. Outfielder Johnathan Lloyd is a cornerback on head coach David Cutcliffe's football team, though it did not appear that he took part Friday.

3-star center Antonio Vrankovic commits to Duke basketball

After Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones all declared for the NBA draft in the past week, the Blue Devils needed to add some depth back to the roster and made strides in that department Wednesday.

Duke received a verbal commitment from three-star center Antonio Vrankovic Wednesday night, as the 6-foot-11 big man announced his decision on Twitter:


A Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., product, Vrankovic had a monster senior season at Pine Crest High School, posting a stat line of 27.5 points, 16.1 rebounds and 5.0 blocks per game, according to data on MaxPreps.com.

Duke basketball 2014-15 player review: Quinn Cook

Senior Quinn Cook went out on top in his final season in Durham.
Elysia Su / The Chronicle

Senior Quinn Cook went out on top in his final season in Durham.

Quinn Cook

Season breakdown: Coming into the season as the lone senior on a team starting three freshmen, Cook was expected to make his biggest contribution to the Blue Devils as a leader in the locker room. Yet, few could’ve predicted that the Washington native would elevate his game to the level Blue Devil fans saw this season.

Cook’s biggest improvement was his 3-point shooting—allowing Duke to space the floor effectively around star freshman Jahlil Okafor. The guard connected on more than three shots from beyond the arc in a remarkable 21 games this season... Read more

Blue Devils receive two more 2016 commits, class ranked 11th nationally

The Blue Devils are building a 2016 recruiting class that is currently one of the top recruiting classes in the country. This week, we take a look at two of the program's newest commits and see who else could be committing to the program within the next few weeks.

Duke continues to add to its strong 2016 recruiting class

With top recruits like Scott Bracey and Mark Birmingham already verbally committed to the Blue Devils, David Cutcliffe's 2016 recruiting class is already loaded with talent and the commitment of offensive lineman Robert Kraeling affirms that Durham is becoming a hot destination to play college football. The Bogart, Ga. native is the 35th ranked offensive tackle in the nation by 247Sports and ranked 409th overall. Kraeling—who stands at 6-foot-7—will be one of the tallest players Cutcliffe has ever coached at Duke and although he is undersized at 255 pounds, he should put on enough weight by the end of his senior year of high school to make him a dangerous blocker in the trenches... Read more

Tyus Jones gives assist to Kevin Garnett on first pitch at Minnesota Twins opener

The basketball season may be over, but that hasn't stopped Tyus Jones from handing out assists.

The freshman point guard took part in the pregame festivities at the Minnesota Twins' home opener at Target Field Monday, delivering a baseball to another Minnesota basketball icon—Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett.

Just as he did with his passes to Jahlil Okafor all season, Jones—who grew up 30 minutes south of Minneapolis in Apple Valley, Minn.—put the Big Ticket in a position to do damage with his feed, as Garnett delivered a strike to Twins outfielder Torii Hunter.


Jones scored 23 points in Duke's 68-63 win against Wisconsin April 6 in the national championship game, taking home Most Outstanding Player honors in the process... Read more

Duke basketball 2014-15 player review: Amile Jefferson

Amile Jefferson struggled for much of the season, but stepped up late in the title game to help the Blue Devils to their fifth national title.
Brianna Siracuse / The Chronicle

Amile Jefferson struggled for much of the season, but stepped up late in the title game to help the Blue Devils to their fifth national title.

Amile Jefferson

Season Breakdown: As a sophomore, Amile Jefferson had a breakout season and became a leader for the Blue Devils, averaging 6.5 points and 6.9 rebounds per game while shooting 64.4-percent from the floor. So, it came as no surprise when he was named co-captain along with senior Quinn Cook for this past season. Just like Cook, Jefferson had to take on a new role with freshman phenom Jahlil Okafor joining him in the frontcourt.

Throughout nonconference play, Jefferson held his own on a roster loaded with scorers, posting two double-doubles and averaging 8.9 points per game... Read more

Duke basketball 2014-15 season review: Marshall Plumlee

Redshirt junior Marshall Plumlee came off the bench to spell Jahlil Okafor all season, helping Duke to its fifth national title along the way.
Eric Lin / The Chronicle

Redshirt junior Marshall Plumlee came off the bench to spell Jahlil Okafor all season, helping Duke to its fifth national title along the way.

Marshall Plumlee

Season Breakdown: With freshman center Jahlil Okafor cemented as the Blue Devils’ primary center, Plumlee became a key role player off the bench. The redshirt junior provided a physical presence in the paint, frequently subbing in for freshman Jahlil Okafor and being tasked with guarding opponents’ primary big men. Despite lacking the athleticism to go toe-to-toe with many of his defensive assignments, Plumlee was able to use his 7-foot, 255 pound frame to slow opponents long enough to give Okafor a chance to catch his breath and get back in the game.

On the offensive end, Plumlee was a potent weapon around the rim... Read more

Recruiting Roundup: Decision season looming after Nike Hoop Summit

Let's start with the biggest news of the week—five-star 2015 center Caleb Swanigan is headed to Michigan State. The Spartans had long been considered the favorite for the Indiana native, however, both Duke and California made strong late pushes and many predicted Swanigan would end up in Berkeley next season. Swanigan's decision was a huge get for Tom Izzo, as Michigan State now has the second-best recruiting class according to ESPN. Duke's class of Chase Jeter and Luke Kennard is currently slated 11th... Read more

Duke basketball 2014-15 player review: Matt Jones

Sophomore Matt Jones' defense was instrumental during Duke's latest championship run.
Brianna Siracuse / The Chronicle

Sophomore Matt Jones' defense was instrumental during Duke's latest championship run.

Matt Jones

Season Breakdown: With a tight eight-man rotation after the dismissal of guard Rasheed Sulaimon and the departure of forward Semi Ojeleye, Matt Jones’ role became apparent... Read more