Jahlil Okafor stands ground as SI writer attempts mid-interview posterization
Although NBA scouts have lauded Jahlil Okafor's low-post moves and ability to dominate in the paint, some have mentioned the Chicago native's defense as an area needing improvement as he makes the leap to the professional ranks.
But one would be hard-pressed to find quicker reflexes or a cleaner rejection than Okafor's swat Thursday during an interview with Sports Illustrated's Maggie Gray.
Okafor denied SI writer Matt Dollinger's attempt at a mid-interview dunk as the former Duke big man spoke about the upcoming NBA draft. The 6-foot-11 center made his point known as he swatted Dollinger—who ended up on the floor beside him—and threw the ball at him for extra emphasis.
Of course, Dollinger took his tumble in jest as the video made the rounds on social media... Read more
Duke teams receive 15 Public Recognition Awards from NCAA for APR scores
According to data released Wednesday, the Blue Devils are holding up their end of that bargain.
Duke teams received 15 Public Recognition Awards from the NCAA for their Academic Performance Rate scores. The APR studies the athletic eligibility, retention and graduation of student-athletes and is the combination of multiple years' worth of data. Wednesday's awards were based on data stretching from the 2010-11 through 2013-14 academic years.
Among FBS schools, Duke tied for third with Northwestern, trailing only Stanford and Notre Dame. The Blue Devils have ranked in the top five in that sub-set in every year since 2007, claiming the top spot in 2008, 2010 and 2013... Read more
N.C. General Assembly honors Blue Devils, Krzyzewski
Since cutting down the nets in Indianapolis April 6, there have been no shortage of festivities and ceremonies to honor the Blue Devils. Duke received a champion's welcome to Cameron Indoor Stadium April 7 and was congratulated by the city of Durham a week later.
Tuesday, head coach Mike Krzyzewski and his coaching staff paid a visit to the North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh, where the Blue Devils were acknowledged for their fifth national title... Read more
Minnesota Timberwolves win NBA draft lottery
Jahlil Okafor, Karl-Anthony Towns or somebody else? That is the question that awaits the Minnesota Timberwolves after winning the NBA draft lottery Tuesday night. The Timberwolves had the best odds at landing the top pick at 25 percent and is now on the clock until draft night, June 25.
Minnesota general manager Milt Newton and head coach Flip Saunders will now get to spend the next month pouring over film and deciding who to take with the top pick. Okafor—who led Duke to the 2015 national title—and Towns—whose Kentucky did not lose until the Final Four—figure to be the top two names off the board, but each brings different talents to the block as an NBA center.
Former Blue Devil Justise Winslow is also slated as a likely lottery pick. The Houston native is currently pegged fifth or sixth according to various mock drafts, which if accurate would send the swingman to either the Orlando Magic or the Sacramento Kings... Read more
Jahlil Okafor shows off huge hands with 13-tennis ball feat
For Blue Devil fans, seeing freshman Jahlil Okafor palm a basketball away from the reach of opposing defenders became the norm in just a matter of games.
But just how big were the 6-foot-11 center's hands?
With the NBA draft slowly approaching, Okafor used his time in the Bleacher Report studio to show off just why a basketball looked more like a tennis ball in the Chicago native's hands this season.
Okafor fit not one, not two, not three, but 13—yes, 13—tennis balls in his right palm.
Of course, this isn't the first time the former Duke standout's hands have been in the spotlight. A photo of Okafor palming a basketball in February went viral, showing the center's hands to be much larger than a regulation-sized basketball, which measures 29.5 inches in circumference... Read more
Recruiting Roundup: Freshmen hint at jersey numbers as focus shifts to 2016
Let's start this week with the best news of the week for Blue Devil fans—Duke finished with the No. 1 recruiting class in the country according to ESPN, Scouts, 247Sports, and Rivals. The Blue Devils finished with commitments from four recruits ranked in the top 25 of the ESPN 100—No. 3 Brandon Ingram, No. 11 Chase Jeter, No. 17 Derryck Thornton and No. 24 Luke Kennard—as well as center Antonio Vrankovic and forward Justin Robinson.
With Ingram and Thornton officially signing their letter of intents with Duke, head coach Mike Krzyzewski had a chance to speak about the newest members of his program.
Ingram may have even dropped a hint about his number next season when he posted a picture of a pair of sneakers embossed with the number 14... Read more
Cook impresses at NBA Draft combine, Jones and Winslow meet with teams
Unlike his former teammates Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow, Quinn Cook does not have the luxury of knowing he will be drafted.
After a solid week in Chicago, the former Duke captain may be building enough of a case to entice a team to pull the trigger come June 25.
Cook was a standout performer in this week's NBA Draft combine, finishing 2-0 in 5-on-5 competition and impressing teams with his perimeter shooting and intangibles.
After struggling in the first scrimmage of the combine—with only six points on 2-of-6 shooting and four turnovers—Cook tied as the leading scorer in his 5-on-5 action Friday. The national championship winning point guard recorded 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the floor and made key hustle plays when his team needed them most... Read more
Duke football's Bryon Fields profiled on ESPN's 'Outside The Lines'
Cornerback Bryon Fields and his father—also named Bryon—were profiled on Outside The Lines Sunday morning on ESPN about their choice to redshirt—but not in the traditional sense of the term.
The piece, aimed at exploring the decisions made by parents to have their kids repeat a grade before entering high school in order to give them a better chance at athletic success, focused on the junior's decision to repeat the eighth grade.
During the segment, the elder Bryon Fields candidly admits that the decision was made with his son's athletic future in mind, noting that Bryon had always been an 'A' student. By repeating eighth grade, Fields retained all four years of his high school eligibility and gave his body more time to mature.
"You get very few opportunities in life to manufacture time," Fields' father said in the piece, noting that Duke only offered his son a scholarship in October of his senior year, at which point he already would have been in college had he not repeated a grade... Read more
Stevens, Greenwell named to USA Basketball rosters
They may not get to study abroad during the year, but two Blue Devils will get a chance to travel overseas this summer to compete for their country.
Sophomore Azura Stevens and redshirt sophomore Rebecca Greenwell were named to USA Basketball teams when rosters were released Sunday afternoon. The duo joined numerous roster hopefuls at USA Basketball headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., this weekend and left with roster spots locked up.
Stevens will compete on the U19 team at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship in Chekhov, Russia, from July 18-26, joining South Carolina star A'ja Wilson and Florida State forward Shakayla Thomas on the roster. The Raleigh, N.C., native averaged 14.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game in her first year in Durham and will bring her versatility and length at 6-foot-5 to the roster as the United States seeks a sixth straight gold medal.
Duke in the NBA: Irving reaches conference finals despite injury; Redick and Rivers look to do the same Sunday
With the Atlanta Hawks set to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors through to the Western Conference Finals, only one spot remains in the NBA's version of the Final Four. Some of Duke's finest have had a lot to say about the playoff action to this point and will certainly make their impact felt down the stretch of the postseason.
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers: With three straight victories this week, Irving's Cavaliers defeated the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference semifinals 4-2. The guard will be playing in his first ever conference finals—though it remains to see how effective he will be as he nurses an injured knee.
The Cavaliers tied the series against the Bulls 2-2 with an 86-84 victory Sunday after LeBron James connected on his third career postseason buzzer-beater... Read more