Bluezone-banner

Tony Romo, Jason Garrett visit Duke basketball for second straight year

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo beat Quinn Cook in a game of Horse last year ahead of the Blue Devils' home contest against North Carolina, but the Duke guard made sure he got some revenge this time around.

Romo and head coach Jason Garrett visited the No. 3 Blue Devils for the second straight year ahead of their Wednesday night contest against Wake Forest at 8 p.m. at Cameron Indoor Stadium, per Duke Blue Planet's Twitter and YouTube accounts.

Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray and tight end Jason Witten also joined his quarterback and head coach for the visit, which according to Romo was partly so Dallas' leaders could learn from being around legendary Blue Devil head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

X factor: Duke basketball vs. Wake Forest

It is only fitting that Quinn Cook is the x-factor in his final game at Cameron Wednesday night.
Darbi Griffith / The Chronicle

It is only fitting that Quinn Cook is the x-factor in his final game at Cameron Wednesday night.

The third-ranked Blue Devils will look to run their win streak to double-digits Wednesday against Wake Forest at 8 p.m. at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke defeated the Demon Deacons 73-65 in a hard-fought matchup earlier this season and will look to send senior Quinn Cook off in a winning fashion in the last home game of the season. Before every game this season, the Blue Zone will select a player on both teams that could make a difference for their respective squads.

Duke: guard Quinn Cook

The 6-foot-2 guard will play his final game in Cameron as he looks to make one last great memory on Senior Night. After struggling with inconsistency in his first three seasons, Cook’s play has taken off in his final year despite the adjustment he has had to make playing with freshman Tyus Jones.

For Cook, the biggest improvement has been his shooting from the floor. The Washington native has shot a career high 46-percent this season and his ability to shoot the three-ball has allowed the Blue Devils to space the floor effectively... Read more

The key three: Duke basketball vs. Wake Forest

In senior captain Quinn Cook's final game on the hardwood of Cameron Indoor Stadium, No. 3 Duke takes on Wake Forest Wednesday at 8 p.m. The two squads met in early January, with the Blue Devils prevailing in a tight 73-65 contest. With just two games remaining in the regular season, Duke is already locked into the No. 2 or No. 3 seed in next week's ACC tournament. Here are three keys to the Blue Devils extending their winning streak to double digits:

Handle Thomas

The last time these two teams faced, junior forward Devin Thomas scored 24 points and had all four of Wake Forest’s offensive rebounds. Although the Demon Deacon forward has been held to single digit scoring the past two games, he recently dropped 26 points against then-No. 10 Notre Dame and recorded five rebounds during his short 16-minute stint against No. 2 Virginia in Wake Forest’s narrow one-point loss. Fourth overall in the ACC in rebounds, Thomas is recording an average of 9... Read more

Around the ACC: Week 15

With just one week left in the regular season, the race for byes in the upcoming ACC tournament is heating up:

1. No. 2 Virginia (27-1, 15-1 in the ACC): The Cavaliers extended their winning streak to eight and captured at least a share of the ACC regular season title with a pair of victories at Wake Forest and at home against in-state rival Virginia Tech. Tony Bennett’s team held the Demon Deacons to 15 first half points and cruised to a 70-34 victory despite the absences of starters Justin Anderson and London Perrantes due to injury. The Hokies kept Saturday’s game more interesting—and found themselves down just four points with 7:32 remaining in the game—but Virginia was able to pull away behind Malcolm Brogdon’s 19 points and a stingy defensive second half effort. The Cavaliers will travel to Syracuse Monday and attempt to secure a second consecutive outright regular season title.

2. No... Read more

Thoughts on the AP Poll: Week 15

With a surprisingly close win against Virginia Tech and a dominating performance against Syracuse, the Blue Devils jumped to No. 3 in this week's poll:

Duke handles both Virginia Tech and Syracuse, moves up one spot:

In what was supposed to be an easy game for the Blue Devils, the Hokies challenged them from the tip, eventually losing to the then-No. 4 team in the nation 91-86 in overtime Wednesday. Leading at halftime by two, Virginia Tech looked well on its way to stunning Duke. However, strong second-half play from Jahlil Okafor and Quinn Cook—who combined for 26 points in the period—forced overtime. It was more of the same for Duke in the extra session, with Okafor and Cook leading the way to victory. The highly touted center totaled 30 points and nine rebounds in one of his best outings of the year.

Saturday, Duke looked every bit like the No. 4 team in the country with a resounding 73-54 victory against Syracuse... Read more

Duke women's basketball Player of the Week: Week 15

The Blue Devils' got a boost from resilient post player Amber Henson on their way to Sunday's upset of North Carolina.
Elysia Su / The Chronicle

The Blue Devils' got a boost from resilient post player Amber Henson on their way to Sunday's upset of North Carolina.

Amber Henson

Statline: Thursday at Georgia Tech: Six points on 2-of-8 shooting, six rebounds, two steals, one assist and one block in 23 minutes. Sunday vs. No. 15 North Carolina: 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting, five rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals in 34 minutes.

Elysia Su / The Chronicle

The good: The No. 16 Blue Devils notched a dramatic home victory against No. 15 North Carolina 81-80 Sunday on Senior Day in yet another episode of the most important college basketball rivalry in the nation. With this triumph, head coach Joanne P... Read more

The road to Tampa, Women's basketball weekly update, Week 15

The Blue Devils' dramatic win against North Carolina Sunday was just one of many thrillers this week as the regular season concluded for most teams:

The week got off to a rocky start No. 16 Duke, which continued its late-season losing skid with a 71-62 loss at Georgia Tech Thursday, but the Blue Devils bounced back in a big way. Duke used a second-half 34-8 run to knock off No. 15 North Carolina 81-80 Sunday afternoon at Cameron Indoor Stadium in the teams' regular season finale. With the win, the Blue Devils earned the No. 4 seed in this week's ACC tournament and will look to keep bolstering their NCAA tournament resume to earn a top-four seed and host the first two rounds in the Big Dance.

Duke was far from the only traditional power to suffer an upset this week, as No. 3 Baylor was stunned twice this week at Oklahoma and at Iowa State... Read more

Duke basketball Player of the Week: Week 15

Swingman Justise Winslow continued his late-season push to spark two more Blue Devil wins last week.
Darbi Griffith / The Chronicle

Swingman Justise Winslow continued his late-season push to spark two more Blue Devil wins last week.

Justise Winslow

Statline: Wednesday vs. Virginia Tech: 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting, 1-of-3 from 3-point range, one offensive rebound, seven rebounds, one assist, one block and two steals in 39 minutes. Saturday vs. Syracuse: 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting, 3-of-5 from 3-point range, nine rebounds, three blocks and two steals in 40 minutes.

The good: During a crucial part of the season, freshman forward Justise Winslow has stepped up and displayed his athleticism this past week both on the road and within the comfort of Cameron Indoor Stadium. Scoring a career-high 23 points Saturday against Syracuse, Winslow soared in front of a packed stadium, putting away alley-oops and 3-point shots to help lead Duke to a 73-54 victory. The Houston native has now dropped double figures in his past 10 games—shooting 53.7 percent during this stretch—a marked improvement from his 39.5 percent clip in nine January games... Read more

Krzyzewski: Okafor 'probably embarrassed' by his free-throw shooting

Freshman center Jahlil Okafor continued to struggle from the free throw line Saturday night.
Jack White / The Chronicle

Freshman center Jahlil Okafor continued to struggle from the free throw line Saturday night.

Jahlil Okafor has shouldered a major offensive burden in his two games since returning from a sprained ankle he suffered in a Feb. 18 win against North Carolina—with a career-high 30 points against Virginia Tech and a 13-point, 14-rebound performance Saturday against Syracuse.

The one place Okafor has not succeeded has been a thorn in his side the entire season—at the free-throw line.

The 6-foot-11 freshman missed his first six attempts from the charity stripe en route to a 1-for-7 performance Saturday night.

"You have to shoot free throws well, and he has not done that," head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We're going to want him to have the ball most of the time, but especially at the end of a game, and if people are just going to hack him he's going to have to make them pay the price for that."

Okafor is shooting just 54.2 percent from the foul line on the season and has attempted a team-high 155 free throws.

Historically one of the nation's better free-throw shooting teams, the Blue Devils are hitting just 68... Read more

Beyond the Arc: Duke basketball vs. Syracuse

No. 4 Duke used a staunch defensive effort to knock off Syracuse 73-54 Saturday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium. After letting Virginia Tech shoot almost 70 percent in the first half of Wednesday's game, the Blue Devils came out aggressive on the defensive end Saturday, holding the Orange to just 30.6 percent shooting en route to their ninth straight win:

Revisiting the three keys to the game:

  • Figure out how to stop pick-and-rolls involving Jahlil Okafor: The Orange opted to go at Okafor in the post and the freshman responded with arguably his best defensive game of the season. The Chicago native forced Syracuse's Rakeem Christmas to struggle for much of the night and held him to just 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting from the floor. Okafor blocked shot on one of Christmas' drives to the basket was a welcome sign for the Blue Devils—who will need the freshman to defend well consistently to advance deep in postseason play... Read more