Stock Watch: Captain Cook trending up after CVC Classic MVP honors

The bell of the Blue Zone stock exchange has just rung again, meaning it's time for another taking a look at who is rising and falling with their performances for Blue Devil sports teams. Each week The Blue Zone will look at whose stock is on the rise and whose stock has taken a hit from the week in the world of Duke athletics.

Bull Market—Trending Up

Quinn Cook: The freshmen have gotten all the attention so far this season, but Cook and junior captain Amile Jefferson are the engines making the 5-0 No. 4 Blue Devils go so far this season. Cook is leading the team in scoring with 17.0 points per game and has already made 17 3-pointers this season and is shooting 48.6 percent from downtown. More importantly, the Washington, D.C., native has adjusted well to playing off the ball with freshman Tyus Jones and been an extension of the coaching staff on the court... Read more

Former Duke quarterback Thad Lewis to sign with Houston Texans

Welcome back to the NFL, Thaddeus Lewis.

After being cut earlier this season after a poor performance in the preseason, the former Blue Devil standout is poised to sign with the Houston Texans, ESPN's Adam Shefter reported Monday evening.

The Texans are in need of a third-string quarterback after starter Ryan Mallet tore his right pectoral muscle, which may cause him to miss the rest of the season. Thus the need for Lewis, who has worked out for multiple teams including the Philadelphia Eagles and St. Louis Rams since being cut by the Buffalo Bills Aug. 31. He will back-up veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and rookie Tom Savage out of Pittsburgh.

Lewis threw for a program-record 10,065 yards as Duke's starting quarterback between 2006 and 2009 and also holds the program record for 2,006 consecutive pass attempts without an interception... Read more

The road to Tampa: Women's basketball update, Week 1

In a week that saw some records snapped and others barely preserved, No. 7 Duke maintained its dominance with an average scoring margin of 32.7 points and at least one double-double in each of its first three games. The Blue Devils’ 83-51 rout of Marquette Sunday began a stretch of four games in eight days that will conclude with a trip to College Station, Texas, when they take on No. 5 Texas A&M Sunday, Nov. 30.

No. 6 Stanford kicked off the week with a shocking overtime upset against No. 1 Connecticut Monday, ending a 47-game wining streak. The Cardinal offense shot 50 percent from beyond the arc, making seven triples with four contributed from the bench. On the other hand, Husky head coach Geno Auriemma rotated just seven players throughout the night, only two of which were able to reach double digits from the field.

Stanford’s undefeated record was snapped just three days later in an overtime loss of its own to No. 10 Texas at home... Read more

Around the ACC: Week 1

1. No. 4 Duke (5-0): Duke made mincemeat of its first two opponents, Presbyterian and Fairfield, as expected, beat No. 19 Michigan State at the Champions Classic in Indianapolis, then cruised to a Coaches vs. Cancer Classic title with wins against Temple and Stanford. Freshman and top-recruit Jahlil Okafor has shined for the Blue Devils, averaging 15.8 points per game and 8.0 rebounds.

What impresses about Duke, however, is its tremendous depth. Senior captain Quinn Cook and freshman forward Justise Winslow are averaging 17.0 and 15.4 points per game, respectively and freshman point guard Tyus Jones is averaging 9.2 points per game and 5.0 assists. Duke is proving that they deserve to be ranked No. 4 in the nation, and considered favorites to win the ACC.

2. Miami (4-0): Miami currently stands at 4-0 with wins against Howard, Drexel, Akron and then-No. 8 Florida. The Hurricanes upset Florida in Gainesville, Fla., behind stellar play from junior guard Angel Rodriguez, whose 24 points helped Miami overcome a 15-point deficit in the second half... Read more

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 1

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