Duke in the MLB: Jones throws out first pitch, Stroman excited by trade

A few months ago, former Duke point guard Tyus Jones handed out one of his trademark assists to Kevin Garnett, feeding the Big Ticket for the ceremonial first pitch of a Minnesota Twins game.

Thursday night, Jones returned to Target Field for another first pitch appearance—but this time he called his own number.

The Apple Valley, Minn., native and newly minted Minnesota Timberwolves point guard took the mound wearing a No. 1 Twins jersey—a change of pace for Blue Devil fans who became accustomed to his No. 5 during last year's national championship season. Jones made it look easy on the hill, firing a strike to Twins catcher Joe Mauer.

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Jones was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the 24th overall pick in last month's NBA draft, but a draft-night trade quickly sent him to his hometown Timberwolves, where he will suit up alongside talented youngsters Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. The reigning Final Four Most Outstanding Player now answers to Flip Saunders as his head coach, but Duke associate head coach Jeff Capel couldn't resist poking a little fun at his former player.

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Although Jones' future doesn't hold much in the way of baseball, Duke's most promising current MLB player made some headlines on social media as well Thursday afternoon. Toronto Blue Jay starter Marcus Stroman—who became the school's ever first-round pick in 2012—had quite the reaction to his team's all-in deadline acquisition of ace left-hander David Price.

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Stroman is back in Durham finishing up his degree as he recovers from an ACL injury he suffered during spring training. Despite his excitement, the injury will prevent Stroman from pitching for the remainder of this season and could prevent him from pitching in the same rotation as Price, who is scheduled to become a free agent after this year.


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