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Stock Watch: Duke men's lacrosse on the rise after statement win

The bell of the Blue Zone stock exchange has rung again, meaning it's time to take 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

Duke men’s lacrosse: The Blue Devils started the season 8-6—their lowest record through 14 games in head coach John Danowski’s 10-year tenure in Durham—but they have turned things around of late. After holding then-No. 15 Marquette to just a single goal in a 16-1 win last Friday and pulling off a second-half comeback to beat Virginia April 17, Duke has outscored its opponents 25-4 in its last six quarters of play. The Blue Devil defense has come together just in time, as Duke prepares to play No. 4 Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament semifinals Friday night. After the Blue Devils' postseason hopes were in danger just two weeks ago, they now sit at No. 10 in the RPI rankings, which would put them safely in the NCAA tournament's 16-team field.

Duke men's basketball recruiting: As Marques Bolden—ESPN's No. 2 center and No. 20 overall recruit in the Class of 2016—prepares to make his college decision, the Blue Devils remain one of the frontrunners. The 7-foot big man from DeSoto, Texas, has reportedly narrowed his choices down to two college basketball bluebloods—Duke and Kentucky. With the Wildcats likely to return pieces in the frontcourt like Isaac Humphries and Derek Willis and the Blue Devils having only one true center in Chase Jeter, many experts predict that Bolden will decide to make his home in Durham next season. Duke's coaching staff has also been hard at work laying the foundation for future years, extending scholarship offers to four-star point guard Tremont Waters and five-star shooting guard Hamidou Diallo in the Class of 2017 last week.

Mason Plumlee: The Portland Trail Blazers' big man and beloved former Blue Devil has put together a few strong performances in his team’s bid to upset the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Plumlee grabbed 21 rebounds and dished out nine assists in Portland's Game 3 win, and he also put his athleticism on display with highlight-reel plays like his putback reverse dunk in the third quarter of the crucial victory. 

Plumlee also posted a double-double wth 10 assists and 14 rebounds in the Trail Blazers' Game 4 win Monday.

Bear Market—Trending Down

Golden State Warriors: Although they are still far from being eliminated from the playoffs, the Warriors cannot be feeling the same way about their championship prospects after losing sharpshooter and reigning MVP Stephen Curry for the near future. After slipping on a wet spot on the court against the Houston Rockets in Game 4, Curry was taken to the locker room, and Monday's MRI results revealed a Grade 1 MCL sprain that is expected to keep the Charlotte, N.C., native out of commission for two weeks. Golden State fared reasonably well without Curry for Games 2 and 3 while he was out with a sore ankle and should be able to close out the series against the Rockets, but the margin for error will be far slimmer against the Clippers or Trail Blazers in the second round.

Tom Brady: In a devastating blow to the perennial NFL juggernaut, the New England Patriots learned that they will be without the services of their three-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback to start the season. A Federal Appeals court ruled to uphold Brady’s four-game suspension that was overturned before last season began. The court ruled that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was justified in his use of disciplinary power, and most legal experts agree that Brady’s chances of winning another appeal of his own are slim.


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