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Stock watch: Basketball season starts to pick up

<p>Luke Kennard poured in 30 points against Virginia State Friday in the Blue Devils' first game of the season.</p>

Luke Kennard poured in 30 points against Virginia State Friday in the Blue Devils' first game of the season.

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

Men's basketball hype: Basketball is back, and so are high point totals in exhibition games. The men’s team started off its preseason with a 90-59 win against reigning CIAA champions Virginia State. Led by sophomore guard Luke Kennard with 30 points, it was business as usual for the newly minted top-ranked team in the country. The Blue Devils were also helped by the performances of two of their freshmen, center Marques Bolden and guard Frank Jackson. Bolden was a force in the interior, with 13 points, a game-high 11 rebounds and five blocks in 25 minutes of action. Jackson contributed 17 points and a game-high four assists and could take over the starting point guard position later in the season. The mood on campus has started to change. With a star-studded recruiting class complementing an already talented and experienced roster, the hype is growing.

Postseason play: Two Blue Devil teams are scheduled to start their postseason runs in the ACC tournament in the next few days, starting with men's soccer at No. 16 Notre Dame Wednesday. Duke had a disappointing regular season with a 2-5-1 record in conference play, but will be looking for its second win against the Fighting Irish in as many weeks with its season on the line. The Blue Devils will likely need a couple wins this week to keep their NCAA tournament hopes alive.

Duke field hockey has national championship aspirations and will hope to add some hardware to the trophy case at the ACC tournament this weekend in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Blue Devils won the ACC regular-season title for the first time ever this season and got a bye to the semifinals of the conference tournament Friday, when they will face the winner of the first-round game between Louisville and North Carolina.

One Duke team has already been eliminated from its ACC tournament, though. The Blue Devils lost a penalty kick shootout at home against Florida State in the first round of the ACC tournament Sunday in women's soccer, and they will now start their quest to get back to the College Cup finals in the NCAA tournament with losses in three of their last four games.

Bear Market—Trending Down

Celebrations: Team captain and redshirt senior running back Jela Duncan will miss the remainder of the season after tearing his Achilles' tendon in Saturday’s 38-35 loss to Georgia Tech. The sixth player in Duke history to rush for at least 2,000 career yards injured himself celebrating a touchdown the team had just scored. The Charlotte native jumped up in the air in excitement after Shaun Wilson’s rushing touchdown, and upon landing, he ruptured the tendon. Numerous players have injured themselves while celebrating, but it is not amusing for Blue Devil fans or any fan of college football when it happens to one of their own. Duncan is now the third team captain to be sidelined with a season-ending injury, joining Thomas Sirk and DeVon Edwards.


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