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2016 ACC tournament to be held in Washington, D.C.

(11/14/13 1:46am)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>ACC Commissioner John Swofford announced Wednesday afternoon that Washington, D.C.'s Verizon Center will serve as the host site for the ACC tournament in 2016. It will mark the second time in conference history the tournament was played in our nation's capital. The Verizon Center—home to the NBA's Washington Wizards, NHL's Washington Capitals, WNBA's Washington Mystics and Georgetown men's basketball games—hosted the tournament in 2005.“We are excited to bring the ACC Tournament back to the nation’s capital in 2016,” Swofford said in a press release. “Verizon Center is a tremendous showcase for our event, and the Washington, D.C. area is an appealing tourist destination for our member institutions, as well as the alumni and fans of our teams. We received a lot of positive feedback after our 2005 tournament in Washington, and we look forward to duplicating that success in 2016.”Wednesday's announcement comes as a surprise for many across the conference. With the ACC's expansion to 15 teams for the 2013-14 academic year to include Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame, some thought New York's Madison Square Garden was the conference's desired location for the ACC tournament. Swofford spoke in New York's Times Square when the three teams were introduced July 1 and noted the city's significance as a major presence in the ACC footprint.The ACC's only team in the Washington D.C. metro area will be departing following this season. Maryland will leave the ACC for the Big Ten effective July 1, 2014, which is the same date that Louisville will join the ACC as a member in all sports.The ACC tournament will be held in Greensboro, N.C., in 2014 and 2015.

Kansas outduels Duke basketball in Champions Classic

(11/13/13 11:33am)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>CHICAGO—Freshman phenom Jabari Parker put on a show in the first half of his second collegiate game, but it was Andrew Wiggins who had the last laugh.In a matchup that featured the two top-ranked recruits in this year's freshman class, No. 5 Kansas outlasted No. 4 Duke 94-83 at the United Center in Chicago. Parker led the Blue Devils with 27 points and nine rebounds.

Jalen Rose says he's coming to Duke-Michigan

(11/13/13 4:30am)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The No. 4 Blue Devils take on No. 5 Kansas tonight in this year's Champions Classic, but Duke's first big home game of the season will be Dec. 3 against No. 7 Michigan in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.Hours before the Blue Devils and Jayhawks were set to tip off, ESPN basketball analyst and former Woverine Jalen Rose said he plans to be in attendance at this year's contest at Cameron Indoor Stadium."You know it's funny, I just got done talking to Coach K and he asked me [if I was coming to the game]. I'm going to try to make it down there," Rose said. "I guess it'll give something for the fans to boo besides the players in the uniforms."Rose was a member of Michigan's famed Fab Five team that fell to Duke in the 1992 national championship game. He has never been shy in his hatred of the Blue Devils and made national headlines for his comments directed toward former Duke forward Grant Hill in ESPN's Fab Five documentary.

Duke basketball set for top-5 matchup with Kansas

(11/12/13 11:14am)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>With a 111-77 season-opening victory squarely in the rearview mirror, the Blue Devils do not have the benefit of any more tune-up games.No. 4 Duke will battle No. 5 Kansas Tuesday at 10 p.m. at the United Center in Chicago in a matchup that features two of the nation's top freshmen. The Jayhawks' Andrew Wiggins and the Blue Devils' Jabari Parker—who were ranked as the top two players in their recruiting class—will square off in both teams' second contest of the season.Despite facing a preseason first team All-American, it is not Wiggins that Duke is worried about."The type of athlete that they have on the floor this year is probably a notch above anything that they've had," Duke associate head coach Jeff Capel said. "They have a lot of post depth and are an outstanding offensive rebounding team."With an undersized lineup, the Blue Devils (1-0) sought to utilize their athleticism and length on the wings to quicken the pace against Davidson. Duke accomplished this when it posted 111 points against the Wildcats Friday night, but was punished down low by a Davidson team without a player taller than 6-foot-7 in its starting lineup.Despite starting 6-foot-8 Parker and Rodney Hood and 6-foot-9 Amile Jefferson, the Blue Devils were outrebounded 31-27 by the Wildcats. Although Parker and Wiggins will be billed as the game's featured matchup, Wiggins will likely be guarded by Hood, and the game could come down to the Blue Devils' ability to play inside."We have to rebound. We have to have physical block outs and pursue rebounds," Capel said. "That's the one thing we probably did not do as well in our opener against Davidson and really in the exhibition games. Tomorrow we'll be tested greatly by that, because that's a great strength of Kansas."The Jayhawks (1-0) boast one of the nation's top frontcourts, headlined by sophomore Perry Ellis and graduate student Tarik Black, who played his first three years of eligibility at Memphis and chose to attend Kansas instead of Duke last summer.But the man Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said he will be watching out for is 7-foot center Joel Embiid. The freshman from Cameroon came off the bench in Kansas' season-opening 80-63 win against Louisiana Monroe and scored nine points, attempting 10 free throws in just 11 minutes of action."A lot of people feel that their big kid who comes off the bench is the top prospect in the country for the pros," Krzyzewski said after his team's season-opening win. "We're going to play against a lot of guys who are NBA talent."To compete with Kansas' sizable front line, the Blue Devils will have to keep their forwards out of foul trouble early. Sophomore Amile Jefferson played just four minutes in the first half against Davidson before picking up his second foul and forcing Duke to go with a smaller lineup.Guards Quinn Cook and Rasheed Sulaimon thrived in the Blue Devils' new up-tempo offensive style, each topping 20 points on the evening. But Duke's guards will have to put up with a speedy Kansas backcourt headlined by Wayne Selden, Jr. and point guard Naadir Tharpe, who will make his season debut after serving a one-game suspension."I think they're actually one of the best transition teams I've seen in a really long time," Capel said.Duke will enter Tuesday night's contest as the only school that has yet to lose a game in the Champions Classic. The third installment of the series—which recently had its contract extend through the 2016-17 season—will represent another key matchup for the Blue Devils.Two season ago, Duke faced Michigan State in the first Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden, where Krzyzewski passed Bob Knight by earning the 903rd win of his career. Last season, the Blue Devils squared off with Kentucky in Atlanta in a matchup of top-five teams that featured Duke's experience against the Wildcats' vaunted freshman class, headlined by Nerlens Noel.Although March is still months away, Tuesday's matchup between the Blue Devils and Jayhawks takes on a different energy, Capel said."I'm sure tomorrow will feel probably a lot like a Final Four," Capel said. "There is so much attention on both of these teams."

With Miami looming, Duke football faces questions at quarterback

(11/11/13 12:58pm)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>As Duke marched into victory formation to seal its seventh win of the year and secure a winning season for the first time since 1994, its starting quarterback stood watching from the sidelines.Completing 10 of his first 11 passes—including a 75-yard bomb to Jamison Crowder—redshirt junior Anthony Boone appeared to have shaken off his 7-for-25, four-interception performance against Virginia Tech in which he failed to complete a pass in the second half. But Boone's decision-making faltered once again Saturday against N.C. State, completing just two of his final 12 passes and throwing two of his three interceptions in that span."Just a few mental errors here and there—that's all that you can say," Boone said. "You can't ride the emotion of the game. You just have to try and stay even and fight for 60 minutes."Lost in the Blue Devils' 38-20 victory against N.C. State at Wallace Wade Stadium was the fact that the team's once-prolific offense is now struggling. Thanks to the play of redshirt freshman safety DeVon Edwards, Duke's defense and special teams accounted for 21 of the team's points against the Wolfpack—the offense managed just 17.After setting the program's single-season scoring record last year, offense was never expected to be this team's weakness. Coming into the season, all of the Blue Devils' question marks were on the defensive side of the ball, and the unit's stellar play has put all of those questions to rest in the past month."You know the saying: defense wins championships," Crowder said. "This whole season, the defense has pretty much been carrying the load. Offensively we still have some things we want to get tuned up. But hats off to the defense, they've been winning ballgames for us."Early in the second quarter, Duke had taken the ball over with a short field after its defense forced a turnover on downs, giving the Blue Devils great field position at the N.C. State 26-yard line. Boone and the Duke offense were able to move the ball just eight yards, setting up a Ross Martin field goal to put the Blue Devils ahead 10-0 with 8:14 remaining in the half.Following that score, Duke's next five possessions resulted in two punts, two interceptions and a kneel down to end the first half.Even after Boone threw four picks against Virginia Tech, head coach David Cutcliffe stuck with his starting quarterback. But when he tossed three more interceptions against N.C. State, Cutcliffe pulled the plug and went with backup Brandon Connette, who had been relegated to spot duty since Boone's return from a broken collarbone.Connette coughed up the football at the end of a 20-yard run on his first series under center and Duke failed to score on its next two offensive drives. After allowing N.C. State to take a 20-17 lead, the Blue Devil offense finally woke up as Connette led the team on an eight-play, 79-yard drive capped off by a 5-yard Connette run to give Duke back the lead for good. He finished the day 7-of-13 for 59 yards and carried the ball eight times for a team-high 40 yards."Throughout the entire game, things just weren't going our way," Connette said. "It seemed like they weren't going our way the whole game, and we knew how powerful and explosive our offense is. We knew at some point that something had to give, and we were able to get in a groove, get in a rhythm on that last drive and just march it down."Duke will need to put some points on the board if it hopes to contend with No. 24 Miami Saturday on Senior Day. But after reviewing tape of the Blue Devils' matchup with N.C. State Sunday, Cutcliffe said his team's quarterback future remains unclear."It's going to take both of those guys for us to win, so you'll see both of them," Cutcliffe said. "We haven't made any kind of decision or are overly concerned about the start and whatever, but we do believe right now that... we're going to have to be looking at both of them to get us back where we need to be."

DeVon Edwards earns national honors

(11/10/13 11:56pm)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Redshirt freshman safety DeVon Edwards was named National Defensive Player of the Week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation for his play Saturday in Duke's 38-20 win against N.C. State.Edwards scored three touchdowns in the Blue Devils' victory, taking a kickoff 100 yards to the house and returning interceptions of 25 and 45 yards on back-to-back plays. Edwards' second and third touchdowns came just 16 seconds apart. The Covington, Ga., native also recorded 10 tackles on the afternoon.

Duke football sits just outside top 25

(11/10/13 10:24pm)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The Blue Devils already know they will be a winning team this season, but with a win against N.C. State yesterday they are one step closer to being a ranked one.Duke received 11 votes in this week's AP top 25, putting the Blue Devils just four spots outside of the national rankings. Georgia sits in the No. 25 slot and received 78 votes this week.After yesterday's victory Duke also received 22 points in this week's USA Today Coaches Poll, also placing the Blue Devils four slots outside the top 25. The 25th spot is currently held by Minnesota, which received 91 points yesterday. Duke first received votes in the national polls after knocking off Virginia Tech on the road two weeks ago. The Blue Devils got two votes in the AP Poll that week before receiving one after their open date. Duke also received eight points in the USA Today Coaches Poll after defeating Virginia Tech and 11 after last week's bye.Playing its final home game of the year on Senior Day, the Blue Devils will take on Miami next week at Wallace Wade Stadium. The Hurricanes have not played their best football as of late, falling 42-24 at home to Virginia Tech this week and dropping to No. 24 in the AP top 25.

Edwards scores 3 touchdowns as Duke football defeats N.C. State

(11/10/13 7:33am)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>It wasn't pretty, but Duke has now secured for a winning season for the first time in 19 years.The Blue Devils outlasted crosstown foe N.C. State 38-20 Saturday in front of a crowd of more than 32,000 fans at Wallace Wade Stadium, winning a seventh game for the first time since the 1994 season.Redshirt freshman safety DeVon Edwards stole the show for Duke, which struggled on offense but benefitted from his three-touchdown performance on the evening—taking a kickoff return and two interceptions to the house to seal the victory."DeVon Edwards pretty much took over the game," junior wide receiver Jamison Crowder said. "DeVon is somebody that we've just been waiting for, and he came out there and showed it.... It was crazy."Edwards' 100-yard kickoff return gave Duke (7-2, 3-2 in the ACC) a 17-13 lead after allowing N.C. State (3-6, 0-6) to score 13 unanswered points and take back the momentum. After the Wolfpack took back the lead on an 80-yard pass from Brandon Mitchell to Quintin Payton, backup quarterback Brandon Connette led a touchdown drive and swung the momentum back in the Blue Devils' favor.N.C. State got the ball back with less than four minutes to play and had a chance to score and win the game. Then Edwards took over.Two plays. Two different quarterbacks. Two interceptions. Two touchdowns.Mitchell was flushed out of the pocket and Edwards elevated to knock down his pass, reel it in and scamper 25 yards for a touchdown to give Duke a 31-20 lead with 3:31 to play."I was trying to catch it, but when I hit it up in the air I thought I was going to get hit and I was surprised," Edwards said. "Once I knew that I got the ball, Coach was talking about 'Defense needs to win this game.' So I had to do what I had to do to get some points on the board."Ten seconds later, Edwards struck again when he picked off Wolfpack quarterback Pete Thomas and ran it back 45 yards for another score. Edwards became just the second player in NCAA history to return interceptions for touchdowns on back-to-back plays—the first was cornerback Leon Wright, who played at Duke and was an assistant coach for the Blue Devils before taking a job at LSU last summer.The Blue Devils scored 28 second-half points, but just seven of them came on offense."You know the saying—defense wins championships," Crowder said. "This whole season, the defense has pretty much been carrying the load. Offensively we still have some things we want to get tuned up. But hats off to the defense, they've been winning ballgames for us."Duke's offense did have a hot start to the game, with redshirt junior quarterback Anthony Boone completing 10 of his first 11 passes, including a 75-yard hookup with junior wide receiver Jamison Crowder. Boone scampered into the end zone from four yards out on the next play to give the Blue Devils a 7-0 lead.But Boone's success would not last long. He completed just two of his next 12 passes and threw two of his three interceptions on the evening. Boone was replaced by Connette midway through the third quarter and would not return to the game. Connette got off to a slow start, but he ultimately competed 7-of-13 passes in relief."That's kind of what happens when you don't produce," Boone said. "You have to put someone in to mix it up and get things going, and he did a great job."The Blue Devils turned the ball over four times on the evening, but the Wolfpack scored just three points off those turnovers thanks to defensive stands in the red zone.After emerging from the locker room trailing by 10 points, N.C. State quickly set the tone in the second half. After Niklas Sade hit a 29-yard field goal to get the Wolfpack on the scoreboard, N.C. State's defense forced Duke to punt and Rashard Smith returned it 73 yards for a score to tie the game. Sade's second field goal of the night gave the Wolfpack their first lead of the game before Edwards took the ensuing kickoff to the house.Saturday's victory was just the Blue Devils' second win in November during head coach David Cutcliffe's six-year tenure in Durham. Duke will return to action next week, seeking its sixth consecutive victory when it hosts No. 11 Miami on Senior Day."The atmosphere was really meaningful to our success. Don't think for a second it didn't ignite the fire," Cutcliffe said. "Everybody wants a playoff, and we're in it right now. The chips are down for everything. It's fun to watch."

Jabari Parker begins career for Duke basketball with sky-high expectations

(11/08/13 1:55pm)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Duke has 12 scholarship players on its active roster. Six of those were named McDonald's All-Americans in high school. But just one was touted as the greatest high school basketball player since LeBron James on the cover of Sports Illustrated long before he ever played a minute of college basketball. There are many reasons why freshman Jabari Parker stands out from the pack as he enters his first season at the collegiate level. His rare combination of size and athleticism at 6-foot-8 makes him a lethal course on the hardwood. Off the court, Parker may be the highest-profile Mormon basketball player ever to play the game. But most importantly, it appears that the Blue Devils' chances at a fifth national title rest squarely on his 18-year-old shoulders."He's an amazingly talented player," sophomore forward Amile Jefferson said. "Some things he does on the court are just unbelievable."Parker is no stranger to being in the spotlight. Playing in Chicago—a city which puts its high school basketball stars under the microscope—Parker was subjected to a media circus at every one of his games. He thrived in these conditions, leading his Simeon Career Academy squad to four consecutive state titles and finished with a career record of 118-15 in four seasons. He was just the second player in Illinois basketball history to start for four consecutive state championship teams.That experience could not have been better preparation for the two themes that drive Duke's basketball program: pressure and success."It simulates it a little bit, but it's not quite there," Parker said. "Especially playing for a big-time program like Duke, it's something special. You find the significance when you're out there, and hopefully I'll get it when I play my first game Friday."A walking matchup problem on the offensive end and able to guard all five positions on the floor on defense, Parker is one of the main reasons why this year's Duke team will have a different complexion than last year's squad. Parker will be a piece of one of the most athletic—albeit undersized—frontcourts in the country. Playing alongside Jefferson in the post, the size and rebounding abilities of Parker and 6-foot-8 forward Rodney Hood will make up for the Blue Devils' lack of size down low.With this athleticism comes the Blue Devils' ability to push the ball in transition and defend with full-court pressure, something that head coach Mike Krzyzewski's Duke teams have rarely done since winning a national championship in 2000-01."Jabari Parker has got a skill level that you just don't see that often. I would put him on the Grant Hill level of being able to do multiple things," said Jay Bilas, ESPN college basketball analyst and a former player and coach at Duke. "Posting up, he can play with his back to the basket, he can play facing it—he's really, really impressive. I'm going to be interested to see how Coach K uses him throughout the course of the year."But Duke's history with highly-touted freshmen has been a difficult one as of late. Three seasons ago, Kyrie Irving came to the Blue Devils as the No. 3 ranked player in his recruiting class. Irving singlehandedly altered Duke's playing style, but a foot injury sidelined him for most of the year and forced the Blue Devils to reinvent themselves. Only reaching the Sweet 16 that season, Duke was ultimately left with questions of what could have been.After Irving departed for the NBA and was the top overall selection by the Cleveland Cavaliers, combo guard Austin Rivers came to Duke, also ranked third in his class. Rivers led the Blue Devils to an up-and-down season that culminated in an upset to 15th-seeded Lehigh in the squad's first NCAA tournament game. In a season where locker-room tensions reportedly ran high with the freshman star, Duke fans widely consider Rivers' one-year tenure in Durham to be a disappointment.With Parker now set to start his freshman campaign ranked No. 2 in his class behind Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins, many believe he, too, will be a one-and-done at the college level. Even his Duke teammates acknowledge the possibility that Parker's time as a Blue Devil could be fleeting."A lot of us probably figure that we won't be around him for too long—probably for just this season," said senior forward Josh Hairston, who often guards Parker in practice. "Even in the summer when he was here, I told that I was going to push him.... I try to push him as much as I can and make him work."Although Parker said decisions about his NBA future will be made at the last minute, the combination of his calm demeanor and killer instinct on the basketball court should be well worth the price of admission this season."Whether he is a one-year and that's it or not—Jabari is really good. And he's a team player, and he's a champion," Krzyzewski said. "To have four state championships in the state of Illinois is incredible.... It's beyond belief, and that's who this kid is."

Duke legend Ace Parker dies at age 101

(11/07/13 12:08pm)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Clarence "Ace" Parker, a three-sport athlete and former All-American at Duke, passed away Wednesday morning in Portsmouth, Va. He was 101 years old.On the gridiron, Parker was a two-time All-American selection as a halfback for famed Duke head coach Wallace Wade. Playing from 1934-36, Parker rushed for 1,856 yards and 21 touchdowns. Parker's Blue Devils went 24-5 during his collegiate career and won two Southern Conference championships.In addition to lining up in the backfield, Parker was also a standout punter and still holds Duke's single-game punting record. Parker punted 17 times for 804 yards in a game against Georgia Tech in 1936, a record that will likely never be broken.On the diamond, Parker also was a standout outfielder for Duke's baseball team, batting .336 in 1935 and .337 in 1937. Taking a year off from baseball, Parker also lettered in basketball for the Blue Devils in 1936.Parker was a second-round draft pick by the NFL's Brooklyn Dodgers in 1937. He led the NFL in passing in 1938 and was named the league's MVP in 1940. Parker was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1972. He was the only Hall of Fame inductee in history to reach 100 years of age.Playing two MLB seasons with the Philadelphia Athletics, Parker became the third player in Major League history to homer in his first-career at bat when he did so on April 30, 1937.Following his professional career, Parker returned to Duke and served as an assistant football coach from 1947-65. He also managed the Blue Devil baseball team from 1953-66, winning one Southern Conference championship and two ACC titles. He led Duke to the College World Series in 1953 and 1961. Parker also managed the minor league's Durham Bulls for four seasons from 1949-52.Parker was a member of the inaugural class of the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame in 1975.

Josh Hairston named Duke basketball's third captain

(06/24/15 5:34pm)

____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Senior forward Josh Hairston has been added as a team captain for Duke this year, the team announced in a press release Wednesday afternoon. Hairston will join classmate Tyler Thornton and redshirt sophomore Rodney Hood as the Blue Devils' captains for the 2013-14 season.Generic Script“Josh is certainly deserving of being one of our captains this year,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a press release. “He has been an excellent player for us and a leader during his first three years. He is someone that has supported his teammates about as well as anybody and our players look to him for that support. With Josh joining Tyler [Thornton] and Rodney [Hood], we have three youngsters that form a great leadership team.”Hairston averaged 2.6 points and 2.1 rebounds in 12.7 minutes per game last season. He appeared in 35 of Duke's 36 games and made six starts in place of injured forward Ryan Kelly.The senior is expected to the first forward off the bench for the Blue Devils this season when the team kicks off its new season Friday against Davidson at Cameron Indoor Stadium.“It is a blessing and a dream come true,” Hairston said. “I’ve dreamed of being a captain on a Duke basketball team. I am very grateful to Coach K and our coaching staff, as well as my teammates for this amazing opportunity.”The Fredricksburg, Va., native is known as one of the Blue Devils' most fiery competitors, taking a team-leading 20 charges last season.