Offense Explodes Versus Davidson
With Quinn Cook, Rodney Hood, Jabari Parker and Rasheed Sulaimon on the roster, Duke’s offensive firepower was never in doubt. Putting up 111 points and shooting over 70 percent against perennial NCAA Tournament qualifier and Southern Conference Championship contender Davidson in the season opener, however, surpassed the expectations of many. The aforementioned four Blue Devils all scored 20 points, marking the first time in school history Duke had four 20-point scorers, and Duke hit 38-of-54 shots from the floor for a .704 shooting percentage that was the sixth highest in school history. Parker and Hood, both making their Duke debuts, scored 22 points apiece and combined to hit 17-of-20 field goals and 5-of-5 three-pointers while totaling 15 rebounds, three assists, three blocks and a steal. Cook and Sulaimon hit three three-pointers apiece, while Cook logged eight assists and zero turnovers and Sulaimon was Duke’s second leading rebounder with seven boards.
Next Up: Kansas
The stakes get significantly higher Tuesday when Duke takes on fellow college basketball power Kansas in Chicago’s United Center as part of the State Farm Champions Classic. The game will be a matchup of two of the four winningest programs in college basketball history, as Kansas ranks second all-time with 2,102 victories and Duke fourth with 2,002. The Jayhawks enter the matchup ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press poll and No. 6 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, marking the fourth time in the series- 10-game history that both teams are ranked in the top 10. Duke owns a comfortable 7-2 lead in the series, but the Blue Devils have split the last two meetings with Duke taking the 2012 matchup in the EA Sports Maui Invitational 68-61 and Kansas winning the 2003 NCAA Sweet Sixteen meeting 69-65.
Chicago Homecoming On the Horizons For Parker
Duke freshman Jabari Parker didn’t have to wait long to make a return to his hometown. When Duke faces Kansas in the State Farm Champions Classic at the United Center in Chicago, Ill., Parker could seemingly draw a large contingent of native Chicagoans who watched him dominate the competition on the Illinois high school and AAU circuits. However, Parker didn’t seem distracted by the prospect of playing in front of his hometown fans again, instead focusing on the daunting task Duke will face in taking on No. 5 Kansas when asked about the matchup and venue following the Davidson win. “I need to just keep the game plan and don’t go outside of what we want to do,” he said in Duke’s locker room. “I know I’ve got individual goals, but I have to put that aside. What’s more important is the team. There are no individual matchups, [just] Duke versus Kansas.”
Parker Named to National Player and Freshman of the Year Watch Lists
As highly-touted of a recruit Jabari Parker was coming out of Simeon Career Academy, it’s no surprise that the Duke freshman was named to the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award watch list Monday. The bigger news came the next day when Parker, who has received Preseason All-America first team honors as well as multiple votes in the media’s ACC Preseason Player of the Year polling, appeared on the Oscar Robertson Trophy watch list as one of the favorites to end the season as the top player in college basketball. Parker was one of only 15 players on the list and was named alongside such college stars as Ohio State’s Aaron Craft, Syracuse’s C.J. Fair and Louisville’s Russ Smith. The Oscar Robertson Trophy committee’s prediction seemed pretty spot on, as three days later Parker went off for 22 points, six rebounds, two assists and a block on 8-of-10 shooting from the floor and 3-of-3 shooting from the three-point line in his Duke debut against Davidson.
Hairston Added as Team Captain
Having already tabbed senior Tyler Thornton and redshirt sophomore Rodney Hood co-captains this season, head coach Mike Krzyzewski added senior Josh Hairston to the group last week. Krzyzewski cited Hairston’s leadership and support of his teammates during his time at Duke as why Hairston was worthy of being designated Duke captain. Hairston, who was surprised by the decision when Krzyzewski announced the appointment in a team meeting, commented on the emotional scene, saying, “Not everyone has a moment like that with a legend. I'll remember it for the rest of my life.”
State Farm Champions Classic Retains College Basketball’s Best For Next Three Seasons
The State Farm Champions Classic, which Duke will participate in this Tuesday against Kansas, announced the retention of Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State over the next four years, extending the start of college basketball’s premier showcase event. The two-game event, which is held annually in some of the country’s top sports venues, will continue to serve as the culmination of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. This year’s event in the United Center features Duke versus Kansas and Kentucky versus Michigan State, bringing together four of the nation’s top-five teams under one roof. The teams will alternate matchups over the next three years with Duke facing Michigan State in 2014, Kentucky in 2015 and Kansas in 2016.
Collins Gets First Victory at Northwestern
Duke basketball alumnus and former assistant coach Chris Collins wasted no time in getting his first victory as a head coach, guiding Northwestern to a 72-55 win over Eastern Illinois in the season opener Saturday. With a gameplan that featured stifling defense and red-hot shooting from three-point range, the final box score was eerily reminiscent of those Collins helped manufacture during his 14 years alongside Krzyzewski on the Blue Devil coaching staff. The Collins-led Wildcats held Eastern Illinois to .302 from the floor and a .111 mark from three-point range while allowing just four assists. Said Northwestern forward Drew Crawford about his head coach after the game, “It's coach Collins' first win and he's extremely energetic, so passionate about the game, about this team, about Northwestern. He cares so much about it so to get that win and really celebrate in the locker room is a great feeling."
Duke Men’s Basketball Digital Preview Available Online
The Duke men’s basketball digital preview is now available on GoDuke.com. The free publication, compiled by John Roth at the Blue Devil IMG Sports Network, features player profiles and feature stories on current Blue Devils and alumni and is available at the link below:
Mike Krzyzewski’s image change (ESPN)
After waiting a year, Hood is ready to lead (Raleigh News & Observer)
Blue Devils set the bar high in season opener (Fayetteville Observer)
Stat of the Week
Friday against Davidson, Jabari Parker (22 points), Rodney Hood (22), Quinn Cook (21) and Rasheed Sulaimon (20) all reached the 20-point plateau, marking the first time in Duke basketball history the Blue Devils had four 20-point scorers in a game.
Tweets of the Week
NU Men's Basketball @NUMensBball 21h
Terrific photo of @coach_collins being greeted by the team in the locker room following his first win. pic.twitter.com/f7flhsl1GK
Quote of the Week
“Beat State.” – Head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final words to the press following the Davidson win, a nod to the Duke football team which was playing N.C. State the next day. Duke beat the Wolfpack, 38-20 for the program’s fifth straight win.