According to Duke’s Athletic website, Coach Mike Krzyzewski had the first cancelled game of his career with the postponement of Wednesday’s bout. The Duke Blue Devils were scheduled to face off against the North Carolina Tarheels in a much-anticipated matchup with most in favor of Duke; the game has been rescheduled for Feb. 20th. The freezing snowstorm that stretched over most of the southeastern region kept the Blue Devils from making the trip as the staff put out an official statement shortly into the passing weather. Duke is expected to take the victory with its high standard of success on the road to an NCAA championship.
At 19-5, Duke is projected to do well this year as a high contender in the NCAA playoffs; they are ranked 8th in the AP Top 25 Poll and 9th in the Coaches Poll. The entire is league is lead by the impressive Syracuse and their zone defense currently standing 1st in both polls with a 23-0 record; they handed Duke their fifth loss a few weeks ago at 91-89, which was the smallest margin of victory for Syracuse all year until it tied with the nail-biter against Pitt, where guard Ennis drilled in a game winner. Duke and Syracuse are scheduled to clash again in a little more than a week on Feb. 22nd at 7PM Eastern. First, the Blue Devils are scheduled to play against the Maryland Terrapins Tuesday at 6 PM, before meeting Georgia Tech and North Carolina and then North Carolina once more towards the end of the season.
The Duke at Syracuse game was documented as the largest crowd in Syracuse basketball history with a record 35,446 people in attendance, attributed to Duke’s high success standards and basketball legacy. Although Duke lost, the team still is a contender with a 3rd seed standing in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). The team presents an impressive group lead by the masterful, acclaimed coaching of Mike Krzyzewski.
Freshmen Forward Jabari Parker front runs the team with an impressive 19.2 points per game average (PPG) and an 8.5 rebounds per game average (RPG). Just behind him is Sophomore Forward Rodney Hood with 16.5 PPG average; while a host of other players like Cook, Dawkins, Sulaimon and Jefferson show up in ways statistics can not measure. Quinn Cook averages 12.3 PPG with 5.4 APG (assist per game) average and a .850 free throw percentage to tag along. Andre Dawkins and Rasheed Sulaimon both average approximately nine points per game. Amile Jefferson also shows up in a major way with his nearly seven-point, seven-rebound average on the season.
In other Blue Devil basketball news the women’s basketball team is trying to rekindle their spark after their disappointing loss to #2 Notre Dame with their recent win against Clemson. They host a 22-3 record with a 3rd place standing in the ACC. The Lady Blue Devils are also a highly favored contender come tournament season. With the consistent play that Duke is all-around known for, as long as they play their best ball, the only problems they may have are either the crowds of people flocking to see the legendary blue or the rambunctious student fan section also known as the Cameron Crazies’ who were recently scolded by the NCAA for possible negative comments toward an opposing player. One thing that is for certain is that Duke still operates at a high standard of success, be it the men ore women’s sports or their dedicated following.
By Michael Augustine