Duke will begin the second season of Joanne P. McCallie’s tenure with a game against a Sweet 16 team, and the road won’t get much easier as the year progresses. Non-conference matchups with Oklahoma State, Tennessee and Stanford supplement four ACC games against Maryland North Carolina in the Blue Devils’ schedule for the upcoming season, released Tuesday by the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Overall, Duke plays 13 teams that made the NCAA Tournament last year, including four No. 1 seeds. Eleven games will be aired on television, including one on ESPN, four on ESPN2 and two on FSN. Marquee home games include Oklahoma St. to open the season Nov. 14, Stanford Dec. 16, Maryland Jan. 12 and North Carolina March 1. The Blue Devils travel to Tennessee Feb. 16.
Duke returns seven players from its rotation, led by senior tri-captains Chante Black, Carrem Gay and Abby Waner.
For the complete schedule, click here.
–by Ben Cohen
Former Duke basketball star and Shaw head coach Robert Brickey has signed on with Joanne P. McCallie to be the women’s basketball program’s assistant director of basketball operations, McCallie announced in a statement Monday. Brickey was released from Shaw in March when his contract was not renewed.
Before taking the helm at Shaw, Brickey was an assistant at James Madison, Southern Methodist and Army. He also served as the athletic department’s community outreach coordinator in 1999. In his new role, he will coordinate off-campus camps, on-campus recruiting and marketing efforts—all part of the program’s push for greater recognition.
“Robert’s passion for Duke is totally motivating to all of us here,” McCallie said in a statement. “Having the opportunity for him to work with our student-athletes and allow them to glean from his experiences at Duke as a student-athlete and somebody who has pursued the highest level, will be excellent for our program.”
Brickey graduated from Duke in 1990 after a four-year career playing for Mike Krzyzewski. He led the Blue Devils to three Final Fours, including a national championship appearance in 1990, when he was a team captain. He brought his Shaw teams to Cameron Indoor Stadium for preseason games the last two seasons.
—by Ben Cohen
While schools across the country lost scholarships because of poor academic performances, Duke and the ACC had little reason to fret when the NCAA released its 2006-2007 APR (Academic Progress Rate) data.
Eight Duke teams achieved perfect scores of 1,000, while football finished tied for third in the country with a 977. Men’s basketball posted a 984, which placed it in the 90th-100th percentile, and women’s basketball also posted a 984, good for 80th-90th percentile.
–by Ben Cohen
While Johnny Dawkins was contemplating leaving Durham for greener pastures out west, former Blue Devil Alison Bales was on Presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s team in the “3-on-3 Challenge for Change” at Maple Crest Middle School in Kokomo, Ind. Bales, who plays for the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, teamed up Obama, who is hoping a win in the Hoosier state can put away fellow democrat Hillary Clinton. Maybe a 15-5 victory over the opposition on the hardwood is a harbinger for the Illinois native’s chances in the state’s voting booths on May 6.
—by Meredith Shiner
OKLAHOMA CITY — The third-seeded Blue Devils’ defense was dominant at times in the first half, but the No. 2 Aggies forged a lead in the period’s last five minutes and leads at half 29-25.
- Chante Black and Abby Waner have five rebounds each, as Duke is dominating the glass, 23-15. When Duke doesn’t rebound, it doesn’t win. We’ll see if the corollary proves true.
- Duke’s defense has been stifling tonight, forcing bad Texas A&M shots to beat the shot clock. But as good as the defense was, the offense was that bad. Duke has 14 team turnovers and the Aggies have garnered eight steals.
- The Blue Devils simply aren’t shooting that, um, much tonight. They posted a 47.8-percent shooting clip for the half, which head coach Joanne P. McCallie would take any night. But Duke took just 23 shots, compared to the Aggies’ 34. Texas A&M is shooting 35.3 percent.
- Duke is 3-for-8 from the free-throw line. Black is 2-of-5.
- Still, Duke has not made a 3-pointer. Only Waner has taken a long-range shot, and she is 0-for-3. All three were considerably deeper than the 3-point line.
–by Ben Cohen
OKLAHOMA CITY — Here are some initial thoughts from press row as Duke’s 7 p.m. Sweet 16 tip against Texas A&M approaches:
- Duke is wearing its black jerseys for the third time this year. The other occasions? Losses to North Carolina in Chapel Hill and in the ACC Tournament.
- The Aggies’ band and D.U.M.B. are going back and forth right now as the crowd begins to file in. The early verdict? Texas A&M, in a landslide. Duke fans should hope the actual basketball game isn’t as one-sided; the Duke players even gave an A&M trumpeter a standing ovation before after a nice improvised diddy.
- I’m currently sitting on my computer, watching Davidson-Kansas on March Madness on Demand, and directly next to a TV monitor that will show the ESPN feed of this game. Pretty cool.
Back with more as the game progresses…
–by Ben Cohen
On the same day that Harris Interactive released a poll decreeing Duke the most popular team in the country, The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg finished his two-part series on why Duke is hated. Of course, the Blue Devils are relevant in Steinberg’s D.C. Sports blog because the men’s basketball team lost in Washington D.C. over the weekend and the women advanced to the Sweet 16 from College Park, Md.
So which is it? Is Duke loved or hated? Which would you rather have?
–by Ben Cohen