Duke is known for building champions on and off the courts and fields. Now is the time to make the investments that will drive our future successes. Help us to continue our tradition of providing the necessary support for the future successes of our champion student-athletes.
2016 Premium Seating Is Available Premium seating opportunities are going fast for Duke’s Blue Devil Tower, which will be opening inside Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium for the fall of 2016. Duke has sold out all 21 of its suites, but a limited number of club and indoor and outdoor table top seats are still available for purchase.
Club Seating Package As part of the club seating package, individuals receive
“As we get closer
a parking pass, complimentary food and non-alcoholic
and closer to the
beverages with beer and wine available to purchase,
individual chair back seats, access to an exclusive club
Wallace Wade Stadium
level lounge, a tax deduction and cumulative giving credit toward Iron Dukes priority points. Club seats are
being completed, it’s
available in lease options of three, seven and ten years.
Indoor & Outdoor Table Top Seating Package Options are still available for the Blue Devil Tower’s indoor and outdoor table top seats. With these seats,
to see the numbers regarding the suite sales. I know our fans will enjoy the
purchasers will obtain a parking pass, complimentary
many amenities that
food and non-alcoholic beverages with beer and wine
will be provided
available to purchase, individual chair back seats,
with the stadium
a personal table attendant (outdoor table top only), access to exclusive club level facilities, a video monitor device for every two seats (outdoor table top only), a tax deduction and cumulative giving credit toward
enhancements.” Duke head football coach David Cutcliffe.
Iron Dukes priority points. Seats are available in lease options of three, seven and ten years.
For renderings and more information on the Blue Devil Tower, visit www.buildingforchampions.com. To purchase club or table top seating for the 2016 season, or to obtain additional information regarding the expansion of Wallace Wade Stadium, contact Ryan Miller at email@example.com or 919-684-1952.
GoDuke The Magazine 7.3 Dedicated to sharing the stories of Duke student-athletes, present and past
540 North Trade Street Winston-Salem, NC 27101 Phone 336-831-0769 Vol. 7, No. 3 November 2015 SENIOR EDITOR John Roth ‘80 ADVERTISING Patrick Streko General Manager
Johnny Moore Senior National Associate Ian Haynes Account Executive
Macey Hulvey Partner Services Coordinator CIRCULATION Sarah Brophy STAFF WRITERS Al Featherston ‘74, Leslie Gaber Barry Jacobs ‘72, Johnny Moore Jim Sumner ‘72, Lewis Bowling Brad Amersbach COVER PHOTO Jon Gardiner PRINTING RR Donnelley GoDuke The Magazine (ISSN 10668241) is published by IMG with editorial offices at 3100 Tower Blvd., Suite 404, Durham, NC 27707. Published monthly except July and August for 10 issues per year. Subscription price is $29.95. Periodical postage paid at WinstonSalem, NC, and additional mailing office. Postmaster send change of address to GoDuke The Magazine, 540 North Trade Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Advertising & Editorial Call 919-286-1498
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GoDuke The Magazine is not owned or operated by Duke University. Reproduction of contents without permission is prohibited. © 2015 Blue Devil IMG Sports Network
Novembers to remember Mid-November brought with it not only the opening of college basketball season, but the rush of postseason play on the intercollegiate fall sports calendar. Several Duke teams enjoyed sterling performances as NCAA Tournament action got underway. • The Duke field hockey team earned a spot in the national semifinals with a pair of victories during the opening weekend of the 16-team NCAA playoffs. First the Blue Devils eliminated Stanford in dramatic fashion, getting a tip-in goal from sophomore Ashley Kristen in the 84th minute for a 1-0 overtime victory. Two days later they knocked out the tournament’s No. 3 seed Virginia — on the Cavaliers’ home field — with a 2-1 decision that featured first-half goals by Heather Morris and Amanda Kim. Those results avenged three of the Blue Devils’ six losses this year, as they had fallen in overtime at Stanford in August and lost twice to Virginia. Another opportunity awaited in the national semifinals with Duke (14-6) slated to face No. 2 seed North Carolina (20-2). The Tar Heels edged the Devils 2-1 in Chapel Hill during the regular season. The semifinals were scheduled for Nov. 20 in Ann Arbor, Mich. Duke was the only team not seeded in the top four to advance, as No. 1 Syracuse and No. 4 Connecticut were in the other half of the final four bracket. It marked Duke’s sixth trip to the semis; the last was in 2013, when UConn topped the Devils in the national championship game. “I’m extremely proud of this group for, in 10 days, coming together, rechecking our focus, rechecking our team connection and cohesiveness and bringing it to the field,” said head coach Pam Bustin following the win over a Virginia team that had blasted Duke 5-1 in the ACC Tournament. “All the work that they’ve done to build the culture of this team over the last five years is what showed over the weekend here in Charlottesville. I’m so proud of the seniors’ leadership and for them stepping up in these big games. They trusted that and they led the rest to a great game against a really talented and dangerous Virginia team.” • The Duke women’s soccer program had a habit of making postseason runs with 11 straight NCAA appearances and advancement to at least the round of eight in five of the last seven. That was before last year, when they did not make the field of 64. That disappointment fueled a renewed sense of purpose for the 2015 team to return to the tournament. Despite playing one of the most difficult schedules in the country, the Blue Devils earned 10 wins during the regular season and received an NCAA at-large invitation, then opened the tournament with an overwhelming 5-0 home victory over James Madison in their opening game. That propelled them to the round of 32 set for Nov. 20 in Gainesville, Fla. “We knew if we just stayed with it and didn’t get frustrated, the goals are coming,” said coach Robbie Church, whose team was one of the national leaders in shots during the regular season but often struggled to finish them. “During the course of the year we’d have 30 shots and one goal. When you come here in the NCAA Tournament you’re not going to get as many opportunities, but you got to be ready for the opportunities.” • Fifth-year cross country senior Shaun Thompson, featured in the October issue of GoDuke The Magazine, got his postseason off to a strong start by taking sixth place at the ACC Championships, earning All-ACC honors for the second time in his career. He was even better at the NCAA Southeast Regionals in Charlottesville, storming to a second-place showing that earned him an automatic berth in the NCAA Championships slated for Nov. 21 at Louisville. Thompson followed his season-long strategy of positioning himself among the race leaders early and working from near the front of the pack. He covered the 10-kilometer regional course in 29:11.7 to secure his first bid to nationals in his last chance. “He controlled the race from the front,” coach Norm Ogilvie said. “His 29:11 on this course is probably the best cross country race that I’ve personally witnessed by a Duke guy, ever — a fantastic performance that sets him up for an All-America type performance at the NCAA Championships.”
> Blue Devil of the Month
One of the most successful wrestlers in Duke history, Hartman begins his fifth year as a candidate for the NCAA title at 197 pounds. He reached the NCAA semifinals last year before placing sixth, and he took fifth the previous season. He also won his first ACC crown last year after placing third for two straight years. Hartman opened the 2015-16 campaign with an invitation to the prestigious NWCA All-Star Classic in Atlanta and showcased his talents by winning the 197 pound bout. Heâ€™s ranked No. 3 nationally. Hartman was an NWCA All-Academic pick and the team MVP in 2014 and 2015.
JON GARDINER & STEVEN RYAN
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> The Numbers Game
Duke golfer Leona Maguire’s spot in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, leading to her selection as the 2015 winner of the Mark H. McCormack Medal. Maguire, a native of Ireland, won the ACC and NCAA regional titles as a freshman last year, earning national player of the year honors, then enjoyed a standout summer internationally.
Number of seasons with at least one Plumlee brother on the Duke basketball roster, beginning with Miles’ arrival in 2008-09 and continuing through Marshall’s fifth year of 2015-16. All three overlapped in 2011-12, when Marshall was a redshirting freshman, Mason a junior and Miles a senior. The older two now play in the NBA.
Home victories compiled during the careers of the 2015 Duke football seniors over the past four seasons, 2012-15. Prior to 2012, the Blue Devils took 14 years to win 18 games at Wallace Wade Stadium, under the direction of four head coaches (Fred Goldsmith, Carl Franks, Ted Roof and David Cutcliffe).
Duke teams that achieved a 100 percent mark in the NCAA’s most recent Graduation Success Rate statistics, including both men’s and women’s basketball. Duke football had a 94 percent GSR to rank fourth among all FBS teams. Duke was one of 13 schools with an overall GSR total of 98 percent or better.
Duke quarterbacks, all-time, who have posted double-figure career totals in both touchdown runs and touchdown passes. 2015 starter Thomas Sirk joined the club in just his second year of action, following Anthony Boone (16 run, 38 pass), Brandon Connette (31-16), Mike Dunn (22-11) and Leo Hart (13-23).
Consecutive nonconference home men’s basketball victories for Duke entering the 2015-16 season, by far the best such current streak in the country. The Blue Devils’ last loss in Cameron Indoor Stadium outside the ACC came against St. John’s in February of 2000. The second longest current nonconference home streak is 42 games by Minnesota.
Players on the 2015-16 Duke women’s basketball roster who stand 6-foot-3 or taller, the most in the ACC. The Blue Devils are the tallest team in the league with an average height of 72.93 inches (61). It’s the fourth tallest team in school history. Sophomore Azurá Stevens leads the way at 6-6; she is the second tallest player in the ACC.
Goals scored by Duke soccer senior Zach Mathers in a 5-2 win over N.C. State, marking the Blue Devils’ first hat trick since Andrew Wenger vs. the Wolfpack in 2011. Mathers led Duke in scoring with eight goals and eight assists this year and was named first-team All-ACC after being voted third team the previous two seasons.
All-ACC soccer standout Zach Mathers
The last year that Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski was voted ACC coach of the year. Since then he has led the Blue Devils to eight ACC championships, eight No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament, four Final Fours and three NCAA titles, while becoming the winningest coach in Division I men’s college basketball history.
Durham’s Favorite Destination
Co-captain Matt Jones in comeback win over UNC at Cameron Indoor last season
If history is any indication, the Blue Devils and Tar Heels will again have a strong say in ACC and national basketball races By Barry Jacobs If you’re reading this column, there’s a good chance you belong to a distinct minority. No, not because only a distinct minority would read this — although that possibility can’t be totally discounted. Presumably readers of this space are followers of Duke men’s basketball. That makes you outliers in a society that craves the new, that breathlessly embraces the next iterations of favorite toys, heroes and entertainments, that regards continuity and consistency as boring repetition. Because, let’s face it: while others seek something different, you have good reason to actually prefer the status quo. This orientation isn’t peculiar to Duke fans, who may detect a bit of resentment, if not aggressive antagonism, aimed their way. The reactions to the Blue Devils’ on-court prosperity are not surprising, tending instead to confirm satirist Ambrose Bierce’s tart definition of success as “the one unpardonable sin against one’s fellows.” Nor is there a need to feel singled out for hostile treatment. Similarly passionate dislike extends to that other bastion of basketball bluebloods down the road at Chapel Hill, which combined with Duke has dominated the ACC for much of its history. The 2015-16 season figures to be no exception to the rule of blue. North Carolina was No. 1 in the Associated Press preseason poll, favored to win the NCAA title for the ninth time in history. The Tar Heels return four starters and a squad dominated by upperclassmen in an era when experienced players are characteristic of top mid-major programs but at a premium among power conference teams. Duke, despite retaining a single starter and adding seven newcomers, is projected fifth. It’s been the top team in preseason six times under coach Mike Krzyzewski. This year’s ranking is a testament to the respect commanded by Krzyzewski and the level of talent he and his staff have assembled. Closer to home, ACC media members picked UNC first, Duke third in an October poll. Virginia, bristling with seasoned players,
was chosen second. Since Krzyzewski arrived at Durham for the 1981 season, the Blue Devils have been picked first 15 times. During the initial 35 years of his tenure, the Devils won the ACC Tournament and/or finished in first place 25 times. North Carolina was likewise tabbed the top team 15 times during those 36 seasons, and delivered 24 ACC Tournament wins and/ or first-place finishes. No wonder the media in its collective (somewhat) wisdom went with only six other ACC schools to top the league in the past 36 years (16.7 percent). Go back farther, and over the 47 seasons since 1970, when ACC media polling began, the Triangle pair were the top picks 36 times. (Whether to finish first or to win the league tournament isn’t clear.) That’s selection to lead the ACC more than three-quarters of the time for nearly a half century by assemblages of (somewhat) knowledgeable observers most familiar with the conference. This local acclaim is just one manifestation of the regard in which both programs are held. Taking a broader view, the last time neither Duke nor UNC started a season in the top 10 was the fall of 1995, just as Blue Devil sophomore Grayson Allen was born (October 8). Since the AP poll began in 1949, Duke has finished top-ranked on seven occasions, UNC six. Duke’s run of four straight No. 1 rankings from 1999 through 2002 is the longest in the AP poll’s history. Only once in the past two decades has another member of the ACC even opened a season ranked higher by AP than both Duke and UNC. That was in 2013 when N.C. State debuted at No. 6, two notches ahead of the Devils, on the strength of a Sweet 16 appearance in Mark Gottfried’s first year as head coach at Raleigh. The season ended with Duke ranked fifth. Otherwise the only ranked league squad was Miami (No. 10), winner of the ACC regular season race and the 2013 ACC Tournament. Coupled with 29 victories, it was the best year in Hurricanes history.
Co-captain Amile Jefferson shuts the door on preseason ACC player of the year Marcus Paige
The official championship by Miami was the second in a string of four straight by teams from outside North Carolina, the longest such run in conference history. Florida State started the streak in 2012; Virginia in 2014 and Notre Dame last year extended it. The Cavaliers also posted 16-2 ACC regular-season marks in 2014 and 2015, the fewest losses in consecutive years since Duke went 31-1 in 1999 and 2000. Come to think of it, the Blue Devils lost a single league game over a two-year span on three different occasions — 1963 and 1964 under Vic Bubas; and from 1998 to 1999 and then from 1999 to 2000. In all, the Devils dropped two ACC contests in a three-year period from 1998 through 2000. That streak is unmatched. The ’99 squad was the only one to go undefeated in league play since UNC in 1987. Among the unspoken stories of this season will be discovering whether the run of non-North Carolina champs was reflective of a shift in power, or simply an entertaining aberration in the reign of blue that reached a conference crescendo between 1997 and 2011. During that span either Duke or Carolina won an amazing 14 of 15 ACC championships — 10 by Krzyzewski’s squads and four by the Heels under coaches Bill Guthridge (1997, 1998) and Roy Williams (2007, 2008). Of 30 possible berths in the finals across those 15 years, 19 (63 percent) went to either the Devils or Tar Heels. The sole exception to blue rule during that decade and a half was Maryland’s win in 2004 under Gary Williams — you remember him — by topping Duke in overtime. Having the Devils or Heels in the ACC Tournament final is more than recent habit; it’s a tradition. Incredibly, since 1975 only three years passed without one or the other reaching the championship game. Go back to the start of the conference in 1954, a period of 62 seasons, and there were just nine times when neither made the final (14 percent). Over
the life of the ACC the pair won 36 titles (58 percent), with 19 going to Duke to top all conference members. Of course the stature achieved by Duke and North Carolina has been the product of many things — consistent competitive excellence, Hall of Fame coaches, great players, the intensity of their rivalry, and an apparent and not incidental commitment to academic integrity. That last point is what’s made it so painful to watch UNC struggle recently to clean up its act after finding egregiously hollow class offerings exploited by athletes. Ultimately, though, the Triangle neighbors’ standing has been defined by their persistence on the national stage, not only in getting and staying ranked but in competing for NCAA titles. Duke has been a No. 1 seed in 13 NCAA tournaments, including last year’s, and made 39 NCAA fields, the last 20 straight. UNC has been a No. 1 on 14 occasions and been to 46 tournaments. The Blue Devils won five NCAA titles, including last year’s, all under Krzyzewski. The Tar Heels also won five, most recently in 2009 under Williams. Last season Duke made its 16th Final Four, a dozen under Krzyzewski. North Carolina leads everyone with 18. The combined 34 trips to the Final Four is more than any other two schools, and the Devils’ 16 matches Kentucky and trails only UNC and UCLA. Krzyzewski is tied for first in Final Four appearances (12) and second in Final Four games coached (20). He’s tied for first with 31 NCAA appearances, second in consecutive NCAA bids (20), and is the all-time leader in NCAA Tournament games coached (108) and won (83). Only John Wooden has more championships. Williams and Dean Smith, his mentor at North Carolina, are among the leaders in all those categories. Given that persistent weight of accomplishment, it’s no wonder fans in persuasions other than blue are looking for a change. In vain, if history is any guide.
RELOAD Guard-heavy Duke women embrace competitive cauldron By Jim Sumner
Photos Jon Gardiner Joanne P. McCallie’s Duke women’s basketball team ended last season shy of depth, ball-handling and perimeter shooting. A series of transfers and injuries left her with six ACC-quality players, enough to get Duke to the Sweet 16, where they fell to former ACC rival Maryland. Duke ended 23-11, the most losses since 1997 against a brutal schedule designed to be contested by a different team than actually showed up. Fast-forward seventh months and those concerns have been addressed by the nation’s top recruiting class, five-deep, all perimeter players. Freshmen Haley Gorecki, Crystal Primm and Faith Suggs are all ranked in the middle of the Top 100. Early returns suggest that the first two might be undervalued. Gorecki was the Illinois prep player of the year. She’s a 6-0 guard with a skill set and basketball IQ reminiscent of a young Georgia Schweitzer. Primm is a physical, 5-11 attack-first wing. The 6-1 Suggs is the most likely of the newcomers to play some forward. Kyra Lambert is a Top-10 prospect, a jet-quick 5-9 point guard whom McCallie compares to Jasmine Thomas. She says Lambert needs to learn how to do more than just use her speed. But she’s going to play early and often. That leaves Angela Salvadores, a 5-9 Spanish import who exploded into the limelight two summers ago when she torched the U.S. team for 40 points in the 2014 FIBA U17 title game. One national magazine picked Salvadores to be the national freshman of the year. McCallie has high praise.
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“She’s pretty special. She’s a unique passer and she can shoot the three with her eyes closed. She’s got a really keen sense of the game.” It may take some time for those qualities to become manifest. Salvadores played for her national team last summer, fighting through a nagging foot injury. She’s a long way from home and English is her second language. Duke shut her down much of the fall to give her time to get healthy and adjust. She might not start early and might not hit her stride until December. But it’s more important to have a fresh Salvadores in March than an up-to-speed Salvadores in November. As good as the freshmen might be, the team will run through sophomores Rebecca Greenwell and Azurá Stevens, both first-team (10-player teams) preseason All-ACC picks. Greenwell is a 6-0 redshirt sophomore. She sat out her true freshman season after knee surgery but led the team with almost 35 minutes per game last season, allaying any concerns about her health. Greenwell is a shooter who was forced into a ball-handling role she wasn’t fully prepared for (107 turnovers). But her time at the point should pay dividends as she plays more off the ball, with a better handle turning her into more of a scorer than just a shooter. Greenwell says she expects to benefit from the influx of young perimeter players. “I’ll have a lot more flexibility and be able to score in different ways,” she notes. Stevens may have the team’s highest ceiling. She’s not a finished product. Her ball-handling is a work in progress, she made less than 60 percent of her foul shots last season and she lacks a consistent face-up jumper. But Stevens is 6-6 and does things that 6-6 women simply do not do. She gets to the rim with regularity, beats guards down the court in transition and attacks the glass. Put her large frame at the point of a zone press and she swallows up opposing ball-handlers. Stevens starred last summer for the USA gold-medal winning U19 team in Russia, starting every game for an 8-0 squad and scoring 18 points in the title game against the host team. “It was really fun to play with and compete against some of the best players in the country and the world,” Stevens says. “One of the main takeaways was to be competitive every day, not separating practice and games, really understanding the importance of practice, of being goal-oriented, of working towards a championship every day. I was needed to be more aggressive and I want to take it from there.” McCallie sees the same maturation. “She got so much more experience. I think she got stronger mentally and physically. This year she’ll continue to be that player that we use everywhere, from the inside and out. She’ll be hitting threes and posting up on the blocks. We’ll be moving her around a lot because she’s going to be double-teamed, so we’re going to have some very good spacing on the floor to give her some help. But I just see her game growing. That’s a 6-6 guard/ forward and that’s impressive and she’s owning that.” McCallie says the two precocious sophomores have emerged as mentors. “What they do for the program is substantial. There’s always something to do to be better, to be hungry. Becca and Azurá are hungry and that filters down to the younger players.” That still leaves the center spot. Gone is All-America Elizabeth Williams, an elite rim protector who was the ACC defensive player of the year four times. Williams ended her career ninth on the NCAA career blocks list, while adding 14.5 points and nine rebounds.
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Soccer games and spin classes don’t keep a 9-5 schedule. That’s why if injury strikes, we’re here for you—evenings and weekends—with a quicker and less expensive option than a trip to the ER. Duke offers walk-in access to care for all orthopaedic related conditions, from breaks to sprains to concussions.
On deck for frontcourt duty is Amber Henson, a grad student who is healthy after six knee surgeries, albeit without the athleticism that made her a Top-10 prepster. Henson averaged 20 minutes per game last season and thinks she could handle more this season. She’s in a master’s program at the Fuqua School of Business and has a demanding schedule that requires her to miss sizeable chunks of practice time. Henson says that should actually benefit her, helping keep her knee healthy. Juniors Kendall Cooper and Oderah Chidom also will be in the frontcourt mix. Cooper might be the team’s best true center. She scored 21 points in an ACC Tournament win over Wake Forest last season and followed with 12 combined points in four subsequent games, tribute to both her potential and inconsistency. Like Cooper and Henson, Chidom is 6-4 and may be best suited to play a combo forward. She’s an excellent shooter inside — 56.6 percent from the field last season — and is fully recovered from shoulder surgery that ended her season in February. Promising 6-3 center Lynee Belton is rehabbing after knee surgery and has a steep learning curve after playing only 66 minutes last season. She’s a redshirt freshman, should be fully healthy by midseason and could be a wild card down the stretch. Senior guard Mercedes Riggs and soph-
omore post Erin Mathias also return, giving Duke 13 players on the roster — and nobody has a 13-player rotation. McCallie acknowledges the possibility of bruised egos but argues that competition will help the team. “We’ll see how that goes. It’s a challenge we all welcome. If you’re going to have a championship team, you’d better have options, you’d better have people able to step up. It’s a competitive cauldron and they all understand that.” The team is young. “We’re nowhere near where we want to be,” McCallie says. “Amber is the only one who talks like she means it. You can’t rush it. The process is the process. They’re willing to work. They’re willing to get better. “We want to blend an inside game and an outside game. We’ve been a pressing team seven of the eight years we’ve been here and we want to get back to that this year. Our presses will take more intensity. We have more bodies, so we don’t have to worry about fatigue. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, we’re not going to put the ball in one pair of hands. We’re going to change it up.” Duke was picked fourth in the ACC preseason poll and 12th in the national coaches poll — not what Duke has been accustomed to, but a solid jumping off point for a bounce-back season.
RANKINGS BY HOOPGURLZ/GIRLS BASKETBALL REPORT
#2 Haley Gorecki Palatine, IL • Ranked #52
#14 Faith Suggs
Flossmoor, IL • Ranked #47
#3 Angela Salvadores Leon, Spain • Ranked #5
#15 Kyra Lambert Cibolo, TX • Ranked #9
#13 Crystal Primm
West Palm Beach, FL • Ranked #42
a blue devil tradition Since 1987, the University Club has been a home for our members -- alumni, faculty, staff & friends of Duke University.
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USA TODAY SPORTS IMAGES
Rookie Jahlil Okafor topped the 20-point mark six times in his first 10 NBA games, but his Sixers lost all 10
ne of the most interesting early-season NBA matchups for Duke enthusiasts took place Nov. 4 when the Philadelphia 76ers visited the Milwaukee Bucks. The contest featured the last two ACC rookies of the year — and Duke leading scorers — on the same court, as 2015 No. 3 draft pick Jahlil Okafor of the Sixers led his team into battle against 2014 No. 2 pick Jabari Parker of the Bucks.
The game marked an important milestone for Parker, who saw his promising rookie season cut short by a knee injury last December. After months of rehab and training, the contest against the Sixers marked his return to action, and although he had just two points and four rebounds in a closely-monitored 16 minutes, it was a good first step. His minutes increased in his next few games, and from a team standpoint, it should be noted that the Bucks won four of Parker’s first five games back on the floor. Okafor’s team did not fare as well in his early action, as the Sixers dropped their first 10 games of the year (and counting, at press time). But big Jah more than held his own in playing 34 minutes per contest while averaging 19.2 points and 7.3 rebounds. He was hitting just under 50 percent of his field goals and had six games of 20+ points. Okafor had 21 vs. the Bucks, in a 91-87 losing cause. Duke had 18 players on Opening Night rosters when the 2016 NBA season began, tied for the second most with Kansas, behind Kentucky’s leading 21 pros. The newest Blue Devils in the NBA included last year’s three freshmen stars Okafor, Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones, all first-round picks. The oldest included Mike Dunleavy (14th season), Luol Deng (12th) and J.J. Redick (10th). Dunleavy, Gerald Henderson and Kyrie Irving were still recovering from offseason surgeries when the new year tipped off. Henderson returned to action and debuted for his new team, Portland, on Nov. 11. Half the players on Duke’s NBA list won NCAA titles with the Blue Devils, either in 2001, 2010 or 2015. (NBA Blue Devils chart on page 21.) 19
USA TODAY SPORTS IMAGES
Rodney Hood averaged 8.7 points per game as a rookie in 2015, while dealing with several injuries and coming off the bench more often than starting. But he is enjoying a solid beginning to his second season, averaging 28 minutes per night as a starter in each of Utah’s first eight games while scoring at a 12.0 clip and hitting double figures six times.
Mike Dunleavy J.J. Redick
Gerald Henderson Lance Thomas Kyrie Irving Kyle Singler
Mason Plumlee Ryan Kelly
Rodney Hood Jahlil Okafor
Justise Winslow Tyus Jones
Los Angeles Clippers Miami Heat
Portland Trail Blazers New York Knicks
Oklahoma City Thunder Los Angeles Clippers Milwaukee Bucks
Portland Trail Blazers Los Angeles Lakers Sacramento Kings Milwaukee Bucks Utah Jazz
Philadelphia 76ers Miami Heat
*Career NBA games played entering 2015-16 season
Last Year NBA at Duke Games* 2002
2004 2006 2009 2010 2011 2011 2012 2012 2013 2013 2013 2014 2014 2015 2015 2015
749 537 391 168 256 244 206 167 152 111 4
25 50 – – –
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Front and Center
Sophomore Mike Ramsay steps up as a regular contributor at defensive tackle
Patchwork front six exceeds expectations By Al Featherston
There is no surprise about Duke’s success on the football field this fall. The Blue Devils, although not exactly the preseason favorites for the ACC Coastal Division title, were projected to be one of the contenders for the championship in 2015. But no one could have projected that one of the strengths of the team would turn out to be the team’s defensive front. That six-man unit — two ends, two tackles and two linebackers — looked to be a real question mark, if not a weak spot, going into the season. After five of the six starters from last season’s defensive front graduated, it looked like coach David Cutcliffe was trying to rebuild the unit with a bunch of seniors who had never started — many of those playing new positions — plus a handful of kids with little or no experience. Who could have guessed that all that gerrymandering would have created one of the strongest, deepest and most dependable Duke defensive fronts in the Cutcliffe era. Indeed, through eight games, the Duke defense was allowing 16.1
points a game, which was on pace to be the lowest average for a Blue Devil defense in 43 years. And even after North Carolina’s 66-point eruption, Duke’s opponent scoring average was still the best in over two decades. Obviously, the secondary in Duke’s 4-2-5 alignment played a large role in posting those dramatic stats. But the veteran secondary was supposed to be very good this season, even after losing star cornerback Bryon Fields to injury. But the defensive front? “I don’t know if I’d say I was surprised, but I am certainly pleased to this point,” Cutcliffe said. The Duke coach admits that he had a moment of concern in preseason, when sixth-year senior linebacker Kelby Brown — a former All-ACC player expected to anchor the defensive front — was lost with another knee injury. “Obviously, I had great concerns when Kelby got hurt,” Cutcliffe said. “I felt a little bit better when we had him as part of the front six. “But Dwayne Norman, Tinashe Bere, Xavier Carmichael and Ben
Edgar Cerenord (92) and Brandon Boyce (55) celebrate a big play, while Marquies Price (91) applies pressure to the quarterback
Humphreys — that’s not been a surprise, but it’s been a huge plus. A huge plus. I think Carlos (Wray) and A.J. Wolf and Kyler (Brown) and Britton (Grier) and Deion (Williams) have all really played like upperclassmen and led the way.” It’s fascinating to see how Cutcliffe and his staff have put this unit together. The one returning starter from last year’s defensive front is senior defensive tackle Carlos Wray. The 6-2, 290-pounder from Shelby, N.C., was a top sub in 2013 and started every game as a junior last season. He’s been one of the ACC’s best defensive tackles this season, improving his tackle total from 3.0 a game in 2014 to 3.9 this season. Through eight games, he’d already bettered his previous highs in tackles for loss and QB hurries. Wray has also provided some of the unit’s extraordinary flexibility. He started at defensive end against Virginia Tech, when Kyler Brown was out, and played on the outside of the defensive front for much of the game against Boston College and against Miami. Junior A.J. Wolf is following much the same path to stardom as Wray, his counterpart at defensive tackle. The 6-4, 270-pounder from Greenwich, Conn., was a strong backup last season as a sophomore, but he’s smoothly slid into the tackle spot occupied last season by Jamal Bruce and has played at a high level. He’s averaging more than four tackles a game and has recorded four tackles for loss. Sophomore Mike Ramsey is a player that Duke coaches have always talked about as one with immense potential. He started to show that potential when he got his first start at Virginia Tech, filling in at tackle as Wray moved to end. He set career highs in that game with eight tackles, two tackles for loss and his first career sack. He followed that up with five tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss against Miami, Duke’s three most productive defensive ends all have something in common — they all started at linebacker. That’s not precisely true. Fifth-year senior Britton Grier actually started at safety, then dropped down to linebacker, THEN to defensive end. But Grier said he shares something else in common with Kyler Brown and Deion Williams, his new mates at end. “I played defensive end in high school,” he said. “So did Kyler and Deion. I played a lot of positions in high school. So it wasn’t like a shock when we were moved. We were already kind of familiar with the defense. It was just learning different schemes and who you read different. It wasn’t that hard to switch.” The switch might not have been hard, but it was certainly successful. Grier, who did most of his work on special teams in his first three seasons, has nine tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and his first career sack this season. Brown, who actually started two games at linebacker as a freshman in 2012, had 23 tackles and two tackles for loss in the six games he played before being temporarily sidelined with an injury at Army. Williams, who got one start at linebacker in 2013, had recorded 25 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss through the Miami game. The same process has been at work at linebacker. Make no mistake — Dwayne Norman is a veteran. He played in 26 games, starting 12, in his first three seasons. He averaged 4.8 tackles a game and even had three sacks to his credit. But that was at strong safety. Norman made the switch to linebacker last spring. At 6-1, 210, Norman is not a conventional linebacker, but he brings exceptional quickness and surprising striking power to the position.
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The senior from Jacksonville, Fla., is playing at an All-ACC level. Through eight games, he was third in the ACC in total tackles, averaging 9.0 hits a game. He had 6.5 tackles for loss, second on the Duke team to All-America safety Jeremy Cash. Norman insists that his success — and the success of the defensive front as a whole — is no surprise to him. “Definitely not,” he said. “We all were together all summer and all spring, working out, throwing up, sweating and bleeding, all that stuff. I think that everybody on our team was ready for what was going to happen this season. We put in the work, so we were ready for the money to come, as they say. It was something we worked on and we’re proud it’s coming to the light … all our hard work.” Norman is a prime example of Cutcliffe’s belief in speed. To get it, he’ll move linebackers to defensive end and safeties to linebacker, even if he has to sacrifice size. “I don’t think that we’re necessarily sacrificing anything,” Norman said. “I just think we’re getting our best athletes on the field to make plays. Everybody that’s on the field is out there for a purpose. They have a specific skill set that we need.” Zavier Carmichael is not quite a conversion. Although recruited by many top programs as a safety, the 6-0, 220-pound sophomore has been a linebacker since stepping on the Duke campus. He saw extensive action last year, especially early (while senior C.J. France was injured), but he’s emerged this season as a much more effective, consistent player. Through eight games, he had already topped last year’s tackle total. He has two tackles for loss, a sack and an interception. THE FRESHMAN BRIGADE Six freshmen have made significant contributions to the defensive front so far this season. Brandon Boyce is a bit undersized at defensive tackle (6-0, 255), but he was first-team all-state in Florida’s top division and the defensive MVP of the state title game. He got a sack in his first college game and
already has 15 tackles and 3.0 tackles for loss in his part-time role. Redshirt freshmen defensive tackles Quaven Ferguson and Edgar Cerenord bring more size (both are over 300 pounds) and that’s been useful in the middle. They have 16 tackles between them and Ferguson has 1.5 tackles for loss. Defensive end Marquies Price enrolled in January and has already broken into the end rotation. He even started the North Carolina Central game. He got his first career sack at Miami — a play that resulted in a safety. Redshirt freshman linebacker Tinashe Bere has blossomed in his first season on the field. He replaced Carmichael as the starter alongside Norman after coming off the bench in the first three games. He’s averaging just short of six tackles a game, tied for the 10th highest average among linebackers in the ACC. At 6-1, 230 pounds, Bere has the best size among the Duke linebacker corps. “Tinashe is actually doing a lot better than I expected with this being his first year,” Norman said. “Every week, he’s growing more and more confident and every week, he’s making more and more plays. His development as a linebacker and as an overall football player has been tremendous. I think that by the end of the season, he’ll be one of the top linebackers in the nation.” Also in the rotation is Ben Humphreys, a true freshman linebacker from Santa Ana, Calif. The 6-1, 220-pounder was a four-star recruit and he’s lived up to that ranking with 15 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss, a sack and three QB hurries in his part-time role. The play of Humphreys highlights the depth of this defensive front. Cutcliffe has been able to use six tackles, four ends and four linebackers without missing a beat. The defensive front still had some formidable tests to deal with in November, but it’s clear that a unit that was generally disparaged in preseason has become a big reason that Duke reached bowl eligibility for the fourth straight season.
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A Soccer Life Renewed
Former Blue Devil Mike Grella is thriving with the Red Bulls â€” after nearly leaving the sport
By Leslie Gaber
MLS PHOTO BY NOAH K. MURRAY/ USA TODAY SPORTS IMAGES DUKE PHOTO BY JON GARDINER
he last 11 months of soccer have been some of the best in Mike Grella’s career, but the game hasn’t always been as kind to the former Blue Devil star. Now in the Major League Soccer record books with the fastest goal in league history and a candidate for MLS Newcomer of the Year, Grella has found life again after almost leaving the sport. Grella began his journey at Duke in 2005 and made a quick impression, scoring in each of his first two collegiate games. The striker and self-proclaimed “Italian-American Footballer” from Glen Cove, N.Y., went on to become a two-time All-America and was voted the ACC Offensive Player of the Year as a senior. He graduated ranked seventh in program history with 41 career goals and was also eighth in points. Selected 34th overall in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft by Toronto FC, Grella elected instead to venture overseas. He signed a full-time contract with Leeds United, an English club based in West Yorkshire. However, Grella became a “journeyman” of sorts, going on to play for a number of lower division clubs in England. While with Leeds, he went on loan to Carlisle United and Swindon Town, totaling nine goals overall in that time. After parting ways with Scunthorpe United at the end of the 2012-13 season, Grella briefly signed a contract with Vigorb F.F. of Denmark before deciding to head back to the other side of the pond. Following a stint with the North American Soccer League’s Carolina Railhawks stateside, he resettled in his home state. Twenty-eight years old and without a team, Grella faced a tough decision. The constant uncertainty of his career was proving challenging for him and his wife, with whom he would soon be welcoming a son, and he often found it difficult to maintain motivation. “I’d wake up in the middle of the night thinking what was going on in my career was a nightmare and I’d wake up the next day and it wasn’t,” he told YahooSports UK in September. “I was thinking this could not be happening. I knew I had so much talent but it was just not fermenting anywhere.” The Duke graduate considered retirement, looking at career paths in insurance and real estate. He was soon offered a position with an insurance company that seemed promising. “When you’re 27-28 and you’re staring at the end of your career it’s a scary moment,” he said. “I just thought my wife is pregnant and it’s time to settle down. I didn’t want to ever give my wife and my son a disadvantage because I’ve been following my dream a little bit too far now.” At the same time, though, New York City FC and the New York Red Bulls of the MLS both extended trial offers during preseason. Following much deliberation, Grella decided to give soccer another chance.
He impressed Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch and inked a contract with the squad. However, consistent minutes were hard to come by in the early going. Things began to fall into place after he came on to score against Columbus Crew SC in the fourth week of the season. From there, Grella’s confidence has only continued to build. “(We liked) Mike’s work ethic, his ability to play at the pace that we want to play at and his sharpness in tight spaces,” Marsch told MLSsoccer.com earlier in the year. “Ultimately what impressed all of us was his ability around the goal.” Grella rounded out the regular season with nine goals and seven assists while earning a spot on the Red Bulls’ first team. His resurgence — which includes a highlight-reel worthy score seven seconds into a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Union Oct. 18 for the fastest in league history — has coincided with the club’s success. Early in November, the Red Bulls, whose roster also includes another former Duke standout in Sean Davis (’14), extended their playoff push to the Eastern Conference finals. After nearly walking away from the sport, Grella has come to appreciate every part of his soccer journey and how it has led to the past year’s renaissance. “I don’t regret my time in Europe at all,” he said to YahooSports UK. “I made some really good friends and I learned a lot.” “I didn’t think I’d get this chance again,” he recently told the New York Daily News. “It’s been really fantastic.”
Program In The Making
Coach Marissa Young hits the ground running for Duke’s newest sports start-up: softball in 2017-18 By Cassie Calvert Don’t tell head coach Marissa Young to be patient for success. Just three months into her role at the helm of the brand new Duke softball program, Young has hit the ground running and is prepared to field a team that can hold its own in the competitive ACC from the very beginning. “I know everyone says I need to be patient and this is going to be a growing process, but I’m such a huge competitor,” Young said. “I want to be at the top right away. So my expectations are high.” The Atlantic Coast Conference is familiar to the Santa Ana, Calif., native, who served as an assistant coach at North Carolina for two years before accepting the position as head coach of the Blue Devils. Young primarily focused on the pitchers and catchers for the Tar Heels and helped guide the team to an NCAA Tournament appearance. Under her tutelage, the North Carolina pitchers posted a 3.30 earned run average with 234 strikeouts in 335.1 innings pitched. The former Big Ten Player of the Year at Michigan also served as an assistant coach at Eastern Michigan and the head coach at Division II Concordia University. While at Concordia, Young led the team from a 2-20 record to a 23-23 record in just three seasons. She accredits working with few resources and being responsible for every aspect of operations at Concordia — from dragging the field to painting the dugouts — with readying her to create an entirely new program at Duke. Throughout the interview process, the Blue Devil athletic department was continually impressed with the three-time collegiate All- America selection.
“She certainly stood out based on the success she had as a player,” associate director of athletics Todd Mesibov said. “Then when we met her it was clear instantly that she was going to be a great fit here. Her values were aligned with ours, both in wanting to build a championship program but also really in seeing the role she would play as a teacher and an educator.” The duality of Young’s role is something she attributes to the uniqueness of athletics at Duke, a key selling point as she has been on the recruiting trail this fall. With the program slated to begin competition as Duke’s 27th varsity sport in the 2017-18 season, Young is looking to bring in athletes in the 2016 academic year to begin preparing the program and contributing to the Duke legacy. “So many kids that are attracted to Duke are also looking at a lot of Ivy League schools, but they felt like they were sacrificing their athletic experience to go get that high level education,” Young said. “This is the one place where the magic happens in both places.” When two women’s sports were added to the Duke lineup in the late 1990s, softball was among the sports in consideration. The Blue Devils will now become the 12th softball program in the conference, a tribute to the growth of the sport both locally and nationally. But for now, there is much to be done. Brand new facilities will be built over the next two years on Duke’s East Campus, including a field, indoor cages and locker rooms. Young hopes to hire her first assistant coach by January and a second in the summer of 2016.
Recruiting also remains a key step for ensuring the pieces are in place for the competitive team Young hopes to cultivate. Six athletes are already committed to join the Blue Devil squad and the program will host softball camps on campus this fall — courtesy of the varsity baseball team’s facilities. The camps are a way for top recruits to visit campus and get a feel for the Duke atmosphere, an atmosphere Mesibov attributes to director of athletics Kevin White’s leadership. “It’s really a credit to Kevin White and the university administration that they made this investment and are adding a program at a time in college athletics where most schools are going the other direction,” Mesibov said. “It shows their passion and commitment to giving opportunities to students and to the value that it brings to a student’s college experience and life to be able to compete at the level we hope to compete at.” Young sees the department’s commitment in a tangible way, providing her a traveling budget for recruiting and beginning the planning for new facilities. Softball will also provide scholarships in its first year and is slated to field the NCAA maximum 12 within the first four years of varsity competition. Mesibov and the athletic department believe Young is the ideal person to build a well-equipped program that will compete for ACC championships regularly. And if you ask Young, sooner rather than later.
The Duke Compliance Office is responsible for education and enforcement of NCAA rules. NCAA rules are vast and complex, and we hope you read the information below as an introduction to a few of the issues that could arise as you root for the Blue Devils. If you have any questions about NCAA rules, please contact the Compliance Office at 919-613-6214. We truly appreciate your continued support of Duke University and Duke Athletics. Always remember to ask before you act. Question: After growing up and attending college in California, Charlotte Wilbur moved to Durham for a two-year internship. She made a small donation to the Iron Dukes in order to have access to Iron Dukes’ parking for football games. She then returned to California, where she has lived for the last 25 years. She occasionally watches a Duke football game on television, but she has not given money or otherwise supported the program since. Is Charlotte considered a “booster” under NCAA rules? Answer: Yes. Charlotte became a “booster” (or a “representative of athletics interests,” using NCAA terminology) when she made a donation to the Iron Dukes. Once an individual is identified as a “representative of athletics interests,” he/she retains that identity indefinitely. A “representative of the institution’s athletics interests” is an individual, independent agency, corporation, or other organization who is known to: •H ave participated in or to be a member of an agency or organization promoting the institution’s intercollegiate athletics program;
“I think it’s also true that this is a place that programs we’ve started have had success pretty quickly,” Mesibov said. “It’s a very good conference, there are a lot of good programs, so it’s not a sport where you can walk in with lesser caliber students and win championships. But I think we’re putting the pieces in place, starting with Marissa, to have a very competitive program.” The pieces are in fact coming together. The first is having the resources to build a program at Duke, where athletics and academics not only coexist but thrive off one another. Hiring a coach who knows how to win in the conference was the second. The growth of softball both nationally and in the ACC makes now the perfect time for Duke to emerge as a perennial competitor. But the best part for Young is not only the championships to come. “Just being able to create every detail about what Duke softball is going to stand for. It’s been a lot of responsibility but it’s been really rewarding,” Young said. “Just being able to see girls’ dreams come true of becoming a Duke softball player is really exciting.”
•H ave made financial contributions to the athletics department or to an athletics booster organization of that institution; •B e assisting or to have been requested (by the athletics department staff) to assist in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes; •B e assisting or to have assisted in providing benefits to enrolled student-athletes or their families; or •H ave been involved otherwise in promoting the institution’s athletics program.
Duke Compliance 919-613-6214 33
> The Final Round
Veteran coach excited about return to the court By Ryan Neu Duke women’s basketball assistant coach Al Brown began his coaching career as an assistant at Purdue, his alma mater, in 1967. Brown had not missed a game or practice during his career — a career that saw him coach at 11 different schools in both men’s and women’s basketball, help win three NCAA championships and appear in four national title games, eight Final Fours and 24 NCAA Tournaments.
He did not miss any time during those 47 years until he was diagnosed with a spinal fluid leak in December 2014. The condition forced him to take a step back from coaching and miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season. Brown began experiencing symptoms during a practice in October, but he did not know the extent of his injury at first since the pain was relegated mostly to his head. “I thought it was a sinus headache or something like that,” Brown said. “I didn’t do anything with it. I just lived with it.”
On December 22, 2014, Brown was diagnosed with a spinal fluid leak, an injury in which a hole is exposed in the dura, or casing, of the spinal cord allowing spinal fluid to seep out. Although the injury is not particularly common, another basketball coach, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, was recently diagnosed with the same issue. The injury prevented Brown from lifting anything heavier than about 15 pounds, yelling or running, and required a specialized procedure to correct. “It requires a form of surgery,” Brown said. “It’s not invasive, but it’s like a Band-Aid that you put on a cut or something. It patches the dura and then the dura reseals just like your skin would. “It heals and then the fluid stays in the spinal cord.” Because the leaks can be very small and difficult to find, it sometimes takes several attempts to bandage the proper spot on the dura. In Brown’s case, it took four tries to cover the leak in his spine and allow the injury to heal properly. With the amount of procedures and the time it required to heal properly, Brown was forced to deal with being absent from coaching. It was difficult for him at first to deal with being away from the team, and he used a day-to-day approach to his recovery. With each passing day, he understood that he was getting better and that it would take time to heal, but it was frustrating to not be present. “I missed the actual fun of working with the players on an intimate basis on the court, and I wasn’t able to do some things there or travel,” Brown said. “I missed games but missing practice and missing the contact with the players was the biggest thing because I think the world of them. They’re terrific young ladies and I just missed that part of it.” Now Brown is back on the court and fully participating in practice, meetings and games with the 2015-16 campaign underway. JON GARDINER This year’s team features a mix of experienced players returning from last season’s Sweet 16 squad and five freshmen guards who bring a variety of talents to the backcourt. “It’s going to be a great year,” Brown said. “We’ve got great, young talent. It’s going to be a fun year to develop that talent and develop this team. “I think we need to expect a lot from our veterans and certainly our post players because that’s where the most experience is. By the same token, we have five new guards, which we also have high expectations for, but they’re freshmen so that will take some time, but I’m really excited.”
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