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No. 3-Ranked Prospect Paolo Banchero Commits To Duke

Aug 21, 2020 1:22 AM

Paolo Banchero, the No. 3 prospect in the 2021 class, announced his commitment to Duke.

The 6-foot-8 center chose Duke over Tennessee and Kentucky.

Banchero gives Duke its second top-10 commitment for 2021, alongside No. 9-ranked A.J. Griffin.

Myron Medcalf/ESPN

Tags: Paolo Banchero, Duke Blue Devils, NCAA, NCAA Commitment

Mike Krzyzewski Argues NCAA Can't Afford Not To Have 2021 Tournament

Aug 18, 2020 12:57 PM

Mike Krzyzewski believes the financial consequences of canceling the 2021 NCAA Tournament will be dire for collegiate amateur athletics.

"We're the thing that the NCAA is most concerned about because men's college basketball and the tournament pays for something like ... it produces 98% or more of the money for the NCAA," Krzyzewski said on Tuesday's edition of Keyshawn, JWIll & Zubin on ESPN Radio. "We need to have the tournament. We can't have it where two years in a row you don't have the NCAA tournament."

Per the NCAA's public audit, the group generated more than $867 million off the 2019 NCAA tournament. While Power 5 programs generate most of their revenue from football, the bulk of college basketball's 353 programs are in leagues that don't have access to that financial pipeline, which increases the value of the NCAA tournament.

Krzyzewski believes the NCAA must host a tournament in 2021, even if it doesn't start in March.

"I think that's where you should start," Krzyzewski said on ESPN Radio. "Make sure you have the tournament. It doesn't make any difference when it is. Because we don't even know when the NBA season is going to be next year. And we should look at them to see how they navigate the waters going forward. They've navigated them really well with the bubble."

Myron Metcalf/ESPN

Tags: Duke Blue Devils, NCAA

Kara Lawson Hired As Head Coach Of Duke Women's Basketball

Jul 11, 2020 10:50 PM

Duke women's basketball program hired Kara Lawson as its head coach on Saturday.

The 39-year-old Lawson was an assistant with the Celtics this season.

"Well, it is a dream come true for me. I have wanted to be a coach since I was a kid. To have an opportunity to lead a group of young women at a prestigious university like Duke -- I have run out of words; it is unbelievable and very exciting," said Lawson in a statement.

Lawson is the first Black head coach in the program's history.

"Throughout the process, it became abundantly clear that her authenticity, passion, contemporary vision and unwavering commitment to the student-athlete experience align seamlessly with the values of the institution," said athletic director Kevin White.

Mechelle Voepel/ESPN

Tags: Boston Celtics, Duke Blue Devils, NCAA, NCAA B-Ball IQ

Kara Lawson Is Leading Candidate To Take Over Duke Women's Basketball Program

Jul 11, 2020 12:13 PM

Kara Lawson is currently in talks to take over as the head coach of the Duke women's basketball program.

The 39-year-old, currently an assistant with the Celtics, is the leading candidate for the job.

"I've been asked not to comment on that. I mean, everybody knows what I think of Kara. She's unbelievable. When I can comment on it, I will," said Brad Stevens on Friday.


Tags: Boston Celtics, Duke Blue Devils, NCAA, NCAA Misc Rumor

Zion Williamson's Stepfather Allegedly Accepted $400,000 Payment Before Season At Duke

Jul 10, 2020 11:14 AM

The stepfather of Zion Williamson allegedly solicited and accepted a $400,000 payment from a marketing agent in October 2018, per a court motion and sworn affidavit filed by his former marketing representative's attorneys in federal court on Thursday.

Gina Ford's attorneys say the affidavit and other exhibits show that Williamson was ineligible when he played for Duke in 18-19 after his stepfather, Lee Anderson, received impermissible benefits from Slavko Duric, a Canadian marketing agent.

"[We] obtained newly discovered evidence impacting the issue of whether Zion Williamson was a 'student-athlete' that we believe makes it transparently clear, verifiable and indisputable that he was not a 'student-athlete' long before there was any communication or contact between Zion Williamson, and/or any third party acting on his behalf, and our clients," Ford's attorney, Alvin Pittman, wrote in a letter to Williamson's attorney on Monday.

"The alleged 'agreements' and driver's license attached to these papers are fraudulent, and neither Mr. Williamson nor his family know these individuals nor had any dealings with them," Williamson's attorney, Jeffrey Klein, said in a statement to ESPN. "We had previously alerted Ms. Ford's lawyers to both this fact and that we had previously reported the documents to law enforcement as forgeries, but they chose to go ahead with another frivolous filing anyway. This is a desperate and irresponsible attempt to smear Mr. Williamson at the very time he has the opportunity to live his dream of playing professional basketball."

Klein said in a letter to Pittman that a Google search revealed that Duric "purportedly attempted to defraud [Dallas Mavericks player] Luka Doncic ... using a scheme in which he forged Doncic's and his mother's signatures on a contract."

"The signatures on the documents you attach are also clearly fraudulent," Klein wrote in the letter. "The signature on the purported agreement between Maximum Management Group and Mr. Williamson does not match Mr. Williamson's signature on the Agreement he signed with your clients. And the signatures of Lee Anderson and Mr. Williamson on the Letter of Declaration are also inauthentic, as made clear by the fact that they are highly pixelated in comparison to the remainder of the document, and there is a break in the line beneath the 'Z' in Mr. Williamson's name where the signature was superimposed onto the document."

Mark Schlabach/ESPN

Tags: Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans, Duke Blue Devils, NCAA, NBA

Lawsuit Filed Against Zion Williamson Seeks Admission Of Several Illegal Benefits

May 11, 2020 1:52 AM

Gina Ford and Prime Marketing Sports, the former marketing company representing Zion Williamson, filed a lawsuit against Williamson, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), and two of its employees.

The lawsuit, seeking $100 million in damages, alleges that Williamson violated their five-year contract to sign with CAA.

Ford and her lawyer also want Williamson to admit that he received several improper benefits to attend Duke, including that Williamson's mother and stepfather "demanded and received gifts and economic benefits from persons acting on behalf of Duke University (directly and/or indirectly) to influence [Williamson] to attend Duke University to play basketball."

In a separate filing, Ford's attorneys also asked Williamson to disclose both his and his parents' addresses while he attended Duke. 

Williamson sued Ford and Prime Marketing Sports last June in an attempt to get out of his deal with the marketing company.

Williamson's attorneys claim that the deal violated North Carolina's Uniform Athlete Agents Act because Prime Marketing Sports is not certified by the NBA Players Association nor registered as an agent in North Carolina or Florida.

A U.S. District Court judge in North Carolina denied Ford's motion to dismiss Williamson's charges back in April. 

Mark Schlabach/ESPN

Tags: Zion Williamson, Duke Blue Devils, NCAA, NCAA Misc Rumor

Vernon Carey Jr. To Enter 2020 NBA Draft

Apr 11, 2020 12:44 PM

Duke freshman Vernon Carey Jr. announced that he would enter the 2020 NBA Draft.

Carey is ranked as the No. 28 prospect by ESPN, and the No. 4 center in the draft.

"I grew as a player and person, and feel prepared to take that next step. After an incredible season, I am excited to enter the 2020 NBA Draft. I will always appreciate everyone at Duke who invested their time and energy to make me better -- Coach K and our coaches, our entire support staff, our managers, the Cameron Crazies and so many others across campus. Duke is a special place and you already know I will be back soon to catch a game and support my brothers," said Carey in a statement.

Carey averaged 17.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks last season.


Tags: Vernon Carey, Jr., Duke Blue Devils, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft Declarations

Cassius Stanley Declares For 2020 NBA Draft

Apr 8, 2020 1:31 AM

Duke freshman Cassius Stanley announced that he will enter the 2020 NBA Draft.

The 20-year-old is ranked No. 50 on ESPN's Top 100.

Stanley averaged 12.6 points and 4.9 rebounds for the Blue Devils last season.

"It was an absolute joy to coach Cassius this season. I want to congratulate him and his great family on this decision. I've seen Cassius grow both as a player and person here at Duke, and I can't wait to see how his career develops at the next level," said Mike Krzyzewski.


Tags: Cassius Stanley, Duke Blue Devils, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft Declarations

Graduate Transfer Patrick Tape Recommits To Duke

Apr 6, 2020 1:28 AM

Graduate transfer Patrick Tape announced that he will recommit to Duke.

Tape originally committed to Duke almost two weeks ago, then reopened his recruiting last week.

"I thought I rushed into it at first, but I realized that it was the best fit for me," said Tape.

Tape averaged 11.3 points and 5.9 rebounds for Columbia during the 2018-19 season.

Jeff Borzello/ESPN

Tags: Patrick Tape, Duke Blue Devils, NCAA, NCAA Commitment

Grad Transfer Patrick Tape Decommitts From Duke

Apr 4, 2020 1:33 PM

Patrick Tape, a graduate transfer from Columbia who recently committed to Duke, has re-opened his recruitment.

There was no reason given for his decommitment.

Tape selected Duke over Syracuse, USC, and Ohio State.

Tape, who averaged 11.3 points and 5.9 during the 2018-19 season, is ranked in the top 10 of ESPN's graduate transfer rankings. 

Jeff Borzello/ESPN

Tags: Patrick Tape, Duke Blue Devils, NCAA, NCAA Commitment

Graduate Transfer Patrick Tape Commits To Duke

Jeff Borzello/ESPN

Tre Jones To Leave Duke For 2020 NBA Draft

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Mark Williams Commits To Duke

Jeff Borzello/ESPN

Jaemyn Brakefield Commits To Duke

Jeff Borzello/ESPN