Quinn Cook, Rasheed Sulaimon

Cook, Sulaimon shine in Duke’s first exhibition

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As we noted in our ACC preview, Duke needs a couple of guys to play well in the backcourt. One of them is presumptive point guard Quinn Cook. The other is freshman Rasheed Sulaimon. In today’s exhibition game against DII champion Western Washington, they got a chance to see how both players are progressing as the season draws near.

According to the Duke University Chronicle, Cook got off to a good start, playing 32 minutes and notching 13 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Six turnovers were cause for concern, especially given that they came against non-DI competition. Clearly, Cook is preparing himself to lead the Blue Devils this season, however.

Sulaimon got a big chance to show what he could do, playing several minutes that would have normally gone to the injured Seth Curry. He scored 20 points, had 3 assists and swiped two steals. The Chronicle’s BlueZone blog observed the game, and offered some details:

On the team’s first possession, he made a nice cut and layed the ball in, absorbing the contact. He finished the first half with a team-high 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting, making 2-of-3 from deep.

19:47 in the first half—On Duke’s first possession, Rasheed Sulaimon set the pace for the entire first half with a layup. Duke basketball head coach Krzyzewski praised Sulaimon’s read on the play, saying that he made a cut against the design of the play, but at the same time it was the same read on the defense.

The blog noted that the game was played at a fast pace, as the final 105-87 score would indicate. As such, guard play was clearly at a premium, but a perceived Duke advantage in the post was not quite as evident as expected. Mason Plumlee grabbed 11 rebounds in 33 minutes, but as a team, the Devils only outrebounded the DII Vikings 41-34. Hidden inside that number is an 18-14 deficit on the offensive boards.

Neither the good stuff or the bad stuff is a big deal right now. It just tells us what drills Mike Krzyzewski will be running on Monday. For Duke fans, it’s always good to see your team get the yips out in an early exhibition. For the rest of us, it just makes the upcoming season all that more tangible.

Can’t wait.

Colorado’s Tory Miller reprimanded by Pac-12 after biting opponent

Dusan Ristic, Tory Miller
AP Photo
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Colorado sophomore forward Tory Miller has been reprimanded by the Pac-12 and he also apologized for biting Air Force’s Hayden Graham earlier this week.

During Colorado’s win over Air Force on Wednesday, Miller was assessed a Flagrant 2 Dead Ball Technical Foul and ejected with 12:25 left in the second half after biting Graham during a loose ball.

In a release from the Pac-12, they announced reprimanding Miller, but he will not be suspended.

“All of our student-athletes must adhere to the Pac-12’s Standards of Conduct and Sportsman-ship,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in the release. “Regardless of Mr. Miller’s frustration and emotion, such behavior is unacceptable and he is being appropriately reprimanded.”

Miller also released his apology in the same release.

“I would like to apologize for my actions during the Air Force game. I would like to apologize to Hayden Graham, Air Force, my teammates and fans. It was a heat of the moment thing. I’m an emotional player, but I let my emotions get the best of me. I will use this as a learning experience and focus on helping my teammates and respecting my opponents for the rest of the season and beyond,” Miller said.

For Miller to not be suspended for this is good news for him and Colorado since he won’t miss any additional action, but did the Pac-12 make the right decision on this?


Michigan State’s Tum Tum Nairn battling foot injury

Lourawls Nairn Jr.
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Michigan State has climbed on the back of star senior wing Denzel Valentine early in the season but they’ll undoubtedly need more help as the season goes on if they want to sustain their current top-5 ranking. One of the keys to the Spartans could be the on-going health of sophomore point guard Lourawls ‘Tum Tum’ Nairn, who is battling a foot injury.

According to a report from Kyle Austin of MLive.com, Nairn has been putting on a protective boot the last few months to help battle plantar fasciitis as the guard has been playing in practices and hasn’t had his minutes reduced in games.

The injury looked like it was hurting Nairn’s early-season play, but he’s been very good in two games at the Wooden Legacy in California this week, so it could be that he’s getting more used to playing through the pain of the injury.

If Nairn is healthy and capable of contributing, he’s a huge boost to Michigan State because he’s one of the fastest players in college basketball and an additional ball handler on the floor. Through six games so far this season, Nairn is averaging 5.3 points and 4.7 assists per game as he’s been one of the team’s best distributors.

Plantar fasciitis can be a tough injury to fight through, so we’ll have to see if this affects Nairn as the season goes along.