Justise Winslow

Marshall Plumlee, Grayson Allen, Justise Winslow, Jahlil Okafor, Matt Jones,Tyrus Jones

Justise Winslow shows off Duke national championship ring (PHOTO)

Leave a comment

Duke is coming off of the 2015 national championship and the Blue Devils sent three players to the 2015 NBA Draft from that memorable group. One of those key pieces, Justise Winslow, took to Instagram on Monday to show off Duke’s new jewelry as it looks like their championship rings are in.

Forever.

A photo posted by Justise Winslow (@iamjustise) on

Never a bad look to secure a ring and now Winslow can focus on his career in the NBA. As for Duke, they were rated as highly as No. 2 this preseason by Athlon Sports, despite the loss of Winslow, Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones and Quinn Cook. A loaded 2015 recruiting class comes in for Coach K as the defending championships will have an uphill battle to repeat with an inexperienced team.

Justise Winslow commentates Duke’s top plays

(AP)
Leave a comment

Duke forward Justise Winslow is off to the 2015 NBA Draft after helping the Blue Devils cut down to the nets to the program’s fifth national title earlier this month. Before he concludes his one and only year in Durham, he left this for the Duke fans: him commentating the top plays of the 2014-15 season.

He actually has some pretty funny lines in the video above. Here are a few of his notable ones:

  • “Matt Jones with the stepback. Splashtown, USA!”
  • “Justise Winslow, also known as me, with the block.”
  • When his layup goes off the backboard for the Okafor dunk: “This was all planned. The pass. The finish. Wow, big fella.”
  • “Jahlil being Jahlil. Five players can’t guard him. UNC needs six, but they only have five, so it’s not enough.”

Duke commit Luke Kennard responds to Tyus Jones’ departure

Getty Images
1 Comment

NEW YORK – On Wednesday morning, Tyus Jones, the Final Four Most Outstanding Player, followed in the footsteps of teammates Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow, becoming the third Duke freshman to enter his name into this year’s NBA draft.

In light of the news of Jones’ decision, lone Jordan Brand Classic Duke commit Luke Kennard, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Franklin, Ohio, was repeatedly asked to address the state of the post-champion Blue Devils, whose key components have been stripped down and shipped to the NBA.

Kennard, who made waves earlier this season by passing LeBron James on Ohio’s all-time scoring list, acknowledged that, prior to the season, he assumed Okafor would likely be NBA-bound regardless of the season’s result. He also stated Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski explained, when it came to Jones and Winslow’s respective futures, the determining factor would be their late-season performances.

Even with the idea of all three breakout freshman jumping to the NBA implanted in the back of his mind, Kennard made it clear it was still a pill he had to choke down.

“It kind of stinks that they’re leaving, they’re great players,” Kennard said. “I played with Justise and Tyus on the USA Team, U-18, this past summer. It’s going to be tough but we’re ready to come in and just play good and prove [ourselves].”

The departure of Jones leaves the Blue Devils without a point guard to their name, just a season after playing with two — Jones and senior Quinn Cook — in their starting lineup. With the tarp officially being torn off the gaping hole, Krzyzewski is trying to convince either, or both, of 2016 targets Derryck Thornton and Jamal Murray, to reclassify and join Duke a year early.

However, if those plans end up fizzling, Kennard may be the Blue Devils’ fall-back to run the offense next season. Kennard, who played some point in AAU, as well as high school, told SNY.tv that assistant coach Jon Scheyer reached out to him and told him to, “keep working on that ball-handling,” because they may need it sooner rather than later.

If anyone knows about converted point guards, it’s Scheyer. After playing off the ball his first three years at Duke, Scheyer moved to the point in the midst of his senior season and led the Blue Devils to their fourth national title.

Kennard also admitted that, even though his sales pitch may not be as polished as Kryzyewski’s, he’s been doing some recruiting of his own. And while his efforts to lure Caleb Swanigan to Durham proved futile, Kennard said him and fellow Duke commit — as well as future roommate — Chase Jeter have been “going hard” at Brandon Ingram about joining them next season.

Ingram, ranked by Rivals as the No. 19 overall player in the 2015 class, would be a tremendous signing for Duke, but, as a small forward, he would not be the answer to their point guard woes.

While the final recruiting picture remains blurry, one thing is for sure: whether it’s from the two, off the bench, or as the starting point guard, Duke will need some major contributions from Kennard, along with the rest of their incoming class.

Duke freshman Justise Winslow will enter 2015 NBA Draft

(AP)
8 Comments
source: AP
(AP)

It comes as little surprise, but on Tuesday, Duke freshman wing Justise Winslow declared for the 2015 NBA Draft. After helping the Blue Devils to the national championship, the Houston native announced his decision with a release from the school.

“This year at Duke University, my dreams and aspirations have literally come true,” Winslow said in the release. “Since I was a kid in third grade playing for the Houston Jaguars, I envisioned one day playing at the collegiate level and winning a championship. If you fast forward 10 years and my dream became a reality. The friendships and relationships I’ve formed with those a part of the Duke and Durham community have been even better than winning the National Championship. With that being said, my family and I have decided that I should declare for the NBA draft this year. Considering the success and growth that I have experienced over this past year as a player and as a person, I believe it is time to take the next step on my career path and play at the highest level.”

The 6-foot-6 Winslow is projected as the No. 5 overall pick in the latest Draft Express 2015 NBA Draft mock draft. In 39 games during the 2014-15 season, Winslow averaged 12.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Winslow also shot well from the floor as he was 48 percent from the field and 41 percent from 3-point range.

After winning a national title and likely being a lottery pick, this is the easy choice for Winslow to make. He joins fellow Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor in the 2015 NBA Draft as freshman point guard Tyus Jones still has yet to make a decision on his future.

Weekly Awards: Sir’Dominic Pointer and Baylor shine in a wild week of hoops

Getty Images
Leave a comment
source:
Getty Images

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sir’Dominic Pointer, St. John’s

Pointer was sensational this week as the Johnnies landed two critical wins that have punched their NCAA tournament ticket. In a win over Xavier on Monday, Pointer had 19 points, nine boards, six blocks, four steals and three assists, following that up with 24 points, 10 boards, two blocks and two assists in a double-digit win over Georgetown on Saturday.

The two wins this week completed a stretch of seven games where St. John’s won six out of seven, a stretch that has taken this team from NIT-bound to the NCAA tournament. At one point in time, the Johnnies were just 3-6 in Big East play, and without the energy that Pointer has brought to this team, they would not have made this turnaround. As good as Kris Dunn, D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and about half of Villanova’s roster has been, Pointer has been the best player in the Big East this year, and he’s proven it of late.

THE ALL ‘THEY WERE GOOD, TOO’ TEAM

  • Aaron White, Iowa: Iowa landed a pair of critical wins for their tournament resume, beating Illinois and winning at Penn State in overtime. White had 29 points and nine boards against Illinois and followed up with 21 points and 14 boards over the weekend.
  • Justise Winslow, Duke: Winslow was terrific this week for the Blue Devils, just as he has been terrific for them for the past month. After posting 15 and seven in the overtime win at Virginia Tech, he went for a career-high 23 points, nine boards and three blocks against Syracuse. When Winslow plays like this, Duke is much more dangerous.
  • Derrick Marks, Boise State: Marks went for 30 points, five boards and five assists in a win over New Mexico, following that up with 18 points to lead the Broncos to a win at San Diego State. The win may end up getting Boise State into the tournament.
  • Jarrell Martin, LSU: The Tigers kept themselves on the right side of the bubble with wins over Auburn and Ole Miss, and Martin starred in both, averaging 21.5 points and 12.0 boards.
  • Trey Lyles, Kentucky: Lyles scored 18 points in back-to-back games, giving Kentucky yet another player that can take over a game.
  • Notables: Obi Emegano (Oral Roberts), Nigel Johnson (Kansas State)

TEAM OF THE WEEK: Baylor Bears

source:
AP Photo

Baylor picked up one of the most impressive wins of the season on Wednesday night, as they went into Hilton Coliseum, one of the toughest road venues in the country, and knocked off Iowa State. They followed that up with an impressive win over a short-handed West Virginia team, putting Scott Drew’s team in a great position to land a top three seed when the brackets are released in two weeks. I still feel like I don’t really have a grasp on this team, but at some point, you have to respect a team that can get to the offensive glass and shoot the three the way that Baylor can.

THEY WERE GOOD, TOO

  • Kansas State: The Wildcats knocked off the two best teams in the Big 12 this week, picking off both Kansas and Iowa State in Manhattan. All of a sudden. Kansas State — despite having a 15-15 record — has a chance to go to the NCAA tournament.
  • BYU: The Cougars did what they needed to do in order to have a chance at earning an at-large bid, by going into Spokane and knocking off Gonzaga. They’re not a lock for the tournament yet, but they’re close.
  • Maryland: The Terps beat Michigan on Saturday, a win that followed up their upset of No. 5 Wisconsin on Tuesday night. Dez Wells and Melo Trimble were fantastic all week long.
  • Villanova: While the rest of the potential No. 1 sees seem to be limping their way into the NCAA tournament, Villanova is playing as well as they have all year long. They beat Providence by 28 points on Tuesday, following that up with a 12 point win at Xavier.
  • Wichita State: The Shockers smacked around Northern Iowa in Koch Arena on Saturday, a win that earned them the Missouri Valley regular season title.
  • Notables: Iowa, Arizona, Boise State

SET YOUR DVR

  • No. 16 Oklahoma at No. 12 Iowa State, Mon. 9:00 p.m.
  • No. 20 West Virginia at No. 8 Kansas, Tue. 9:00 p.m.
  • No. 9 Notre Dame at No. 17 Louisville, Wed. 7:00 p.m.
  • No. 8 Kansas at No. 16 Oklahoma, Sat. 4:00 p.m.
  • No. 2 Virginia at No. 17 Louisville, Sat. 6:30 p.m.
  • No. 4 Duke at No. 15 North Carolina, Sat. 9:00 p.m.

Weekly Awards: Karl Towns shows us his best, Oklahoma State back in the Big 12 convo

Getty Images
Leave a comment
source: Getty Images
Karl Towns (Getty Images)

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Karl Towns, Kentucky

Kentucky put together a pair of solid wins this week, knocking off Georgia at home before going into the O-Dome and taking Florida’s best shot before beating the Gators. Towns, in those two games, played his best basketball since he arrived in Lexington, averaging 17.0 points, 10.5 boards, 3.0 assists and 2.0 blocks in the two wins.

It’s not just the numbers for Towns, because if he were consistently playing 31 minutes every night on a team where the offensive was built around him, he could probably put up numbers like that for an entire season. It’s the little things that he showed an ability to do, like a deft over-the-head pass for a dunk out of a double-team or reading a defender trying to anticipate how Towns would use a screen. We know Towns can block shots and we know that he can get to the offensive glass. We’ve even seen him do a decent job switching onto guards while defending ball-screens.

If there’s a knock on Kentucky this season, it’s that they don’t score all that well in half court settings. When Towns is making plays like that, the Wildcats are that much more dangerous.

THE ALL ‘THEY WERE GOOD, TOO’ TEAM

  • Marcus Posley, St. Bonaventure: The Bonnies went 2-0 this week, and Posley is the one to thank. He hit buzzer-beating game-winners in wins over No. 18 VCU and Davidson.
  • Joseph Young, Oregon: Young led the Ducks to wins over the Washington schools this week, averaging 30.5 points, 6.5 boards and 5.0 assists. He shot 22-for-37 from the floor and 7-for-14 from three, and suddenly, the Ducks are tied for third in the Pac-12, just two games behind Arizona and Utah.
  • Rico Gathers, Baylor: The Bears have won five of their last six games, including a pair of blowout wins against TCU and at West Virginia. Gathers had 31 points and 33 boards in those two wins.
  • Justise Winslow, Duke: Winslow went for 15 points and 10 boards in a win over Georgia Tech, following that up with 19 points and 11 boards in Saturday’s beatdown of Notre Dame. He’s now notched three straight double-doubles.
  • Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga: In a pair of road wins for the Zags, Wiltjer was the best player on the floor, averaging 25.5 points and 8.5 boards.
  • Notables: Schadrac Casimir (Iona), Jamel Artis (Pitt), Jalen Cannon (St. Francis NY)
source:
AP Photo

TEAM OF THE WEEK: Oklahoma State Cowboys

The Pokes landed a pair of critical wins this week, as they went into Texas and knocked off the Longhorns in overtime, following that up with a win over No. 8 Kansas at Gallagher-Iba Area. The Big 12 might be a bit overrated at this point, but there is no denying how much of a meat-grinder league play is in that conference. Winning two straight games against teams that could end up making the NCAA tournament — particularly when coming off of a loss — is huge. The wins also put Travis Ford’s club in a much better position in regards to the NCAA tournament.

THEY WERE GOOD, TOO

  • Virginia: The Cavaliers beat North Carolina and Louisville this week, solidifying their place at the top of the national rankings, but they also lost Justin Anderson in the process.
  • Iowa: The Hawkeyes bounced back from a three-game losing streak with blowout wins at Michigan and over No. 17 Maryland at home.
  • Boise State: The Broncos are suddenly in the bubble conversation and tied for first place (in the loss column) in the Mountain West after wins at Utah State and over San Diego State this week. They’ve won seven straight.
  • Arizona State: The Sun Devils beat arch rival Arizona at home on Saturday afternoon. It won’t be enough for them to get into the NCAA tournament picture, but a win over a rival can make a bad season worthwhile.
  • Harvard: The Crimson have now won four straight road games in Ivy League play, culminating with a win at Yale on Saturday night.

SET YOUR DVR

  • No. 11 Iowa State at No. 21 Oklahoma, Mon. 9:00 p.m.
  • No. 1 Kentucky at LSU, Tue. 7:00 p.m.
  • No. 19 Baylor at No. 8 Kansas, Sat. 1:00 p.m.
  • No. 18 VCU at George Washington, Sat. 2:00 p.m.
  • No. 7 Villanova at Butler, Sat. 6:00 p.m.