Report: Duke offensive coordinator to take Florida post
Duke offensive coordinator Kurt Roper to join Gators staff
DURHAM — Duke athletic department sources said Tuesday afternoon that offensive coordinator Kurt Roper had been offered and will accept the same position on Will Muschamp’s football staff at the University of Florida.
The sources, who asked not to be named because the move had not been officially announced by either Duke or Florida, said discussions were underway to determine whether Roper would remain on the Duke staff through the Chick-fil-A Bowl on New Year’s Eve.
Florida has been in the market for an offensive coordinator since Brent Pease was fired on Dec. 1 after the Gators struggled to a 4-8 season, their first losing season since 1979. The embattled Muschamp also fired offensive line coach Tim Davis.
With Duke having won a school-record 10 games while averaging 31.6 points per game, Roper became one of the hottest national coaching prospects among the nation’s assistant coaches. He was a finalist for the Broyles Award, which goes to the nation’s top assistant coach.
Cutcliffe and Roper worked together in every season but one since 1996. The two first worked together at Tennessee from 1996-98, when Cutcliffe was the Vols’ offensive coordinator and Roper was a graduate assistant coach.
When Cutcliffe became Mississippi’s head coach in December 1998, Roper became the Rebels’ quarterbacks coach. He was at Ole Miss for all six of Cutcliffe’s seasons as head coach, adding the title of passing game coordinator for his final three seasons.
Roper joined Kentucky’s staff as quarterbacks coach in 2005 following Cutcliffe’s dismissal at Ole Miss. In 2006 and 2007, Roper and Cutcliffe were reunited as assistant coaches at Tennessee.
N.C. State stars highlight preseason A-A
RALEIGH — N.C. State’s Carlos Rodon has been named Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s projected national player of the year, and is joined on the Louisville Slugger preseason All-America first team by Trea Turner.
Junior Brett Austin earned a mention on the preseason All-America third team at catcher. He’ll join Rodon and Turner as the three team captains for the Wolfpack in 2014.
Rodon and Turner headlined College Baseball Newspaper’s first team ahead of last season to become the first Wolfpack teammates to be named preseason All-America first team by the same publication. The tandem now represents the only Wolfpackers to pull the feat twice.
“Carlos, Trea, and Brett are three of the best talents in a program that has produced many All-Americans,” Wolfpack coach Elliott Avent said.
“We are proud of the way they have dealt with lofty individual and team expectations during the last two years. Their leadership skills and understanding of the team concept is why their teammates unanimously elected them team captains for 2014. Their contributions to N.C. State cannot be overstated.”
Duke’s Parker named freshman of the week
DURHAM — Duke’s Jabari Parker was named the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week for games ending the week of Dec. 22 as selected by CBSSports.com’s Jeff Borzello, in partnership with the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. Parker topped the 20-point mark in both contests as Duke topped Gardner-Webb and UCLA to improve to 9-2 on the year.
Borzello’s weekly freshman watch column will continue to feature nation’s the top freshmen each week in addition to the national player of the week. Later in the season, the USBWA will release a midseason watch list before naming finalists for the award. This season marks the first time a weekly national freshman of the week will be selected and, each Tuesday through Feb. 25, a standout first-year player will be chosen for the honor.
Parker, a 6-8 forward from Chicago, began the week by going 7 of 12 from the field against Gardner-Webb, scoring 21 points and grabbing six rebounds. It was his performance against UCLA that helped him secure this week’s honor. Parker had 23 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, knocking down 7 of 13 from the field, 4 of 8 from three-point range, and 5 of 5 from the free-throw line. He made multiple big shots in the second half against the Bruins, helping Duke pull away for a 17-point win.
For the week, he averaged 22 points, eight rebounds and 2.5 assists while shooting 50 percent or better from both the field and the three-point line. He also was perfect from the charity stripe in two games, hitting all 11 of his attempts. Parker has scored at least 15 points in every game this season, eclipsing the 20-point mark in nine of the 11 contests.
Cutcliffe show to broadcast live from Atlanta
DURHAM — With Duke Football poised to play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl (8 p.m., Dec. 31, ESPN), fans can join head coach David Cutcliffe for the Duke Football Radio Show live from the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta on Monday, Dec. 30.
For $22, fans can be part of a buffet dinner and the show live from the Atrium Ballroom at the Duke team hotel, the Marriott Marquis located at 265 Peachtree Center Avenue. The buffet starts at 6 p.m. with the radio show airs live from 7-8 p.m.
Tickets to the event — presented by Cadillac — can be ordered for $22 each online at GoDuke.com. Registration ends Friday.
The show will be carried live locally on 99.9 FM.
Chick-fil-A Bowl tickets for the game against Texas A&M are available at www.GoDuke.com/tickets or by phone at 919-681-BLUE.
UNC 5th, Duke 10th in Learfield sports rankings
DURHAM — North Carolina ranks fifth and Duke 10th in the latest Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup Standings, released by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Tuesday.
Duke and UNC are among five ACC schools ranked in the top 10, joining Virginia (2nd), North Carolina (5th), Notre Dame (8th) and Florida State (9th). Stanford leads the overall rankings with 394.50 total points.
The Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution’s national finish in up to 20 sports — 10 women’s and 10 men’s.