Duke returns one starter from last season’s 28-win team.
Though that player is all-American center Elizabeth Williams, it still came with some surprise Wednesday when the Blue Devils were picked to finish second in the ACC women’s basketball race behind Notre Dame.
If Duke is to live up to those expectations, the Blue Devils will need newcomers to help fill the gaps from the five players gone from last year’s ACC Tournament runner-up team.
Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said that group, featuring four true freshman, a redshirt freshman coming off an injury and a junior college transfer, is capable of such an accomplishment.
“No doubt we want to push people hard for sure,” McCallie said. “The whole team, really. I think the key is how the freshmen respond to it. So far they’ve really been grabbing hold of it.”
Of Duke’s top six scorers last season, only Williams is back this season.
Sylvia Hatchell has begun her 40th season as a college basketball head coach and, given what she’s been through the last year, it may be her most satisfying preseason camp. The Naismith Hall of Fame head coach at North Carolina, Hatchell is coaching the Tar Heels again after missing last season while receiving treatments for leukemia.
So far, Rasheed Sulaimon’s time in a Duke uniform has matched how the Blue Devils have fared as a whole.
Two years ago, as a freshman, Sulaimon played in every game, starting all but three, as Duke reached the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight.
Last year, struggling to find his role, Sulaimon started only 17 times, riding the bench one entire game, on a Duke team that went 26-9 and lost its only NCAA Tournament game.
Now the 6-4 guard is a junior, one of Duke’s veteran players on a team in which the play of its freshmen will go a long way towards determining how the season goes.
Sulaimon figures to have an important role but only if he’s mentally ready to accept it no matter what he’s asked to do.
NCCU frustrated by inability to put away Morgan State in fourth quarter of what turned into 21-20 loss. Eagles hope to close the lid on Savannah State on Saturday.
It says something strong about the football program Antonio King has over there at Hillside High School when Greg Little shows up on campus on a random Tuesday.
Little is an NFL free agent after handling business in college at North Carolina.
And he's a Hillside guy. King coached him.
King has produced plenty of Division I football players.
But Hillside's rough start this season might have some wondering if everything is OK in Hornets Nation.
Herald-Sun sports writer John McCann has more on the matter in "GameDay."
Oxford Webb coach Tony Midgette has implored his team to make plays on offense for the last two weeks but the Warriors haven’t gotten the message. On Friday, it resulted in their second straight shutout loss.
Northwood shellacked Big Eight 3-A Conference rival Cedar Ridge 45-6 Friday night in a performance so dominating that the visiting Red Wolves only gained 9 yards total offense in the first half and never moved the ball past midfield until the third quarter.
Quarterback Devonte Barker ran for 270 yards and two touchdowns and threw for a third touchdown Friday night as Kestrel Heights (2-4) did something no other Hawks’ team has ever done -- win two games in a single season.
Kendall Hinton threw for five touchdowns and 399 yards and Southern’s defense held Chapel Hill without an offensive touchdown Friday as the Spartans won the battle of Big Eight 3-A Conference unbeatens 38-12.
Southern and Chapel Hill, two of the area’s three remaining undefeated high school football teams meet Friday, Oct. 3 in Chapel Hill. A preview of Friday's seven area games.
Southern Spartans vs. Chapel Hill Tigers
Cardinal Gibbons took a 22-7 halftime lead in its Big Eight 3-A Conference opener at Cedar Ridge Friday and never looked back en route to a 39-7 win.
Southeastern 4-A Conference power Southern Pines Pinecrest (6-0) easily handled winless Jordan 48-6 Friday night on Jordan’s home turf.
South Granville quarterback Mitchell Blackley scored the go-ahead touchdown with 7:33 left on a one-yard keeper and the Vikings held on to beat Burlington Cummings 21-20 Friday.
Corey Young scored three touchdowns, including a 55-yard burst on a fourth-quarter punt return to help lead Person past Bartlett Yancey 34-20 Friday in Yanceyville.
When Shaquille Powell reached Duke’s locker room after the Blue Devils posted a hard-fought 20-13 win over Virginia on Saturday, Blue Devils coach David Cutcliffe was there to present him the game ball. Powell’s Blue Devils teammates gave him a standing ovation.
Morgan State's Robert Council finds Andrew King from 15 yards out with 36 seconds left to cap a fourth-quarter comeback from a 20-7 hole.
While showing flash and dash offensively as wins came more easily over the last two seasons, Duke quietly worked to develop a grittier, harder edge as well.
Saturday’s ACC Coastal Division showdown with Virginia (4-3, 2-1 ACC) is where that work paid off.
Duke’s defense limited the Cavaliers to one touchdown in the game and a mere field goal in the second half as the Blue Devils stopped Virginia twice in the fourth quarter to protect a seven-point lead.
The Blue Devils mixed in an effective running game offensively, with the running of Shaquille Powell and Anthony Boone keying a fourth-quarter touchdown drive that lifted Duke to a 20-13 win before a crowd of 28,131 at Wallace Wade Stadium.
“We weren’t always clicking on all cylinders offensively,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. “Defensively you might say the same thing, looking at the numbers. But you talk about clutch and consistently clutch plays? It was there.”
The Blue Devils (6-1, 2-1 ACC) played without committing a turnover for the second consecutive game. They averaged 5.2 yards per carry against a Virginia defense that entered the day tied for second in the nation by allowing just 2.7 yards per carry.
N.C. Central vs. Morgan State
Duke used an overpowering running game and tight ball security to pull an upset last Saturday at Georgia Tech. To win again over Virginia Saturday (12:30 p.m., WRAL), a similar strategy appears the best course of action if the Blue Devils hope to take key step toward winning the ACC Coastal Division championship for the second season in a row.
Rory McIlroy had everything go his way Thursday in the British Open. A lovely summer day in England with abundant sunshine and minimal wind allowed him to attack Royal Liverpool. He made half his six birdies on the par 5s and kept bogeys off his card. And on the day Tiger Woods made a promising return, McIlroy took the lead with a 6-under 66, his best score in nearly two years at a major.
Lance Stephenson is bringing his swag to Charlotte. The controversial shooting guard has agreed to a $27 million, three-year deal with the Hornets, according to a person familiar with the contract. The deal includes a team option for the third season.
Derek Jeter soaked in the adulation from fans and players during one more night on baseball’s national stage, set the tone for the American League with a pregame speech and delivered two final All-Star hits. ... Mike Trout's tiebreaking triple and later go-ahead double that earned him MVP honors. ... Also: Photos ... Box score ... Play-by-Play ... All-time MVP and All-Star Game records.
When the American League All-Star rosters were announced two weeks ago, Seattle Mariners third baseman and former North Carolina Tar Heel Kyle Seager was the consensus pick for biggest snub.
Former UNC soccer players reunited during a U.S. Open quarterfinal at WakeMed Soccer Park.
Recent Trinity School of Durham & Chapel Hill graduate Alaina Yeatts is the lone survivor among four area qualifiers at the Carolinas Golf Association’s N.C. Junior Girls’ Championship at Starmount Forest Country Club here Wednesday.
About two dozen photographers lined up in a row on the range Tuesday at Congressional, a reminder that golf is different when Tiger Woods is around. And that was before Woods even arrived to hit balls for 35 minutes.
Wie gets first major win
One week after missing U.S Open cut, Streelman is a winner
Lewis claims first Senior Division title