Duke Archive

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Ranking all Duke one-and-done players under Coach K

In the modern era of college basketball, arguably no program has been more successful at the game of reeling in top talent and sending said talent to the NBA at warp-speed than the Duke Blue Devils. See a list of the 19 one-and-dones ranked by clicking here.

In the modern era of college basketball, arguably no program has been more successful at the game of reeling in top talent and sending said talent to the NBA at warp-speed than the Duke Blue Devils. See a list of the 19 one-and-dones ranked by clicking here.

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Duke lands 519 on ACC academic honor roll

ACC logo -blue on white

Duke led all schools with 519 student-athletes recognized, and Notre Dame followed with 460. Virginia saw 427 student-athletes achieve Honor Roll status, followed by North Carolina with 405. …read more

Source:: WRAL

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Tar Heels come up short against Zion

Well, Zion Williamson did make a difference, just barely. In a back-and-forth contest, North Carolina came up short as Williamson tipped in his own miss with just 30 seconds left and Duke hung on to defeat the Tar Heels 74-73 in the ACC Tournament semi-finals. UNC coach Roy Williams said Williamson put on his Superman jersey to help lead the Devils over the Heels. When Williamson could get the ball down low, he was unstoppable as the freshman finished with 31 points and 11 rebounds. But this is Carolina-Duke, not just Carolina-Zion and the Tar Heels led the Devils 71-67 […]

Well, Zion Williamson did make a difference, just barely. In a back-and-forth contest, North Carolina came up short as Williamson tipped in his own miss with just 30 seconds left and Duke hung on to defeat the Tar Heels 74-73 in the ACC Tournament semi-finals.

UNC coach Roy Williams said Williamson put on his Superman jersey to help lead the Devils over the Heels. When Williamson could get the ball down low, he was unstoppable as the freshman finished with 31 points and 11 rebounds.

But this is Carolina-Duke, not just Carolina-Zion and the Tar Heels led the Devils 71-67 after Luke Maye drove by Williamson, scored and was fouled, completing the three-point play with 2:46 left.

UNC's Luke Maye drives on Duke's Zion Williamson, who reaches in. (UNC Sports Information photo.)

UNC’s Luke Maye drives on Duke’s Zion Williamson, who reaches in.
(UNC Sports Information photo.)

But then Williamson spun down low, scored and drew UNC’s Garrison Brooks’ fifth foul. After the free throw, Duke got within one at 71-70.

The Heels failed to score but seemed to have it back when the ball slipped through Maye’s legs right into the hands of Duke’s Jordan Goldwire under the basket who put it in for a 72-71 Devils lead.

“He came up with a huge bucket – I don’t know how he got it,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

Neither team scored on their next possessions but UNC’s Nassir Little picked up a loose ball and dunked it through with 50 seconds left to give Carolina a 73-72 lead.

That’s when Williamson scored on his own miss to give Duke the lead for good. But Carolina had its chances. UNC’s Cam Johnson, who was hot early on, missed a three from the left wing on a shot that looked like it was going to go through with 13 seconds left.

After R.J. Barrett missed a pair of free throws for Duke, Carolina had a chance at the end. Coby White couldn’t find a route to the basket so he heaved up a long two while slipping. Nonetheless it almost went in with a couple of seconds left. Little had a chance at a tip but it wasn’t close and Duke had won, avoiding a third loss to the Tar Heels this season.

“They (Duke) did a good job defensively and we didn’t have a chance to attack the basket,” Coach Williams said.

Johnson said “a couple of little plays made the difference. Our guys fought hard but we could have played better.”

In fact, the Tar Heels were probably lucky to be in it after hitting only four of 27 three-point shots.

“If you go four for 27 from three, you deserve to get beat,” Coach Williams said, adding that you can’t rely on the jumpshot. He said the Tar Heels took bad and quick shots in the first half. “You’d have thought there was a three-second shot clock,” he said.

Carolina had built a 13-point lead in the first half at 33-20, mostly behind the hot hand of Johnson, who had 16 first-half points. But Duke got some stops defensively and Williamson started to take over.

Duke went on a 24-11 run at the end of the first half to tie it 44-all going into the break.

Carolina managed just one field goal in the first seven minutes of the second half to fall behind by six at 52-46. But the Heels came up with three steals and buckets in a row to tie it and force a Duke timeout.

It went back and forth the rest of the way, ending with that final flurry over the last three minutes.

“Our season is not over,” Coach Williams said. “We didn’t play well enough to win.”

For his part, Coach K said it was “vintage ACC Duke-Carolina” and that both teams played hard and well, particularly on defense in the second half.

Both teams went multiple minutes without scoring in the second half.

Joining Williamson in double figures for Duke were Barrett, who had 14 points, and Tre Jones, who had 11. Johnson led the Tar Heels with 23, but went cold in the second half. Maye had yet another double-double as he scored 14 points and hauled in a game-high 13 rebounds. White scored 11 but missed all six of his three-point attempts.

The Tar Heels fall to 27-6 and await its NCAA Tournament bid while Duke, now 28-5, play Florida State for the ACC Tournament crown.

For more on the game, including a box score, please click here.

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Seniors lead Heels over young Zion-less Duke

North Carolina seniors Luke Maye and Cam Johnson led the Tar Heels to an 88-72 upset at No. 1 Duke, who played all but 36 seconds without super freshman Zion Williamson. (2/20) Without the injured Williamson clogging up the paint, Carolina went inside for points, especially after the Heels missed their first 12 three-point shots of the game. Maye and Johnson combined for 30 of Carolina’s 42 first half points with only three coming from beyond the arc. In fact, the Heels had a 34-18 edge in points in the paint en route to a 42-32 halftime lead. Just 36 […]

North Carolina seniors Luke Maye and Cam Johnson led the Tar Heels to an 88-72 upset at No. 1 Duke, who played all but 36 seconds without super freshman Zion Williamson. (2/20)

Without the injured Williamson clogging up the paint, Carolina went inside for points, especially after the Heels missed their first 12 three-point shots of the game.

Maye and Johnson combined for 30 of Carolina’s 42 first half points with only three coming from beyond the arc. In fact, the Heels had a 34-18 edge in points in the paint en route to a 42-32 halftime lead.

Just 36 seconds into the game, Williamson slipped while dribbling across the free throw line, with his foot splitting right through the shoe. The knee took the brunt of the twisting fall.

“Let’s be honest,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “When the big fella goes out of the game it changes a lot for them. I hated that – it was a huge blow for them.”

Coach Mike Krzyzewski agreed, saying that they had prepared for the game based on having Williamson, who is expected to be picked first in the NBA draft, in the game.

“He and R.J. (Barrett) are the key guys,” Coach K said. “It’s tough trying to figure it out while playing an outstanding team.”

Carolina took even more control of the game in the first few minutes of the second half. A 17-5 run in the first four minutes had the Heels in command by 22 points at 59-37. Johnson scored eight during that run but was shaken up and out of the game for a couple of minutes after taking a hard fall on a fastbreak layup.

Duke stayed in it by hitting four of its next five shots, including two three-pointers and an old-fashioned three-point play by Cam Reddish to cut the deficit to 15.

Even with an effective pressure defense that rattled UNC freshman point guard Coby White, who turned the ball over six times, the Devils never got closer than 13 the rest of the way.

One key stretch, led by backup point guard Seventh Woods, kept the Devils at bay. Woods hit a drive-by layup, hit a free throw, went coast to coast for a layup and drew a charge. After UNC’s Brandon Robinson’s pass to Garrison Brooks for a bucket, the Heels were in command by 19 points at 76-57 with 6:35 left.

But it was Maye, who scored 30 points and hauled in 15 rebounds, and Johnson, who had 26 points, that received the most praise from both coaches who each independently called the veteran leaders “sensational.”

Maye was aggressive inside while Johnson hit mid-range jumpers and drove to the hoop to create buckets. The only other Tar Heel in double figures was Brooks, who scored 14 points and collected eight rebounds.

The lead moves the Tar Heels into a three-way tie with Duke and Virginia for first place in the ACC.

Carolina improves to 21-5 and 11-2 in the conference while Duke, led by freshman R.J. Barrett’s 33 points, falls to 23-3 overall and 11-2 in the ACC.

The Tar Heels host Florida State Saturday afternoon while Duke plays at Syracuse Saturday evening.

For more on the game, including a box score, please click here.

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Tar Heels work up big lead, hold on to stop Duke

North Carolina worked up a 16-point lead with a pair of runs in the second half but had to hold on to survive a late 13-0 Duke run to make it to the ACC Championship game and take the season series against the Devils, 74-69. “I have nothing to say about the last five minutes,” UNC coach Roy Williams said joking that an assistant coach was coaching during that time. “It was just sloppy… But we made enough plays. We’re still playing so I’m happy.” Coach Williams said for most of the game the Tar Heels were making key shots […]

North Carolina worked up a 16-point lead with a pair of runs in the second half but had to hold on to survive a late 13-0 Duke run to make it to the ACC Championship game and take the season series against the Devils, 74-69.

“I have nothing to say about the last five minutes,” UNC coach Roy Williams said joking that an assistant coach was coaching during that time. “It was just sloppy… But we made enough plays. We’re still playing so I’m happy.”

Coach Williams said for most of the game the Tar Heels were making key shots and playing well defensively.

Carolina forced 18 Blue Devil turnovers.

“Turnovers hurt us, and their offensive rebounding,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said adding that his team showed what it was made of over the last six minutes. “We had a chance but we needed to do that earlier.”

The Tar Heels upped a five-point halftime margin to double figures when Theo Pinson, who was hindered with foul trouble, scored on an up-and-under shot to put the Heels up 54-43.

A Kenny Williams three midway through the half extended the lead to 14 at 62-48. Carolina got its biggest lead of the game on a short jumper by Luke Maye that made it 72-56 with 5:31 to go.

But then Carolina went cold and Duke, in desperation mode, forced four UNC turnovers in five possessions. All the while the Devils were scoring on the offensive end. A Grayson Allen three cut it to 72-66 with a three from the corner with 1:48 left. After Maye turned the ball over with a minute left, Duke’s Gary Trent popped in a three with 50 seconds left to bring the Devils to within three at 72-69.

Maye turned it over yet again with 23 seconds left but UNC’s Williams drew a charge on Duke’s Allen with 18 seconds left. Carolina gave it right back to Duke when Theo Pinson, who was double teamed, lost the ball out of bounds with 11.8 left.

Allen, leaning in to try to draw a foul, missed a three and Pinson got the rebound with 3.2 left. He was immediately fouled. Pinson, facing a one-and-one situation, hit two free throws to wrap it up and give the Tar Heels their first points in nearly five and a half minutes.

After a slow start to the game by both teams, Carolina’s Cam Johnson, Joel Berry and Kenny Williams all drained threes in one minute of game action to give the Heels a 13-3 lead five minutes in.

The Tar Heels extended that lead to 13 before Duke, which started two of 10 shooting with seven turnovers, got hot fueled by five blocked shots.

The Devils, on an 8-0 run, took the lead at 27-26 on a Marvin Bagley hook with less than two minutes left in the half. But after a long Berry three gave Carolina the lead back, the Heels worked the lead up to seven before settling for a 36-31 halftime lead.

During that late run, Grayson Allen was Grayson Allen and picked up a flagrant foul when he poked his butt out to knock down Garrison Brooks, who hit both free throws.

Brooks, off the bench, scored 10 points but the Tar Heels were led by Maye’s 17 points and 10 rebounds. Berry scored 13 while Williams and Cam Johnson added 10 each as five Tar Heels scored in double figures.

Trent led four Blue Devils in double figures with 20 points.

The Tar Heels, now 25-9 overall, play Virginia for the ACC Tournament Championship Saturday night. Duke goes into the NCAA Tournament with a 26-7 record.

For a box score and more on the game, please click here.

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Cold Carolina collapses against hot Duke

A cold-shooting North Carolina team collapsed as Duke drained eight threes in the second half for a come-from-behind 74-64 victory over the Heels. The loss was costly as it dropped the Tar Heels from a second seed to the sixth seed in next week’s ACC Tournament. Carolina will also probably face Syracuse, who would have to get by Wake Forest, to get a home crowd advantage at the ACC Tourney, held this year in New York. The loss also likely dropped the Heels from a chance for a No. 2 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. Things looked good for […]

A cold-shooting North Carolina team collapsed as Duke drained eight threes in the second half for a come-from-behind 74-64 victory over the Heels. The loss was costly as it dropped the Tar Heels from a second seed to the sixth seed in next week’s ACC Tournament.

Carolina will also probably face Syracuse, who would have to get by Wake Forest, to get a home crowd advantage at the ACC Tourney, held this year in New York. The loss also likely dropped the Heels from a chance for a No. 2 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Things looked good for the Tar Heels at the half as they managed to take a 10-point lead into the locker. A 14-4 run at the end of the half, which started with a Luke Maye three and ended with a Kenny Williams three, gave the Heels a 35-25 cushion in Durham on Grayson Allen’s senior night.

In the second half, Carolina upped its margin to 13 on a Cam Johnson long three from the left wing with just under 17 minutes to play.

After that, Tar Heel fans would have been well served to watch something else on TV.

Duke’s Marvin Bagley took over the game for a few minutes to erase the Carolina lead. Bagley scored 10 points over the next five minutes as he aggressively went to the basket and even drained a three from the top of the key.

Gary Trent completed a 23-8 Duke run with a three pointer that put the Blue Devils up 52-50 midway through the second half.

Yet another three (Carolina shot an exhorbitant 31 of them), this one by Williams put the Heels back up 58-57 with 7:25 to go. But it turned out to be Carolina’s last lead of the game.

Allen, who scored 15 points in his senior game, hit a three from the left corner to put Duke up 60-58. Trent hit another three and Wendell Carter hit one and Duke was in control at 70-62 with 3:33 left.

The Devils hit eight of their last 11 three-point attempts. In fact eight of their last 15 baskets were from beyond the arc. Meanwhile Carolina was cold from three-point land. Carolina’s catalyst, Joel Berry, missed all seven of his attempts and the Heels finished just eight of 31.

“We played timid in the second half and I think that’s why the ball didn’t go in like we want it to,” UNC’s Kenny Williams said.

UNC coach Roy Williams seemed to agree but said it differently. “In the second half Duke was much more aggressive than we were,” he said. He added that after back-to-back threes, including one from Bagley, “things started snowballing on us.”

Bagley threw most of the snowballs as he led Duke with 21 points after getting only three in the first half. “Marvin went nuts for a while and put us on his back,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

While Coach Williams would have liked fewer three-point attempts from the Tar Heels, they were missing mid-range open shots as well. “You’ve got to make plays, gotta make shots on big-game days,” he said.

The Tar Heels, now 22-9 overall and 11-7 in the ACC, tied for third in the league but lost tiebreakers with Miami, Clemson and NC State to fall to the sixth seed. Duke goes into the ACC Tourney with a 25-6 record and a No. 2 seed.

For a box score and more on the game, please click here.

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Carolina takes care of the ball and rival Duke

North Carolina, which tied a school record for fewest turnovers in a game, came from 12 down to take control in the second half and defeat rival Duke 82-78. The Tar Heels, underdogs at home, survived a 14-4 Blue Devil run in the first half and a five-minute scoring drought in the second half. UNC coach Roy Williams pointed to his team’s assist-to-turnover (15 assists, two turnovers) ratio as a key. “We didn’t shoot exceptionally well but we scored when we needed to,” Coach Williams said. “Except for a stretch of five or six minutes where we didn’t score, we […]

North Carolina, which tied a school record for fewest turnovers in a game, came from 12 down to take control in the second half and defeat rival Duke 82-78.

The Tar Heels, underdogs at home, survived a 14-4 Blue Devil run in the first half and a five-minute scoring drought in the second half.

UNC coach Roy Williams pointed to his team’s assist-to-turnover (15 assists, two turnovers) ratio as a key. “We didn’t shoot exceptionally well but we scored when we needed to,” Coach Williams said. “Except for a stretch of five or six minutes where we didn’t score, we played exceptionally well in the second half.”

Having cut a 40-28 deficit to just four at 49-45 at the half, the Tar Heels stormed out of the locker room to outscore the Devils 16-2 to take control at 61-51.

During that run, where the Heels scored on seven straight possessions, Kenny Williams and Joel Berry hit back-to-back long three pointers.

Williams, who tied a career-high 20 points, hit six of 12 threes while Cam Johnson, the transfer from Pitt, hit four of eight three pointers. Johnson, who scored 18 points, added a career-high 13 rebounds.

Rebounding was a big difference in the second half as the Tar Heels went from a five-rebound deficit in the first half to a six-rebound advantage for the game. Carolina picked up 15 offensive rebounds which helped control the clock a bit late when the Tar Heels were having trouble scoring.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said the story of the second half was the 15 offensive rebounds for Carolina. “It showed how hard they were going after it,” Coach K said of the Heels.

During the biggest drought, Duke cut a nine-point Carolina lead to just two at 74-71 with under five minutes to go. The Tar Heels had missed 13 field goal attempts in a row before Johnson drained a three from the left wing to put Carolina up 77-71 with 3:07 to play.

Berry added a couple of free throws to give the Heels a 79-71 cushion with 2:29 to go.

The Tar Heels had a couple of chances to wrap it up but Theo Pinson missed a dunk and Williams missed a contested layup, opening the door for Duke.

A Marvin Bagley dunk pulled Duke to 79-75 with 34 seconds to go. A Berry free throw and a flying dunk straight down the lane by Pinson with 12 seconds to go wrapped it up.

Joining Williams and Johnson in double figures were Berry, who scored 21 despite missing seven of eight threes, and Luke Maye who added 15.

Pinson, the other starter, only scored four points but he hauled in seven rebounds, dished out four assists, and had two steals and a block.

Gary Trent led Duke with 16 points while Bagley added 15 points and 13 rebounds.

The Tar Heels, who travel to N.C. State Saturday, improve to 18-7 and 7-5 in the league while Duke, who have lost two in a row, falls to 19-5 and 7-4 in the ACC.

For a box score and more on the game, please click here.

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Duke, with more experience and offensive targets, expects to be much better than a year ago

Despite coming off a 4-8 season that produced just one ACC win, Duke feels like it can win the Coastal Division but before verbalizing that goal, Coach David Cutcliffe wants the team to tell him its purpose – and the players have until July 30 to come up with an answer. “I want to know what their purpose is and then we’ll get specific about the goal,” Coach Cutcliffe said at the ACC Football Kickoff event in Charlotte Friday. “If you don’t have a real purpose, you’re not going to reach goals.” He gave the example of being stranded in […]

Despite coming off a 4-8 season that produced just one ACC win, Duke feels like it can win the Coastal Division but before verbalizing that goal, Coach David Cutcliffe wants the team to tell him its purpose – and the players have until July 30 to come up with an answer.

“I want to know what their purpose is and then we’ll get specific about the goal,” Coach Cutcliffe said at the ACC Football Kickoff event in Charlotte Friday. “If you don’t have a real purpose, you’re not going to reach goals.”

He gave the example of being stranded in the middle of the ocean with a goal to get to dry land. “If your purpose isn’t first to live, you don’t get there,” he said. “Those are the people who die.”

The 2013 team that won the Coastal Division came to Cutcliffe and told him their purpose was to prove that you can win big at an institution that has high academic and behavior standards.

“They said, ‘we want to make believers out of people that you can do every little thing right and win big. How mature is that? That’s what you want to hear as a coach,” he said. “By how they worked on the field, you could tell they meant it. You knew we had a chance to be a championship football team.”

This year’s version of the Blue Devils better prepare an answer because he’s asking them the question when they get together next on July 30.

Duke QB Daniel Jones.

Duke QB Daniel Jones.

Quarterback Daniel Jones, who took over when starter Thomas Sirk went down with a season-ending injury prior to the first game, admitted that he doesn’t know if he can define the purpose right now. But he does know this team has been working hard in the offseason and is enjoying it.

“You see it in how people are working,” Jones said. “This team is unique in that they are enjoying the process of working toward the season. We’re not going out and working because we feel we have to do it. Everybody is enjoying doing it.”

Cutcliffe might not want to talk about goals yet but Jones, a sophomore who was considered a quiet leader last season, isn’t shy about it.

“We feel like we have an opportunity to play some good football and be at the top of the division,” he said. “It’s the goal of every team to win the division and be at the top of the ACC. That’s a big emphasis of ours. We certainly feel like we’re winning each game on our schedule.”

Duke is considered deeper and more talented at skill positions than it has been in a while, and the Coastal Division is expected to be more wide open this season, but expectations still aren’t high for the Blue Devils.

“We were hurt by what occurred a year ago,” Cutcliffe said. “We should have a little bit of a chip on our shoulder. It’s ok to operate that way at times. But right now the most important expectations are ours and what we believe. We’ve raised expectations about ourselves…

“When we do as well as we should, and that starts with me, we’re going to have a good football team.”

Duke has seven returning starters on offense including receivers Johnathan Lloyd and T.J. Rahming Jr. But there are other receivers expected to make an impact including Chris Taylor (29 catches a year ago), Quay Chambers (15 catches), Aaron Young (11 catches), tight end Daniel Helm (21 catches) and tight end Davis Koppenhaver (17 catches). Add in redshirt freshman Scott Bracey, who Jones said has been impressive during informal workouts, and you have a lot of weapons.

“Advancing down the field passing is important to us this year,” Jones said. “Being an explosive offense with down-the-field passing is an emphasis of ours. We have the speed to do it. The protection is there. It’s more about timing than anything else.”

Cutcliffe said he believes his team will put more points on the board this year with Jones starting his second season under center. “He’s got the arm. He’s got all the tools,” he said. “He knows this is a very gifted group of fast receivers.”

He said sometimes last year Jones was just “chunking the ball” down the field. “There has to be a purpose in the deep ball,” Cutcliffe said echoing the “purpose” theme. “We played some effective offense last season but we didn’t have enough explosive plays. We emphasized that in the spring.”

Jones emphasized it during informal summer workouts as well, saying that he hopes the deep ball will open up the running game.

Cutcliffe said he likes his running backs, especially his returning starter at tailback. “I’m anxious to see Shaun Wilson,” he said. “I feel strongly about his approach and his talent. The biggest consistency we have to have is the mechanics of blocking.”

The running game is better right now than it was a year ago, Cutcliffe said. “We have a quarterback that can beat you running and a group of backs I’m excited about,” he said. “Our best chance to be a contender is to run the football at a high level.”

But Cutcliffe knows it all starts at the quarterback position and he’s impressed with what he’s seen from Jones. He said Jones has been “significantly different” this season and that even offensive linemen have come to him touting what Jones is doing in the offseason.

“In conversations we have football wise, it’s like talking to a different guy,” Cutcliffe said adding that Jones has what he calls “a functional understanding” of what to do on the field. “I probably shouldn’t reveal this – I had Peyton (Manning) have some conversations with him at camp and report back to me about what he thought and he was all thumbs up.”

After an underwhelming season a year ago, team expectations are all thumbs up as well but goals will have to wait until the players prove to Coach Cutliffe that they have a purpose.

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Swofford takes a victory lap after perhaps ACC’s best season ever

Despite off the field concerns hovering over some Atlantic Coast Conference schools, ACC Commissioner John Swofford took a victory lap of sorts in addressing the media at the ACC Football Kickoff event in Charlotte. And why not? ACC teams won the NCAA football and basketball championships. The Heisman Trophy winner and runner-up came from the ACC. And generally, the ACC did extremely well against non-conference foes in most all sports. In addition, the league’s graduation rate for the last school year was 89.3 percent, which is five points ahead of the national average and ahead of the other four major […]

Despite off the field concerns hovering over some Atlantic Coast Conference schools, ACC Commissioner John Swofford took a victory lap of sorts in addressing the media at the ACC Football Kickoff event in Charlotte.

And why not? ACC teams won the NCAA football and basketball championships. The Heisman Trophy winner and runner-up came from the ACC. And generally, the ACC did extremely well against non-conference foes in most all sports.

In addition, the league’s graduation rate for the last school year was 89.3 percent, which is five points ahead of the national average and ahead of the other four major conferences.

“It was certainly one of the league’s most successful years and quite possibly its most successful year,” Swofford said.

Specific to football, Swofford said ACC teams arguably played the toughest non-conference schedule in the country. Around 2010, Swofford said the league made a move “to step up to the plate” and play tougher schedules.

But he said you can’t live in the past in college athletics.

This coming season, ACC teams will play a combined 115 games against teams that went to bowl games in 2016.

“The conference is deeper than it’s ever been,” Swofford said. “There are more good teams and it’s tougher to win an ACC football title than it’s ever been.”

Swofford pointed out that Clemson’s two toughest games en route to the NCAA title game last season came at home against ACC foes N.C. State and Pitt. He said that certainly “tells you something about what the ACC is today.”

With plans in the works with ESPN for the ACC Network, set to start in two years, and with all the changes in league membership over recent years, Swofford said it’s time to “take a deep breath” rather than take on additional big goals.

“You need to make sure you’re not veering away from what your mission is and what your value system is,” he said. “You have to make sure you continue to be who you are and who you want to be.”

He did say the league needs to continue to develop a culture of trust with various partners, including the other major NCAA conferences.

He said he’d like to see new rivalries develop but that those things happen over time. That might be particularly important because the growth of the league has made it so that old rivals N.C. State and Duke, for instance, are only scheduled to play once every six seasons.

Swofford said there is no easy solution to that problem as the schools have to look at what’s best for the league as a whole and the majority of the schools have voted on the current alignment and scheduling.

While he said the league will continue to look at the issue, he doesn’t anticipate any changes in the near future.

He said the league has plenty of time to bond with each other and TV partners, and continue to work together to make things better as agreements keep them all together through the 2035-36 season.

If Notre Dame, an ACC member in every sport except football, ever decides to join a league in football, by contract, it has to be the ACC, at least through that 2035-36 season.

Upon questioning, Swofford only touched briefly on sensitive topics like the Louisville sex scandal, the UNC academic saga and the controversy surrounding HB2.

He said when there are controversies at a school, the other schools sit down and talk to the school about what happened and what they are doing to correct it. “Usually it’s a few people who make bad decisions, not a whole institution,” he said.

Swofford defended the ACC’s decision to return to North Carolina for the ACC championship game and events such as this week’s ACC Kickoff by saying that the repeal of HB2 “took us back to where the state was before HB2… It’s as simple as that.”

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Kennedy Meeks drains threes in style in ACC barnstorming tour

During a three-point shooting contest at the first game of the 39th annual ACC Barnstorming tour (of seniors), UNC’s Kennedy Meeks got to show a little of his inner shooting guard. Not only did he loft several during the game, he made it to the finals of the three-point shooting contest. See the YouTube video to see the barrage. In the second round, he faltered however, and Holly Springs’ High School Senior Jake Kelsey won the contest, making all 10 of his shots. The ACC All-Stars, coached by Phil Ford, were actually led by another coach who suited up – […]


During a three-point shooting contest at the first game of the 39th annual ACC Barnstorming tour (of seniors), UNC’s Kennedy Meeks got to show a little of his inner shooting guard. Not only did he loft several during the game, he made it to the finals of the three-point shooting contest. See the YouTube video to see the barrage.

In the second round, he faltered however, and Holly Springs’ High School Senior Jake Kelsey won the contest, making all 10 of his shots.

The ACC All-Stars, coached by Phil Ford, were actually led by another coach who suited up – Duke assistant Nolan Smith, who drained nine threes during the 146-127 victory over the Wake County High School basketball All-Stars.

The MVP of the game – chosen from among the high school players – was Trey Terry of Fuquay-Varina High School.

Those taking part from the ACC included Nate Britt and Kanler Coker from North Carolina, Matt Jones and Amile Jefferson from Duke, Chris Brickhouse and BeeJay Anya (who didn’t play) from N.C. State, and Austin Arians and Trent VanHorn from Wake Forest, among others.

It was predictably a non-serious, fun exhibition with a bunch of three-point shooting and little defense. The high school team actually got an early lead but Britt hit three three-pointers to give the ACC All-Stars a lead they would never relinquish – although the high schoolers cut the margin to under double-digits late before the ACC pulled away.

While Meeks, fresh off the NCAA title game, seemed to be the biggest draw – and had the longest line for autographs after the game – Jefferson was a hit during the game. The Duke senior came off as auditioning for the Harlem Globetrotters, once even holding the ball between his legs – a la Meadowlark Lemon – as he faked out the opponents by pretending to shoot with nothing in his hands.

The eight-city tour continues through April 22. The line-ups may vary. For instance, UNC players Isaiah Hicks and Stilman White were not at this game but are expected to participate.

For more information on the barnstorming tour, please click here.