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2016 Duke Year In Review

With 2016 coming to an end, we wanted to take a look back at the most newsworthy moments for your Duke Blue Devils in 2016:


  • January 17th – Duke commits (and future commit) Jayson Tatum, Frank Jackson, and Marques Bolden are selected to participate in the McDonald’s All-American Game. The trio gives Duke a record 69 McDonald’s All-Americans in program history.


  • February 1st – Duke is unranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time since March 2007. Duke lost four of its last five games before being bounced from the poll.
  • February 6th – Thomas Sirk injuries his Achilles tendon and will miss spring practice and possibly most of the 2016 season.
  • February 13th – Grayson Allen hits the game winning shot at Cameron Indoor Stadium over #7 Virginia:

  • February 17th – #20 Duke rallies from eight down with six minutes left to upset #5 North Carolina 74-73 for its third straight Top 25 win. Derryck Thornton blocks Joel Berry to seal the victory:


  • March 3rd – Jack White, a 6-7 forward from Australia, commits to Duke, giving the Blue Devils the fifth member of their 2016 recruiting class.
  • March 28th – Duke commit Frank Jackson wins McDonald’s All-American Slam Dunk contest. He joins past Blue Devils Gerald Henderson and Grayson Allen as winners.

  • March 30 – Duke commit Frank Jackson wins Co-MVP at the 2016 McDonald’s All-American Game. He joins past Blue Devils Bobby Hurley, J.J. Redick, Josh McRoberts, and Jahlil Okafor as winners of the honor.
  • March 31st – Duke commit Jayson Tatum wins Gatorade National Basketball Player of the Year. Tatum joins Jabari Parker as the only other Blue Devil to win the award.


  • April 6th – Sophomore Grayson Allen surprises many by announcing he will be returning to Duke for his junior year. Allen was a borderline first round pick in many mock drafts. By returning, he strengthened Duke’s chances to win its sixth National Championship. He also would go on to be named to the All-ACC Preseason First Team as well as ACC Preseason Player of the Year.
  • April 10th – Freshman point guard Derryck Thornton announces he is transferring from Duke. He would announce in the summer that he would be transferring to Southern Cal.
  • April 24th – Brandon Ingram becomes the latest one-and-done at Duke as he announces he is going pro. Ingram joins Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow, Jabari Parker, Austin Rivers, and Kyrie Irving as recent Blue Devils to go straight to the NBA after one year of college. Each of them were lottery picks.


  • May 19th – 5-star center Marques Bolden, one of the top uncommitted players in the class of 2016, picks Duke over Kentucky. Bolden was ranked #18 overall by 247Sports.


  • June 19th – Kyrie Irving hits the game winning 3 over Steph Curry and the Cleveland Cavaliers to win his, and the city of Cleveland’s, first NBA Championship:

  • June 23rd – Brandon Ingram is selected #2 overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Draft. It is the third consecutive year a Duke player is taken with one of the first three picks in the draft.


  • July 12th – Duke commit Jayson Tatum wins Gatorade Male Athlete of the Year. Tatum joins Greg Paulus as the only Blue Devils to win the award.


  • August 21st – Coach K and Kyrie Irving help lead Team USA to its third straight Olympic Gold Medal as the Americans blast Serbia 96-66. For Coach K, it was his final Olympic game as head coach. For Irving, it was his first Olympic Gold Medal. He scored 17 points in the final.
  • August 26th – Alex O’Connell becomes the first Duke commit for the class of 2017. O’Connell, ranked #88 by ESPN, is son of former Blue Devil David, who played for Duke from 1973-76.
  • August 27th – Redshirt senior quarterback Thomas Sirk re-injures his Achilles tendon and will miss the entire season.


  • September 24th – Unranked Duke heads to South Bend and upsets the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame 38-35. Duke fell behind 14-0 early the first quarter and also lost senior defensive star De’Von Edwards. Freshmen kicker AJ Reed, who struggled much of the season, kicked the game winning field goal with 1:27 left in the 4th quarter.


  • October 3rd – Harry Giles, one of the top incoming recruits in 2016, has arthroscopic knee surgery. The surgery is on his left knee that he tore the ACL & MCL during his junior year of high school.
  • October 22nd – Duke holds its annual Countdown to Craziness. For many Duke fans, this is the first time getting to see top recruits Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden in a Duke uniform.
  • October 25th – Jayson Tatum injuries his foot during Duke’s Pro Day. Initial reports from those there seemed to indicate he would miss significant time this season.


  • November 7th – Marques Bolden suffers a lower-leg injury. It was initially reported he would only miss two games, but it would be nearly a month before he would return.
  • November 10th – Gary Trent Jr. announces on ESPN his commitment to Duke. Trent Jr. is the #8 overall recruit in the class of 2017.
  • November 10th – The unranked Blue Devils upset their rivals, #15 North Carolina 28-27 to bring the Victory Bell back to Durham. Duke got behind early 14-0 in the first quarter, but rallied to stun the Tar Heels who were looking to repeat as Coastal Division Champions.
  • November 22nd – Wendell Carter announces his commitment to Duke in a video on Twitter. According to ESPN, he is the #3 recruit in the class of 2017.


  • December 3rd – Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden make their long awaited Duke Blue Devil debuts against the Maine Black Bears. Both had been out the entire season due to injuries. Tatum played 20 minutes, scoring 10 points and grabbing 8 rebounds while Bolden played 12 minutes, scoring 7 points and grabbing 5 rebounds. Also in the game, Luke Kennard sets a career high with 35 points.
  • December 4th – Duke Women’s Basketball team upsets #3, and previously undefeated, South Carolina. Duke had a tumultuous offseason and were unranked heading into the match up against the Gamecocks.
  • December 19th – Freshman Harry Giles makes his season debut against Tennessee State. He only played four minutes and missed his only shot.
  • December 22nd – Grayson Allen is suspended indefinitely from basketball activities for his third tripping incident in a year.
  • December 29th – Duke Women’s Basketball retires the jersey of Elizabeth Williams. Williams was an All-American and National Defensive Player of the Year in 2015.  She becomes just the third player in Duke women’s basketball history to have her jersey retired, joining Alana Beard (#20) and Lindsey Harding (#10).

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