Head coach Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke men’s basketball program have finalized plans for a week-long trip to the Dominican Republic in August. The Blue Devils will depart for the tour on Thursday, Aug. 17, and return to Durham on Thursday, Aug. 24.
Duke will play two exhibition games against the Dominican Republic National Team during the tour; the first game will take place in Santiago on Sunday, Aug. 20, and the second is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 23, in Santo Domingo.
The scheduled practices and exhibition games coincide with the Dominican Republic National Team’s preparation for the 2017 FIBA AmeriCup, which is set for Aug. 25-Sept. 3 in Colombia. The DR currently stands at No. 18 on the FIBA World Rankings.
“The Dominican Republic is a good team, and we’re going to see who our guys are during these practices and games,” Krzyzewski said. “We lost seven of our top eight scorers from last season; this is almost an entirely new team. No matter how much you work out or practice, you really don’t know about a team until you see it in competition. This will be an unbelievable bonding experience for our group and we’ll also get to see how they play together before we start practice at the end of September.”
Per NCAA rules, the Blue Devils are allowed as many as 10 practices as a team prior to departing for their first international tour since visiting China and Dubai in 2011.
The trip itinerary also currently includes a number of cultural activities, such as a tour of the Santo Domingo Colonial Zone, a tour of the historic Estadio Quisqueya baseball venue and a catamaran tour.
Senior guard Grayson Allen (14.5 points per game) is the leading returning scorer for a Duke squad that finished the 2016-17 season with a 28-9 record and a 22nd consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. Junior Antonio Vrankovic and sophomores Marques Bolden, Javin DeLaurier and Jack White are also key returners from the 2017 ACC Tournament championship squad.
Duke is welcoming the nation’s No. 2-ranked recruiting class in 2017, headlined by the No. 1 player in the ESPN rankings at three different positions: power forward Wendell Carter, Jr., point guard Trevon Duval and shooting guard Gary Trent, Jr. The six-man class also features point guard Jordan Goldwire and wings Alex O’Connell and Jordan Tucker.
Further details about the Blue Devils’ Dominican Republic tour will be shared as they become available.