Duke MBB Notebook: Practice Underway & More

Photo Courtesy: Duke Athletics

As preparations continue for the Duke Canada Tour, the Duke men’s basketball team held its first two official practices this week, in addition to a number of other team activities and summer classes. First practice highlights

The Blue Devils are set for three exhibitions games on foreign soil against Canadian universities the week of August 13, with matchups scheduled for August 15 (vs. Ryerson) and August 17 (vs. Toronto) in Toronto, and August 19 (vs. McGill) in Montreal. Each of the three games will air live on ESPN+ with Dan Shulman and Jay Bilas calling the action.

Filming has continued around Duke for the Blue Devils’ behind-the-scenes documentary that will drop on ESPN+ in November, titled Earn Everything. The all-access show will document Duke’s prep for the 2018-19 season and give fans a rarely-seen look inside Mike Krzyzewski‘s program.

Duke will practice twice more next week.

More news and notes from the Blue Devils…

Gerald Henderson Looks to Bounce Back

Former Duke great Gerald Henderson, who was forced to miss this season in the NBA due to hip surgery, has spent the year on campus rehabbing with Duke’s medical staff and working out with the Blue Devils. Henderson also dropped in on a number radio broadcasts this season on the Blue Devil IMG Sports Network to serve as a sideline reporter.

An eight-year NBA veteran, Henderson most recently played for the Philadelphia 76ers and elected to have the surgery and sit out this season, as opposed to being waived.

Grayson Returns to Duke

Following a stellar debut in the NBA Summer League, 21st-overall pick Grayson Allen is back in Durham for the next few weeks to continue working out in preparation for his NBA rookie season. Allen was a first-round pick by the Utah Jazz and averaged 16.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 6.5 assists in the NBA Summer League tournament in Las Vegas.

Duval Signs with Milwaukee

Former guard Trevon Duval has signed a two-way contract with the Milwaukee Bucks. Duval was with the Houston Rockets to play in the Summer League, averaging 9.2 points and 1.6 assists. The guard racked up 207 assists in 2017-18 at Duke, the fourth-most assists by a Blue Devil freshman in history, while his 5.59 assists per game with the third-most by a Duke freshman.

Blue Devils Visit Emily K Center | Video
The Duke players took some time this week to speak and sign autographs at the Emily K Center. The center is a non-profit organization that serves as a college access hub in Durham, propelling academically-focused, low-income K-12 students and graduates toward success in college through its K to College programs.

The Blue Devils routinely visit the center, which was founded by Coach K, to share their experiences and help serve as role models for the center’s youths.

Good Eats | Video
Duke’s summer schedule includes much more than just basketball. The Blue Devils are also learning how to better understand and condition their bodies, and part of that is eating right. Duke’s Director of Nutrition Beth Miller and Sports Nutrition Fellow Francis Dizon put on a cooking class this week, giving the Blue Devils tips on healthy eating and best practices in the kitchen.

Surging on Social/Digital Platforms
Duke Basketball continues to be the nation’s trendsetter in the social space, as its combined social media following of 3.7 million leads all programs in college athletics (Alabama Football’s 2.7 million combined followers are second). Of those followers, 2.3 million come from @DukeMBB on Twitter, which leads college athletics, tops all but two MLB franchises (Yankees and Cubs), 21 of the 30 NBA teams. 24 of the 32 NFL franchises and all but one NHL team (Blackhawks). Duke has more Twitter followers than these iconic teams – Boston Red Sox, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Bears and the New York Knicks.

On Instagram, @DukeMBB has more followers than the rest of the ACC combined, the entire Pac 12 combined, the entire Big Ten combined, the entire Big 12 combined, and the entire Big East combined.

The Duke Effect
Duke played in 21 games in 2017-18 that topped 1,000,000 viewers on television, which was the most in college basketball. Three of the top six most-viewed regular-season games included the Blue Devils – Duke/Michigan State, Duke/Virginia, and Duke/North Carolina.

In the postseason, the Duke/Kansas game in the Elite Eight was the highest-rated Elite Eight game since 2005 (9.2 rating, 15.44 million viewers). That overtime thriller drew a higher TV rating than every non-Finals NBA game since 2002, while also topping every MLB telecast, excluding the World Series, since 2009. Viewership of Duke/Kansas peaked at 24.9 million — highest of any NCAA Tournament game in 2018 (including the national title game).

Uncle Drew a Box Office Hit

The newly-released movie Uncle Drew, starring former Duke star Kyrie Irving, has already become the sixth-highest grossing basketball movie at more than $40 million. Space Jam ($90 million) tops the list, followed by White Men Can’t Jump, Coach Carter, Like Mike, Glory Road, Uncle Drew, Semi-Pro, Eddie, Hoosiers and Love & Basketball to round out the top 10.

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