Timberwolves set roster for NBA summer league
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves have set their roster for the NBA summer league team, highlighted by draft picks Josh Okogie and Keita Bates-Diop and returner Amile Jefferson.
The Wolves announced Tuesday the 15 players they'll take to Las Vegas for the 30-team competition. The Wolves start play on Friday against the Denver Nuggets, their first of at least five games in the tournament. They'll be coached by John Lucas, the team's player development coach.
The Wolves on Wednesday converted the contract of G League player Amile Jefferson from a two-way deal to a standard NBA contract.
By doing so, Jefferson would be eligible to play in the playoffs, if the Wolves reach them.
Brought back from the Iowa Wolves after they didn’t make the playoffs, Jefferson is a 6-9 power forward who played with Tyus Jones at Duke. He averaged 17.8 points and a league-leading 12.8 rebounds in 45 G League games.
SALT LAKE CITY Convenience met necessity for the Timberwolves on Friday, when they summoned G League players Justin Patton, Anthony Brown and Amile Jefferson back to the NBA a day after they had finished a 108-99 loss at Portland with just nine healthy players.
The Iowa Wolves played Utahs G League affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars on Thursday, just a 10-minute drive from the Jazzs Vivint Smart Home arena.
PORTLAND, ORE. Shabazz Muhammads release left the Wolves with two open roster spots and just 10 available players for Thursdays game against Portland because Jimmy Butler is rehabilitating in Minnesota and guard Aaron Brooks was away from the team for personal reasons.
Asked if his team now must sign a free agent or two, Tom Thibodeau called it a possibility, and said we could. Available free agents include guards Derrick Rose and Tony Allen, who both played for Thibodeau in the past.
Gritty, tough, humble, hardworking, athletic, college graduate, national champion and McDonald’s All-American. Those are the words that come to mind when describing Philadelphia native and Iowa Wolves forward Amile Jefferson.
Jefferson played high school ball at Friends Central High School then spent five years at Duke University, where he received his master’s degree. He went undrafted this summer and landed in the NBA Summer League with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Duke preview capsule
Last season: 28-9, lost to South Carolina in NCAA Tournament second round
Nickname: Blue Devils
Coach: Mike Krzyzewski
Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference
Who's gone: G Luke Kennard, G Frank Jackson, G Matt Jones, F Jayson Tatum, F Harry Giles, F Amile Jefferson, C Chase Jeter
Who's back: G Grayson Allen averaged 14.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists last season, F Marques Bolden averaged 1.5 points in 6.5 minutes per game.
There should be plenty of local interest in the NBA summer leagues. Fans should be able to see some recognizable names on the court during the next couple weeks.
Villanova basketball standout Kris Jenkins will join the Washington Wizards summer league team. Jenkins hit the game-winning jumpshot to lead Villanova over North Carolina to win the national championship in 2016.
3:14 2H: Duke 63, Notre Dame 62: The game has now seen eight lead changes, Bonzie Colson (26 points) went off the court but has returned, Duke is shooting 57 percent from the floor and we have more than three minutes to play. So... get to a TV and tune in to WRAL.
7:29 2H: Notre Dame 58, Duke 55: Notre Dame is clinging to a 3-point lead behind Bonzie Colson's 26 points, but the stand-out guard has just gone to the locker room with an apparent ankle injury.
FINAL: Duke 93, UNC 83: The game saw just one lead change, but when Duke went ahead with nine minutes to play Friday, they never let the advantage go in a 93-83 win over top-seeded UNC. With the win, the Blue Devils will play for the ACC championship Saturday against either No. 2 Florida State or No. 3 Notre Dame.
3:36, 2H. Duke: 77, North Carolina: 72.
Joel Berry and Amile Jefferson are both back in the game for their teams with four fouls a piece heading into the final stretch.
FINAL. Clemson: 72, Duke: 79.
Duke edged out the 79-72 win against Clemson in its first game of the 2017 ACC Tournament. Luke Kennard score 17 second-half points as part of his 20. Jayson Tatum and Frank Jackson also scored 20 points for the Blue Devils (24-8, 12-7 ACC). Mike Krzyzewski's team will play Louisville in Thursday's afternoon game.
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — One of Duke's shortest players kept finding ways to score on No. 15 Florida State's long, tall defenders.
Freshman guard Frank Jackson — all 6-foot-3 of him — drove the lane, shot 3-pointers over the Seminoles' outstretched fingertips and gave the 17th-ranked Blue Devils all the cushion they needed.
Jackson scored a season-best 22 points and Duke beat Florida State 75-70 on Tuesday night.
TOP 25 THIS WEEK: No. 17 Duke hobbled entering final week
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Little has gone smoothly or as expected for No. 17 Duke this season.
Amile Jefferson has been selected as a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, which is presented to men and women’s basketball student-athletes who perform extremely well on and off the court. Jefferson, a former Friends’ Central basketball star, plays for Duke University.
No. 17 Duke: Allen, Jefferson game-time decisions vs. FSU
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski says he doesn't know if injured upperclassmen Grayson Allen and Amile Jefferson will play Tuesday night against No. 15 Florida State.
Krzyzewski said Monday that they practiced Sunday but it will be a game-time decision for both.
Allen missed the loss at Miami over the weekend with an injured left ankle. Jefferson missed two games in January with a bruised bone in his right foot and has since played through lingering discomfort.
No. 12 Duke welcomes Wake Forest looking for 7th straight win
Several weeks ago, Duke relied heavily on guard Luke Kennard for a large dose of offense.
The production has become more spread out for the No. 12 Blue Devils, but that doesn't mean Kennard won't be front and center for Saturday afternoon's game (1 p.m., WRAL-TV) against visiting Wake Forest at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
That's because when the teams met earlier this season, Kennard hit the winning 3-point basket in Duke's 85-83 comeback victory at Wake Forest. He produced 34 points that day.
FINAL: Duke 86, UNC 78: Grayson Allen scored a game-high 25 points Thursday and Duke held off UNC, 86-78, at Cameron Indoor. The game featured 17 lead changes and each team shot better than 50 percent from the floor.
Duke (19-5, 7-4) has a quick turnaround and will play Clemson Saturday. UNC (21-5, 9-3 ACC) will be off until Wednesday when they face NC State.
Coach K returns, No. 21 Duke beats Pitt 72-64
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Mike Krzyzewski came out of the postgame handshake line and headed straight to midcourt, where he took a few bows of gratitude to the Duke fans and pumped his fist in the air.
After a month away, Coach K wanted the Cameron Crazies to know how badly he missed them.
"You forget how lucky you are, until something is taken away from you," Krzyzewski said. "I'm going to be 70 years old in a week or so, and I still get this?"
Jones keys No. 18 Duke’s 70-58 win over Miami
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — For one of the rare occasions this season, No. 18 Duke had plenty of options. So acting head coach Jeff Capel started the second half with the players who brought the most energy — and they lifted the Blue Devils out of a huge hole.
Matt Jones scored all 13 of his points in the second half, hitting three 3-pointers during the run of 20 consecutive points that propelled Duke past Miami 70-58 on Saturday night.
Jefferson returns for No. 18 Duke after missing 2 weeks
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Duke forward Amile Jefferson was back in the starting lineup for Saturday night's game against Miami after missing two weeks with a bone bruise in his foot.
Team officials announced Jefferson's return on Twitter and he was listed among the starters about 30 minutes before tipoff.
Jefferson, one of the team's co-captains, averages 13.6 points and a team-best 10.1 rebounds for the 18th-ranked Blue Devils.
Duke’s Jefferson to miss FSU game with bone bruise in foot
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Duke says forward Amile Jefferson will not play Tuesday night at No. 9 Florida State because he bruised a bone in his right foot.
Acting head coach Jeff Capel said Monday that Jefferson's foot will be re-evaluated after that game.
Jefferson averages 13.6 points and a team-best 10.1 rebounds for No. 7 Duke.
No. 5 Duke beats Maine 94-55 without 2 starting guards
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Luke Kennard is ready for Duke to finally resemble the team that was picked No. 1 in the preseason.
The fifth-ranked Blue Devils welcomed two key big men to the rotation — but also played without two starting guards.
With Kennard scoring a career-best 35 points, Duke routed Maine 94-55 on Saturday in the long-awaited debut of freshmen Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden.
Duke responded to coach Mike Krzyzewski's charge to play smarter and break away in the second half Tuesday night and beat Michigan State 78-69 in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge matchup.
The No. 5 Blue Devils (7-1) and the Spartans (4-4) were tied nine times, including a 35-35 halftime score, before Krzyzewski's six-man rotation broke it loose in the second 20 minutes with an 11-0 run.
Allen leads No. 5 Duke past Michigan State 78-69
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Grayson Allen keeps putting up huge numbers for No. 5 Duke. Imagine how much more impressive they might be if he were healthy enough to practice.
Allen scored 24 points, Luke Kennard added 20 and the Blue Devils beat Michigan State 78-69 on Tuesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Top-ranked Duke beats No. 21 Rhode Island 75-65
UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) — Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski says he'll have a lot of good players once his team gets healthy.
He has a few right now.
Luke Kennard scored 24 points to lead top-ranked Blue Devils to the championship of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off tournament with a 75-65 win Sunday over No. 21 Rhode Island.
Top-ranked Duke beats Penn State in Tip-Off tournament
UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) — Top-ranked Duke bounced back from its loss to Kansas by beating Penn State, but watched another player go down with an injury.
Freshman Frank Jackson led five players in double figures with 17 points and Amile Jefferson added 16 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Blue Devils to a 78-68 win Saturday in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off tournament.
Sophomore Chase Jeter rolled his left ankle in the first half and didn't return.
Allen, Jefferson help No. 1 Duke top Grand Canyon 96-61
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — With three big men out with injuries, top-ranked Duke is leaning on its guards for a little bit of everything.
Grayson Allen had 25 points and 10 rebounds, freshman Frank Jackson added 21 points and the Blue Devils beat Grand Canyon 96-61 on Saturday.