Duke Blue Devils: Three Things To Be Thankful For

DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 20: Grayson Allen
DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 20: Grayson Allen /

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, Old North Banter will be addressing three things North Carolina’s teams are thankful for. Next up, Duke.

Thanksgiving is the time of year to acknowledge what we have to be thankful for. The sports teams in North Carolina are no exception. To continue our series on things to be thankful for, we now turn our attention to the Duke Blue Devils.

1. Mike Krzyzewski

It’s a cliche to mention him, but there’s a good reason for that. Before Coach K stepped into Durham, Duke was a joke in terms of college basketball. Now, the Blue Devils are a perennial powerhouse.

Krzyzewski picked up his 1,000th win at Duke two games into the 2017-18 season. Last year, though, the long-time head coach missed time due to surgery, potentially jeopardizing his future with the university. No matter how you slice it, the Cameron Crazies absolutely adore the coach, and it’s easy to see why.

Step into Cameron Indoor Stadium, and several banners and jerseys hang from the rafters. Most, if not all, were earned during the Krzyzewski tenure. Plus, the fact Duke remains one of the top teams in the nation with top recruits consistently coming through the program shows how powerful Krzyzewski’s influence is.

The Blue Devils look to add another championship to its program. With Coach K still at the helm, Duke will continue to remain at the top in the national scope.

2. Daniel Jones

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The Blue Devils need a win against Wake Forest to secure bowl eligibility. Duke will rely heavily on quarterback Daniel Jones to lead the offense after snapping a six-game losing streak.

Jones started the season strong, but the Devils’ woes hindered the impact he’s made on the field. However, Jones continues to shine as a dual-threat quarterback.

He’s one of three quarterbacks in school history to throw 20 touchdowns and run for 10 scores. Jones threw two touchdowns last week against George Tech to keep the Devils’ bowl hopes alive. He’s the centerpiece of Duke’s offense, and his future looks brighter than this season indicates.

3. Grayson Allen

The No. 1 Blue Devils have several players that deserve thanks. Wendell Carter Jr. and Marvin Bagley III both exhibit spectacular skill as freshmen. However, the most iconic player on the roster is senior Grayson Allen.

The Jacksonville, Fla. native reached double figures in four of the Devils’ first five games and started the season as a preseason All-American. Despite previous instances of tripping opponents, he’s continued to bolster the Blue Devils year after year.

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In the new era of college basketball where one-and-done players gain more of a following, Allen staying all four years at Duke gives traditionalists hope moving forward. Many greats have come and gone from Duke. Allen has already proven his number will hang from Cameron’s rafters in the future.