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Parker is already in the Duke record book. Bryant R< Sujet précédent  Sujet suivant >
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Parker is already in the Duke record book. Bryant R

NEW YORK -- Jabari Parker is already in the Duke record book. Bryant Reeves Jersey . The heralded freshman matched his season-high with 27 points, setting the school record for consecutive 20-point games to start a career and the sixth-ranked Blue Devils beat Alabama 74-64 on Wednesday night in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off. "I think Ive got a long ways to go," the 6-foot-8 forward said after his seventh 20-point effort. "I need to be sharper in the beginning of the game. Nothing is ever too easy. I get open looks when they look at Rodney (Hood) or Q (Quinn Cook). I get those opportunities as much as possible." He takes advantage at an alarming rate. He entered the game shooting 58 per cent from the field and he improved that number by going 9 of 12 from the field. He had eight rebounds and was 9 of 10 from the free throw line in matching his point total in the Blue Devils only loss, 83-54 to No. 2 Kansas. "He gets his points in the flow of the offence and we should go through him a lot," coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We had foul trouble with Rodney. Usually its through them. We went to Jabari even more." The Blue Devils (6-1), who committed a season-high 19 turnovers, will face No. 4 Arizona, which beat Drexel 66-62, in the championship game on Friday at Madison Square Garden. Its a matchup of the program with the most NIT Season Tip-Off titles -- Duke with four -- against one of three programs tied for second with three. "Arizona is older and they are really big for us," Krzyzewski said. "Over the years, we have always played really difficult schedules and this year is no different. Im just glad we have an opportunity to play for a championship. "Arizona is probably ahead of some other teams. Arizona, Michigan State, because they have guys who have played prominent roles, back. And then they have added a great guard and a great wing to their lineup, and so they are big. It will be completely different, from playing this game. They can post three guys from their starting lineup. They post their front line. Thats where we are not real big. That will be interesting how we try to get that going." Nick Jacobs led Alabama (3-2) with 18 points and seven rebounds while Trevor Releford and Algie Key added 11 points each. Duke is 25-2 in the NIT Season Tip-Off and has won 14 straight games in the tournament. The Blue Devils were coming off a 91-90 home victory over Vermont, a game that ended with the Catamounts having the ball but not getting off a final shot. It didnt get that close at the end Wednesday, but the Crimson Tide took advantage of the turnovers to be within 56-51 with 5:19 left. Alabama was within six points three times in the final 3:18 but the Blue Devils were able to go up by as many as 10 points. "Teams play well against us. Its a great opportunity for the sun to shine on a program, and so we have to expect that," Krzyzewski said. The only other Duke player to start his career with six straight 20-point games was Art Heyman in 1961-62. "Hes probably, in my eight years as a head coach, the most talented freshman Ive seen just from his size, his physicality and his skill level," Alabama coach Anthony Grant said of Parker. "Hes able to make tough shots and free himself for the open shot and hes able to get himself to the free throw line. Hes just a really, really talented player. They have got a lot of really good players around them, as well." Duke closed the firsts half on an 11-2 run to take a 33-22 lead and the Blue Devils opened the second half on a 13-6 run for their biggest lead of the game, 46-28 with 15:23 to play. The Crimson Tide, taking advantage of Dukes turnovers, used a 12-0 run to get within 46-40 with 12:07 left. "They had a pretty sizable cushion," Grant said. "We werent able to be effective enough to win the game. Whatever the turnovers were, they scored 74 points in the game, shot a pretty good clip from the field, got to the free throw line quite a bit. I would say their attack against what we were doing was pretty effective." The Blue Devils are 23-7 at Madison Square Garden under Krzyzewski and they have won 15 of their last 17 games there. Duke has won 27 straight regular-season tournament games. The loss dropped Alabama to 32-99 against Top Ten teams. The Crimson Tides last win over a Top Ten team was Feb. 18, 2006 against then-No. 8 Tennessee. Kyle Anderson Jersey . Stevenson scored the first three goals of the game in the first period for Regina (35-22-6), which has won eight of its last 10 games. Patrick DAmico added two for the Pats, Braden Christoffer had a single and Morgan Klimchuk chipped in a goal and four assists. Memphis Grizzlies Jerseys . Inter moved five points behind fourth-place Fiorentina and eight points behind third-place Napoli, which visits relegation-threatened Sassuolo on Sunday.The Winnipeg Jets finished the 2013-14 season with a 37-35-10 record, the same as their first full year in Winnipeg. In the two seasons after year one, no playoffs but the feeling around the team going into this offseason is different, very positive, and there are reasons for that. Bryan Little, Dustin Byfuglien and Blake Wheeler had career years for points. Little was 23-41-64; his previous high for points was 51. Wheeler was 28-41-69; his previous high for goals was 21 and his previous high for points was 64. And offensively, the year started slowly. In his final 54 games, Wheeler picked up 52 points -- 38 in his last 38 games. Wheeler has become an elite NHL player and his play earned him a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. Byfuglien scored 20 goals for the second time in his career, while 56 points was a career high. More on Byfuglien later. Youngsters Mark Scheifele and Jacob Trouba contributed big time. Despite missing 17 games due to injury, Trouba set a franchise mark for goals by a rookie defenceman with 10, led all NHL rookies in average per game ice time, and 21 times led the Jets in average per game ice time. He was a perfect fit with Mark Stuart, who may have played the best hockey of his career. His win at all cost attitude earning him praise and a new, well deserved contract. Stuart set career highs for minutes played and embraced, handled, deserved the extra ice time.  Scheifele started the season cautiously. Afraid to make a mistake, making sure he was responsible defensively, perhaps feeling everyone was dissecting his every move. But on a six game road trip in November, Scheifele showed his offensive talents, going 12-16-28 over the next 35 games and until the knee injury challenged for the leagues rookie scoring lead. Jets were on an 11-3-1 run when Scheifele went down; lost in overtime the game he was hurt in and then went winless in the following five, finishing 7-9-4 after his injury. Paul Maurice signing a four year extension is another positive. He seemed to be able to bring the best out of this team going on an 11-3-1 run before injuries hit and the teams charge for a playoff spot slowed with a six game winless stretch. In the end, the team was 18-12-5 in the 35 games with Maurice behind the bench. A team that has always struggled in the second game of back-to-backs went 3-1 in the final four situations. The power play got better as more movement was implemented, at one point the penalty kill (Stuart led the Jets in per game penalty kill time) was the number one road PK in the NHL, the final road record in a tough western conference was 19-18-4 and the leadership group of this team took a more active role in the room. In his postseason interview, captain Andrew Ladd made it very clear how important it was to have coach Maurice back. "I want him back. Great coach, great mind. Good for the guys. Everyone in that room wants to play for him. He takes the grey area out, its black and white." Evander Kane talked about "the confidence that Maurice was able to bring to the group." For Trouba, the coaching change was an eye opener. Claude Noel had given him the opportunity to play big minutes right from the start and Trouba turned it into a great rookie season. On Maurice, "there was no doubt he was going to get the best out of us." For Wheeler there is more to being an NHL player that just points. "You want to be a leader, and that is more than speeches. Go about your daily business as a professional. This is the most frustrating year I have ever been a part of. I believe this group is good enough to make the playoffs. I believe in the core group." For Ladd it goes ever further than that. "We are not here just to make playoffs - we want to build something here." But there are still reasons for concern. The home record has to get better. The Jets had 42 home points this past season, the lowest of any Central Division team, and if not for a win in Calgary in game 82 of the season, Edmonton would have been the only Western Conference team with fewer home points than the Jets. The win kept the Flames behind the Jets. But why is the home record not better? The atmosphere in the MTS Centre is outstanding. The fans are loud, they know the game, come out to cheer their team. MTS Centre needs to be "home ice advantage." Consistency at home is a must to become a playoff contender. The Jets started the season with eight of ten at home, won three. They came out of the Olympic break with nine of 12 at home, won three. Game to game player consistency has to be improved, from the goaltending out. The five and six game losing and winless streaks cant happen. To recover from that is just too difficult, especially in the Western Conference. Special teams will have good and bad swings, but the need for consistency incudes both the power play and the penalty kill. Allen Iverson Grizzlies Jersey.  On January 11, coach Claude Noel moved Byfuglien to forward. As much as Byfuglien made it clear his preference is to play defence, for the good of the team he made the switch. Coach Maurice did tinker with the lines when he came aboard, but liked having Byfugliens size up front. In four on four situations including overtime, and on power plays, Bufuglien dropped back to defence. The experiment was a success. In his postseason media interview, Byfuglien was asked if he would start next year at forward, his reply was a quick (with a smile), "I hope not." When coach Maurice was asked in his postseason media conference where Bufuglien plays next year, his reply was a quick (with a smile) "forward." Byfuglien being a forward really does add balance to the top two lines. Individually, a number of Jets are unrestricted free agents. Decisions will have to be made on players like Olli Jokinen, Chris Thorburn, etc. There are restricted free agents that need to be signed, with Michael Frolik leading that list. Coach Maurice moving him to the Andrew Ladd/Bryan Little line was a very good move. Like any Canadian city, goaltending is always a much debated topic and Ondrej Pavelec was not spared. From trading him, to buying him out, to simply releasing him, fans expressed their opinions. Are all the Jets problems Pavelec, no. Does he like the rest of the team need to be more consistent, YES. It was an up and down season for Zach Bogosian, his progress slowed because of injury, missing 15 mid- season and then missing 11 of the final 12. When paired with Toby Enstrom in January, the two became a very good shut down pair, with Bogosian playing the best hockey of the season.  It was also an injury filled season for Evander Kane, and for Jim Slater. When the Jets went into their final game of the season in Calgary, because of injury, they were minus Al Montoya, Keaton Ellerby, Andrew Ladd, James Wright, Chris Thorburn, Grant Clitsome, Dustin Byfuglien, Devin Setoguchi, Zach Bogosian and Mark Scheifele, then lost Slater and Trouba in game. It was a very gutsy effort and thanks to a number of call-ups from St. Johns, found a way to win. Last to address the media was general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, and started with the news of the four year extension for Paul Maurice. "We talked about team and direction. Hes excited to be part of this. He likes our size, speed and the youth of our core." On the team, "we want to establish our core and build around it. We have some holes that need to be filled. But wont deviate from our plan to draft and develop. The ultimate objective is to go far in the playoffs. Making playoffs is the start of the ultimate goal." As for going forward, "we have room to improve at forward. You need strength down the middle in the west. We are in a tough division. We need to get better in our division. Five of the eight teams in the west playoffs are from the Central Division." The one player Cheveldayoff was asked about was Pavelec and his future with the team. "We certainly realize theres lots of areas for improvement. He is relatively young when it comes to being a starting goaltender. You give those young players those opportunities to excel and theres going to be some bumps along the way. He is part of our group. Yes, Ondrej Pavelec is our number one goaltender going into next season. No one person on this team is greater than the sum of its parts. " On Scheifele and Trouba, who will both be heading to the World Championships, "both made an impact - not just played. And both battled injuries." After the annual Draft Lottery, nothing changed for the Jets -- they will pick ninth, which brings us back to some of the youngsters. Last year, Josh Morrissey was picked 13th, in 2012 it was Trouba at nine over all, and in 2011 it was Scheifele at seven overall. Like all off seasons, plenty of work to be done leading up to the draft and then the draft itself. Will the Jets again be involved in draft day deals to fill some of the holes they talk about? Will they decide that parting ways with a core player is something that has to be done, what will they look for in their first selection? Then July rolls around and its UFA time. To stay away from the temptation to get involved early is a smart move. Getting into bidding wars over players is not the way the Jets want to, nor should, operate.  Then training camp, a very exciting time of the year, where you get to see how much better your young players are compared to a year ago, and which of those young players will challenge for a spot with the big team. The offseason goes by in a hurry but in markets like Winnipeg, when it comes to NHL/Jets conversation, there is no offseason. ' ' '



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