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Duke without key member of program

Tags: ACC Now | Coach K | Duke

NEW YORK — Duke traveled to New York on Tuesday for the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer without a key member of its program, senior associate athletic director Mike Cragg.

Cragg, 44, had triple bypass heart surgery on Thursday. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski talked about Cragg's health during his pre-game radio show. Cragg went in for a regular exam on Monday and has been hospitalized since then.

Cragg, who was recently promoted to the senior AD post, has been Krzyzewski's right-hand guy dating back to his days as Duke's sports information director. Cragg has also served as director of the program's successful fundraising arm — the Legacy Fund — for the past eight years.

Lewis doubtful for Virginia Tech

DURHAM — Duke QB Thad Lewis is listed as "doubtful" for Saturday's ACC tilt at Virginia Tech. He injured his left foot during the dismal loss at Clemson. Lewis did not practice on Tuesday and has been limited the past two days. Game time is 5:30 p.m.

Since emergency QB/starting RB Clifford Harris is out for the game, Duke coach David Cutcliffe said WR Austin Kelly would slip in should anything happen to backup QB Zack Asack and third-stringer Mike Cappetto.

No picnic playing in Blacksburg

DURHAM — Listening to Duke coach David Cutcliffe talk about how hard it is to play at Virginia Tech on Tuesday, you'd think he had a case of both home-crowd and recruiting class envy.

“Obviously, not many people go in there and win, and the reason is two-fold," Cutcliffe said during his regular press conference.

Lewis day-to-day, Harris out

DURHAM — Duke junior QB Thaddeus Lewis is still day-to-day after injuring his ankle in Duke's loss at Clemson on Saturday. Junior backup QB Zack Asack, took his place during Duke's weekly press conference and said he hadn't been told who would start at Virginia Tech later this week.

Lewis has started 33 straight games. The only other time he missed time due to injury was when he got knocked out of the Virginia Tech game at Lane Stadium two years ago. Marcus Jones, now the starting strongside linebacker, replaced him then.

Paulus expected to play Thursday

DURHAM — Duke senior guard Greg Paulus was feeling better than he did while playing limited minutes and making just one shot with an injured right forearm — he's right-handed — on Sunday, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said Tuesday.

"You could tell he was not close to being 100 percent [against Rhode Island]," Krzyzewski said. "He was going on guts alone. If he doesn’t get worse in today’s practice, we'll see if he can keep coming. We need him. We already feel he'll be much better on Thursday."

Robinson's women's basketball top 25

The Associated Press released its Week 1 women's basketball top 25 poll on Nov. 17. Connecticut garnered the top selection, receiving an unanimous 45 votes as the No. 1-ranked team.

It was a rough opening weekend for some top 25 teams as No. 2 Stanford fell to No. 19 Baylor and No. 3 Maryland fell to TCU. No. 16 Notre Dame also knocked off No. 24 LSU and knocked them out of the poll.

ACC teams in the poll: No. 4 North Carolina, No. 5 Duke, No. 9 Maryland, No. 16 Virginia and No. 21 Florida State.

As one of the 45 AP voters this season, I'll share my top 25 selections on this blog each week. Here's my most recent ballot.

When Duke freshmen (don't) attack

DURHAM — Duke guard Elliott Williams made a freshman mistake in the first half in the win over Rhode Island on Sunday but it's something everyone should keep an eye on. It was small but it's important that he fix it if he wants to contribute this season.

With about 8 minutes left the first half, Duke trailed 24-14 and was trying to right itself with some pressure defense on the Rams. The player Williams was guarding got caught with his back to the basket at the top of the key and picked up his dribble.

Duke squeezes by Rams

The Blue Devils needed a second-half rally to earn win.

The Associated Press' top 25 poll

Here's the The Associated Press' women's basketball top 25 poll released on Monday.
The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' women's basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Nov. 16, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and preseason ranking: 

1. Connecticut (45);1-0;1,125;1
2. Oklahoma;1-0;1,018;4
3. Rutgers;1-0;1,010;5
4. North Carolina;2-0;963;6
5. Tennessee;1-0;931;7
6. Duke;2-0;900;8
7. California;2-0;788;9
8. Stanford;1-1;764;2
9. Louisville;1-0;724;10
10. Baylor;2-0;698;19
11. Maryland;1-1;680;3
12. Texas A&M;2-0;658;11
13. Vanderbilt;2-0;603;12
14. Texas;2-0;519;13
15. Notre Dame;1-0;459;16
16. Virginia;1-0;440;15
17. Ohio St.;2-0;361;18
18. Arizona St.;2-0;345;17
19. Oklahoma St.;0-1;291;14
20. Auburn;1-0;258;20
21. Purdue;1-0;178;23
22. Florida St.;1-0;173;21
23. Xavier;2-0;152;22
24. TCU;2-0;148;—
25. Old Dominion;2-0;106;25

Others receiving votes: Michigan St. 49, Iowa St. 45, Pittsburgh 41, Marist 39, LSU 32, Marquette 28, Utah 24, Georgia 20, Georgia Tech 17, Syracuse 12, DePaul 8, George Washington 7, Kansas St. 6, Arkansas 2, Gonzaga 2, Montana 1. 

URI guard impersonates Redick

DURHAM — Rhode Island guard Jimmy Baron reminded plenty of Cameron faithful of former Duke guard J.J. Redick with eight 3-pointers in the Rams' loss to Duke on Sunday. Something about hitting several fadeaway 3s from 22, 25, 28 feet over the raised arms of the 6-8 Kyle Singler did it.

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