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Ryan Kelly engaged to longtime girlfriend Lindsay Cowher

Lindsay Cowher has a new ring. Credit: RYAN KELLY'S TWITTER

Here at Duke Now, we're into hard news and analysis. But we (and by that, I really mean me) have a softer side, too.

So when we (that just sounds better) saw on Twitter that longtime pair Ryan Kelly and Lindsay Cowher were engaged, we decided to share the good news. Above is a picture of Ms. Cowher's new hardware. Below is the reaction of some of Kelly's teammates.

Ryan Kelly undergoes foot surgery

Ryan Kelly's triumphant return against Miami was one of the most memorable performances in Duke history. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

When Ryan Kelly returned to the lineup after missing 13 games with a right foot injury, he refused to discuss the specifics of his ailments. This trend continued after the season-ending loss at Louisville, the last time he met with the media.

“I was hurt pretty good,” Kelly said. “I’ll let you know if I want to tell you what happened later on. For now, just know that I was pretty hurt.”

Tuesday, the severity of Kelly’s injury came into better focus. He underwent surgery on his right foot and will be out 12 weeks. It’s his second surgery on that foot in 13 months. The surgery was to repair damage stemming from the Jan. 8 injury against Clemson, the school said in a release.

Postgame: thoughts from Duke's 66-50 win over Creighton

Wherever Duke McDermott was, there was a Blue Devil defender was close by. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

PHILADELPHIA—The majority of the postgame thoughts are here in this story. Duke's Mason Plumlee talked about the need to be flexible in the NCAA tournament. The Blue Devils certainly flexed to get by Creighton.

A few other thoughts that didn't make it in that story or the hastily written game story from Sunday night/Monday morning:

Postgame: thoughts from Duke's 79-76 win vs. Miami

"Unconscious" was the word Miami head coach Jim Larranaga used to describe Duke's Ryan Kelly, who scored a career-high 36 points in Duke's win. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

DURHAM—Excuse the delay, folks—I'm been working on a story for senior day—but, if you missed any of it, here are a few links to our postgame coverage of Duke's 79-76 win over Miami

The main game story, which focuses on the incredible performance of Ryan Kelly, who posed a career-high 36 points coming off of his right foot injury, limiting him to a grand total of 20 minutes before taking the floor.

• In the immediate aftermath of the game, the Blue Devils were dreaming big about what Kelly's return means for their potential.

• And from Andrew Carter, a closer look at just how close Miami came in the closing seconds.

And here's one more thought:

There were times, Ryan Kelly said after the game, that he doubted he would return from the foot injury that had sidelined him since Jan. 8. But he worked diligently with Duke trainers Jose Fonseca and Nicholas Potter, maintaing cardiovascular shape by running on an underwater treadmill. Kelly also focused on strengthening the rest of his body so that when his foot was finally ready, the rest of him would be, too.

Duke beats Miami 79-76

Despite not playing in nearly two months, Ryan Kelly had a career day against Miami. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

DURHAM—When Ryan Kelly met with the media on Sunday, the first time he had done so since he injured his right foot, he offered an unsolicited comment.

“I can still shoot, if you’re wondering.”

If there were any doubts, they were quickly erased. Kelly, who hadn't played since Jan. 8, scored a career-high 36 points against the No. 5 Miami Hurricanes and paced No. 3 Duke to a 79-76 win.

The very first play of the game was designed to get Kelly an open look on the elbow beyond the arc. It worked, but Kelly missed. That was one of only four misses all night, as he finished 10-of-14 from the field and 9-of-12 from the free throw line to arrive at his 36 points. He was also 7-of-9 from behind the arc, setting a career-high. Kelly was also Duke’s leading rebounder, too, grabbing seven boards.

“I thought we prepared for Ryan Kelly,” Miami head coach Jim Larranaga said. “But, obviously, not for that Ryan Kelly.”

Postgame: thoughts from Duke's 89-68 win against Boston College

Ryan Kelly should be done wearing ties to games soon, as he hopes to be back on the court in time for senior night. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

DURHAM—The biggest news of the day came after Duke had beaten Boston College by the score of 89-68. In the Duke locker room, Ryan Kelly met with the media for the first time since his Jan. 8 right foot injury. The game story goes into full detail, but here's the cliff notes version:

+Kelly is definitely coming back this year.
+He hasn't started practicing in drills and with contact yet, but he hopes to this week week.
+He has been practicing his lateral movements on the floor and shooting as well ("I can still shoot it if you’re wondering," he said).
+As far as a return date, Kelly said he would like to be back for senior night (March 5) against Virginia Tech. Since he hasn't practiced yet, he said "some amazing things would have to happen" for him to play this week against Virginia or Miami.

A few more notes:

Weekend wake up: Something to prove

Duke is now 1-1 without Ryan Kelly. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY.

Every Saturday, the News & Observer takes a look around the ACC. That also provides an opportunity to check in with the Blue Devils and look for any emerging trends.

Duke was eager to take the floor against Georgia Tech. As assistant coach Steve Wojciechowski said earlier in the week, the Blue Devils were 0-1 without injured starter Ryan Kelly, and they had something to prove.

“A lot of people outside the gym think that we can’t be successful without Ryan,” Tyler Thornton said before the game against the Yellow Jackets. “Ryan is a big piece of our team, but we have other guys that our coaching staff recruited here for a reason. We’re all excited just to be able to come in and show what we can do.”

Life without Ryan Kelly: the new normal for Duke

Ryan Kelly, dressed in street clothes, is out indefinitely. Amile Jefferson, two down on his right, is probably Duke's best option at replacing him. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

DURHAM—Remember when Duke opened its season with 15 straight victories, including three wins over top-5 opponents?

That’s all in the past now, as one of the key components to that early run, Ryan Kelly is out indefinitely with a foot injury. Duke is a markedly different team without him.

“This is a new team,” assistant coach Steve Wojciechowski said on his weekly radio show Monday. “The team went 15-0 was the team that had Ryan Kelly. The team without Ryan Kelly is 0-1. And so, the group that is healthy has to figure out how we win.”

Duke F Ryan Kelly sidelined indefinitely with right foot injury

Ryan Kelly, Duke's most effective offensive option over the last three games, will be sidelined until further notice. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

Duke forward Ryan Kelly will be sidelined indefinitely with a right foot injury, the school announced in a statement. He will not play Saturday against N.C. State.

“We feel very badly for Ryan,” Mike Krzyzewski said in the statement. “He is playing the best basketball of his career and this is a tough setback for him. We’re hoping for a good recovery and we are optimistic about his return.”

It’s the same foot that kept Kelly out of the ACC and NCAA Tournaments at the end of last season. Kelly had surgery late last March and started this season completely healthy. Krzyzewski announced after the Wake Forest game that Kelly had tweaked his right foot during the holidays, and at that point he was thought to be back to full strength.

Kelly has been Duke’s most effective offensive weapon of late, as he is averaging 17.3 points per game in the Blue Devils last three games, despite playing an average of 24 minutes. Kelly scored a season-high 22 points in 18 minutes against Wake Forest, as foul trouble kept him out the majority of the game, and he put up 12 points in 19 minutes against Clemson. Kelly did not play in the second half.

Kelly, who was last week’s ACC player of he week, leads Duke in 3-point shooting percentage (.521) and is 15-of-20 (75 percent) from behind the arc in Duke’s last six games. For the season, Kelly is averaging 13.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.7 blocks per game and is on pace to set career highs in those four categories.

Postgame: thoughts from Duke's 68-40 win over Clemson

Amile Jefferson played well in limited action against Clemson. With Kelly's injury, his playing time will likely increase. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

DURHAM—A few more thoughts from Duke's 15th win of the year, a 68-40 victory over Clemson :

Sometime in the first half—Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski isn’t sure when—Ryan Kelly hurt his right foot. That’s the same foot he sprained during the Blue Devils’ December holiday break, and it’s the same foot that caused him to miss the ACC and NCAA Tournaments. He did not play in the second half.

Kelly had surgery on that foot last March and said he was completely healed at the beginning of the season. Krzyzewski didn’t know the extent of the injury after Duke’s 64-40 win over Clemson and said Kelly would have a CAT scan and X-rays Wednesday.

“We’re hopeful that it’s not real serious,” Krzyzewski said. “But for precautionary reasons, we felt that it wasn’t good to play him in the second half.”

Kelly came out of the locker room a few seconds after the second half started, and he went to the locker room before the end of the game. He stood up and walked in and out of huddles during the second half and didn’t give any outward signs of pain.

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