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There is exactly one team in college basketball with 11 wins — the Duke Blue Devils.
Duke is just one of nine teams remaining with undefeated records, and the Blue Devils have played the most games of any of them. After a crazy November stretch that saw it play nine games in 20 days, Duke’s December is much less daunting. It has already played two of the five games the team will play in the entire month, with the third coming this Saturday at Boston College in the ACC opener. After that, you’ll see an 11-day break where the student-athletes will take their final exams and then return to action against Evansville on Dec. 20 and then another 10-day break for the holidays. The lone game remaining in the month of December is against Florida State, which is also undefeated and shares a common win with Duke in No. 5 Florida and will be no pushover.
The 11-0 start to the season is the longest winning streak to open a year since the 2014-15 team went 14-0 en route to a national championship. Duke’s best start ever is 17-0, accomplished twice in program history. The first time was in 1991-92 when Mike Krzyzweski won his first title, the second was the 2005-06 team that ended in a Sweet 16 loss to LSU.
Bagley is special
Duke has had a lot of really talented freshmen over the years, but Marvin Bagley may be the best one yet. He leads the ACC in points (21.9 points per game) and rebounds (11.2 rebounds per game) and is tied for the most double-doubles in the country with nine. The freshman double-double record is shared by Jabari Parker and Mike Gminski at 14 and Bagley looks like he’ll blow right past that. He has already won three ACC Rookie of the Week awards, won the ACC Player of the Week award once and shared ACC Player of the Week honors with UNC’s Luke Maye once. There is seemingly nothing he can’t do on the court, and finds new ways to get better each week. Enjoy him while you can, Duke fans, as Bagley will be wearing an NBA jersey next year.
Allen finding his stroke
After going through a mini-slump after injuring his wrist, Grayson Allen appears to be healthy again as he has started to find the shooting accuracy that saw him as the nation’s leading scorer early in the year. Allen didn’t miss in his five shooting attempts against Saint Francis on Tuesday and has connected on 13 of 16 attempts in his last two games. He is 6 of 7 from three-point range during that time as well, and 7 of 8 from the free throw line. If Allen is hitting his shots, combined with the best big man tandem in the country in Bagley and Wendell Carter, the sky’s the limit for this Duke team.
A Motown Merry Christmas
After missing out on the postseason for the first time in five years in 2016, Duke is returning to a bowl game with a trip to Detroit on Dec. 26th. It accepted an invitation to the Quick Lane Bowl, and will be facing a tough Northern Illinois squad. Finishing with a winning record would give the Blue Devils a closing mark of over .500 for the fourth time in five years. They had only done that once since 1989 since this most recent run of success.
Early Football Signing Period Big
2017 is the first time that college football is holding an early signing period, and Dec. 20 will mark a three-day stretch of signing ceremonies at high schools across the country. The entirety of Duke’s 51st-ranked recruiting class is expected to ink National Letters of Intent with the program on that date, and there will be a signing day celebration at Wallace Wade to celebrate the newest Blue Devils.
Adam Rowe covers Duke basketball, football and recruiting for 247Sports.com. Check out more of his work at duke.247sports.com.