Rick Crank Photogpraphy[/private]
Duke landed a big time local running back, when Desmond Scott de-committed from Rutgers and casted his lot with the Blue Devils. Scott plays for Durham Hillside, a team that also features another Duke commitment in Cory Gattis. It's no secret that the Hillside Hornet's will get the support of Duke fans this coming season. Scott is an all purpose back and will be a duel threat in college if he remains at his current position. He is the ninth player to commit in the class of 2009 for Coach Cutcliffe. Duke continues to show improved recruiting under the new staff.
When Kobe Bryant mentions the "joy of the game," you get an idea of what Coach K has done to make sure the players are enjoying themselves in preparation for the Olympics. Most of the players remember little of the last time the USA won Gold.
In this blurb, the author says Team USA has that special something that is missing from most NBA teams. There is some worry about the overall team health. And here is CNNSI's Chris Ballard on long range planning for the USA Basketball program.
Kenny Boynton has no shortage of confidence judging from his comments in this link.
With kickoff to football season just over a month away, Coach Cutcliffe caught the attention of coaches on Wednesday's Operation Football. Here is ESPN's Heather Dinich on Duke's "Catch 22." Richmond edged out James Madison in the pre season polls which is a departure from the pre season magazines which all have JMU on top. TSN picks them #2 in the nation, Lindy's #3 and Phil Steele has them number one.
Here is your daily platter of links from Las Vegas where the nation's top basketball prospects are gathered. Let's start with the local paper the Las Vegas Journal Live. Then there is this link at NBADraft.net followed by one of the better blogs around in Zags Blog.
Let's not forget Jeff Goodman of Fox and then there is the LATimes-Thompson says tournaments not so good for prospect's inflated egos. Lastly, Jody Demling of the Louisville Courier has as a good report up.
The first two contests during tonight's NC Pro Am games at North Carolina Central were relatively quiet. That would soon change as Jerry Stackhouse would suit up for the first time with a cast of Tar Heels. The undefeated Regulators would face the winless E-Net led by Duke freshman Elliot Williams and walk-on Steve Johnson.
Stackhouse, of course, sponsors the tournament and the word is that more ex pros will trickle in over the next two weeks. Joining Stackhouse were rising UNC senior Danny Green and incoming freshman Ed Davis.
The game started off a bit slow as Stackhouse drained a three. Few fans who have watched the games figured Team E-Net had a chance, but as the half went on they hung in the game early in the first half taking a one point lead at 16-15. Shortly thereafter, the fun began.
Elliot Williams jumped out on Danny Green on the far baseline and forced the ball off his leg with smothering defense. This brought the Duke fans to life as cheers echoed throughout the arena. Shortly thereafter Green faked by Williams for a score which brought oohs and ah's from the Tar Heel contingent.
Several big plays ensued, be it a dunk or a block. Stackhouse showed his light blue blood getting a little riled after a few big plays from the Dukies. Ed Davis also stepped up and looked really good on the glass. Steve Johnson scored six points and is fundamentally sound ina many areas of the game.
Toward the end of the half, Williams stole the ball (one of four) and went to the rim to dunk, but Green would have none of that challenging him and getting the block but also the foul as time expired in the half. He also got an elbow in the mouth, blood streaming to the point where he covered his mouth with a towel and sat out the second half.
It was in no way intentional on either players part. Williams hit the deck hard and Green came away with the elbow. The fans enjoyed the mini Duke-UNC rivalry and several seriously hard plays. Green had nine points and shook hands in a show of sportsmanship with Elliot after the game.
During one sequence, Johnson and Williams both had steals and dunks back to back. Elliot again showed the ability to take his man off the dribble and finish with the dunk. He had one play where he blew past Stackhouse for a rim rattling dunk. He struggled a bit from the outside, but again, showed the ability to pass the ball garnering a few assists. Williams ended the game with 21 points.
Former N.C. State star, Josh Powell was the game's leading scorer with 26, but he was literally all E-Net had down low and this coupled Stackhouse's experience made for an easy 73-58 win down the stretch. Still the game was closer than that score indicates. Stackhouse had 12 points and Ed Davis added 14.
In the nightcap, the Barnstormers rattled Team KG 70-58. Kyle Singler had his usual all around game, playing the entire game for his depth shy team. Kyle ended the game with 17 points and as usual was vital in his team's win.
Olek Czyz, called O.C., scored just 8 points tonight with 4 coming off his patented dunks. There were times when he got lost on the court tonight and he will have to position himself better and more importantly know where to be on the court in sets. Olek signed autographs for adoring fans who've come to love his uncanny athletic ability.
Nolan Smith had a quiet 14 points, and seemed to favor his knee. He played sparingly at times due to the nagging problem. This was his first time back after sitting out last Thursday. The three Dukies have led their team to second place in the standing with just one loss.
Duke PG Greg Paulus and Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis were in the house to watch their school mates. Miles Plumlee is listed on a roster but didn't make the early game. Paulus attended the game with his brother who plays for the UNC football team.
The games continue this Thursday at 6:00. The last game tips at 9:00. Here is the Pro Am's official website where you can check the schedules, gametimes and stats. Admission is free.
Kenny Boynton scored 26 second half points leading Team Breakdown to an 85-73 win during the opening day of the Reebok tournament in Las Vegas.
Boynton erupted after struggling with his shot in the first half where his team once trailed by 13 points. Several of the nation's top coaches were on hand to see his performance.
Teammate Brandon Knight added 22 points and the two outdueled Abdul Gaddy (26 points) and Avery Bradley (18 points). Team Breakdown faces D-One Sports today in a much anticipated match up with John Wall.
Wall led his team to a 87-80 win over Worldwide Orange, scoring 30 points in the victory. Here is TSN on the Breakdown game.