Glaxo Invitational Day One – Kelly, Wall lead teams to win

[private]The ghost of former Raleigh Broughton player, “Pistol” Pete Maravich would have loved to play in his former gym on Friday night.  The reason was there was a standing room only crowd so big that a horde of people were turned away outside.

The reason for the huge gathering of basketball fans was the 37th Glaxo Smith-Kline Holiday

Duke commitment Ryan Kelly and former Duke player Kevin Billerman pose after last nights victory
Duke commitment Ryan Kelly and former Duke player Kevin Billerman pose after last nights victory

Invitational.  Day One saw Duke commitment Ryan Kelly lead Ravenscroft to a 71-56 victory over Apex.

Kelly tallied 21 points and added 4 rebounds and 3 blocked shots according to the official stat sheet.  Kelly displayed a wide variety of moves.

“We definitely began to get in a little bit of rhythm as we get into this tournament in Glaxo and didn’t do as well as we had liked to down at Chic-Fil-A (Invitational).  But we finished with a win there and started out with a win here,” said Kelly after the game.

In the nightcap, John Wall displayed his incredible athleticism as his Word of God team advanced with a 67-41 blowout against Rocky Mount.  Wall finished the game with 16 points, 3 blocks and 2 assists.  He had three resounding dunks in the contest which brought the crowd to its feet.

Word of God will not play again until Monday evening and Ravenscroft takes to the court again tonight at 9:15.  Preceding that game, Mason Plumlee and Christ School open with their first contest in the tournament.

Duke Assistant Coach Chris Collins and his Father Doug were there to take in the event.  Raleigh Police were called in to help handle the crowd outside where a line stretched for more than 100 yards two and three deep.

For complete and unmatched coverage, consider joining Blue Devil Nation Premium.  There you will find quotes from Kelly and Wall and analysis of the event that few fans were able to see.  You can also read our live blog from the event on the members only message board.  BDN will continue to report the results of the games in our free section as well, so check back in this evening.[/private]

Cutcliffe, Tyree Glover, Brian Zoubek and Gerald Henderson

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Cutcliffe is popular on the recruiting trail 

Coach  Cutcliffe  and  the Duke staff landed a jewel in Tyree Glover a 230 pound physical linebacker.  “I like giving the punishment rather than taking it. And just the thrill of the chase,” Glover said.  Be sure to read the article and you will see how hard Duke is working on the recruiting trail. Click this link

Here is an excellent article in the Philadelphia Enquirer which talks of the injuires that have slowed Brian Zoubek and Gerald Henderson and how both are reviving their games.  Many fans forget that both of these kids had off season surgery.[/private]

Holiday Thank You’s and Wishes to Duke Athletics, members, fans and more

[private]First of all, the BDN Team of Bob, Susan and myself would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!  While I know many of you are traveling and or are enjoying time with your family, Istill want to bring you a few Holiday thanks and well wishes.  I hope you take the time to read our Christmas and Holiday well wishes to everyone from the Duke Band to Coach K!

I would like to thank our premium members and daily readers who make up the Blue Devil Nation.  We, at BDN, feel that all of us make up the Nation and we continue to expand that community.  Our members allow us to keep the BDN going and in return we try to give them the best inside coverage available.  Without subscribers, we couldn’t bring our coverage to the rest of the Duke Community and make no mistake, we need that support.

Let’s put a special emphasis on Coach K, who continues his success with his juggernaut program.  He helped give the whole country a Gold Medal and continues to be a steward for the game itself.  You have given us so many wonderful memories and thanks for letting us share the ride.  We are very fortunate to have Mike Krzyzewski at the helm.   We wish his entire clan, dogs and all the best!

I would like to also think the fine staff under him.  Our best to Chris Collins,Steve Wojciechowski, Nate James, Chris Carawell and their families!.  Collins and Wojo are some of the hardest working and most dedicated coaches in the game and we need to enjoy them while they’re here for programs will soon come knocking.  It’s comforting to see you guys on the sidelines.

Nobody was happier than me when Nate and Chris joined the program.  Nate is an articulate young man who will suceed at this level and Chris has a desire to succeed that will serve him as well.  The BDN will soon have an article up on their Basketball Clinic where our members and supporters allowed us to send kids to their camp from lesser fortunate backgrounds.  Welcome to the program guys!

Then there are the Duke Men’s Basketball players.  Thanks a lot for building new memories for us fans and representing the program with the utmost dignity and spirit.  As fans, we look forward to the rest of the season and we back you all thick and thin. Thanks to Paulus for his amazing leadership and Singler for is amazing knowledge of the game, Henderson for his athleticism and help defense, Scheyer for his hard work in the off season, Zoubs for his resilient play, McClure for his fighting through injuries to become a key contributor, Smith for him taking on the role of a leader, Thomas for his tenacity, Pocius, Johnson, DavidsonWilliams, Plumlee and Czyz for being on the best team in America.

Let’s not forget Coach P and her group of fine young women.  The Duke Women’s Basketball team has had a run of recent victories and the best is yet to come!  The BDN enjoys covering their games and looks forward to the senior season ahead for Abby, Chante and Careem.  Go out there and make some memories girls!  We’d also like to thank SID Lindy Brown for making our coverage possible.  He’s one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.

That brings us to Duke Football Coach David Cutcliffe!  We at the BDN hope you take a much needed break from your hard work on and off the field to enjoy time with your family.  It’s been a pleasure getting to know you and your staff this season and as a football fan, I would like to thank you for letting Duke fans and myself know you’ll get the job done.   You have assembled a great staff and I want to give them all a Holiday shout out, from OC Kurt Roper to Ethan Johnson, you all make up a heck of a family.  Oh, and those in the office too, led by my pal Peggy.

I would like to also wish happy holidays to all the players who worked so hard with a special emphasis to three outstanding seniors who led both side of the ball in Michael Tauiliili and Cameron Goldberg and Eron Riley.

Warm “Holiday Wishes,” to new Athletic Director and Vice President Kevin White as well.  You have been a wonderful addition for Duke University and your leadership skills and vision will serve us all well.  Seeing how you are so hands on during our coverage is more than just a little encouraging.

I wish Mike Cragg a continued and speedy recovery from his recent surgery.  Cragg is a good guy and he serves Duke well which includes a lot more than his work with the Legacy Fund.

Another shout out for a safe holiday to our spirited and lovely Duke Cheerleaders.  While you may seem under appreciated, I’d like you to know that you gals have been BDN’s most popular photo gallery.  And we’ll have that gallery back up soon.  You will always be recognized by the Blue Devil Nation as will the …

Duke Band!  Thanks for all of your hard work and spirit!  Having met some of you, I can tell the Nation that you are some fine young men and women.  The teams and fans need you!  GTHC!

And lest we forget the best mascot in America – the Blue Devil!

The Cameron Crazies and Wade Wacko’s!  Thanks for you current past and continued support.  Your importance cannot be understated.  That said, go home, rest up and celebrate with friends and family.  Then come back and cheer hard.

The best of the Holidays to my friends and Knights of the Round Table during media events, Jim Sumner, Bill Brill, Bob Harris and Al Featherston.  It’s always nice to rub elbows with you guys.  A special thanks to John Roth as well for his hard work for Duke and the opportunities he’s allowed me.

And warm wishes to my network of sources who if I mentioned you all, everybody would use you;)  Thanks for the information and working together.

Hope the Duke Sports Information Department Team has a nice break themselves.  And let’s not forget Frank Dascenzo who keeps me entertained with his memories.  There are many others, [/private]

Duke DL Oghobasse will return to Duke Football in 2009

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DURHAM, N.C. – All-ACC defensive tackle Vince Oghobaase announced on Monday that he will return to Duke for the 2009 football campaign to play his final season of eligibility for the Blue Devils.
 
Oghobaase has fulfilled requirements for his degree in sociology, and will continue his undergraduate studies to pursue a second degree as well as a certificate in markets and

Vince wants another year under Hobby
Vince wants another year under Hobby

management.  Earlier this month, he submitted his name to the NFL draft advisory board and received confidential information regarding his potential status for the upcoming 2009 draft.

 
“I honestly feel there is a time and place for everything, and deep down in my heart I know Duke is where I want to be next year,” said Oghobaase.  “When we arrived here, we set some goals both academically and athletically and we have some unfinished business on the field.  We want to continue to turn things around for the program and we have a great foundation for success.  We have some outstanding players returning on both offense and defense and in the kicking game.  We have holes to fill as we lost some great seniors, but the foundation is there.  On the defensive line, we have Ayanga (Okpokowuruk), Wesley (Oglesby), Kinney (Rucker), Charlie (Hatcher), Patrick (Egboh) and Brandon (Harper) all coming back with experience and we will strive to be an exceptional unit.  If we continue to work hard as a team and do everything the coaches ask of us, we can reach our goals of winning games and playing in a bowl game.
 
“I was dissatisfied with receiving honorable mention All-ACC last year,” continued Oghobaase.  “I am highly confident with another year of development I can earn first team all-conference, All-America and defensive player of the year honors.  These are very attainable goals.  I know I can develop further under strength Coach (Noel) Durfey and d-line Coach (Marion) Hobby.  I feel another year with them will put me over the top and evolve me into one of the elite defensive tackles in the country.  I accomplished my goal of graduating from Duke, and now I’ll concentrate on the markets and management certificate.  That will be just another thing in my pocket I can use after football.”
 
Oghobaase will be one of five returning starters on a defensive unit that made significant improvement in scoring defense (-9.8), total defense (-67.4), rushing defense (-28.7) and passing defense (-38.7) while facing the second-most difficult schedule in the nation — a ledger that included 10 bowl eligible teams and the top-ranked FCS squad in James Madison.
 
“This decision indicates Vince’s strong commitment to both his education and our football program,” said Duke head coach David Cutcliffe.  “I think he probably shocked some people when he chose to come to Duke four years ago, and I think this decision will probably shock some people.  But people need to understand that Vince is a young man of great character who has a tremendous understanding of what is important.  He values faith, family, education, hard work and the desire to be successful.  Choosing a college to attend isn’t a four-year decision, it’s a forty-year decision, and Vince wants to make sure that his total college experience is the best it could possibly be.  Vince did his homework and reached this decision.
 
“In regards to football, it is without question that we’re thrilled to have one of the best defensive tackles in the country returning for his senior season,” continued Cutcliffe.  “He’ll have an opportunity to earn All-America recognition next year.  Vince will continue to get better under the guidance of Marion Hobby, and I’m confident that he will put himself in a better position for the professional football ranks over the next 16 months.”
 
Oghobaase enrolled at Duke in January of 2005 following a prep All-America career at Alief Hastings High School in Houston, Texas.  After redshirting his first season, he has started

Vince wants another season under Hobby
Vince wants another season under Hobby

the past 36 games on the Blue Devil defensive front, amassing 128 tackles, 29.0 tackles for loss and 11.5 quarterback sacks.  His 29.0 career tackles for loss rank 11th on Duke’s all-time chart.  Oghobaase has played his best football late in the season, posting 14.0 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks in 11 career November games. 

 
This past season, Oghobaase posted 51 stops, 9,0 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks and five quarterback pressures, ranking 10th in the conference in sacks.  En route to earning honorable mention All-ACC honors, Oghobaase closed the 2008 campaign on a high note by registering 25 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks over the final five games of the year. 

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Another recruiting success story for Cutcliffe in Walter Canty

[private]Coach David Cutcliffe and his staff turned up a jewel in soon to be freshman Walter Canty.  If you haven’t heard yet, Canty turned more than a few heads with his play in the North Carolina-South Carolina Shrine Bowl game where he was tabbed the MVP.

Here is another link on the games Defensive MVP and talks of the 118 yards creditied to Canty.  Some knew Canty was a do it all athlete before the game even started.  And in this link ESPN raves over his versatility where he even played quarterback.[/private]

Duke Football Coach David Cutcliffe gets a contract extension

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DURHAM, N.C. — Duke head football coach David Cutcliffe has signed a two-year extension that pushes his current contract through the 2015 season, Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White announced on Sunday.
 
Terms of the contract will not be released.
 
“Coach Cutcliffe has clearly established himself as an elite player within the entire college football coaching community,” White said.  “Without question, David is one of

Cutcliffe spends time with his youngest daughter during his initial signing day
Cutcliffe spends time with his youngest daughter during his initial signing day

the premier coaches in the country.  Not surprisingly, in a relatively short period of time, David has implanted his strong and determined leadership all over the Duke football program.

“David has hired a phenomenal staff, and the efforts of the coaches have already paid dividends both on and off the field,” continued White.  “To be sure, David’s unqualified commitment to the comprehensive development of the student-athlete, as well as to the mission of this highly unique University, underscores the fact that this is indeed yet another great day for Duke!”
 
“David Cutcliffe is a great coach, a great teacher and a great citizen of the University and the community,” said Duke President Richard H. Brodhead.  “He and his team have restored confidence and excitement in Duke football, and I look forward to his leadership on the field for a long time to come.”
 
Hired on December 15, 2007, Cutcliffe guided the Blue Devils to a 4-8 record this past season — equaling the victory total from Duke’s previous four seasons combined — while facing the second-toughest schedule in the nation and competing in the top conference in the country according to the Sagarin Ratings.  The Blue Devils faced 10 bowl eligible teams along with the top-ranked FCS team in James Madison.
 
“I am grateful to Dr. Brodhead and Kevin for their confidence in our staff as we build on something really special here at Duke,” Cutcliffe said.  “As I have said many times

Cutcliffe and his youngest daughter
Cutcliffe and his youngest daughter

over the past year, Duke is a fantastic place with outstanding people, and we are thrilled to be a part of this institution.”
 
Under Cutcliffe’s direction, Duke showed significant improvement in all three phases in 2008.  On offense, Duke bettered its totals in total offense (+32.7), rushing offense (+42.2) and sacks allowed (-23) from the previous campaign while quarterback Thaddeus Lewis and wide receiver Eron Riley both earned All-ACC honors.  The defensive unit was led by All-America linebacker Michael Tauiliili and All-ACC defensive tackle Vince Oghobaase as the Blue Devils made marked improvement in scoring defense (-9.8), total defense (-67.4), rushing defense (-28.7) and passing defense (-38.7) and held three opponents to less than 10 points for the first time since 1976.
 
After making a combined seven-of-22 (.318) field goal attempts over the 2006-07 seasons, Blue Devil kickers booted 13-of-18 (.722) field goal attempts in 2008, posting the highest field goal success rate in a single-season at Duke since 1998.  Nick Maggio (28-of-28) became just the third kicker in Duke history to make 25 or more PATs without a miss in a single season while punter Kevin Jones ranks third in the ACC in punting (40.8 avg.).
 
In addition, Duke saw an increase of 60 percent in season ticket sales for 2008 and had four home crowds of 30,000 or more fans for the first time in school history.  Duke’s average home attendance of 28,727 in 2008 was the largest since 1994.[/private]