The Blue Devil Nation sends the family of Kay Yow and N.C. State community our sincere condolences. Having lost a sister to breast cancer, I understand the frustration and pain.
Coach McCallie (Coach P) -
On her reaction: “It was just so mixed. She has been such a warrior in terms of her fight and her struggle, but a part of me is just feeling great for her to be going home to a better place for her now. It’s hard to
describe the feeling; it’s hard to put it into words. I’ve never seen a woman or known a woman to share a story, her story, so eloquently under such incredible conditions. The courage that she showed, a lot of people are afraid. They’re afraid to share their story. Kay was never afraid. I just know that it had to be a very peaceful thing for her. I’ve not known her very long, and I don’t know her extremely personally, but I feel like I know her character, and I think that’s the interesting thing about Kay Yow. You may not know her personally or had lunch perhaps, but the reality is you know her character and you know what she stands for. In our hearts, our thoughts, our prayers go out to North Carolina State and the entire North Carolina State family, that incredibly talented team. It’s much more personal and direct for them. We grieve with them, but we also celebrate with them. There’s a lot to celebrate there.
She transcends the basketball community. She’s been a historic leader in a very difficult circumstance for women’s health and issues. It transcends the game of basketball, and she was able to use the game of basketball in its proper context to make people better, to help people, to communicate. I still can never get over how ‘pink’ took over. The thing I’ll always think about with Kay is how she made pink. She made pink something special. For the longest time, pink was something soft and feminine and suddenly it became this courageous fight that everyone’s been united in, and that was one her many legacies. She made pink more beautiful than pink could ever be.”
Duke Men's Basketball Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski - On Kay Yow's impact: "Over the years, I've had a lot of time to interact with her through the V Foundation. The great thing about her is that she had the courage to fight her battle in public, and as a result she not only fought for herself, but for everybody that has cancer, will have cancer, and for the families who are involved. She created an amazing awareness for that fight and set such a good example, especially in this area with Jimmy [Valvano] as a male and for Kay to do that, I don't think any area of the country has brought an awareness to the fight against cancer like this one. God bless her - she was a terrific lady. A fighter 'til the end. ... It's a sad day, but in some respects when you celebrate a life it brings a smile to your face to know you were blessed to be in the presence of an amazing individual."
Former Duke Head Coach and Current Texas Head Coach Gail Goestenkors -
"Today is a sad day for all of women's basketball. Kay was loved and respected by everyone, and we all feel blessed to have been a small part of her life. Our game is forever changed because of her. Kay's impact on the players she had the opportunity to coach and teach, and the impact on her colleagues and friends, cannot be measured. She touched everyone in such an incredible way that we all felt like we were good friends of Kay's. I have nothing but love and respect for her. Her legacy will live on forever in our game."
Former Duke Head Coach Debbie Leonard -
"I knew Kay most of my life. She was a role model when I was in college, even though she coached our rival, Elon. She was an opponent as we played summer softball on rival teams. And of course, when I got to Duke in '77 she once again was an opponent. Through it all, I respected her so much and our friendship grew. When I left Duke, one of the first calls I got was from my buddy Kay. There will never be another who has the ability to be such a competitor in one moment and such an ally in the next. As I speak these words I know Wuffie is very busy...she's up there forming a "Hoops in Heaven" league !!!"
Former Duke Student-Athlete, Assistant Coach and Current Head Coach at California Joanne Boyle -
"Coach Yow was an inspiration to everyone in all walks of life. She was a incredible role model who had a passion for young people that went above and beyond. Her strong walk with God gave her a purpose and a platform to touch lives in a positive way through a terrible disease. She fought gracefully, bringing awareness, and more importantly, HOPE, to those battling breast cancer. Coach Yow was a servant to others and a mentor to all. She gave all she had before leaving this earth and she will forever be remembered in the basketball community!"
As you probably know by now, Duke walloped Maryland and is poised to go to number one for the 60th time since the ESPN/Coaches Poll has existed. Oh, and nobody is a close second;) We'll get to the game shortly, but until then, here is a look at the freshman who got some good minutes -
• Game 19 •
[2 AP/2 Coaches] Duke (17-1, 4-0 ACC) vs. Maryland (13-5, 2-2 ACC)
Saturday, January 24, 2009 • 12:02 PM ET • ESPN
Cameron Indoor Stadium (9,314) • Durham, N.C.
Blue Devil Bits
l Duke is 17-1 on the year, including a 4-0 mark in Atlantic Coast Conference play. The Blue Devils
have now started the season with a 17-1 record 10 times, including nine times under Mike Krzyzewski.
l The Blue Devils are ranked second in the AP poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. Duke is 109-16 all-time when ranked second in the AP poll.
l Duke is first in the latest RPI according to CollegeRPI.com. The site also ranks Duke’s strength of schedule third in the NCAA.
l The Blue Devils moved to 4-0 in league play with a 73-56 win over N.C. State on Tuesday. Duke shot 76.9 percent (20-of-26) and outscored the Wolfpack 51-30 in the second half of the game.
l Junior Gerald Henderson scored 17 of his game-high 21 points after halftime. He also led Duke in rebounds (7), assists (4), blocks (1) and steals (5) for the game.
l Kyle Singler scored in double figures for the 17th time in 18 games with 17 points against N.C. State. He was 6-of-10 from the field, including 3-of-4 from three-point range, in the win.
l Gerald Henderson and Kyle Singler combined to outscore N.C. State, 31-30, in the second half. The duo shot 13-of-18 (.722) from the field in the final 20 minutes of play.
l Sophomore Nolan Smith added 13 points, including a pair of three-pointers to spark a 27-7 second half run, against N.C. State.
l Duke has won 19 straight games in the month of January dating back to a 74-63 loss at Georgia Tech on Jan. 10, 2007.
l The Blue Devils are 198-54 under Coach K in the month of January, including a 92-7 mark since 1998.
l Since losing to Michigan, 81-73, on Dec. 6, the Blue Devils have not allowed more than 70 points in a game. Duke’s opponents are averaging just 57.7 points per game over the last nine contests. Six of Duke’s last nine opponents have scored fewer than 60 points.
l Sophomore Kyle Singler leads Duke in points, rebounds, assists and steals. Christian Laettner is the only Blue Devil to lead the team in four major statistical categories in a season. Laettner led the team in points, rebounds, steals and blocked shots during the 1990-91 season.
l Junior Gerald Henderson has reached double figures in scoring in each of the last 10 games, averaging 17.7 points per game in those outings. He is shooting .556 (68-of-128) from the field, including .536 (15-of-28) from three-point range during that span Henderson has scored at least 15 points in seven of his last eight games.
l Gerald Henderson is shooting .797 (47-of-59) from the free throw line this season. Entering the year, he was a career .657 (138-of-210) shooter from the charity stripe. Henderson is also shooting a team-high .449 (22-of-49) from three-point range this season after shooting .318 (28-of-88) from three-point distance in his first two seasons.
l The Blue Devils have the top scoring defense in the ACC, allowing only 60.3 points per game. Duke has held 12 of its 18 opponents to 60 points or less on the season.
l Duke is allowing just 53.5 points per game in league play, 15.7 points per game better than
Maryland (second in the ACC at 69.2 ppg.). The Blue Devils are also first in the ACC in field goal defense (.378) and three-point field goal defense (.269) in league play.
Duke is 15-0 when leading at the half. The Blue Devils have faced a second-half deficit just three times (Rhode Island, Michigan, N.C. State) this season.
l Junior Jon Scheyer has led the team in assists in each of the last five games and eight games overall this season. He currently has 197 career assists and needs three more to become the 36th player in school history with 200 career assists.
l The Blue Devils have won 14 games by double digits this season. Duke ranks second in the ACC in scoring margin (+19.7 ppg.). The Blue Devils lead the ACC with a +16.0 scoring margin in conference-only games.
l Sophomore Kyle Singler is averaging a team-high 17.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in Cameron Indoor Stadium this season. He is shooting .515 (69-of-134) from the field at home with a team-high 18 three-point field goals.
l Greg Paulus has only committed one turnover in 56 minutes of action in Duke’s four ACC games. For his career, Paulus has a 1.6:1 assist-to-turnover ratio in league play.
In early September, junior guard Tyler Thornton verbally committed to Duke University along with his AAU teammate, Josh Hairston. This past weekend the Gonzaga playmaker headed to the birthplace of basketball, Springfield, Massachusetts, where he led his team to a victory over repeat
New England Prep School champions, St. Mark's, which features a pair of elite level big men in 6'10" Erik Murphy (Florida) and 6'8" Nate Lubick (Georgetown). After the hard-fought victory, Tyler spoke with Blue Devil Nation about topics ranging from what the Duke coaches have asked him to work on and a scouting report on Josh Hairston to Kendall Marshall and his mother, the future loudest Cameron Crazy. Enjoy the interview -
Blue Devil Nation: One of the things that your coach Steve Turner has talked about is your leadership. He's mentioned since you walked through the door as a freshman, you've been Gonzaga's leader. Was that a conscious effort on your part to establish that early on or more of a natural aspect of your personality?
Tyler Thornton: It was more of a natural thing. Coming in, before high school, I was always the biggest guy and most likely the best player on my team.
BDN: Setting the tone early?
TT: Yeah, and then after a while, they just understand that's how you play. When I came here my freshman year, it was a natural thing. I would say my first couple of games I was just nervous, but then the guys, you know, the guys they was just picking me up.
BDN: People like Max Kenyii?
TT: Yeah, Max Kenyii who's going to Harvard. They were looking for me to be the vocal leader on the team and run the team. The biggest thing that they trusted me.
BDN: Did you start as a freshman at point guard or off guard?
TT: Freshman year, I started midway through the season as the point guard.
BDN: Do you consider yourself to be a vocal leader, one who leads through actions, or both?
TT: More of a vocal leader You know I always talk on offense and defense making sure everybody's where they're supposed to be at. You know that just makes it a lot easier for us as a team and for the coaches on the sidelines so that they don't have to yell every single thing from the sidelines.
BDN: One of the other attributes that comes up a lot with you is winner. The Assault team won seven large tournaments in a row until Akron then you won the Bob Gibbons, and then you ultimately won the MVP at the big tournament in Vegas at the end of the summer. Gonzaga has been now 49-3 over the past two years with you running the show in the WCAC, arguably one of the toughest conferences in the nation. What do you attribute that to?
TT: You know that's something I can't do on my own. You've got to trust your teammates and they trust you. Guys are building chemistry and you're just loving playing with each other.
BDN: Both teams.
TT: Yeah, that's for both teams. We enjoy playing with each other. You know everybody loves to win so, you know, they're gonna sacrifice and that's what its all about.
BDN: There's nothing more important. At the end of the day, these guys (St. Marks) are walking past us with their heads down.
TT: Exactly, exactly
BDN: What do you consider to be your greatest strength right now?
Tyler Thornton: Right now, defensively, Id like to get in my mans face.
BDN: You're very intense defensively.
TT: Yeah, and I like to play help side defense too. On this team, they look to me for offense, but, as you can see, other guys step up and, if they're on fire, I'm gonna definitely get them the ball. You know, I can score on offense, but, if someone else is on fire, I'm gonna get it to them.
BDN: What would you like to work on before you arrive at Duke?
TT: You know especially now, when I'm working towards college, its my three point shot. That's what Coach K told me he'd like me to be able to knock them down.
BDN: I didn't think I saw you shoot one today.
TT: I didn't.
BDN: But you're working on it.
TT: Yes, yes.
BDN: What, if anything else, has the Duke coaching staff asked you to work on? Either in terms of on the court or with your body.
TT: Besides the three point shot, you know, Coach Collins was telling me you know how there were those lanky guys that were real big and I couldn't really finish around them
BDN: (laughs) I saw you covering (Erik) Murphy on that one possession.
TT:(laughs) Yeah, yeah. You saw around the basket how I tried to use my floater. I didn't hit today, but that was one thing he told me to work on, especially in college cause everyone's big and everybody's getting on the glass so, you know, work on the floater.
BDN: Whats your favorite move right now?
TT: Move? As in offense, I cant tell you. (laughs)
BDN: Alright, alright. Thats' fair. What players do you try to emulate your game after?
TT: You know I just try to take a little bit from everybody. Chris Paul, Jason Kidd, Nolan Smith. I play a similar position as Now.
BDN: You're both D.C. Assault guys.
TT: (laughs) Yeah, Yeah. Just take a little bit from everybody because, you know, everybody has good attributes.
BDN: In the past, you weren't asked to score as much as this year. How did you feel about the added responsibility?
TT: It's not really added, you know, because it was already part of my game. Its just the teams we had before at Gonzaga I wasn't expected to score or I didn't have to. Its different with D.C. Assault, you know, when Coach tells me to score, I score. The offense that were in here we swing the ball around, you know, kick it out. If somebody has an open shot, they're gonna take it, you know, they're not going to swing it.
BDN: You guys have a lot of players with good court vision, even the big guys. Talk about the competition you face in the WCAC, arguably one of the top 5 leagues in the country
TT: I think its number one.
BDN: And how that might prepare you for the ACC better than the average public school kid in America.
TT: Exactly, you know, that's why everybody in our area just wants to play in schools in WCAC because they know that its going to prepare them for the next level, you know, the coaches the players everybody you know, so I'd say its like a mini-ACC. Everybodys trying to win and everybody can knock everybody out.
BDN: Especially in your class There's one match up of yours that Duke fans will be looking to for the next few years. You and Kendall Marshall. Lets talk about it.
TT: Kendall. That's like my best friend . We went to middle school together and played on the same team.
BDN: He's with Boo Williams.
TT: Yeah, I'm D.C. Assault
BDN: You beat him three out of four times last year and outscored him 25-17 in front of Coach K in December.
TT: Yeah, but they won that night.
BDN: Alright, well, I didn't want to bring that up. (laughs)
TT: That's okay.(laughs). Its alright. He's my man. I'm looking forward to playing against him for the next, what, six years.
BDN: Maybe beyond
TT: (laughs) Yeah, hopefully
Blue Devil Nation: How do you match up against him? What do you better and what does he do better at this point?
Tyler Thornton: Kendall, you know, he's a great point guard with great court vision and a nice touch. Hes got an all-around game. Kendall's a great player.
BDN: Talk about the differences in what you're asked to do at Gonzaga as compared to D.C. Assault.
TT: In AAU, there are teams that are stacked and teams that are not as good. In high school, we have more of a set type offense. We run like a Princeton style offense and in AAU we just, like, run and gun.
BDN: You, Eric Atkins, Hairston
TT: Yeah, you know, maybe, a secondary break-drive it to the middle, kick it out, pick-and-roll. Its a different style of offense, but the intensity is still there. Were still trying to win.
BDN: Could you give a scouting report on Josh Hairston and tell the audience about him as a person?
TT: I'd say basically a mix between KG and Tim Duncan.
BDN: Wow, that's something to look forward to for the fans.
TT: (laughs) Of course, you know, he finishes great around the basket.
BDN: He's developing a nice little hook.
TT: Yeah, he can step out, face up, take his man off of the dribble or shoot the jumper. Hes great on defense, you know, blocking shots -- rebounding. He's got an all around game.
BDN :He talked about what a major step up his game took when he joined the Assault. He felt it really helped his game a lot.
TT: Yeah, you know, when he came, I think he was a little nervous at first, but he seen that we trusted him. The first time he came he really wasn't looking to score or doing what we know he could do.
BDN: He was just trying to fit in.
TT: Yeah, so we was like, man, just play. You're gonna miss shots, but everybody here gonna misses shots. So if you shoot the ball, that's better for us, its a better chance for us to get buckets.
BDN: Sure, you're simply closer.
TT: Yeah, so me and Eric the other guards we don't have problems with keep dumping it down. It helps everything out for us because we keep scoring.
Blue Devil Nation: What kind of advantage do you think you'll have by knowing where he likes the ball and his tendencies by the time you arrive at Duke?
Tyler Thornton: I think it'll tremendously help our chemistry on the court if we end up being on the court at the same time or even in practice going against the older guys. I think it'll help us a lot. I know where he likes the ball and know where he likes to put the ball. Its always good to have somebody that you know that you enjoy playing with going through the system with you together.
BDN: Have you visited the Hall of Fame yet on this trip? Is this your first trip? If so, what were your impressions?
TT: Yeah, we went yesterday. It was my first time going. There was a lot of good stuff in there. Last night there was a dunk contest, two ball, three point shooting
BDN: Was everybody there?
TT: Yeah, all the teams.
BDN: Whats your current height and weight?
TT: I'd say 6-1 and three quarters and ...
BDN: (laughs) Alright, alright ...
TT: (laughs) and maybe 185...190
Blue Devil Nation: Okay, what would you like to be by the time you get to Duke?
Tyler Thornton: You know Coach. Coach K has told me that my body weight is fine. He actually wants me to lose a couple pounds so that, you know, Id still be strong, but Id be even a little quicker.
BDN: Do you have a weight room at school?
TT: Yes, and actually our trainer was here today. He works us out in the off seasons. He comes in and tells us what to do during the season too.
Blue Devil Nation: Have you had a chance to watch Duke much this year on TV? What is your take on this years team?
Tyler Thornton: Yeah, after practice, I try to catch all their games.
BDN: So you caught the Georgetown game?
TT: Yeah, that was a big game for me.
BDN: (laughs) I know it was a big game for you. I wasn't sure about bringing it up, but.. (Georgetown recruited Tyler)
TT: (laughs) Yeah, definitely, definitely. Yeah, but hopefully I get a chance to go down there and watch them play.
Blue Devil Nation: What would you like fans to know about Tyler Thornton, both as a person and as a player?
Tyler Thornton: You know I don't consider myself to be a big star or nothing so
BDN: Oh, come on! You're the reason I'm here at this thing (laughs)
TT:(laughs) I'm just a laid back kid. I like to have fun and just chill. I just like to laugh and have fun, you know, so.
BDN: What about on the court? What do you want people to remember you as?
TT: Someone who played hard and left it all out on the court. He fought until the last minute.
BDN: A winner too.
TT: Yeah, you know I just hate to lose. If were down five with five seconds left, Im still thinking in my mind that were gonna win this game.
Blue Devil Nation: You won the title last year and now your team has a couple of early losses to O'Connell and that team in Ohio, but you seem to be hitting your stride now.
Tyler Thornton: This year everybody around our area sees all of the players that we sent to college last year and they think the new guys won't fill the void for them. But it's not about those guys trying to do what they did. It's about guys playing a role and, if they play their roles right, we can win. You see today the height advantage they had was tremendous.
BDN: Yeah, I know, I thought My God, this is the one game I'm gonna have to interview you after.
TT:( laughs) Yeah, the height advantage was a tremendous difference, but our coach told us to box out. He told the guards we have to rebound and get out and run the floor.
BDN: Yeah, you pushed it, spread the floor, and wound up getting their guys in foul trouble.
TT: Exactly, exactly
Blue Devil Nation: Are you going to the inauguration?
Tyler Thornton: Unfortunately not, we've got practice. We've got school the next day. I'll go to practice, stay off of my feet a little bit, and just watch it on TV.
BDN: Who's the toughest guard you ever faced?
TT: Oh, about two years ago we faced Joe Jackson down at Bob Gibbons. He just killed us (laughs) He gave us about thirty. You know Kendall and Josh Selby and Markel. They're always great competitors.
BDN: Well, I mean it's help you to face them each once or twice a season ...
TT: Yeah, it helps everybody on my team, not just me. It helps everyone in our area. Our area is so great. The competition is so hard.
Blue Devil Nation: Lastly, your mother! I know that's gotta be your mother.
Tyler Thornton: (laughs) Yeah, yeah, yeah.
BDN: I said that has got to be your mother. I've seen her at the D.C. Assault games with the other mothers, but they're much louder there. They've got the cheers and everything. I never mention mothers, but they're so impressively loud and into the games. Shes got to be coming down to Duke when you start up. (laughs)
TT: (Laughs) Oh, of course. She's gonna be one of the Cameron Crazies.
Blue Devil Nation: Oh, when you and Josh signed, I thought to myself, I hope that woman is one of your mothers cause she is the one woman who is louder than the Cameron Crazies.
Tyler Thornton:(laughs) I know. I know. With the D.C. Assault, that's a great boost to have.
BDN: It is. It definitely is.
TT: Not only my mother, but everybody elses mother too.
BDN: Yeah, I love it when she goes (imitating Tyler Thornton's mother) Deeeefense, boyyyyyys, defense( laughs)
TT: (laughs, clapping his hands together ) Yeah, that's it! Yeah. Especially, if we're down, they start and it up and it gives us a boost. Its great to have a mother that's into the game like that.
BDN: Sure, absolutely. I also noticed that shes got the same look around the eyes too.
TT: Yeah, yeah, that's my mother.
BDN: Well, Tyler, it was very nice to meet you.
TT: It was a pleasure to meet you too.
The Blue Devil Nation welcomes aboard, Andrew Slater. Andrew is one of the more knowledgeble folks I know when it comes to AAU ball, prospects and recruiting. He brings with him a uniques and detailed style which is sure to please our members.
The Duke offense erupted in the second half and that helped the Duke Blue Devils move to 17-1 overall and 3-0 in the ACC with a 73-56 win over N.C. State.
To call this game a tale of two halfs for the Dukies is an understatement. Duke shot 29% from the
field in the first half and 76.9% in the second. The Blue Devils managed to score just 22 points at the break, but came on to roll up 51 in the second half.
“Our offense, as bad as it was in the first half, it was that good in the second half. I thought they played us really hard. I was worried about today’s game for a couple reasons – one, I think State’s good. After that big win against Georgetown, there’s a little bit of a let-down emotionally, crowd-wise and team-wise," said Krzyzewski.
Duke jumped out to an early 8-1 lead, but then went ice cold from the field as if they were sleep walking after Saturday's big win over Georgetown. Duke trailed the Wolfpack the rest of the way, until the 9:27 mark, when back to back Nolan Smith three pointers gave them a 52-49 lead.
N.C. State rode the scoring punch of Ben McCauley and Brandon Costner who scored 15 points each, but they were shut out down the stretch when the vaunted Duke defense kicked in. The Pack scored a single point in the last 4:41 of the game.
Duke finally broke the game open when David McClure made a steal and hit Gerald Henderson for a dunk and a 62-55 lead.
"There’s game pressure – I thought the second half, the start of the second half, we had great energy. Gerald, especially in the first eight minutes, was great . Nolan – I thought this was his best game, and he’s put three really terrific games together. And Kyle playing with four fouls for eight minutes. It was a one-possession game, and all of sudden we got two steals and turned them into buckets. McClure was huge for us, especially on that top ball screen. It was a hard-fought win for us, but with the score you’d think we kind of walked throgh this," stated Krzyzewski.
Henderson left no doubt that he was the player of the game, continuing his torrid play of late. He put his team on his back on the way to scoring 21 points to go with 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 key steals. The junior continues to play at a very high level and that has been a Godsend in that some other Devils have been in a slump.
“I knew I was going to have to be way more aggressive than I was. Kyle wasn’t playing like he usually does. Jon wasn’t hitting like he usually does. So I guess I kind of took it on my shoulders. My teammates were going to me, Coach was going to me, and I knew that if he was going to call some plays for me I had to make something happen,” said Henderson.
N.C. State Coach Sydney Lowe said, "He (Gerald Henderson) took over the game for a period there and that’s the one guy I talked about in pre-game to the media. He can change the game and he did it again tonight. That’s what he expects of himself and I’m sure that’s what his team expected. He did exactly what a leader is supposed to do. He took over.”
Jon Scheyer had a miserable night scoring a late three pointer, but led his team with 5 assists. Scheyer has now had four sub par scoring games.
Brian Zoubek and Lance Thomas also continued to struggle on the offensive end of the court, but there were several shots in which the seven footer altered the shot. But Zoubs will have to learn to
finish his shot with more authority to get back on track and Thomas needs to find his way back into being a key contributor down the stretch is Duke is to continue their winning ways come the meat of a tough ACC schedule.
Kyle Singler was saddled with four fouls and that made it hard for him to be aggressive on the boards in that he had just 4 rebounds tonight. But Singler is Duke's best interior defender and his 17 points cam at key moments in the second half enabling a late Duke run.
The aforementioned three pointers from Nolan Smith were big and he finished with 13 points but failed to dish a single assist. Paulus had one assist and nine key points off the bench, but Kryzyzewski would most certainly like to see more distribution from the point guard position, although he called this Nolans best game this season.
Despite some struggles, any ACC win is huge in a tough conference. Duke got things rolling late
and escaped what would have been a trp for most teams. It was an evening when the weather caused some no shows and Cameron was nowhere near it's best.
It was clear that Coach K and his staff came out in the second half and got a bit more animated than usual. On a night with so many odd intangibles, there is no way to measure how important that support was.
The Blue Devil Nation was on hand for the 7th Annual Martin Luther King Scholastic invitational in Greensboro and we bring our members this synopsis of the happenings. We'll have Q & A's with the shakers coming as well. From Deuce Bello to Mason Plumlee, we bring you the latest -
(Blue Devil Nation Premium is a subscription service)
Why did Oak Hill win so easily? -Guard play, namely Mo-Mo Jones who drove it right down the throat of the Greenies defense at will. Oklahoma bound Tiny Gallon made some timely blocks and held down the middle. Daron Lamb ran as a front court player in what was basically a three guard
offense. Oak Hill scored a ton of points where the Greenies didn't [private] get back on defense. Then there was a lack of patience when the game was close for Christ School, that allowed spurts that ultimately became too much to come back from. Greenies lack of a special point guard ws exposed and their guards neutralized.
More Keith "Tiny" Gallon- While he wasn't that effective on the offensive end, his play was vital. He turned to the Oklahoma assistant and nodded with a smile after taking the ball in for a dunk over two players. Later in the game he said "I'll bet yalls money was on them," to the TV crew from Western North Carolina which was covering the game. He did so laughing. Too much moxy for Oak Hill.
Playing with a chip on their shoulder- Coming into the game, most thought Christ School was the team with a chip on their shoulder having lost a heart breaker last season against the same team. But Oak Hill players cited several newspaper quotes which riled them up. Mo-Mo pointed to a comment, "Brandon Jennings is gone," taking it as if that meant he'd be handled with ease. We will provide quotes from many of the players in a game article that is in the works.
Short turnaround - Christ School is in High Point for a game today.
Greenie support - Christ School support was impressive and at times funny as their student body sat directly behind the Oak Hill bench.
Mason Plumlee- Plumlee had 24 points but struggled from the three point stripe. The lack of three point shooters helped doom Christ School in their comeback effort and Mason was trying to put his team on his back. This caused him to force a few shots and late in the game the calls were not going his way. It was not one of Plumlees better games despite his MVP for his team, but he was by far one of the only players on a talented team to show up. He was helped by Lucas Troutman, a junior who had a nice game around the boards. His brother, Marshall played sparingly.
Coaches there - Nate James of Duke, Oklahoma, Murry State, UNC Greensboro, Harvard, South Carolina, Dino Gaudio and assistants from Wake Forest
Overheard - Assistant from Wake telling a players Father, you know I cannot speak to him talking of an Oak Hill player.
Most watched prospect- Deuce Bello, a sophomore from Westchester Country Day. You'll be hearing a lot more about this prospect. It may be worth noting that Nate James stayed for his entire game in the nightcap.
More on Deuce- He stands 6-3 and has blazing speed in making his moves like slashing through the lane. He is a quick leaper and a showboat dunker. He is very fast with the ball off the dribble and
has a solid handle. His defense needs work as does his outside shot. He looks like a top ten player in the class of 2011. He handled PG for his team, but will fit more as a wing guard in college. I was able to watch a DVD of another game he wasx in and will break him down shortly. I look forward to seeing him again. [/private]