Durham, N.C. – Every summer, college coaches around the country meet with the media, and today it was Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s turn. Krzyzewski is heading into his 30th season as the Duke Men’s Basketball Coach and he covered a myriad of subjects, from his involvement with Team USA to the fact that he’ll finish his coaching career at Duke.
Krzyzewski wasted no time in dispelling rumors that he would entertain coaching the Los Angeles Lakers. In fact, he made it clear that he would finish out his career at Duke University. “I will never leave Duke until I finish coaching. I’m not leaving Duke, said Krzyzewski. Furthermore, he wanted to end any future speculation and stated his case emphatically. He went on to say that he didn’t want his players to ever think he was entertaining other jobs.
Just prior to ending that rumor, he addressed the Elliot Williams transfer by stating that the decision was what was best for his family. He refused to go into any more detail and made it clear that he didn’t want to discuss it further. While some will certainly speculate that there had to be more to it, Krzyzewski was simply trying to move on and concentrate on his 2009-10 team.
Naturally, the question of two guards came up and if you have been following the program you should have known the answer coming. Krzyzewski once again used the question as an opportunity to state that Duke did not look at players as guards, forwards, etc. Instead, they look at players as players and they have never called kids traditional positions during his tenure.
Of course, questions still came about who would handle the ball and Kryzyewzski asked the reporter who handled the ball last season at Duke. His point was that Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith return. “We had less turnovers when Scheyer took over than we did all year,” said Krzyzewski.
Again, if you have followed the program over the years, you realize that Kryzyzewski chooses to look at the positives even if there is a lack of depth in the back court. He also mentioned that Jordan Davidson would be back from off-season back surgery and that he knew the system and he could steal a couple of minutes.
Krzyzewski also lauded the play of Liberty transfer Seth Curry and mentioned how he would help in practice playing the role of the other team’s scorer.
When incoming freshmen Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly came up, Krzyzewski said that both would see significant time in their first season. He said that Plumlee and Kelly were both highly skilled and easy to play with. He discussed several of his players, but oddly, nobody really asked about Kyle Singler.
When asked if he’d coach Team USA again, Kryzyzewski pointed to July 21st as the date that the coach would be announced. He made it clear that he would always be involved with USA Basketball in some way.
And if you need some board chatter, try this one on: “We never stop recruiting,” replied Krzyzewski when asked if they were still looking at the 2009 class.
Below is a portion of the event on audio. We’ll discuss the press conference in more detail on our message boards and give you our extended thoughts on the event.
Kyrie Irving - Irving started off really slow at this event, but warmed up nicely in the last three games. He was outplayed by Brandon Knight and had two match ups with Josh Selby which were a draw. Still, there were many reasons for his sluggish play. First off, he is accustomed to playing with lesser talent and being the go to man. Yeah, I know that all of the kids at the NBAPA were go to guys, but he had a hard time adjusting to not getting the ball where he wanted it. He did not team well with Tyler Lamb. [private] In fact, Lamb, a shooting guard often tried to receive the in bounds pass when Irving was the true point in the game. When Lamb did get the ball, well, that was that for he was going to shoot. Irving showed he needs work on the consistency of his outside shot, but he is more than capable of remedying this. It should also be noted that he played in many east coast AAU events last year. What I’m getting at is he did not know some of the guys at the event, so it took him a bit to find his comfort zone.
Tyler Thornton - Tyler constantly talks to his teammates and plays a really smart floor game. His defense is solid, but he does have trouble keeping up with speedsters like Joe Jackson. He continues to work on his outside shot and is more than capable of running the point. He became more aggressive as the camp went on and that served him well. Needs to cut down on the occasional drives where he takes it into the teeth of the defense. He will likely surprise a few with his play once he is at the point for a team that plays as a team.
Josh Hairston – Hairston is adjusting to the hype and as we reported here, he’ll transfer to Montrose and that will help in that the competition is better. Hairston has been forced to play out of position and by floating outside working on his jumper, his inside game has suffered and slightly regressed. Hairston is a victim of being labeled a Dukie and prospects come at him hard, but he must learn to match their intensity being more physical on the boards and around the glass. He’ll be fine, but getting his inside game back in shape will help his confidence which has been slightly shaken of late.
Ray McCallum – Ray was no match for the speed of Joe Jackson in that he had trouble turning the corner on him. Still, McCallum is a pure point guard that generally does not hurt his team. It is clear that he is a notch below Knight and Irving, but he is steady and never shaken when beat. IOW, he bounces back quickly. He was not particularly aggressive on the offensive end at the NBAPA and had trouble getting his shot off when taking it down the lane if he didn’t have an outlet. He is quick with the ball and an adept ball handler, but he did struggle with the likes of Knight and Jackson. I think a little more upper body strength would help his game tremendously.
Joe Jackson - He had a great camp and proved himself the fastest of all the PG prospects. He would on occasion look for his shot instead of teammates, but could not be stopped when going into the lane. He plays good on ball defense and despite being wiry and slender he is unusually strong with his movements. Needs work on his outside shot, but is a scoring point that will give teams major head aches when he is on his game. You had to see Jackson play throughout the whole tournament to appreciate him. I have seen where some watched these kids the first two days and formed an opinion from that instead of the entire body of their games.
Tarik Black – As advertised with a solid body and loves to work in the paint. Did a great job against the much bigger Fab Mello and has two key baskets to help his team win the championship game. Not a great spot up shooter nor can he put the ball on the floor like some c, but he is more than efficient with his overall game and his presence is strong when in the game. Much more advanced than Tsafack at this stage, but he is learning the game of hoops as well in that he starting balling at a late age.
Brandon Knight - Knight is freakishly good, but his team did not win a single game. I am not sure what that says, but he has all the tools which make coaches drool. He is by far the best PG prospect in his class and there is a significant drop off to get to the next tier. Some people say he is selfish, but there is nothing he supposedly does wrong that cannot be fixed. Outside shot is spotty, but he is a blaze of motion with the ball and takes it to the rack with tremendous authority. Knight is very confident and is college ready right now.
Dominique Ferguson – He started slowly, but he woke up in the final two games. I feel he needs to be more aggressive on defense and down low. Still, the package is there and he has long arms and a body that is perfect for development. If he learns to play with an attitude of aggression, watch out.
Harrison Barnes - Started slowly by his standards and looked tired. His teammates did not get him the ball a lot, yet he still came away a stat stuffer by tournaments end. He struggled mightily on the front end of one and ones and was double teamed a lot. He is not a super presence when taking it into traffic, but he gets the shot off. Good inside/out play and gave maximum effort. Very smooth in all aspects of his game and plays with a quiet confidence at all times. He is not a rah-rah guy, keeping his emotion in check much like Trajan Langdon did in his days at Duke.
Andre Dawkins – Andre got saddled on one of the weaker teams and he didn’t like losing. He continued to show improvement on both ends of the court. This is a kid just now discovering his athleticism and what he can do with it. Dawkins scored on most anybody and played hard even when his team was down and out. He resurrected his team for a late playoff run. Still needs more work on his handle and creating his shot off the dribble.
Fab Mello – Mello didn’t disappoint. In fact, he played better against the best than he seems to in AAU tournaments against lesser competition. His size and ability to run the floor is impressive, but he is clueless on how to use his body with positioning. If he masters that, watch out for he will be a beast. Needs polish on his offensive game, but has all the tools to be the real deal. Struggles mightily with communication and seems to create more pressure than there really is. [/private]
The Duke Blue Devils continued their successful recruiting in the David Cutcliffe era, when they received their seventh verbal commitment from the class of 2010.
Juwon Thompson, a 5-foot-11, 210 pound running back out of Woodward Academy pulled the trigger after his second visit to Duke University.
It’s not unusual that Thompson pointed to the comfort level he had with the Duke Coaching staff, for this has been a recurring theme when recruits are asked of the reasoning behind their choice.
Thompson picked Duke over Boston College and Ole Miss over the weekend, but he had interest from Georgia, Georgia Tech and Tennessee as well.
The word on Thompson is that he is ideally suited for the offensive system Duke employs in that he is a hard running back that is very dangerous as a pass catcher out of the backfield. Thompson rushed for 1,212 yards and found the end zone 15 (TD’s) times as a junior.
He carries a 3.2 GPA in core courses and also runs track for his high school team.
Duke basketball prospect Kyrie Irving gives part I of an interview to BDN Premium. Hear Kyrie for yourself [private], but for those who do not like the audio interviews, we will try to find a way to transcribe them. During the second part, Irving spoke of his Uncle wearing an IU shirt recently and that it meant nothing. He seemed to have wanted to emphasize that point.
New York – Gerald Henderson was selected with the 12th overall pick in the first round by the Charlotte Bobcats in Thursday’s NBA Draft. Henderson, who entered the draft following his junior season at Duke, becomes the 40th player selected in the NBA Draft under head coach Mike Krzyzewski and the 73rd overall NBA draft pick in school history.
“I am excited about being drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats,” said Henderson. “Charlotte is a great city and the Bobcats have outstanding fan support. I am looking forward to getting in to training camp and summer league to work with my new teammates and the coaching staff. The Bobcats have a bright future and I am grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of it.”
Henderson, a first team All-ACC and second team All-America selection, led the team in scoring (16.5 ppg.), ranked second in rebounding (4.9 rpg.) and assists (91) and third in blocked shots (28) and steals (46) last season. He also led the team with 42 dunks, 20 drawn charges, nine three-point plays and 19 jump balls controlled. He averaged 19.8 points per game during conference play to rank fifth in the league.
Henderson ended his Duke career as one of 59 players in school history with over 1,000 career points, ranking 39th with 1,262 points. He scored in double figures in 63 contests with 14 games of 20 or more points, including 10 last season. He shot 45.8 percent from the field and averaged 4.2 rebounds in 104 career games. Henderson was also one of only 30 players in school history with 50 or more blocks, ranking 20th all-time with 69 blocks.
Henderson’s father, Gerald Sr., was a 13-year NBA veteran. He won two NBA Championships (1981 & 1984) with the Boston Celtics and one title with the Detroit Pistons (1990).
Duke Draft Notes
·Henderson is the 15th Duke player selected in the NBA draft lottery, more than any other school in the nation since the system was put into place in 1985.
·Henderson becomes the 21st player under Coach K selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. He is the 13th Blue Devil first round selection in the last 12 years.
·Henderson is the 28th Duke player selected in the first round of the NBA Draft.
·Henderson becomes the first Duke player selected by the Charlotte Bobcats. Mike Gminski is the only other Blue Devil to play for the Charlotte franchise (1991-94).
·Henderson is the second Duke player selected with the 12th pick in the NBA Draft. Cherokee Parks was draft at No. 12 by the Dallas Mavericks in 1995.
One of the players Duke fans are curious about is Tarik Black, a true power post player who scored two critical baskets down the stretch to help his team win the title game of the NBAPA Camp. Here is an audio interview with Black. See our premium section for more offerings. [private] There was another person involved in this interview and they eventually asked leading questions pertaining to Duke. Our policy is to not lead in order to get honest answers, but you still may enjoy those direct questions.