Kyrie Irving joined the New Jersey Celtics after playing with the NJ Roadrunners for today's match up with Jared Sullinger and Peach Bowl and Boo Williams AAU Champions All Ohio Red. The Celtics clawed their way back into the game on the heels of good three-point shooting to pull off what is easily the upset of the tournament. The much shorter Celtics held the powerful All Ohio front court at bay en route to the 57-53 win.
Irving played a key role, stealing the ball and scoring on a drive where he reversed his body, made the hoop and was fouled. He connected on the free throw to give his team a two-point lead, then forced another turnover and shortly thereafter finished the game off with a steal and score. The Celtics climbed to 2-1 to pull even with All Ohio Red. Irving finished the game with 22 points.
BDN spoke with Irving after the game, and more on that conversation will be available to premium members. The Celtics next take on Team Final.
ORLANDO - The super showcase is underway and the nations top college coaches fill the gyms as a multitude of teams take to the hardwood. The vast majority of the games are on the property of Disney Wide World of Sports. One facility features six games going on at the same time, the other, four. The best thing is that you can troll around the top and see all the action and clear netted partitions allows you to see scores on all the courts.
The top performance I saw today was Austin Rivers nailing seven three-pointers on his way to 30 points, leading his team to an easy win. Each One Teach One, being a local Florida team, drew a good crowd, but all of the games were well attended. Where else can you sit and see All Ohio Red, Team Final and Albany City Rocks in action at one time?
Speaking of Team Final, a bevy of coaches from schools like Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, Indiana, Texas and many others turned out to see a loaded team. Michael Gilchrist, of course, was a main attraction and he didn't disappoint, scoring in many different ways on his way to 23 points.
But who was the Duke staff watching? Well, [private] Duke Assistant Coach Chris Collins watched Albany City Rocks in the morning game. Collins watched CP-3 and PJ Hairston before heading out to a local high school to see Brad Beal. In fact, he watched Beal after the Albany City game and, make no mistake, the word is that Duke is very much in the race and he will not announce early as has been reported. In fact, Beal will likely attend the Duke Elite Camp in August.
Collins also took in Kyrie Irving twice today, but the Roadrunners struggled to a total of 39 points in their first game. Irving scored 19 points under my watch, but I counted 6 turnovers. It's clear to me that Kyrie Irving is a top Duke target if not the top one with concerns to point guards.
Roshown McLeod looked a little weird in Indiana Red as he stayed close to Tom Crean. We chatted with Ro, more on that later. Also, rumbling of Josh Selby leaning towards Kentucky seem legit, but expect to wait for things to cool down a bit. FWIW, only Duke and Kentucky watched Irving in the game I saw, and they will be at all of his games in the coming week.
Coach Krzyzewski will roll into town on Monday after his duties with Team USA on Sunday. Wojo should be present as well. UNC was reperesented by Joe Halliday and everywhere you turned you rubbed elbows with coaches. Lots of rumors floating around about Will Barton, and Austin Rivers was seen chatting with PJ Hairston.
Anyhow, just settling in and will be on the scene for the next five days. I will chime in when time allows on the message board, but the first day is getting to know the lay of the land so to speak. [/private]
Andew Slater is on the scene in Las Vegas sending back live reports on the BDN Premium message board. Do you want to know who's hot and who's not? Is there anyone new on the radar or falling off for that matter? Slater tells you who is playing well and who Coach Kryzyzewski and his staff are focusing on. Here is the day one recap - [private]
Notes from the message board-
- TT finished with only five points in the opener, but hit a three, which is something he said the staff wanted him to work on. Josh Hairston led the team in scoring with 13 and had a double-double, as the opposition could not match-up with him on the inside. After the game, I spoke with Josh and he talked about the staff trying to make him into a inside/out player a la Singler. He seems excited about moving onto Montrose.
- Marshall Plumlee was playing at the same time, but twenty minutes away. I drove over there afterwards to find that he had scored twelve in a blowout win for the Indiana Elite 16s.
- I'm watching Memphis Magic (Joe Jackson, Tarik Black) face off against Pump and Run Elite. Roy Williams and staff, Donovan, Howland, Calipari, Sendek, Crean, Huggins, and Pastner are here.
- Powell didn't play as well as he did at the LeBron James, but his Grassroots' team won a nail biter. For that matter, Tristan Thompson didn't hit a single shot. Cory Joseph stepped up big time for them. I talked with Powell briefly, but will try to speak with him again tomorrow.
- The next game involved the DC Assault duo of Thornton and Hairston. Hairston once again led the way in scoring with 17, including a three in the first half. Tyler struggled with his shot and scored four (total) on a pair of opportunistic fast breaks. I'll try to give a scouting report, when I return. Wojo was the only Duke coach watching this game. He sat with Utah's head coach, Jim Boylen. After the game I spoke briefly with TT, he said he thinks Grassroots Canada (Tristan Thompson, Myck Kabongo, Cory Joseph, Dwight Powell) may be their toughest comp.
- Wojo is watching Dwight Powell in an absolutely packed gym. [/private]
The Blue Devil Nation caught up with Duke senior running back, Re'quan Boyette during the teams recent visit to the Durham Rescue Mission. We hope you enjoy the interview -
This is Mark Watson with Blue Devil Nation here with Re'quan Boyette. You're back in the saddle again!
Yes sir, yes sir. It feels good, it feels good to be back with my teammates on the field and being able to lead them on and off the field.
Was it tough sitting out last season?
Yes sir, it was but I tried to stay positive throughout the whole thing and just try to keep a level head and lead off the field since I wasn't on the field. I tried to do everything I could off the field to be a part of the team. I was still a part of the team and just wanted to feel like I was contributing to the wins and success.
What do feel like you bring to the table as a senior leader this year?
I feel like I'm a leader and that the guys look up to me and to me for leadership and encouragement whether it's on the offense or defense. I feel like I bring a lot of experience to the backfield where we are kind of young and inexperienced. So, I feel like I bring a lot of experience that can help the guys now and later in their careers.
The offensive line has to rebuild this season. How are they looking to you?
They're looking great. During the spring they made progress. That was the main thing, we just wanted to go in day by day and make progress. Everyone is looking good, they moved Brandon Harper over to the offensive line and he's doing well and I really like him as a guard. As long as we work hard every day and get better as a team, it'll be fine.
You have Richmond coming into Wallace Wade in just over six weeks. You were at Duke when they lost 13-0 under Roof.
Yes sir, I was there. It was my sophomore year and we were shut out at home. It still sits in our minds but we are a different team now than we were back then. There have been a lot of changes throughout the program and we are simply a different team.
Having gone through that, have you been able to tell the guys, these guys are tough, won the national championship and return a solid nucleus ...
Yes sir, they [team] already know they won the national championship last year and we are not looking past them just as they are not looking past us. We are all ready for September 5th and we know it's going to be a hard fought game.
Can you describe yourself as a football player in your own words?
(laughs) Uh, I'm a leader first and foremost. As far as skill sets, I feel I bring a combination and speed and power with my game. I'm a good receiver out of the backfield for Thad and able to pick up blitzes and able to read defenses. I feel like I have patience and explosiveness. That's what you need, a lot of patience as a running back.
What has it been like since Coach Cutcliffe and his staff have been at Duke?
Oh, it's been great. They came in and changed a lot of things. Helped us with our bodies and get ourselves together. They helped us get our confidence back and we are in better condition and were able to see those changes last year. This year we just want to build on what we created last year and just get better.
If you had a message for the Blue Devil Nation [fans] about the coming season, what would you say to them?
I would just tell them that we are looking to build on last year. We are not setting any goal on wins, but we want to be better than last year. As long as we continue to get better we'll be okay and it will be satisfying. Come out and see us in the opener against Richmond.
The North Carolina Pro Am is rolling along and once again a bevy of Dukies took the court to play some hoops in the dog days of summer. Team Duhon bounced back tonight crushing their opponent 97-47 behind Mason Plumlee's 17 points. Plumlee, who struggled from the field the night before, threw down three early slams on his way to 11 first half points.
The incoming freshman seemed to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder and that led to 17 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks and 2 assists, 2 steals despite sitting out eight and a half minutes of the lopsided game. The PA announcer was pretty creative when Mason scored saying, "on the flipper," "Mason Plumlee with authority," or "Get out of the way, Mason Plumlee with the slam."
Plumlee's teammate Jon Scheyer started the game slow, mainly due to him not seeing the ball from fellow guards. Nevermind he is the starting PG at Duke. Anyhow, Scheyer adjusted and drained 3 three pointers, had 16 points and dished around 5 assists. It was clear to me that Scheyer will have no trouble picking up where he left off running the show for Duke this coming season.
In the evening's first game, freshman to be Ryan Kelly scored 15 points but his team fell short 74-59 after their win over the aforementioned Team Duhon the night before. Kelly finished well around the bucket and like the Plumlees has a good handle. The big problem for Ryan was getting the ball in his hand. I joked to one guy that getting a pass was like finding a polar bear in the tropics for some of the Duke players.
The nightcap feature the return of Kyle Singler and he didn't disappoint with his play. Singler scored 20 points on his usual variety of moves and showed that he is ready to go this season. Singler has lost some weight in an effort to play a different role for Duke this season, but he is still effective on the glass.
His teammate, rising soph Miles Plumlee ended the game with 8 points, but the PA announcer raved about his ball handling skills and a sweet reverse dunk. Unfortunately, their team came up short losing 72-64 down the stretch in a game that was nip and tuck throughout. Some questionable calls and balls falling off the rim late sealed their fate and they look to bounce back in the next go round.
There was another Blue Devil on the floor, but he played for the victors. Walk on Casey Peters played some significant minutes and hustled throughout the game on his way to 6 points. Peters was responsible to leading the Duke managers in a win over the UNC crew last season and was added to the team for the coming year.
Blue Devils were in the stands as well on Wednesday. Nolan Smith was there to cheer on his teammates and socialize in the environment and Plumlee's mom, Leslie was their supporting her boys. There was another future Devil going unnoticed as well, in Seth Curry. The youthful looking Curry will sit out this coming season after transferring from Liberty University.
The action continues this evening and admission is free. Check the NC Pro Am site for schedules and rosters. Keep in mind that as the event goes on, there will be some no shows by the players. For past reports, scan the archives or go to the Duke Basketball drop down menu on the top left of the main page.