ACC names Duke’s Leon Wright Defensive Back of the Week

0001wrightDURHAM, N.C. – Duke senior cornerback Leon Wright has earned ACC Defensive Back of the Week honors as announced by the league office on Monday afternoon.
A native of St. Petersburg, Fla., Wright helped the Blue Devils to a 35-19 win over Army by returning two interceptions for touchdowns in a 16-second span late in the fourth quarter.  The touchdowns covered 51 and 33 yards, respectively, as Wright became the first player in Duke football history to have two interception returns for touchdowns in a single game.
Wright added four tackles, one fumble recovery and one pass breakup in the win over the Black Knights as Duke rallied from a 10-7 halftime deficit for the victory.  Coupled with a 24-yard fumble return against Georgia Tech in 2007, he now has scored three defensive touchdowns in his career to rank tied for first on Duke’s all-time list.  In addition, Wright also was named the National Defensive Performer of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards.
Other weekly award winners include Wake Forest’s Riley Skinner (Offensive Back), Florida State’s Caz Piurowski (Offensive Lineman), Georgia Tech’s Derrick Morgan (Defensive Lineman), Georgia Tech’s Scott Blair (Specialist) and Clemson’s Kyle Parker (Rookie).

BDN Premium Recruiting Updates – Rivers set to vist Duke this coming weekend, visits made

Austin Rivers will visit Duke this coming weekend - BDN Photo
Austin Rivers will visit Duke this coming weekend - BDN Photo

Austin Rivers will visit campus this coming weekend with [private] his Mom.  The Rivers family contacted Duke last week to set up the visit.  There are positive vibes surrounding his visit, meaning that the staff feels they can make a great impression.

The men’s staff was out in force a week ago seeing Brad Beal, Kyrie Irving, J.P. Tokoto and Quincy Miller in open gym sessions.  Duke will concentrate on Beal after the Rivers and Kyrie Irving official visits.

The visit went very well with Kyrie Irving this past week.  How good?  Well, Duke canceled their in home visit with Brandon Knight which was scheduled for tomorrow.  Duke is hoping that Irving pulls the trigger in the next month or earlier.  Duke will stay on Irving big time, so much so that they will visit an open gym on Tuesday of this week.

There are good feeling surrounding Quincy Miller, but with Brian Clifton involved there could be a long delay before he is ready or allowed to verbal anywhere.  When Duke offered Miller, he wasn’t even near the top ten in the rankings.  He soared in the next go round of ratings showing that the Devils do have a good eye for talent.

Irving drives the lane at this past seasons NBAPA Top 100 Camp
Irving drives the lane at this past seasons NBAPA Top 100 Camp

Harrison Barnes was in a similar situation as well.  Duke offered Barnes shortly after the NBAPA Top 100 Camp in 2008.  He climbed the rankings steadily since that time.  Barnes is still slated to take all of his visits, but there was some reason for optimism on the recent visit to see Barnes.

Duke will be visiting Marshall Plumlee at Christ School this week as well.

So, breaking it down, I feel good about our chances with Irving, Barnes and Rivers.  Yes, Rivers.  Duke is a great fit for this young man and he’ll certainly get a good look with his Mom.  If all goes well, Duke will set up an official visit and in homes.  Duke will go after Beal once the dust clears on a busy September.  They are in the process of setting up visits.

Duke will continue to set up plans on a week to week basis going forward.  Ideally, they get verbals from Miller and Tokoto early so they can concentrate on other areas.

The men’s basketball staff is looking forward to the season and working with players as a whole instead of small groups.  There are no serious or nagging injuries being reported, meaning the team is in good health.  [/private]

Off season enhancements for Cameron Indoor Stadium

k  two 027DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University’s Cameron Indoor Stadium, the crown jewel of college basketball’s classic venues, has undergone a series of improvements this summer to enhance the gameday experience, while also retaining the revered qualities of the facility as it approaches its 70th year as the home of the Blue Devils.

“Immediately following last season, we encouraged the Duke Athletics staff to enhance the gameday experience within what is commonly referred to as the very best venue in college basketball,” said Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White. “The results of that effort are outstanding. The fresh new look of the building does not compromise any of the traditional aspects that have long made Cameron Indoor Stadium the pinnacle cathedral for college basketball within our country. Needless to say, given these upgrades, we are all extremely excited about the upcoming season.”

A reconfiguration of courtside seating will enable Duke to build on the existing spirited gameday experience for the student body. Graduate students will now be able to occupy seats in both the north and south ends of Cameron. This change will place some of Duke’s most creative and energetic fans behind both baskets, giving the opposition a challenging shooting background during both halves of action. Undergraduate seating will be virtually unchanged as college basketball’s best student section will remain courtside in Section 17. In the new configuration, the total number of seats available to undergraduate students on a game-by-game basis will be unaffected. Additionally, Duke was able to create premium seating for sponsors, donors, alumni and prominent guests located on padded blue seats directly behind the scorer’s table.

In front of the undergrads will be a new state-of-the-art press table featuring 90-feet of LED (light emitting diode) technology. The new press row will improve crowding in the first row of the student section and features two aisles that will help fans and media members in and out of their seats at halftime and after the game.

One of the most visible enhancements came in the upper bowl of Cameron where all 5,649 seats were painted Duke blue in conjunction with an extensive pressure washing of the seats, concrete, railing and tunnels. Each of the distinctive brass railings that surround the arena will be refurbished prior to the beginning of the 2009-10 basketball season.

“Cameron Indoor Stadium is already one of the treasures in college athletics,” said head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “Getting the graduate students behind both baskets, while keeping our undergraduate student section courtside, will create even more of a home court advantage for the team. We are fortunate to have the best fan base in the country, so to be able to enhance the gameday atmosphere is very exciting for our program. Personally, I love the new look of the stadium and can’t wait to see it full of Cameron Crazies and Duke fans throughout the 2009-10 season.”

Duke men’s basketball fans will have their first chance to see all the updates to Cameron Indoor Stadium on Friday, Oct. 16 at Countdown to Craziness.  The Blue Devils will also play exhibition games on Oct. 24 (Pfeifer) and Nov. 3 (Findlay) prior to opening the season on Friday, Nov. 13 against UNC-Greensboro.

“Cameron Indoor Stadium is already the most unique and special environment in which to play basketball, but the upgrades provide a dynamic, sharp and impressive look that further accents the Cameron mystique,” said women’s basketball head coach Joanne P. McCallie. “We just love the enhancements and the fans will too!”

The women’s basketball team opens their season with a Blue-White scrimmage on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 1:00 p.m. They will face Wingate (Nov. 5) and Alaska Anchorage (Nov. 8) in exhibition games before opening the season on the road at Houston Baptists on Friday, Nov. 13.  The Blue Devils’ first home game of the 2009-10 season will be against Georgia Southern on Thursday, Nov. 19.