The Blue Devil Nation continues to share what is normally saved for premium members in an effort to shine the light on Duke Football. Here is the audio from yesterdays media call in show where Cutcliffe answered a few questions. Please feel free to link BDN’s football coverage for we have supported and covered Duke Football from the start.
Durham, N.C. - Coaches from all around the region and some from afar flocked to Durham to participate in Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s Annual Coaching Clinic this past weekend. It’s an awesome event where participants learn X’s and O’s from the entire Duke staff all while seeing the 2009-2010 Blue Devils in two practices.
The clinic offers a great opportunity for a coach or novice to understand more about teaching the game of basketball all while getting a behind the scenes look at the program. BDN was once again on hand and I was able to learn how to attack a zone which will help me in coaching this season. But, we were also able to get K’s comments on his team, individual players and his basic philosophy. That said, here are several interesting tidbits gleaned during the event –
K on Miles Plumlee - Coach said that Miles was really starting to emerge as a player and that when he is relentless he’s at his best. “We are working with Miles on defining his role,” said Krzyzewski. He mentioned that Miles had become bigger and stronger in the off season and commented on how he wants to do well. K used the word “formative,” in describing Miles, saying that he talks with him about [private] his mistakes and that Miles learns from that. It was clear that Miles is still a work in progress but that he will be a vital cog in Duke’s attack this season. K wants him to do certain things well in an effort to lay out where he is needed from a team perspective. Also said Miles is a bit fragile with his confidence so he didn’t yell at him, but would other players.
K on Lance Thomas - He’s developed a dependable shot from 15 feet. Mentioned again, that Lance would play a lot of on ball defense on the other teams guards and that Nolan would do the same.
K on Ryan Kelly - Stated that Kelly has great basketball skills but there were limitations in what he could do at this level until he gains more strength. K said he could play ten minutes a game sometime, but what he didn’t say was that Kelly will probably get an average of 5 or 6 minutes a game at this time.
K on Kyle Singler - K talked extensively of Singler changing his body and position. While Kyle has lost some weight to play more on the outside, he’s is the best shape of his life. “”He’s a pro – a lottery pick whenever he comes out. “He’s a starter in the NBA,” said K. Singler has arranged a class schedule which allows him to better dedicate himself to basketball. Singler called and went over to K’s house one time and showed interest in leadership. In fact Singler joined Scheyer for a class at Duke where a Lt.Colonel teaches a class on leadership. Best quote – “Kyle has the ego to be a very good player, but he’ll need even more of an ego to be a great player.” Also said Kyle was a quiet kid when he came to Duke so he handled him differently. Mentioned that he had a speech impediment growing up.
K mentioned that he had been recruiting hard - K said that he was on the road a whole lot during the recruiting window and that it had been grueling at times.
K on Mason Plumlee – “He’s a special player — very talented. Today was his best practice,” stated K.
Above the rim – We haven’t looked to go down low for three years and now we have guys who play above the rim,” said Coach K in reference to the Plumlee brothers.
Pleased with the offense – K said that he expected this years team to average a lot of points and lauded his teams offensive play so far this season. “This past week was a good one for us.”
Next play - K is looking forward to Tuesday’s game with Findley and warned his team that they would be much tougher than Pfeiffer. Mentioned they were national champs in their division and that they we but he 38-0. Duke has today [Sunday] off and will return to court on Monday for their 16th practice of the season.
K on AD - “He’s got a good shot. He’s yet to play for a team with structure and he has a lot to learn where he wasn’t taught the skills that are needed at this level.”
K on Zoubek - “He had his best week of practice this past week.”
K’s practice emphasis - K emphasized communication skills, meaning getting players to talk and react. Duke worked on attacking the zone defense and the usual drills such as weaves, game situations, 4 on 4 and 5 on 5 game situations.
Players chose teams and K used that as a message- Singler and Scheyer picked teams for a scrimmage and K later used that as stating to the players, “Wherever you were picked is how your teammates feel about you at this point.”
K celebrates with players differently – K treats each player differently in an effort to bring out the best results. IOW, some kids take criticism differently than others. The same goes for when he pats them on the back.
Ending K quote -“I’m going to be here for awhile. I’m healthy and fresh and I’m looking forward to coaching.” [/private]
The Duke Blue Devils won their third consecutive ACC game by beating Virginia in Charlottesville 28-17 on Saturday. Maybe it’s time to start believing in this team for a quick look at the standings shows that the Blue Devils are in sole possession of second place in the ACC’s Coastal Division.
Coach Cutcliffe and his staff continue to surprise the college football world in just their second year in Durham and a change in culture is happening in more ways than one.. Duke and Virginia went toe to toe for most of the game, but a consistent and resilient game plan allowed Duke to push their record to 3-1 in the ACC and 5-3 overall.
Thaddeus Lewis made big plays when it counted and was cool under pressure while Nick Snyderwine connected on 5 of 5 field goals, showing what it means to have consistency in the kicking game. Plenty of other Devils helped as well and we’ll continue coverage on this key win mid afternoon. Until then, check out the links page.