Matt Lubick Added to Duke Football Staff

Matt Lubick
Courtesy: Arizona State University Matt Lubick will serve as Duke’s Passing Game Coordinator and Recruiting Coordinator while coaching the Blue Devil wide receivers.

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University head coach David Cutcliffe announced on Tuesday the hiring of Matt Lubick to the Blue Devil football staff.  Lubick, who spent the last three seasons on the staff at Arizona State, will serve as Duke’s Passing Game Coordinator and Recruiting Coordinator while coaching the Blue Devil wide receivers.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled with Matt joining the Duke Football family,” Cutcliffe said.  “Number one, he is a good man from an outstanding football family.  I’ve known his father a long time and Sonny Lubick’s sensational track record in this business speaks for itself.  Matt has proven that he is one of the top young coaches and certainly one of the top recruiters in the country.  His knowledge and work ethic will pay dividends for us offensively, especially with our passing schemes.  We know him to be a tireless worker and feel he will be an outstanding addition to our program.”

With the Sun Devils, Lubick served as Assistant Head Coach and Recruiting Coordinator while coaching the safeties.  In his three seasons spearheading the Sun Devils’ recruiting efforts, Arizona State’s classes ranked 17th (2008), 36th (2009) and 27th (2010) by Scout.com and 21st (2008), 30th (2009) and 35th (2010) by Rivals.com.  In 2007, Lubick helped the Sun Devils to a 10-3 overall record that included a share of the Pac-10 championship, a final national ranking of No. 16 and an appearance in the Holiday Bowl.

Lubick is credited with signing Vontaze Burfict, the highest-rated prospect in Arizona State football history, as well as former Ole Miss standout Dexter McClusker, an All-SEC pick in 2009 after becoming the first player in league history to amass over 1,000 rushing yards and over 500 receiving yards in the same season.  Lubick was named one of the top-10 recruiters in the Pac-10 by Rivals.com in each of his three years with the Sun Devils.

“I am extremely excited about the opportunity I have been given to coach at Duke,” said Lubick. “Duke is a special place with great people.  I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of it as a member of Coach Cutcliffe’s staff.”

In 1995, Lubick got his start in coaching as a student assistant coach and academic supervisor under his father at Colorado State University.  He then coached one season (1996) at California State-Northridge and two campaigns (1997-98) at San Jose State.  From 1999-00, Lubick was on the staff at Oregon State where he coached the defensive backs while helping coordinate the Beavers’ recruiting efforts.  In 2000, Oregon State enjoyed its finest season on the gridiron by posting an 11-1 overall ledger and defeating Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.

A 1995 graduate of Colorado State, Lubick returned to his alma mater for a four-year stint on the coaching staff from 2001-04.  Coaching the Rams’ wide receivers, he helped Colorado State to the 2002 Mountain West Conference championship as well as three straight bowl games in 2001 (New Orleans), 2002 (Liberty) and 2003 (San Francisco).  Lubick then served two years (2005-06) on the staff at Ole Miss, coaching the wide receivers.

A native of Bozeman, Mont., Lubick attended Western Montana College where he earned four varsity letters as a defensive back on the football team and earned all-conference and NAIA All-America honors as a senior.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sport science from Colorado State in 1995.

Lubick replaces Scottie Montgomery, who departed the Duke staff to take a coaching position with the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers.

“We greatly appreciate Scottie’s contributions to Duke Football,” Cutcliffe said.  “Scottie is as fine of a representative of Duke University and the Duke Football program as there is.  We wish him the best of luck with this new opportunity.”

The Blue Devils open the 2010 season at home against Elon on September 4.  Season tickets may be purchased online at GoDuke.com or by calling the Duke Athletic Ticket Office toll free at 1-877-375-3853.  The Duke Athletic Ticket Office is located in Cameron Indoor Stadium and open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

It’s the Big Three and Brian Zoubek

Zoubek leads Duke
The Zoubinator grabbed 16 rebounds vs Virginia Tech - Lance King Image

Durham, N.C. – While the “Big Three” of Jon Scheyer, Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler have carried the Blue Devils on their shoulders this season, senior Brian Zoubek is coming into his his own to help at just the right time.

Quite simply, it’s been the Big Three and Brian Zoubek of late and as of last night, the seven foot center’s 16 rebounds in a key win over Virginia Tech shows consistency from a fourth player.

It’s not like Zoubek hasn’t had a good season with numbers of 5.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg but he admits that his play of late has been due to a better understanding of his role thus he is taking another step in his career.

“I’m in the game more because I’m being smarter about fouls.  A lot of times I would play pretty well but get two quick fouls and have to come out so that’s really frustrating.  So, being smarter and that’ s what I’ve been trying to do all year,” said Zoubek when questioned by Blue Devil Nation after his teams 67-55 win over the visiting Hokies.

At the 7:08 mark, Zoubek  made a lay up and one to put Duke ahead 52-47 and that play put the Blue Devils ahead for good.  “We had a if series of plays and got a three point play and then another one after that.  And then we hit had another three point play and that had not scored during that time and that is really disheartening for the other team, especially when they had just made a run to come back,” said Zoubek.

Zoubek seemed elated last night, still perky after a tough conference win and he should have been.  He also like the fact that those TV cameras have been edging his way more and more in the locker room.

“You can get a little complacent when you are at your job for a little while and you’re doing okay, but then you step up like I did in the Maryland game and it brings on even more responsibility and I want to do that every game.”

When asked what the difference has been in the last few games, Zoubek said, “It’s a combination of me playing smarter in terms of screening in going right to the basket and right to the boards.  I’m in the  game more from playing smarter and that means more rebounds.”

He then continued by stating, “It’s been a natural progression for me and after the Maryland game I didn’t want to go back, didn’t want to regress.”

Well, Duke fans and Krzyzewski want Zoubek to remain a main member of the party as well in that Duke is about to hit the stretch run.  And that stretch run will be “Zoubs” as he is called by his teammates final run.

During his time at Duke, Zoubek has staved of a myriad of injuries during his Duke career, but there are no regrets according to Brian.

“You can’t look back like that.  There’s no regrets on my part, I’ve loved my time here.  I’m happy with the place I’m at and everything is paying off now.”

We’ll know in the next few weeks if Brian Zoubek continues his torrid play in the boards and if he does so, it will be even more of a special day when he comes out and talks with the Cameron Crazies one more time on March 6th.  That’s when Duke will take on their arch rival North Carolina and the table could be set for a really nice exit.

Despite his obvious joy of being the current media darling for Duke,  Zoubek is quick to deflect the attention off himself.

“It feels awesome.  As well as I have been playing it’s just great to have the team in this position in the league.  I love all these guys and we’re having a great time and all things are better when you are winning.”

Duke is indeed winning pushing their season record to 23-4 overall and 11-2 in the ACC and for now it seems Duke is the Big Three and Brian Zoubek.

BDN Spring Football Report – Duke’s Johnny Williams talks position change

Johnny Williams Duke Spring Football
Johnny Williams now in the secondary for Duke - BDN Photo

Durham, N.C. – If you follow Duke Football, yo know by now that  Johnny Williams will move to the Duke secondary  after playing wideout his first two seasons.  He’s learning on the fly and we got his thoughts coming off the field after Saturday’s scrimmage.

How is the spring going so far?

Pretty good, pretty good.  I’m catching on real fast and will go up and meet with coach, so it’s going well.

How did you respond to switch positions from wideout to defensive back?

I responded by putting 100% into it and make sure that when I go on the field, I know what I’m doing.

When did you and Cut first talk about changing positions?

Before the Christmas break, me and Coach Cut talked.  I wasn’t sure if I really, really wanted to but thought it might be a good move, so I made a decision to go over there,  If it’s good for the team, it’s good for me.

Do you like it on defense?

Yeah [smiling]  It’s really intense.

You get to hit people …

Yeah, it’s fun to hit people.

What is the biggest adjustment?

Reading keys from one to two and conditioning.

Now that you are on the other side, who is the toughest receiver to cover?

Everyone of them is tough [smiling]I just try my best to listen to coach and keep what he said in my head.

Do you guys trash talk a bit?

Yeah, a lot, a lot.  I trash talk a lot.

Anyone in particular today?

Probably Austin.  He brought a little bit today, so I shot it back at him

Your goal the rest of the spring is?

To be the best I can and put everything I have got into this and help my team.  Football is my love, you know.

Are the workouts different  for you now?

No difference.  I still catch balls and everything to keep my hands right.  I probably get a little extra running in because on defense you have pursuit angles and stuff like that which need conditioning.

Thanks for your time.

Thanks

Monday Morning Musings – Hoops, football, prospects, verbal

Just another Monday morning for the Blue Devil Nation. The men whipped the Hokies, the women whipped the Terps to win the ACC regular season, Duke signs a football prospect, two prospects visit during the basketball game a spring football update and of course, the young lady profiling in the pic above is our cheerleader of the week.

A lot of people will call  Duke’s 67-55 win over Virginia Tech ugly, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Shooting just 29% Duke had their second worst game from the field this season and still won.   Of course, they beat UConn as well shooting 28%.  So, you can’t hit your shots and win.  That’s a beautiful thing for a Duke fan.  The Duke defense held Virginia Tech to 55 points.  That’s a beautiful thing to Mike Krzyzewski.

Duke won the battle of the boards – again.  History shows this is a rarity which means this is the best rebounding team Krzyzewski has coached at Duke. In fact, this team is 20-2  when they win the battle of the boards this season

Have you heard that Brian Zoubek had 16 boards last evening?  Yeah, I figured you had.  Amazing effort, huh?  You’ll hear from the “Zoubinator” shortly for we caught up with him to get some post game comments last evening.

At 11-2 in conference, Duke is in complete control of their destiny in a bid to claim the ACC regular season title.  Duke goes on the road to Virginia and then Maryland before closing the season out at home against North Carolina.  A split on the road and a win over UNC  would almost assuredly lock it up for Duke.  Maybe they’ll win them all, but then again, Duke cannot overlook anyone down the stretch.  Maryland is right there with Duke in the standings, while Virginia needs a win to boost their NCAA hopes and UNC just needs wins and are playing for their tournament life, even if it is the NIT.

There goes that Conner Vernon again!  After making a splash as a true freshman, the wide receiver caught the only touchdown pass during this weekends closed scrimmage.  A lot of kids fall prey to the sophomore jinx, but if his performance this past Saturday was any indication, he can avoid that.

So, I am watching the scrimmage and something seems a bit weird and then it comes to me, via seeing Thaddeus Lewis on the sidelines.  Duke is breaking in two new quarterbacks and both are green as grass at this time.  FWIW, Lewis told me he’d be heading to the NFL Combine and we wish him luck.  We wish Duke’s two new quarterbacks well too.

Speaking of Sean Schroeder and Brandon Connette, both had their moments.  Schroeder ran the scout team last year while Connette was still in high school.  Connette seems to be the better runner to go with good size but Schroeder was comfortable and threw the ball well.  We’ll have an interview with Schroeder up shortly.

There were sixty prospects on campus on Junior Day for Duke Football and Duke got a good one to verbal in Jalen “Scoot” Simmons, a running back with 4.5 speed out of Charlotte.  He picked the Blue Devils over UNC, NCSU, Clemson and a couple of SEC schools.

Props to the women’s basketball team for almost clinching the ACC title with a win over Maryland.  The Terp’s disrespected the women, walking through them as they got into position for the nation anthem and so Duke gave them a Christmas present.  No, not a real present.  They unleashed Karima Christmas

Finally, the prospects attending last nights Duke-Virginia Tech basketball game were Marshall Plumlee and Michael Haynes.  For more on that, might I suggest you join Blue Devil Nation Premium for full site access?  That’s where we talk about the other sport known as recruiting.

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Duke defense holds off Hokies 67-55

Singler helps Duke get past Hokies
Kyle Singler tallied 25 points and 10 rebounds vs Virginia Tech - Lance King Images

Durham, N.C. – Duke defeated Virginia Tech by a 67-55 score to remain atop the ACC standings with a 11-2 mark and in the process pushed their record to 23-4 over all.

The Blue Devils overcame their second worst shooting performance of the season 29%, to win a very physical contest over the Hokies who dropped to 8-4 in the ACC and 21-5 overall.

Once again, the Blue Devils big three came through on the offensive end.  Kyle Singler had one of his better games of the season, scoring 25 points to go with 10 rebounds.  Singler earned the praise of Krzyzewski after the game, “Kyle played a great game defensively and he kept the ball alive.  Some of his offensive rebounds turned into points.”

Nolan Smith was huge down the stretch on his way to 23 points and Jon Scheyer added 15 points and a team high 7 assists.

Oddly, Miles Plumlee was the only other Blue Devil who scored, hitting 1 point, meaning just four players scratched.

Once again, Brian Zoubek was a man on the boards grabbing a game high 16 rebounds and adding 3 points. “He [Zoubek] played with a lot of emotion … 16 rebounds is a lot and eight of them were on the offensive end where he kicked it back out,” said Krzyzewski on the seniors play.

Notes – Duke outscored their opponent 27-9 on second chance shots and had 14 points off turnovers.  As usual, the Blue Devils knocked down their free throws going 21-26 while the Hokies were 15-16.  Another huge difference was that Duke hit 10 three pointers to the Hokies 2.  The lead changed seven times.  Duke’s largest lead was the final margin.

We’ll have more shortly -