Duke offers Colorado QB Brock Berglund

The Duke Blue Devils became the ninth school to offer junior quarterback Brock Berglund this past weekend.  Berglund stands 6-4 and weighs in at 205 pounds making him a prototypical size for the position.  Berguland is a Colorado native playing his high school football with Victory Christian.  He grew up a Colorado Buffaloes fan but he recently claimed that other schools were in the running for his services.  Among the schools that have offered are Colorado, Colorado State, Utah, Kansas and Kansas State.  When Cutcliffe targets a signal caller he knows what he’s looking for and Berglund has all the tools to be one of the nation’s best.  The Blue Devil Nation will have more on the latest offer later in the week.

Duke’s Mason Plumlee is preparing for the 2010-11 season

Mason throws one down against Wake Forest in Cameron where Duke was 17-0 during their magical run to the national championship. Mason played 14.1 MPG as a freshman averaging 3.7 ppg and 3.1 rpg. Photo courtesy of my pal, Lance King

DURHAM, N.C. – As the dog days of summer creep in, Duke must put their magical ride to the national championship in perspective by preparing for next season. Don’t get me wrong in that the program will indeed bask in the light of their fourth title for that is worthy of continued celebration but Krzyzewski has already started to look ahead.

Replacing three sensational seniors is a daunting task especially down low where they lost the hard working Lance Thomas and the burly Brian Zoubek.  While one can justifiably argue that Jon Scheyer is perhaps the biggest loss in terms of stats Duke can replace him much easier in the backcourt in that they’re a tad depth shy up front.  Enter the Plumlee brothers.

Mason and Miles Plumlee will get more than a few minutes this season and their development will be vital to the Blue Devils’ efforts to repeat as national champions.  Both brothers are not only capable but expected to have breakout seasons.

Despite playing a role where he came off the bench in his freshman season, Mason Plumlee showed flashes of brilliance. One moment which stands out was his exclamation point, behind the head dunk versus rival North Carolina at the Dean Dome which helped Duke continue a run which sealed the victory.

And for those not keeping track, Mason is 2-0 against Duke’s arch rival with two ACC and one national championship in his first season.  Talk about the kind of stats where a legacy can start, right?

Many are excited by Mason’s potential which has one on line draft projection specialist slotting him in the first round of next season’s draft.  To fill those expectations Mason will have to round the learning curve this season after adjusting to the speed of the game in his freshman campaign.

Learning the Duke system is no easy task.  It took Brian Zoubek’s senior season for the light to go off on where he needed to be on the court.

Mason will still experience some growing pains but there is no reason for the athletic big not to rise to the occasion.  In order to do that, Mason knows that his off season workouts are vital to his progress and he’ll waste little time in preparation.   In fact, the Duke coaching staff was able to get their soon to be starting center into a summer internship with Attack Athletics.

The rising sophomore will train under one of the masters of his profession in Tim Grover, known as the trainer to the pro’s.  If you haven’t heard of him before, Grover not only trained Michael Jordan exclusively but former Duke standouts, Carlos Boozer, Elton Brand, Luol Deng and Chris Duhon, and that only scratches his list of clients.

After spending the better part of a month in Chicago, under intense daily tutelage, Mason will return to Durham where he’ll work out with returning players under the watch of Duke Assistant Coach Nate James, Chris Carrawell and Chris Spatola.  In short, there will not be a lot of down time.

Duke will play up tempo in the coming season with a sleek point guard named Kyrie Irving who will almost certainly run the team from day one.  With the likes of Irving and Nolan Smith pushing the ball, Mason should have lots of opportunities for easy baskets off cuts.  And of course, nothing brings the Cameron Crazies to their feet like a thunderous and emphatic dunk.

Only time will tell just how good Mason Plumlee will be but there are few people that would tell you anything other than he should flourish in the 2010-11 season.  If Duke is to make another run at the title, Mason will have to be at his best and all signs point to the fact that he will certainly put in the work and that in itself should excite the Blue Devil Nation.

Duke lands Offensive Guard Marcus Aprahamian

Duke lands an offensive lineman.

Marcus Aprahamian, a junior offensive guard from Brookfield, Wisconsin, committed to Coach Cutcliffe and the Duke Football Program this week and had the following to say to the Blue Devil Nation:

“I have been a Duke commit for almost a day now and still feel on top of the world.

For the last month I have been thinking about the offers I already had and the other schools that were still interested in me. I had already stopped sending out materials to some schools because I knew that, even if they offered me a scholarship, I would not select them over Duke. There were a couple of schools, including Stanford, that were interested and that I was still considering along with Duke. After considering the other options, however, I realized that Duke was just the right school for me.

I really like Coach Cutcliffe, Coach Luke and Coach Sarrett, the football program is on the rise, the academics are unbeatable, and just walking around the campus I got the feeling that Duke could most definitely be home for my future. I want to play for the team that rebuilds the program and brings an ACC championship to Duke.”

Welcome to the Duke family, Marcus!

Shaquille Love is on the Duke Radar

Shaquille Love is a 6’5” 270 pound defensive tackle from Harriman, Tennessee. Recruiting is starting to pick up for the Harriman Blue Devil lineman, and BDN recently spoke with Shaquille to check in on his process.

BDN: Can you briefly describe your game for us?
Love: My game is based on my speed and quickness. That’s what the coaches who have been recruiting me are telling me they love about me. I use my strength, too, but I rely on my speed.

BDN: What have you been working on as you head into your senior season?
Love: The two biggest things are my footwork and my strength. I want to help our team win a state championship. Individually, I just want to keep progressing, do better this year than last year.

BDN: Do you have any plans for visits or camps this summer?
Love: I’m still deciding on camps with my coach. I’ve taken a lot of unofficial visits this spring and want to sit down with my coach and decide on my camps and official visits.

BDN: What are you looking for in a college, and more specifically, a college football program?
Love: Really, it’s where I feel the most at home and the most welcome. I want to go where I can help the team the most, get a good education, and grow the most. Being part of a family is really the most important.

BDN: What schools are you currently considering?
Love: I have offers from Middle Tennessee, Memphis, Kentucky, and Duke. And I’ve heard from Arkansas, North Carolina – I just heard from them last week, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Illinois, and there are a few others I can’t think of right now. The Illinois thing is funny – they said I could say I have an offer, but they have to see me first, so I don’t actually have an offer from them yet.

BDN: What schools have you been able to visit so far?
Love: I visited Kentucky, Duke, Western Kentucky, and UT (Tennessee).

At UT, I watched a practice, but didn’t get to talk to the coaches. I got introduced to them, but didn’t talk to them. Coach (Jim) Chaney has been recruiting me pretty hard.

Duke was my first visit. I went up there with my coach, it’s about a six hour drive and we stayed overnight. We got up and saw their scrimmage and then toured around. At the end, I got to meet with Coach Cutcliffe and he offered me right then.

I went to Kentucky and saw the campus, visited with the coaches. Their program is really progressing. I met with their coach at the very end of my visit and he offered me then.

BDN: What is your timeline for making a decision?
Love: I am just waiting on the Lord to show me were to go, man.

BDN: Is there anything else you would like our members to know about you?
Love: Nope, I think that covers it.

BDN: Thanks so much for your time, Shaquille, and best of luck with your decision.
Love: Thank you and if you want another interview, please let me know.

Duke’s Singler and Smith named team captains for 2010-11

Singler pictured with Erin Andrews was named captain as was his teammate Nolan Smith- BDN PhotoDURHAM, N.C. Seniors Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith were named team captains for the 2010-11 men’s basketball season, head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced on Tuesday. Both players are first time team captains.

“We’re really excited about naming our co-captains so early this year, and the reason is obvious – Nolan and Kyle are our leaders,” Krzyzewski said. “They have big shoes to fill. Losing the three seniors, who all were outstanding leaders, is the biggest gap we have to fill. But we’re confident that these two young men can do it.”

Singler, the 2010 Final Four Most Outstanding Player, averaged 17.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.0 steals per game as a junior while leading Duke to a 35-5 record and the school’s fourth NCAA Championship. He became one of 18 players in school history to score over 700 points in a single season, finishing with 707 points in 2010. Singler, a two-time AP honorable mention All-America selection, ranks 18th on Duke’s career scoring list with 1,767 points. He is also 11th on the career three-point field goals chart with 205, 18th with 762 rebounds and 15th with 95 blocked shots. Singler has scored in double-figures 95 times with 32 games with 20 or more points scored. He also has 20 career double-doubles to his credit. Singler, a three-time All-ACC selection and the ACC Rookie of the Year in 2008, has helped Duke to a 93-18 (.838) record over the last three seasons. He has been a member of back-to-back ACC Tournament Championship teams in 2009 and 2010, making the ACC All-Tournament team both years and earning ACC Tournament MVP honors this year.

“Nolan and I have grown so much over the last three years and now it is time for both of us step forward and become vocal leaders of this team,” Singler added. “I am honored to be a team captain and take great pride in my ability to help lead the team. We had three great senior leaders a year ago and Nolan and I are determined to follow their example.”

Smith is coming off a breakout junior campaign in which he averaged 17.4 points per game, a 9.0 point per game increase over his sophomore season. He collected NCAA Tournament South Region Most Outstanding Player honors after scoring a career-high 29 points in Duke’s 78-71 win over Baylor in Houston. Smith also earned NCAA All-Final Four Team, ACC All-Tournament Team and second team All-ACC honors a year ago. Smith became the 60th player in Duke history to top the 1,000-point plateau in 2010 and ranks 45th at Duke with 1,147 career points. He has scored in double figures in 59 career games, including 36 times as a junior.

“Being named team captain along with Kyle is a huge honor,” Smith said. “I am excited about my leadership role with the 2010-11 team. We have high goals set for this team and the only way we can accomplish them is with hard work and great leadership.”

The Blue Devils are 93-18 since Singler and Smith joined the program, with the 93 victories matching the fifth-best three-year win total in school history. Duke is 52-8 over the last three seasons with the tandem in the starting lineup.

Everybody wants to know whats up with Austin Rivers - BDN Photo

The latest on Duke Basketball Recruiting from BDN Premium

Everybody wants to know whats up with Austin Rivers - BDN Photo

BDN takes a look at how things are going on the recruiting front in our latest detailed update.  If you want to know who the Blue Devils are seriously interested in and their likely strategy, read on.  Join BDN Premium for full site access and be there every step of the way as we cover every major AAU event as warm weather rolls in.  At BDN, we focus in on the players you want to hear about by concentrating only

A lot of talk surrounds Austin Rivers these days, [private] but nothing has really changed.  Duke expects to sign Rivers by the end of summer but as I have stated numerous times, the decision could come sooner and maybe, just maybe, even later.  The bottom line is that Duke has a significant lead and that has been the case throughout the threads which total 50,000 views collectively where people hang on every little blip on the radar.  My suggestion is to sit back and relax and allow this to happen for it is on pace.  The Rivers camp will not make any kind of move until the NBA playoffs are over and that could be in July if they keep winning.

Duke recently reached out to Anthony Davis, a top notch prospect from Chicago, Krzyzewski’s old stomping grounds.  They will be taking a good long look at him once they are allowed to take in events.  Andrew and myself will be sure to keep a eye out for him as we get to know him better together.  With a busy AAU tournament schedule coming up, we see no reason in calling him before we see him play.

The Duke staff will also continue to evaluate players they’ve developed early relationships with. Among those will be Quincy Miller, Marshall Plumlee and Amir Williams. The Blue Devils will be looking at other players as well to see who emerge as the humid days of summer give way to September.

Duke will continue to recruit Miller while look at others as well. BDN Photo

One of the questions I often get is how may players does Duke look to sign in 2011.  The answer is that number could vary from three to five.  Duke is happy having steady swingman Michael Gbinije and ever improving Tyler Adams in the fold and they of course want Austin Rivers as well.  The fourth and fifth guys would come into play of Duke experiences a mass exodus to the NBA.  That is a pretty good possibility for Mason Plumlee and Kyrie Irving could join Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith in the first round.  If Duke somehow defends the title this is almost certain to happen but we all know how hard that is.  Regardless, Duke will have a target on on their backs again in that they are the likely pre season number one team in the country.  Duke will only sign a guard in 2011 if Irving or Curry leave.

The great thing about winning the national championship is that Duke can once again be selective and with another banner season seemingly coming, the Blue Devils will remain hot and in the spotlight.  That means they’ll take their time with a bevy of names that will grow in the coming months.   We told you last summer that Duke assistants loved Alex Murphy’s game and he is a hot name at the moment, but Coach K needs to check out his game.  Shabazz Muhammad has impressed them immensely.  It helps that the Team USA training facility is where Duke can keep a close eye on the talented Vegas native.  While some would have you think J.P. Tokoto is already a Tar Heel, Duke is not buying that just yet and they are still involved withthe athletic prospect.  Amile Jefferson, who Andrew interviewed just last week is also an early name on the radar.  Again, there are other names that will come to light some of which you already know of  and others who will be new when Duke can get their views in July an open period for events.  Duke is not rushing the process with any of the above mentioned names at this time.

I was waiting for some new info but it has been delayed so I’ll add an addendum later. [/private]