Hoop Recruiting Update – Cook in home this evening

Quinn Cook - BDN Photo by Rick Crank

As you already know Duke will be in home with Quinn Cook this evening where Duke Assitant Coach Nate James will flank Mike Krzyzewski on [private] the visit.  We’ll report on that when possible but will likely allow some space after the visit meaning we’ll follow up the next day.  Quite simply Duke will gauge his interest in the sit down and see if his Duke ties are strong enough to eventually close the deal.  Meanwhile, Ole Roy has turned up the heat and is playing the heart card, but can he explain where Kendall Marshall and a then senior Drew would be if Cook were to pick Chapel Hill?  I worry with how glowing Cook has been in every interview when talking of UNC in the past.  The first of many interview we had with him, he named them his dream school but has always shown respect for Duke.  In the end, he’ll do whats best for him and we can only hope he really thinks his choice through.  Here is to hoping he asks Williams why he waited until Duke recruited him to show major interest.  Make no mistake, Cook is interested with Duke and he’ll have a tough decision to make.

The duo will then head to see Michael Gbinije on his official visit on Wednesday  and we’ll report on that as well.  Marshall Plumlee had his official visit recently and we’ll have more on that as well.

While we cannot give you a complete list at this time, Duke will see a lot of players in open gyms this week.  As for Countdown to Craziness the same list still applies at this time but Duke is expected to add several more names as the event nears.  Mark it down, the event will be a celebration in every way of Blue Devils Basketball.

A lot of stuff is being said where Austin Rivers is concerned and it is easy to overreact.  A good many will start to freak out but letting it play out is the best remedy to a case of nerves.  We said the wind would blow in this one and it is going east to west, then south to west, then north and well, you get the picture.  Duke is in good shape here but they will need to close and keep the growing rumors at bay.  I don’t think they’d trade positions with any team and they feel the process is where it should be at this time.  We’ll add more to this update a bit later when we’ve verified a few things. [/private]

BDN’s Monday Musings – Hoops starting, recruiting, KI and more

A Monday Musings tradition is our Cheerleader of the Week selection and it has been a hit amongst fans of BDN. Image by my pal Lance King

Good Morning Blue Devil Nation!  It’s a rainy day here in the Triangle but that will not stop another edition of Monday Musings.

Basketball is here

When Duke has struggled in football there has been an on going blurb that hoops starts quicker in Durham than anywhere in the country.  Well, when you are the reigning national champion and have a long tradition of kicking butt on the hardwood, return Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler and add Kyrie Irving to the mix, the football team could be 4-0 and the excitement would still be there. 

Countdown to Craziness

You can get tickets to this cherished event by hitting up the Duke Box Office on October 6th and I expect tickets will go quickly.  The event itself is on October 15th and if it is anything like last years and we here it is, it’ll knock your royal blue socks off.  I’ve been around the program for a very long time but I can honestly say that this is as relaxed you’ll ever see the coaches and players.  It’s a night to celebrate all things Duke but this year, you’ll see the new national championship banner making it even better than last seasons event.  Extreme intimacy permeates Cameron Indoor Stadium and you’ll be flush with royal blue leaving the event stoked for what should be another great season.

Recruiting continues

Duke will be in home with point guard Quinn Cook tonight and they’ve made their rounds of late.  We’ve listed attendees for CTC and talk of recruiting non stop on BDN Premium, so why not join our dedicated members and chat about the latest happenings.

Excitement surrounds the Women’s team as well

We’ll preview the Duke Women shortly and their is a ton of excitement surrounding the best recruiting class since Alana Beard and company.  This years team will be a mix of young and old and that should make for some exciting moments.  BDN supports the women and will even cover their recruiting in the future, a first among sites.

Football needs some breaks

Duke Football simply needs a few things to go their way on the field against Maryland this weekend where they open as 7.5 underdogs.  The Terps match up very well with this years team, so to win, Duke will have to cut down on those five turnovers against Army.  The Duke defense is rebuilding and the offense needs to take care of the ball and if the team can just get a couple of breaks their way, they can ride those and good things will start to happen.

Kyrie Irving

Well there has been little hype surrounding the New Jersey native these days.  Yeah, right.  It’s the fact that Irving is a smoking point guard that has fans excited for he is the best they’ve had at the position since another Jersey native.  Still though, I think one should temper their expectations for there is a learning curve no matter how talented you are and Krzyzewski alluded to that in a recent press conference.

Pre Season Magazines

Duke is everybody’s number one with the exception of TSN who tabs Michigan State, a  team that visits Cameron in December.  Don’t be so harsh on Mike DeCourcey thought for he is just trying to be different and this has been their practice in the past when their is a consensus favorite.  There was a time when preview magazines were a big deal and fans would wait their arrival but times have changed thanks to the Internet.  I like a traditional hard copy on occasion but they increasingly come out so late that there is no news we do not know about in them.  Blue Ribbon is a great preview but I am not going to plunk down the bucks to read it when the season starts a week after it hits the stands.  The same goes for those glossy overpriced yearbooks where there is little information fanatical fans do not already know.  I see them more as collectibles these days and if I want to read a preview, I want to do it before Countdown for Craziness and not after.  I highly recommend the championship commemorative put out by Duke Planet though.  It’s well worth the money and serves as a reminder to a magical season.  The rest is on line and articles of Duke Basketball are a dime a thousand these day, up a lot since they were a dime a dozen.

Countdown to Craziness Tickets Set To Go On Sale

Single Game Tickets Go On Sale Oct. 6

Can Nolan Smith bring the house down with his antics again this season? The only way to know is to be there! - BDN Photo

DURHAM, N.C. — Tickets to the Duke men’s basketball season opening event, Countdown to Craziness, on Friday, Oct. 15 are on sale now at www.GoDuke.com/tickets <http://www.GoDuke.com/tickets> . Countdown to Craziness begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be shown by ESPNU during its Midnight Madness coverage.

ESPNU’s Midnight Madness special will feature extensive whip-around coverage from top college basketball programs around the nation beginning at 9 p.m. ET on ESPNU HD. ESPN platforms have been covering Midnight Madness events since 1993, with this season marking the fifth consecutive year on ESPNU.

Countdown to Craziness will feature the annual Blue-White game, a dunk contest, performances by several campus groups, new videos from Duke University Improv, as well as videos highlighting Duke’s storied basketball tradition and the unveiling of the 2010 National Championship banner.

Single game tickets for the Cal Poly Pomona (Nov. 4), Elon (Dec. 20) and Alabama-Birmingham (Jan. 5) contests go on sale online at www.GoDuke.com/tickets <http://www.GoDuke.com/tickets>  on Wednesday, Oct. 6 at 8:30 a.m.

BDN’s Sunday Quarterback – Game Review and Thoughts

Photo - Lance King

It was one of those days for the Duke Football team this Saturday, one which the team, coaches and fans want to move on from as soon as possible.  BDN takes a look at yesterday’s 35-21 loss to Army and we share some idle thoughts.

You cannot turn the ball over and win

Texas turned the ball over against UCLA yesterday and that helped the Bruins shock the nations fourth ranked team in their own backyard.  Duke turned the ball over five times to Army losing two of two fumbles and throwing three interceptions which all led to scores.   To make matters worse, Army lost three fumbles and recovered each and every one. The bottom line is that you simply cannot win the game shooting yourself in the foot with critical turnovers while the other team does the opposite.  “We have to play mistake free football to compete or win,” said Duke Coach David Cutcliffe,” and he’s absolutely right about that. 

Growing pains for Sean Renfree

That early Army interception of Sean Renfree set up a quick 7-0 deficit for the Blue Devils and a hole they would never recover from.    It was a harbinger of things to come as Renfree had two more interceptions.  It took the second half before he found wideouts besides Conner Vernon and that was the first time we’d seen that kind of performance from him.   Chalk it up as his first tough lesson and remember he is not Thaddeus Lewis who started for four seasons and is now with the St. Louis Rams.  Renfree will learn on the go this season but there are few who doubts his abilities.

Youth is served

You could still mistake Duke freshman Kelby Brown as a high school student and many of the post game media had to ask him who he was.  Brown led the team with six solo tackles and he was in on four assists.  The Duke linebacker showed off what fans can look forward to in the future.  Brown was originally scheduled to redshirt in his first season but has been forced into action.  Leaving the post game press conference I spoke briefly to his parents asking his Dad if he thought the experience of playing as a freshman would lead to future leadership.  We’ll have more on that this week. 

Who will step up on the defense?

The Duke defense has struggled early on yet showed better against Army.  One of these kids needs to take on a leadership role.  In short, Duke needs playmakers, guys who create their own breaks.  Duke is sorely missing the big O’s on the defensive line, Vinnie Rey behind them and Leon Wright. 

The talked about punt

Duke elected to punt the ball with just under ten minutes to go in the fourth quarter, down 35-21.  It brought about a for the first time, a few boo birds and I pondered the choice myself.  But then you have to think about the fact that the defense had actually played it’s best game of the season and that they had to deal with the five aforementioned turnovers and a short field all day long.  Add to that the fact that Duke was struggling moving the ball and Renfree had just thrown three incompletions.  Mix the ingredients and I think Cutcliffe made the right choice.  Had Duke failed to pick up a first down, the Duke defenders who were on the field all day from the lack of offensive continuity would have suffered again and why break that units confidence? 

Next up Maryland

This isn’t an ideal match up for Duke in that Coach Friedgen is fighting to keep his job and he has his Terp’s off to a 3-1 start.  They are chomping at the bit for revenge from last seasons 17-13 Duke win and want win number four which could set up the kind of season that is needed to save his job.  In order for Duke to compete in this game, I give way to Coach Cut’s theory on turnovers and this years squad.

Be patient

Duke fan must show patience with this young team for things will get better but it may be tough  getting there at times.  Duke is rebuilding this season and trying not to burn more redshirts which are critical to long term success.  If they hang in there and we do the same, eventually some good things will happen.  There is talent on this team that simply needs to come together.  We’ll see how the team looks when a couple of early breaks go there way and opponents begin to overlook them.