DURHAM – Duke redshirt freshman Sydney Sarmiento has played a key role on the defensive front for the Blue Devils. Sarmiento speaks of his first season experience and being a local kid in this audio clip from yesterdays weekly press conference.
DURHAM – BDN caught up with Duke quarterback Brandon Connette this morning and we got his thoughts on his play of late where he is used in the red zone.
Just press play –
At the top of the Duke Blue Devils wish list sits Alex Murphy, a smooth and heady 6-8 rising junior who possesses a great skill set on the hardwood. Duke has had success with prospects and players who have NBA lineage with their most recent commitment coming from Austin Rivers, son of the Boston Celtics coach and former Atlanta Hawk Glenn “Doc” Rivers. Murphy fits that mold as well in that his Dad, Jay who played for the Los Angeles Clippers and the Washington Bullets. BDN goes in depth with Murphy discussing his timeline, Duke and UNC recruiting him, the possibility of playing with his brother, his relationship with teammate Kaleb Tarczewski and Shabazz Muhammad as well. No stone is left unturned in our latest premium offering so join BDN Premium and discuss the latest on Alex Murphy with fellow members on our private message board.
The basics on Alex – He plays AAU ball for the New England players and is a rising junior at St. Mark’s High School. His eldest brother Erik, plays at Florida. Murphy stands between 6-7 and 6-8 and weighs in at around 210 pounds. Major players in his recruitment are Duke, Florida, Kansas and North Carolina.
BDN’s interview with Alex Murphy -
Alex, let me catch up with you a bit. What have you been doing since I last saw you on the AAU circuit?
I think I had a real good summer finishing off strong. In August I went to Adidas Nations in Chicago and that was pretty cool and finished up with the Boost Mobile Elite 24 game in L.A. So that was a great way to end the summer with the success that I had. As soon as I came home from L.A. [Los Angeles] I had two weeks before I had to head back up to school in Massachusetts and took a little time off to just relax. I sort of just gave my body a rest because I haven’t stopped playing basketball since about a year before school, so I thought a bit of rest was the best thing to do. Now, I am back in school and right back at it in the gym and pretty much ever since I’ve been back. We start practice soon for the high school season. It’s my junior year and we’ve got a big season ahead and a lot of big time games and a lot of stuff to look forward to.
Has Coach Lubick discussed how he’d use you this season and will it differ from the past?
We haven’t talked specifically about it but I’m sure our style of play as a team will change a little from what it’s been in the past. We’ve had a lot of good bigs recently, his son Nate Lubick and my brother who is down in Florida. We still have some good bigs. I consider myself a big guy, I’m about 6-7, 6-8 and we have another kid in my class Kaleb Tarczewski who is [private] a seven footer. We’ll be a little more perimeter oriented this year. We have a lot of guards who can shoot the ball and a couple who really know how to play. Me and another kid from Canada Nick Sc, are about 6-6 to 6-8 and we can both play a point forward if need be, so like I said we’ll be more perimeter oriented this year and I think I’m going to play a lot of positions on the floor. I want to do whatever Coach makes me do whether that’s rebound as a forward or handle the point, whatever he wants me to do, I am there,
Your brother Erik Murphy is currently playing at Florida. Would it be tough for you to elect not to play alongside him?
[Pauses] I think it would seem a little weird but ultimately I can’t base my decision on a school whether my brother or a family member is there. Actually, it’s pretty cool watching him play down there and to play with him would be cool but at the end of the day I don’t think I’d go to Florida because my brother is there. That would not be the right reason to go there and Florida is obviously recruiting me very hard but I will pick my own school, one that’s best for me.
Watching you over the summer on the AAU circuit, I noticed that you were often hanging out with teammate Kaleb Tarczewski. You guys seem to be really close. Is that true?
I have know Kaleb for a while now, for a few years and we really became close this summer, obviously we we were close last high school season and he had a good year but struggled at times. A lot of people over the spring and summer saw him take his game to a whole new level and he’s dramatically improved. We definitely have some chemistry playing together. I haven;t had time to play with him a of of late but I am anxious to play with him in the season coming up getting him on my side again. But the possibility of us playing together at a school? We’ve joked about it, talked about it saying are you going here or come here with me. So we could end up at the same place but as I have said ultimately at the end of the day you have to pick a place that’s right for you and it has to be a situation that you and your family feels comfortable with. It could end up being the same school for us but also it may not be.
Alex, can you tell me which schools have been the most aggressive of late with concerns to the recruiting process?
As of late I’d have to say um, Duke, Florida … those two have been on me consistently and been on me from day one which is something I really respect. North Carolina recently offered me a scholarship and they’ve really come hard. That put a new perspective on things. That was really an honor and really cool, so they’ve been recruiting me hard lately as well as other schools. Arizona and Kansas are right there too. A lot of people feel the top choice for Kaleb right now is Kansas and they’ve done a good job with me too. So really all the schools recruiting me have been consistent. It’s a good thing and it’s also a bad thing because at the end of the day you can only pick one school and you have to turn down some really good coaches.
I cover the ACC beat during the season and with that said, can you tell me the lead assistants recruiting you from the rival schools?
Well I talk to Coach K and Roy a lot but the lead assistant for Duke has been Chris Collins and the assistant who came to a lot of my games from Carolina multiple time is Coach McGraff.
Can you give me your impressions of Coach K and Roy Williams?
Coach K takes a little bit of a different style to recruiting. Most of the times when we’ve talked its after he’s actually seen me play like one time recently. He’ll tell me things I need to work on or what will make me a better player at the next level of play and it helps, especially when you do this stuff and the guy obviously knows what he’s talking about. And Coach Williams and I have talked a few times recently and he just talks about how much I’ve improved. They’re both really excited and both wanting to get me down on campus for visits really soon, hopefully a game and that’s one thing I hope to do in the near future.
Have you set any visits up in the Triangle where you will visit Duke or UNC?
Nothing has been set up yet but hopefully in the near future I can make it down to a game at both places. Obviously with my season we’re busy so it’s difficult to find the time to get down there.
Does it feel strange to have rivals Duke and UNC recruiting you?
Just a little bit. Both have been recruiting me for a while now, but Duke probably a little longer. I think it’s an honor when both those schools recruiting me for they are two of the most storied programs in history not only on the past but in the present.
Do you have a timeline for making a decision on where you’ll play your collegiate basketball?
Ah, not really. I don’t really know actually, it could happen soon or it might not happen until next year I’m not really sure. It’s just whenever I feel it’s right. It probably won;t happen soon because I want get down to these schools and see some games. Hopefully I will be able to feel which school is right for me, but it could happen later rather than sooner, I just don’t know for sure.
You are supposedly close with Shabazz Muhammad. Is that true and can you elaborate a bit on the relationship if so?
We actually talk all the time. In fact, I talked to him just the other day via text. We developed a relationship through the Adidas Nations program. So we played together a lot in Chicago and he was one of the underclassmen along with DeJuan Coleman in the Boost game this summer and I do have a relationship with him and we talk regularly not only about basketball but school.
Many have said that the two of you might like to play together in college. Is there any truth to that?
Absolutely. He’s probably the one guy I’ve talked to mostly about that. But if he goes somewhere I ca';t say I will follow because ultimately it has to be the right thing for you. It’s definitely a possibility.
And then there is the possibility of you to guys going head to head as well, right?
[laughs] Yeah, I know that’s the thing. Who knows if we’ll play together or one of us go to Duke and one to Carolina, so who knows. It wouldn’t effect the friendship at all though.
And what do you think about Kansas?
They watched me and offered a scholarship as soon as they saw me last summer and I have developed a good relationship with Coach Dooley and Coach Self. They are really recruiting Kaleb really hard and another one of the most storied programs in basketball.
Is there a leader or a certain team or teams which stand out right now?
From what I hear and see people seem to think Florida and or Duke lead but honestly there are no leaders but sometime in the near future I will sit down with my family and narrow my list down. So, there are no real favorites right now. I mean I don’t want to not think about it right now, but my high school season is important. [/private]
The Duke Men’s Basketball team were an offensive machine in route to scoring 141 points against St. Augustine’s in the season opener while the Duke Women held their Blue-White game entertaining key recruits. Meanwhile the football team continues their struggles on the gridiron and we’ll talk about all that in the return of our Monday Musings article after a one week hiatus.
These Devils can run
Beep-beep! That’s the sound the infamous cartoon character the “Roadrunner,” makes when churning up and down the countryside as he outwits Wile E. Coyote along the way. This seasons Duke men’s basketball team reminded me of a bunch of roadrunners in the way they pushed the ball up and down the court with ease while never being threatened by an outgunned St. Augustine’s in their exhibition game opener. The bottom line is all but possibly one of the Duke Scholarship players thrive in a system where Krzyzewski will more often than not turn them loose. During the post game interviews, Kyle, Kyrie and Nolan all told BDN that they have never played on a team that dropped 141 points.
Coach K shares criteria for this seasons bigs
During last weeks ACC Operation Basketball, Krzyzewski spoke of how his bigs needed to be efficient this season for Duke to have success. In short their role will be to rebound the ball, defend the post but more importantly to be efficient with limited offensive touches. Mason Plumlee’s stat line from Saturday epitomizes what he is looking for in that he was 6 for 6 from the field, grabbed 8 boards to go with 2 assists, 3 blocks and a steal in just 19 minutes of play. By comparison, his brother Miles Plumlee found just 2 points and 2 rebounds in 22 minutes but he did have 4 blocks, yet I realize that we cannot judge a player off of a simple exhibition game.
Blue Devils depth is just plain nasty
It’s fair to think that even if several Blue Devils struggle on the offensive end this season, their depth will bail them out. With a team full of shooters, especially those who can drain the three point ball, somebody shpould always be able to step up. A scary thought is what will be when all the Devils are hot at the same time.
BDN Premium checks in with Alex Murphy and player interviews
We posted a couple of post game interviews with Kyrie Irving and Nolan Smith and will continue to bring you exclusive post game bits all season long. BDN Premium chatted up key prospect Alex Murphy last evening and he gave us some lengthy answers to burning questions. Support Blue Devil Nation by joining BDN Premium and get full site access which includes all of the recruiting, inside stuff and the ability to chat with other members via our private members only message board. We think you’ll be happy with what you find as a member here.
Duke Women hold their Blue-White Scrimmage and entertain key prospects
The Duke Women’s Basketball team held their annual Blue-White scrimmage on Sunday where two true freshman led the way. Chloe Wells and Tricia Liston scored 18 points apiece and the duo and their mates will mix with three Duke veterans this season, meaning they will play key roles. For more, check out this link.
Coach P and Duke entertained verbal commitment Whitney Knight and the nations #2 rated prospect Elizabeth Williams this weekend as well as BDN will continue to focus in on the women’s team recruiting efforts.
Can Duke catch Navy napping?
The Duke Football team now enters a stretch where they should be able to compete against the teams on the remainder of their schedule. The next opponent Navy could be fat and happy, coming off a victory over Notre Dame and this could prove to be a trap game for the Middies. It’s true that Navy will be a favorite but the fact that they do not pass the ball a lot helps Duke prevent some of the big plays that has rocked them in the season to date. The Middies open as a 14.5 point favorite.
Renfree too good to continue his struggles
I feel for Sean Renfree who is simply learning on the fly this season. Expectations were high for Renfree in that he had a lot of success spelling Thaddeus Lewis last season. Renfree is a good quarterback that has hit the skids and in the process he may be overthinking the game. Whatever the true issue might be with concerns to red zone and turnover struggles, Renfree is the only capable Duke starter in that Brandon Connette is simply a true freshman. Of course, it would help Renfree if the vaunted Duke wideouts would reel in a few more passes which at times are right in their mitts.
Have a good week Blue Devil Nation and join us each and every Monday for more random musings.
DURHAM – Here’s a couple of post game interviews with Nolan Smith and Kyrie Irving who form the Blue Devils starting backcourt. Smith led the team with a game high 9 assists while Irving tallied 7 and the two have a friendly competition going. Just press play –
And here is Kyrie Irving –
BLACKSBURG, Va.– The Duke football team fell to 23rd-ranked Virginia Tech, 44-7, Saturday afternoon in front of 66,233 sun-splashed fans at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Va.
The Hokies improve to 6-2 overall and 4-0 in ACC action while the Blue Devils fall to 1-6 overall and 0-4 in the league.
Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor completed 13-of-17 pass attempts for 280 yards and 280 touchdowns to lead the Hokies, who claimed a 7-0 lead just over seven minutes into the first period when Taylor found tight end Andre Smith for a 14-yard scoring toss to cap a five-play, 57-yard drive. Following Duke’s next possession, Virginia Tech’s Jayron Hosley returned a Duke punt 61 yards to set up a one-yard touchdown run by Ryan Williams to give the Hokies a 14-0 advantage with 1:30 remaining in the opening quarter.
After Holsey intercepted a pass by Duke quarterback Brandon Connette, the Hokies marched 24 yards in six plays to take a 21-0 lead on a two-yard touchdown plunge by Darren Evans. The teams went to intermission with the score 27-0 after Chris Hazley booted a pair of field goals in the final 2:37 of the half.
Taylor threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to flanker Dyrell Roberts on Virginia Tech’s first possession of the third quarter, extending the home team’s lead to 34-0. Duke responded with a nine-play, 56-yard drive that resulted in a six-yard touchdown run by running back Jay Hollingsworth. The drive, which was set up by Desmond Scott’s 36-yard kickoff return, was keyed by Connette’s 19-yard run that gave Duke a first-and-goal from the Hokie six yard line.
On the Hokies’ next possession, Taylor found David Wilson down the sideline for a 65-yard touchdown pass to make the score 41-7 with 5:08 left in the third quarter. Hazley’s third field goal of the day – this one from 22 yards away – pushed the margin to 37 points late in the third period.
Virginia Tech scored on eight of its first nine offensive possessions to secure its sixth consecutive victory of the season.
For the Blue Devils, quarterback Sean Renfree hit on 12-of-32 passes for 116 yards while Connette paced the ground attack with 43 yards on eight carries. Wideout Conner Vernon finished with six receptions for 44 yards.
Duke steps out of conference action next week by travelling to Annapolis, Md., to meet the U.S. Naval Academy. Kick-off is set for 3:30 p.m. and the game will be televised live by CBS College Sports.