BDN Monday Musings takes a look at Duke Athletics

This week, we have an abbreviated version of Monday Musings as we continue to work on other site projects -

Rebounding from a tough loss

Duke is not feeling sorry for themselves after the Florida State loss at home which killed several records.  This team will now start new streaks if they have their way.  After any loss, much of the Blue Devils fanbase goes into Chicken Little mode and you would swear that the sun will never rise.  Food for thought is that Duke has 3 losses against a brutal schedule ranked the toughest.  That means on Kentucky and Syracuse have less losses of any of what are considered the true national contenders. 

The new polls

Kentucky is the new #1 after Syracuse faced their first defeat of the season but are they good enough to be a unanimous #1 save 4 votes in the A.P. poll?  Duke is ranked 6th in the Coaches poll and 8th in the A.P. this week.  Interestingly, Florida State moves into the A.P. poll at #23 after their upset win in Cameron, ranked one spot ahead of a UConn team they lost to by a bucket.  Duke has defeated #5 Kansas, #10 Michigan State, #19 Virginia and #20 Michigan and lost to #3 Ohio State and #23 Florida State which translates to 4-2 against the top 25.

Bracketology

For me, early bracketology is much like “what if,” articles in that I’m not a big fan of either one.  But many do and in this weeks edition of ESPN Bracketology by Joe Lunardi, Duke is a #2 seed opening with  a tough Cleveland State team.  Kansas is the #1 seed followed by the Blue Devils, then West Virginia at #3 and Creighton at #4.  FWIW, they’re in the St. Louis region, if they get that far for the first two games will be in Greensboro.  I’d take  that bracket and yes, I just got caught linking and reading early bracketology … ugh.

Duke Women are young and GOOD!

Due to workload we haven’t been able to cover the women as much as we’d like but I made it to the Maryland game yesterday and it is by far the smoothest, cleanest game I have been to since Coach P took over.  No missed free throws and few turnovers made for a good game on the eyes and of course, Duke won and remains atop the ACC.  The Blue Devils offensive sets against were crisp and there was great spacing.  Freshman Elizabeth Williams has it going on for sure and you should check here out and Haley Peters “womaned” up yesterday with an outstanding performance.  Duke takes on UConn in Cameron next Monday and very few tickets are left.  Get you a pair through Duke and back the Blue Devils against the beast from the east.

Football recruiting red hot

Duke entertained Jela Duncan and others and BDN Football Analyst Patrick Cacchio has the latest on all the happenings on the front.  BDN Premium has some good stuff up for members and gridiron fans and we have the only recent and in depth interview with Amile Jefferson.  It’s a great time to join and talk Duke Athletics on our subscription only message board where you avoid all the free board maniacs and have real discussions.

Blue Devil Nation Open Facebook Page

As most of you know, Blue Devil Nation on has a message board for paying members of BDN Premium, but we do have a Blue Devil Nation Open Facebook page which you can join and it is our version of a free message board.  So, if you want to hang and chat with other Duke fans, check it out.

Valor Christian DE Michael Mann committed to Duke over the weekend.

Valor Christian DE Michael Mann recaps his official visit for BDN Premium

With the recent decision by Terrell Jackson to re-open his recruitment, the Blue Devils find themselves looking to bulk up their defensive line in the class of 2012. With that in mind, Duke hosted Valor Christian DE Michael Mann on an official visit over the weekend. Originally committed to Arizona State, Mann opted to re-open his own recruitment after the coaching staff change in Tempe. A teammate and close friend of Duke WR commit Max McCaffrey, the Blue Devils have had Mann on their radar for awhile. The 6’4” 220 pound DE prospect is coming off his third straight Colorado HS Championship and spoke with BDN shortly after his visit to Durham. [private]

BDN: How did your official visit to Duke go?

I’m at the airport right now; I just got done with my visit. It was a fun weekend. It was a lot of fun. They did a great job of hosting it. Definitely the high points were the basketball game, getting to walk around and see the campus for the first time, and just hanging out with the coaches, they are some great guys, they’re funny, and we got along really well.

BDN: You had originally committed to Arizona State. Can you talk a little about how Duke entered your recruitment and when you first heard from them?

Definitely. I committed to Arizona State in the summer and I was all set and ready to go, but due to the coaching changes and all that stuff, it really opened up things for me. I re-opened my recruitment. It turns out that my best friend, I think you know him, Max McCaffrey, he goes to my school and he lives right next door. He committed to Duke as well. He’s a great kid and it would be really fun to come with him. But that’s how I got introduced to Coach Lubick. He was out here and was able to see me play and he liked me and that’s kind of how Duke got a hold of me.

BDN: What other schools are you considering at this point?

I took an official visit to Colorado State last weekend. It’s definitely CSU, Duke, and UCLA. I can still go to Arizona State but I don’t really want to because of the new coaching staff, they want me to gray shirt and all this weird stuff.

BDN: It’s obviously always a tough situation when there’s a coaching change. What will be the most important factors as you sit down and make your final decision?

Yeah. After being at Duke, my priority is definitely to get an education first. I’m going to college to get an education. AS much as I’d like to play in the league, I’m going to put forth my best effort, but I want to be realistic and know that I’m probably going to rely on my degree one day. That’s very important to me. I want to go into business, so I want a good business school and a good education. Next for me would be the football aspect. And last would be socially and the location. Those are the factors that will definitely come into play when I make this big decision.

BDN: Do you have an idea when you would like to make that final decision?

I’d like to make it definitely soon. Duke is going to call me, they’re going to keep in touch with me. I’m anxious to hear something from them in the next few days, it could be as early as tonight, it could be by Tuesday, to know officially what I’ve got going on with Duke.

BDN: Thanks a lot, Michael, and best of luck.

I appreciate that, sir, thank you so much.
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Duke defeats Maryland 80-72 to remain atop the ACC – Post Game Videos

DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke Blue Devils defeated the Maryland Terrapins 80-72 and in the process remain atop the ACC with a 7-0 record while pushing their season record to 16-2.  This was quite simply a very competitive and well played game where neither team missed a free throw and there were by 19 turnovers combined.

The Blue Devils had five players in double figures with Haley Peters leading the way with 21 points, a career high on 10 of 12 shooting from the field.  Some of her success was ffrom the fact that Elizabeth Williams drew a crowd every time she touched the ball.  Williams, the freshman sensation, ended the game with a stat line of 15 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks and a steal.

Also in double figures for Duke were Chelsea Gray with 17 points and an eye popping 11 assists, prompting Coach McCallie to kid that she needed more rebounds in the post game press conference.  Gray protected the ball well as Duke had a season low 9 turnovers.  Richa Jackson added 11 points and Allison Vernerey 10 as the other double figure scorers.

The Blue Devils also won the battle of the boards over a Maryland team that was ranked 3rd in the nation in rebounding margin by a 41-30 advantage promting Coach P to say, “We read about the rebounds in the locker room – four, five, eight, five, five, three,” as she scrolled the stat sheet.  She continued, “When you do things like as a team, you’re powerful.”

And Duke did show terrific balance on the offensive end with Chelsea Gray making most of the calls on splendid to the eyes offensive sets.  The Blue Devils were crisp and efficient but so were the game Terrapins for most of the game.  Duke went to  bit of a half court trap press and that helped them to get a bit of a working margin or lead.

The Blue Devils were very effective in the paint where 46 of their 80 points were scored and they had 16 offensive boards which was impressive. “It was a great womens basketball game and it was nice to have it in Cameron,” said McCallie.  She then said, “The quality of the game was the highest quality of game I’ve had since having to good fortune to coach in Cameron.”

And she wasn’t kidding for on this afternoon, Duke and Maryland gave fans more than their moneys worth in a game where the lead was exchanged 13 times.  Duke will next face Clemson on the road this coming Friday before their big home game with traditional power UConn the following Monday.

Here are Coach P’s post game comments from BDN Video, followed by another video with the games high scorer, Haley Peters -


Mallard Creek RB Jela Duncan will choose between Duke, ECU, and Wake Forest

Mallard Creek RB Jela Duncan recaps his Duke official visit for BDN Premium

Mallard Creek RB Jela Duncan is Duke's top remaining priority in the class of 2012

It’s no secret that Jela Duncan has been the Duke coaching staff’s top priority in the class of 2012 for the past several months. The Mallard Creek star RB is viewed as the type of elite athlete that will help the Blue Devils’ program get to the next level. As signing day approaches, Duncan is making his final visits and has narrowed his choices to Duke, ECU, Wake Forest, and North Carolina. Coach Cutcliffe has developed a strong relationship with the elite prospect throughout his recruitment and welcomed him to Durham on an official visit this weekend. Duncan checked in with BDN shortly after returning home from his Duke official visit. [private]

BDN: How was your visit to Duke?

IT went pretty good, it went pretty good. I like it up there, I like it.

BDN: You’ve been to Durham a few times before. What were you able to see on this visit that was different?

Well I got to see more this time. They showed me the academic buildings, got to see the indoor facility since it’s been put up, and I got to sit down and meet with the coaches a little bit more than I had before.

BDN: Did you get to spend some time with the Duke players and who was your host?

Yes, I did. Jamison Crowder. That was my first time actually meeting him.

BDN: Can you talk a little about your relationship with the Duke coaches?

First off, I have a great relationship with Coach Cut. We talk on the phone probably every other day. He calls sometimes just to check up on me and see how I’m doing. My relationship with the running back coach, Coach Roper, that’s a pretty good relationship. We sat down and watched film. He showed me some of the offense that they’re running and it’s basically some of the things we run at Mallard Creek. It was pretty simple.

BDN: What other visits do you have scheduled and when do you think you’ll make your final decision?

I’ll probably make my final decision after I come back from Wake Forest next weekend.

BDN: Is that your last visit remaining?

Yes sir it is. I probably might go on an unofficial visit to UNC this week but I don’t have the date yet.

BDN: You’ve also been able to visit ECU. Do you have a ranking of schools in your head at this point?

It’s basically between ECU, Duke, and UNC and Wake Forest.

BDN: What will be the one or two things that are most important as you make your final decision?

If I feel like I’m at home. Am I comfortable? Am I going to be able to be there for four years without football, looking at life outside of football?

BDN: Thanks a lot, Jela. Best of luck.

Ok, thank you sir.

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Western Michigan v Duke

Buzzer beater hands Duke their first ACC loss

The Duke junior class had not lost a game in Cameron and that in itself should make Blue Devil fans appreciate just how awesome the streak was despite a 76-73 heart breaking loss to Florida State at the buzzer.  The Blue Devils built little leads along the way, but Florida State answered all of them in the 2nd half where they score 50 points.  Another contributing factor to their late success inside was the fact that Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee were saddled with four fouls apiece.

Austin Rivers drove the basket and hit a key shot for Duke tying the game with 4.8 ticks left, but the Seminoles found a wide open Michael Snaer who hit the best three point shot in his life.  The win puts Florida State atop the ACC while Duke is now in 2nd both with 4-1 marks.  Austin Rivers led Duke in scoring with 19 points and was very upset with the loss in the locker room which is to be expected.  Andre Dawkins with 14 and Seth Curry with 12 rounded out the double figure scorers for Duke.

The Florida State defense slowed the Duke offense as well holding them to 31.4% from the field in the first half while they shot an impressive 66.7% in the second half.  The Noles shot three more free throws than Duke in a game where the score was tied 11 times and the lead changed 5 times.  It doesn’t get much easier for Duke as they next travel to Maryland in what is always a hostile environment.

Coach K comments in the video below -