By Mark Watson on June 26, 2012
In this week’s edition of Duke Basketball Notebook, we’ve got a number of things going on in and around the program that we wanted to let you in on. As you probably can imagine, there is no off-season for Duke Basketball and this month and the rest of summer feature a bevy of interesting “happenings.” Let’s take a look:
- The NBA Draft goes off this week and the Duke Blue Devils will have two players selected, Austin Rivers and Miles Plumlee. Rivers seems to be moving up as the draft nears, which is exactly what we told you would happen when he was initially projected to go around 17th in the first round. Rivers’s transition to the NBA will likely be much easier than others’ due to the guidance of his father, and perhaps NBA types are considering Doc’s influence as well as the skills that Austin brings to the table. We are also going to honk our horn on Miles a bit, in that we let you know early on that the eldest Plumlee was impressing many with his measurements and skill set at pre-draft workouts. Now everybody is raving about Plumlee, and it could not be happening to a nicer kid. It also goes to show that playing less at a top flight program is sometimes better than playing a lot at a bad one. Miles wears his NCAA Championship ring with pride and we hope one day he has another ring to add to it.
- Speaking of rings, Shane Battier added another one as the Miami Heat won the NBA title. Battier played a huge role, knocking down timely three point shots and making key steals, tips, and other heady plays to help seal victories. Shane is already benefitting from the hype.
- In other NBA news, former Duke star Danny Ferry is the new General Manager of the Atlanta Hawks. Ferry has deep roots in the league through his father Bob Ferry, who was the long-time GM of the Washington franchise.
- While the rosters have yet to be officially announced, the N.C. Pro-Am kicks off later this week, and as we have been since the event’s inception, Blue Devil Nation will be there to report. This event provides some of the best basketball entertainment that can be found in the dog days of summer, and the price is right — attendance is free. This year, they’ve cut back to eight teams and there will be three nights of action. We’ll have more on the logistics and other particulars in the coming week. But regardless, we’ll be in our customary spot in the end zone, so stop by and say hello.
- The Duke Men’s Basketball staff will head to Las Vegas shortly, and be gone through July 4th. Mike Krzyzewski is trying to bring another Olympic gold medal home from jolly old England this summer, and he’ll have his trusty blokes, Chris Collins and Steve Wojciechowski, in tow. Several exhibition games have already been set, and we’ll follow Team USA as we always have in the past, so be sure to bookmark the site for updates.
- During the coaches’ absence, assistants Jeff Capel and Nate James will take center stage on the AAU circuit, so Duke will still be well represented at the great events remaining this summer, many of which BDN will cover.
- Don’t forget that Alex Murphy will be playing for the Finnish National Team this summer. He will earn a lot of burn, which can only help him in the coming season. We told you long ago that Alex would be suiting up for Finland, and here is a video from last March where he spoke of his redshirt season and playing for Finland.
- Meanwhile, Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly are participating in the Amare Stoudemire Big Man Camp. If you were a BDN Premium member, you would have known about this weeks ago. Plumlee and Kelly will be seasoned senior leaders this season for Duke, and if history repeats itself, that should bode well. Having veteran leaders is big come March.
- This is the week coveted transfer Rodney Hood will suppoosedly announce his decision. Hood is down to Duke and Ohio State, and I feel good about the Blue Devils’ chances. As you may have learned in an interview BDN Premium had with Hood before his senior year in high school, he grew up a Duke fan, and some say that by Thursday we will know where the long and lean prospect will be balling for the remainder of his college career. Many leakers are saying he is bound for Columbus, but our suggestion is to take a wait-and-see approach.
- For more on where other Duke players will be this summer, join BDN Premium. Speaking of our Premium service, our interviews continue to draw raves for their timeliness and their detail. Andrew Slater is doing a great job for us (as is the rest of our staff) and we invite you to join and discuss all the latest with fellow members. We have a lot of interviews coming soon, an early bird Duke hoops preview, as well as much more on the football recruiting trail, where Patrick Cacchio’s work is second to none. If you are looking for a reliable source of timely information, BDN Premium is that place. In our latest offering, for example, recruiting insider Van Coleman takes a look at Duke and national prospects in an exclusive with BDN. BDN Premium features the nation’s best talent scouts, from Tom Konchalski and Clark Francis to the aforementioned Coleman, to give our members the best information available from a variety of well known, tried and true sources.
- Finally, BDN is looking for a couple of people to add to our team. Most recently we have added Tom Rubinson, who will act as our lead editor and will write some feature articles as well. Tom has already added a lot to our site and his wordsmithing will be part and parcel of a new and improved BDN as we make some important changes to the site. We’ll talk more about those changes when we get closer to implementing them. If you are an outstanding writer, we have a soap box for you. You must know the program well and have some experience in the field. We are looking for a person to cover “Dukies in the NBA” on a regular basis next season, and somebody to help us get more proactive and creative with our use of videos. Our football coverage has grown immensely and Patrick is looking for a sidekick to help there too. In addition, we are looking for somebody who has a keen interest in Duke Women’s Basketball and who can cover their games and the program as a whole. If you have any interest in these volunteer positions or want to know more, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org