BDN Post Game Interview with Mason Plumlee who scores a Career High 28 points

Mason Plumlee was praised by Coach Krzyzewski in the post game in that he scored a career high 28 points in a most efficient manner in the Blue Devils 88-67 win over Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday evening.  Plumlee went 9 of 11 from the field and 10 of 11 from the free throw stripe in one of his better games in Durham.  Blue Devil Nation Video caught up to the star Blue Devil after the game, so check out what he had to say -

BDN Locker Room Rapid Reaction Report – Duke 88 FGC 67

Duke uses a 23-0 run to close the 1st half

The Blue Devils, down a point with 5:23 to go in the first half, went on a 23-0 run to take a commanding 52-30 lead into the locker room. Mason Plumlee and Rasheed Sulaimon led the charge with 14 and 13 points, respectively, in the stellar half. The Blue Devils were 13 of 14 from the free throw stripe. In the second half, the run would resume, and grow to 30-0, making it the largest since a 27-0 run over Clemson in 1999.

Career High 28 for Mason Plumlee

Mason Plumlee was a picture of efficiency tonight, scoring 28 points on 9 of 11 shooting from the field and 10 of 11 from the free throw line. Plumlee added 9 rebounds and 2 blocks, and earned the praise of Coach Krzzyewski after the game -- including about his defense. The coach mentioned that Mason stayed away from fouls tonight, contrasting it to the foul against Kentucky where he strayed too far from the basket defensively. "Guys got me easy shots - I wasn't shooting jumpers," said a smiling Plumlee after the contest. "A lot of credit goes to Quinn Cook and Tyler Thornton for getting me the ball in the right situations." Krzyzewski had mentioned in the pre-season that if Mason was to eliminate some of his misses from the stripe, he'd be a 20-10 guy, and tonight he showed that potential ...

... but it was Quinn Cook who got him the ball in position

The sophomore PG earned a start and he played well, dishing out a team and season-high 9 assists, tying his career high, set in January against Penn. Cook also scored 8 points in the game, including nailing consecutive three-pointers in the first half at a crucial time, and seemed very comfortable on the floor. He was humble in the post-game locker room. Check out our interview with him which will be up shortly. Cook had consecutive three pointers in the first half at a crucial time for Duke.

Kelly solid again

Ryan Kelly has struggled a bit with his shot early this season and went just 1 of 5 from the three-point stripe tonight, but he handled the boards early on for Duke and ended the game tied with Plumee with 9 caroms. But the most impressive improvement he's had in the off-season in my view is his development of better passing skills; he had 3 assists this evening, and that was his lowest total of the season. Any time you get a big who can dish to a scorer, he will present matchup problems. "We really locked in on the defensive end and didn't give them anything easy and really controlled the boards," said Kelly in the post-game locker room.


  • Duke will next take on Minnesota, ranked 27th in the country as I type this, on Thanksgiving Day at 3:30 EST on AXS TV. The team will leave on Tuesday for their journey to the Bahamas, and, win or lose, will play two games in the Battle for Atlantis.
  • Rasheed Sulaimon had a career high 19 points tonight for Duke.
  • The Blue Devils won their 96th consecutive game in Cameron against non-conference opponents.
  • Five Blue Devils hit three-pointers in the game.
  •  Tyler Thornton ended a streak of 15 consecutive starts.

Coach Cutcliffe: “I’m going to be coaching at Duke next year”

DURHAM - Duke Head Coach David Cutcliffe confirmed his commitment to the Blue Devils today, stating on his weekly conference call that he will return to Duke and has no interest in other coaching vacancies.

"I can tell you right now that I'm going to be coaching at Duke next year," Cutcliffe said, "I'm very happy here."

Cutcliffe's comments came in wake of news that Head Coach Derek Dooley was fired at the University of Tennessee, after three straight losing seasons in Knoxville. Dooley, 44, had a 15-21 record that included an 0-15 mark against Top 25 teams. Dooley was 4-19 in Southeastern Conference competition during his three-year tenure and had lost 14 of his last 15 league games.

Cutcliffe, who has spent much of his college coaching career in Knoxville, had previously interviewed for the Tennessee job back in 2009. Cutcliffe is in his 5th season in Durham, and has compiled a record of 21-38 at Duke. This year under Cutcliffe, the Blue Devils are bowl eligible for the first time since 1994, and will finish their regular season next Saturday against Miami at 12:30PM in Wallace Wade Stadium.





Duke Football Still Has Plenty to Play For

There is plenty yet to play for Duke Football despite it's loss to Georgia Tech in a game which cost them any hope of winning the Coastal Division in the ACC.

Coming into the season, few thought the Blue Devils would be bowl eligible and those few that did projected nothing more than a .500 mark and or a 6-6 record.

Miami travels to Durham next week in the home finale for the Blue Devils and while the ACC only recognizes head to head tie breakers for the division title, a win would guarantee Duke a 3rd place finish with the same concept.

If Virginia Tech were to stumble against Virginia, then Duke would finish in 2nd place. Either scenario is a show of extreme progress for a bowl starved program and one the staff can point to on the recruiting trail.

A win over the Hurricanes would also give Duke a 7-5 mark, a winning season and the most wins for the program since 1994 and considering Duke was unlucky enough to draw Florida State and Clemson from the other division on their schedule, this would be quite an accomplishment.

Let's not forget how a win might possibly help with a bowl scenario as well. Duke for all intents and purposes probably out of the running for the Chic Fil A Bowl but a win still makes them a much more attractive invite.

And depending on other results, Duke still has an outside chance for the slot in Atlanta.

With a victory, Duke may well secure a berth in the Music City Bowl in New Years Eve in Nashville against a tough Vanderbilt team from the SEC. or perhaps Missouri.

That is more attractive to the fan side of me than say, the Belk Bowl in Charlotte which would be the likely destination if they were to finish with a loss and go 6-6.

While the Sun Bowl is El Paso, Texas is still a possibility, my feeling is that playing to be closer to home for the overall fan base is something worth playing for as well.

And then there is still the a chance for Orlando but a win on Saturday against Miami guarantees more varied opportunities

If that weren't enough incentive for Duke Football and the fan base which will need to turn out on a Thanksgiving Holliday weekend where the students are for the most part gone for the break, then maybe setting a few more records in Wallace Wade are in order.

Sean Renfree and Conner Vernon are still setting school and ACC marks and there is a chance for records to fall. I am sure their teammates want to reward these two seniors.

Speaking of seniors, this will be the last game for a bevy of them in Wallace Wade, so a send off with a win is in order for the class that brought Duke Football back to relevance.

Another thing Duke will be playing for is a break through win. The last time Duke beat Miami was in the year 1976. To put that into perspective, I was starting high school and many of you reading this were not even born.

The Duke program could use a win over what is still considered a storied program in Miami, a former football power that is still significant today and one playing for the division crown.

I had the chance to visit Coach David Cutcliffes office a couple of times over the years and when there I always look at those breakthrough commemorative footballs he has displayed.

I have covered Duke Football in each of those wins starting with his first over James Madison when the program was starved for anything positive.

There is also one for his first ACC win over Virginia in that Duke was not even competitive in conference when Cutcliffe arrived in Durham. Then there is one for a road win over N.C. State, a rare thing for a program until recently.

I am pretty certain without another visit to Cutcliffes' digs that a Wake Forest game ball was added in that the victory this season broke a long streak.

And surely there is a game ball for the win over rival North Carolina where Duke fans were elated that their team ended a long streak and brought the Victory Bell back to Durham for a year.

So, yes, Duke has plenty left to play for  when Miami comes to town and there is no short-changing how important a victory would be for the seniors who turned the programs fortunes around.

BDN Week 12 College Football Picks

Down went #1 Alabama last week, much to the dismay of our team of pickers. Andrew Slater lengthened his overall lead, correctly picking 9/10 games. Vinny Rey, fresh off a big win against the New York Giants, also climbed out of last place with a 7 point week.

Here are this week's overall standings:

All eyes will be on new #1 and #2 this week, as Kansas State travels to Baylor, and Oregon hosts Stanford. Elsewhere around the country, Notre Dame looks to stay undefeated as they host Wake Forest, and Urban Meyer's Buckeyes hope to continue their perfect season when they travel to Wisconsin. In the ACC, two crucial Atlantic Division matchups highlight the schedule. The Wolfpack will look to pull off another unlikely upset as they travel to Death Valley to face Clemson, while the division-leading Seminoles travel to Maryland to take on the injury-stricken Terrapins. The Blue Devils and Yellow Jackets will do battle in Atlanta, both hoping to keep their dreams of Charlotte alive.

Here are this week's picks:

Mark Watson: The Blue Devils will tough out a win over Georgia Tech in Atlanta to keep their great season and prospects going - Duke 34 GT 31

Patrick Cacchio: The Blue Devils will slow the Ramblin' Wreck's triple option by jumping out to an early lead, winning the turnover battle, and controlling field position. Duke 38, GT 31

Bob Green: Georgia Tech's offense blitzed Carolina for 68 points so step one for
Duke in securing a victory in Atlanta is to ensure everyone on defense
understands and executes their assignment against the triple option.
Coach Cutcliffe has stated that assignment discipline is key.

Steps two and three are scoring early to force Georgia Tech to play
from behind and solid kicking game execution to keep the Yellow
Jackets playing on a long field. The triple option is not a good come
from behind offense, while a short field is its biggest friend.

On offense, the Blue Devils must be multidimensional so look for Duke
to try and establish the running game early to set-up the downfield
strike via play action. The short passing game will be worked in to
keep Georgia Tech's defense off balance.

Ross Martin will kick a couple of late field goals to propel Duke past
Georgia Tech in a barnburner.

Duke 41, Georgia Tech 38

Andrew Slater:  It's obviously a critical week for the Duke secondary to stay aware at all times and not get lulled into a daze with the incessant running plays of Johnson's version of the triple-option offense. Last week's increased playing time of Vad Lee, the Durham native, for the Yellow Jackets increases their likelihood of legitimately utilizing both aspects of the "dual-threat" quarterback this weekend. The Georgia Tech defense has been consistently porous this year and ultimately cost Al Groh his defensive coordinator position earlier in the season. Coach Cutcliffe has exploited weaker defenses in the recent past and I expect the Blue Devils will be able to consistently move the ball this weekend. In many ways, this game will come down to which defense can contain the other for consecutive series. Georgia Tech 41, Duke 34

Bob Harris:  To paraphrase Charlie Daniels, “The Devils went down to Georgia, looking for a game to steal. They were in a bind ‘cause they needed to find a way to sting old GT. And they played fire on the mountain, run Duke, run. The Devils’ in Grant Field, stoppin’ Tech’s run. Pickin’ off passes, where’s Al Groh? Did Tech’s Wasps bite? No, child, no.” Duke 42 – GT 31

Matt Daniels: The Blue Devils are strong when it comes to stopping the is vital that the defensive line steps up and LBs come to play..Duke wins a tight one 31-28 and is one step closer to reaching ACC ship!

Thad Lewis: Duke will pull it out this week. We are healthy after the bye week, got a chance to work on GT for two weeks. I’ll take Duke. 49 to 28.

Vinny Rey: The Duke defense will play sound with the front seven on the dive option and they will be disciplined on the back end against the deep ball. The bye week will prove to pay off. Duke 31, Georgia Tech 17

Blue Devils go down to Georgia to take on the Yellow Jackets

Duke freshman RB Jela Duncan leads the Blue Devils in carries, rushing yards, and yards per carry. - BDN Photo

Duke at Georgia Tech
3:30 PM ET
Saturday, November 17
Atlanta, Georgia


Radio: Blue Devil IMG Sports Network

Duke: 6-4 (3-3 ACC), off

Georgia Tech: 5-5 (4-3 ACC), defeated UNC, 68-50 (yes, in football)



PROBABLE: C Brian Moore (leg), S Dwayne Norman (upper body), RB Juwan Thompson (upper body)
DOUBTFUL: S Anthony Young-Wiseman (leg)
OUT: CB Jared Boyd (leg), S Brandon Braxton (lower body), LB Kelby Brown (leg), TE Braxton Deaver (leg)
OUT FOR SEASON: TE Jack Farrell (leg), WR Blair Holliday, DE Allen Jackson (shoulder), S Corbin McCarthy (shoulder), S Taylor Sowell (leg)


DOUBTFUL: OT Will Jackson
OUT: K Justin Moore, K David Scully
OUT FOR SEASON: S Fred Holton, BB Charles Perkins


How do you beat the triple option? If there was an easy answer, Paul Johnson would be out of a job. If there wasn't an answer, the Yellow Jackets wouldn't be 5-5 on the season and still fighting for bowl eligibility. Of course, Duke is 0-4 against Georgia Tech against Paul Johnson, but they have played the Ramblin' Wreck tough in recent years. In fact, it's been an interesting trend, as Duke has improved their point total against Georgia Tech in each of the past four years. In 2008, they were shutout; in 2009, they scored 10 points; in 2010, they scored 20 points; and last year, they scored 31 points. In all four meetings, Duke has given up over 400 yards of total offense to the Yellow Jackets. Last year, they lost by only a touchdown. So really, the best defense is truly a good offense. The Blue Devils have to put up points and move the ball consistently. The triple-option is designed to grind out yards, control the ball, and dictate field position. It is not nearly as effective when playing from behind. Last year, Sean Renfree threw for 4 touchdowns against these same Yellow Jackets, and he'll have to have another big day for the Blue Devils to win.


The Yellow Jackets need this game more than the Blue Devils, and they will be ready to play on Saturday. It's senior day in Atlanta, and Georgia Tech remains one win away from bowl eligibility, with a tough match up against rival Georgia looming in their season finale. After being dominated by BYU three weeks ago and held without an offensive touchdown, the Yellow Jackets have been on a roll in their past two games, averaging over 50 points and over 450 yards per game. The emergence of Hillside alum Vad Lee as another explosive option alongside Tevin Washington and Orwin Smith has been difficult for opposing defenses. Georgia Tech will look to dictate the game at the line of scrimmage, which will allow them to move the ball effectively and keep the Blue Devils offense on the sidelines. If the Yellow Jackets control the trenches, they will win the turnover battle, win time of possession, win field position, and ultimately, win the game.


On Saturday, the best defense for Duke is a good offense. The Blue Devils have their most balanced and explosive offense since Coach Cutcliffe's arrival in Durham. Conner Vernon and Jamison Crowder will find plenty of room to work against the Yellow Jacket secondary. Duke's offensive line, after a week of rest, will return energized and put forth another dominant performance as they did against North Carolina and Virginia. The three-headed rushing attack of Juwan Thompson, Josh Snead, and Jela Duncan will find holes and find the endzone. Defensively, the Blue Devils will rely on strong, disciplined play from a finally healthy defensive line and will look for veteran safeties Walt Canty and Jordon Byas to step up against the run. Duke will try to establish an early lead, forcing the triple-option to play from behind and creating opportunities for Ross Cockrell to add to his ACC-leading interception total. The right feet of Ross Martin and Will Monday will help the Blue Devils win the crucial field position battle. The Devils go down to Georgia, and will return to Durham with a chance to play for the Coastal Division crown. Duke 38, Georgia Tech 31