Category Archives: Duke Basketball

Boynton, Knight lead Team Breakdown to Reebok Title

Kenny Boynton Jr. (2009) scored 26 points leading his team to a win in the open division championship game of the Reebok Summer Championships just outside of Las Vegas.

Breakdown lost the second game of the tournament to D-One Sports, but this game was never in doubt as indicated by the 81-64 score.

Brandon Knight (2010) chipped in 24 points.  Team Breakdown (Florida) avenged an earlier loss to D-One Sports which features John Wall who averaged 23.6 for the tournament and Ryan Kelly (16.6).

It was Knight that helped his team in the two prior games where he scored 25 and 22 which was a key to advancing.  Team Breakdown finished the event 8-1.

Boynton and Knight told the Blue Devil Nation at an earlier event that their goal was to win the title and both mentioned coming close wasn't the way they wanted to close out the summer.  Their team lost in the final to Belmont Shores last year.  Kenny Boynton, of course is being heavily recruited by the Blue Devils and has long been their top target in the class of 2009.

Weekend scoring totals -

Kenny Boynton - 33, 21, 26, 26, 25, 17, 12, 14, 26 - 22.2

Brandon Knight - 26, 24, 2, 19, 22, 20, 25, 22, 24 - 20.4

Blue Devils continue play in the NC Pro Am

As I stated in my last Pro Am report, more stars would start to come out during the final weeks.  The mere addition of JJ Hickson, gave winless E-Net another force down low to go with Josh Powell which carried them to a 71-46 win over the RDU Barnstormers.

The Barnstormers feature three Dukies in Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith and incoming freshman Olek Czyz.  Singler got little help from Czyz in defending Powell and Hickson, which shows that work lies ahead for one of the most popular players in the tournament.  Czyz did drain a three and positioned himself better on the court than on Tuesday.  And he of course had a sweeping one handed dunk which brought about many looking at one another as if to say, did you see that?

Still, for all the tremendous athleticism Czyz possesses, his defense is a work in progress.  Czyz plays hard all the time and is in excellent game shape and Coach K will certainly tweak his game to a desired effect.  Czyz finished the evening with 15 points.

Kyle Singler (12 points) was steady, but tired after working overtime on the glass which took a toll on his shot.  I mean, he never comes out of the game and I have yet to see any other player not get a little rest in the event.  Unfortunately, some sloppy guard play which accounted for four straight turnovers at one point, helped send the Barnstormers to their second loss.

Nolan Smith came off the bench for the Barnstormers and had a stretch in the first half which I have yet to see anyone recognize.  I mean all he did was wreck havoc in the passing lanes, slash to the rim on his ways to 13 consecutive points.  That's right, 13 straight points!  The second half was a different story for Smith who scored but 2 points giving him a total of 15.  Smith struggled from the free throw stripe and this was a classic case of a tale of two half's.

Another Duke freshman, Elliot Williams played on the winning team and he would on some occasions match up with Nolan.  Williams cored just 11 points tonight but continued to show the ability to make his team better with his passing.  The fact that he can take his man off the dribble, allowed him to draw multiple defenders which allowed him to make the pass to a teammate for the open shot, if not a dunk.  One thing is certain, that being Williams has the ability to contribute in a big way as a freshman.

One thing about sitting as close as I do to the action is that you see a lot more than just the game.  Nolan is still not 100% and favored his knee down the stretch.  While I normally do not talk of how the games are called, I must admit that this one was sloppy.  Hey, no homer-ism though!  The entire body of games on this night were called in an inconsistent manner, in my opinion.

In fact, the first game had a controversial foul on tournament sponsor Jerry Stackhouse (11 points) as less than second was left on the clock.  Miles Plumlee would later be called for an iffy foul with 3.2 seconds on the clock with his team up a single digit.  Ironically, he fouled a soon to be teammate that he was playing against on this night.  Lance Thomas missed hit one of two and the game went to overtime.

Thomas played a bigger role in the extra period, flushing a hard dunk and connecting on two free throws at a critical juncture of the game.  Thomas moved well and played good position defense scoring his tournament high of 17 points. 

This was the first time I got to see Miles Plumlee (10 points) and he showed me that he is pretty good with his decision making and that he plays hard.  He drew UNC freshman Ed Davis (16 points) and had to play a lot of help defense which would leave a man open where teammate's didn't shift.  He plays smart and has indeed gained some weight to a body that is still a work in progress.  I look forward to seeing him more.

In the end Stacks Regulators  team remained undefeated, but they got help from two obvious makeup calls which somewhat tainted the game for this fan.  It was a really tight game that was full of intensity down the stretch and it should have been decided by the players and not the whistle.

Despite the lackluster officiating on this night, there was still great entertainment value in that the event is absolutely free and the crowd was the the biggest yet.  They will throw the rock up again this coming Tuesday and if you are a Triangle resident, there is little reason not to go.  Read other reviews and in depth analysis on the BDN Premium Message Board by becoming a member.

Standings Link

Photos - (1) Miles Plumlee and Ed Davis, (2) Kyle Singler*, (3) Elliot Williams*, Olek Czyz*

*Rick Crank (All Photos on BDN are original unless otherwise marked and they are copyrighted.  IOW, no reproductions without prior permission)

Friday Morning Links

Starting off with AAU Basketball and Las Vegas, Kenny Boynton and Brandon Knight have scored 33/26, 21/24, and 26/19, respectively over the past three days.  The two have combined to make 17 three point shots.  Jody Demling has an extensive update from Las Vegas posted on his blog at the Louisville Courier-Journal.

The Las Vegas Review Journal has written a positive article on the ability of lesser known athletes to achieve exposure via the AAU circuit.  Adam Zagoria and Dick Weiss also have updates on their blogs.

Turning to Duke football and Desmond Scott on his decision to play for Duke University: "I wanted to play in my backyard."  WRAL.com has more here.

Finally, here is Coach K with more thoughts on USA Basketball.

Team USA, Kenny Boynton and Duke Football

When Kobe Bryant mentions the "joy of the game," you get an idea of what Coach K has done to make sure the players are enjoying themselves in preparation for the Olympics.  Most of the players remember little of the last time the USA won Gold.

In this blurb, the author says Team USA has that special something that is missing from most NBA teams.   There is some worry about the overall team health.  And here is CNNSI's Chris Ballard on long range planning for the USA Basketball program.

Kenny Boynton has no shortage of confidence judging from his comments in this link.

With kickoff to football season just over a month away, Coach Cutcliffe caught the attention of coaches on Wednesday's Operation Football.  Here is ESPN's Heather Dinich on Duke's "Catch 22."  Richmond edged out James Madison in the pre season polls which is a departure from the pre season magazines which all have JMU on top.  TSN picks them #2 in the nation, Lindy's #3 and Phil Steele has them number one.

Vegas links buffet – Boynton wows many!

Here is your daily platter of links from Las Vegas where the nation's top basketball prospects are gathered.   Let's start with the local paper the Las Vegas Journal Live.  Then there is this link at NBADraft.net followed by one of the better blogs around in Zags Blog.       

Let's not forget Jeff Goodman of Fox and then there is the LATimes-Thompson says tournaments not so good  for prospect's inflated egos.   Lastly, Jody Demling of the Louisville Courier has as a good report up.