Category Archives: Duke Basketball

Mason Plumlee signs a letter of intent to play for Duke University

[private]Mason Plumlee signed a letter of intent to play his college basketball for Duke University.  Mason

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was the first of the Plumlee clan to originally verbal to Duke.  Shortly after that, his brother Miles joined the Devils.

Mason helped lead Christ School in Arden, North Carolina in the state title this past season.  He is a consensus top fifteen player in the prospects rating services.

Plumlee joins Ryan Kelly in the 2009 class.  Duke is still recruiting John Wall, hoping he will feel out the class.  Wall is the nations top point guard prospect and plays at nearby Releigh Church of God.[/private]

(corrected*) BDN previews the Duke Women and talks Friday’s home opener with #14 Oklahoma State

[private]Joanne P. McCallie had an aura of confidence when she addressed the media on Wednesday.  It was clear that the second year coach was more relaxed and at ease after having a year under her belt.  Just last year, McCallie replaced another popular coach in Gail Goestenkors.

That transition wasn't always easy.  She had to gain the confidence of players she didn't recruit and

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fend off a lot of early negativity from some of the media who were faithful to the former regime.  "You have to remember, we lost Lindsey Harding and Allison Bales," quipped McCallie.  You know what?  She has a point there in that these were two super players and were the team leaders.

The Blue Devils still managed a 25-10 record, 10-4 in the ACC which was good for third place.   A lot of that success was due to the stellar play of Chante Black, a 6-5 paint eating front court player.  Black is but one part of many story line in the coming season.  In fact, there are many to watch as the season develops.

The Off Season- McCallie said that here team worked really hard over the summer with all of the players sticking around.  They lifted weights and played pick ups in the new practice facility.  "We are more together than at this time last year," said McCallie.  The team and staff had to adjust to one another last season, not to mention take a already scheduled trip to Russia which made for some tired legs early on.  Many of the players stated they felt as if their play wasn't up to Duke Basketball standards last season.  There seems to be a little bit of a chip on their shoulder going into the season.

The Seniors- Black will step into her senior season and she wants to go out on top.  She is joined by Careem Gay who has started 45 games over the last two years.  Then there is perennial crowd favorite, Abby Waner.  This talented trio will be the main focus point in that their leadership should carry the Blue Devils farther into the NCAA Tournament and maybe even the Final Four.

There will be no shortage of emotion when Black, Gay and Waner play there last game against North Carolina in Cameron on March 1st.  You better go ahead and get your tickets now for that one in that the Blue Devils have sold around 4800 season tickets to date.

The Juniors- The junior class is also providing leadership.  Joy Cheek is poised for a banner season and Coach McCallie has already tapped her as a captain for next season.  Kenturah Jackson and Bridgette Mitchell will look to take on a  bigger role as well.

The Sophomores-The sophomore class is intriguing as well.  Jasmine Thomas has a nice skill set as does Karima  Christmas.  Add watching the development of these two youngsters as yet another story line.  "Jazz will assume the role of PG for us and we expect some natural progresion from her freshman to sophomore year,"

The Freshman- The freshman class of Kathleen Scheer, Shay Selby and Chelsea Hopkins look to


make their mark as well.  Selby is the closest to being ready, but there is a steep learning curve for freshman at this time of the season and Coach McCallie will likely b ring each of them along slowly.  "None of the three are playing good defense.  Most of them are accustomed to being the star on their high school team, so they must adjust to playing all facets of the game, namely defense.  I've asked them to specialize in one area - do one thing good." 

The Style- It will all start on the defensive end for these women.  That sounds familiar, huh?  Well the cornerstone of this program is tough man to man defense.  McCallie will demand all out effort in this area and those who lag will likely find themselves playing less.  The philosophyseems to be if you play good "D" the offense will come.  "We want to do what we do," said McCallie.  On offense she feels he players will get better reads on the opposing defenses this system and that will enable them to find the open player.  "We take pride in our defense - pride in making the stop."

The Rotation- Look for Cheek, Waner, Black and Thomas to start this season.  The first players off the bench will be Thomas, Christmas, Jackson and Mitchell.  The order will depend upon match ups.  Don't look for a lot of minutes from the freshman.  Selby will get the first call of the three.

The Opener - #14 Okalhoma State at #8 Duke -(Friday, 7:00, tickets available) Get there early for the festivities which are geared towards a good family outing.  There will be face painters, free food, a magician and posters just to name a few of the "free" perks.  All of this starts at 5:00 in Card Gym which is adjacent to Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Oklahoma State is Coached by Kurt Budke who holds an outstanding 406-88 record in 15 years of coaching.  OSU’s last road game also came against the No. 8 team in the country as the Cowgirls won at Baylor, 72-68, to close out the regular season a year ago ... Andrea Riley is nine points shy of 1,200 for her career, while Shaunte’ Smith is one shy of the 800-point plateau.  Riley is their top player

Additional Notes- McCallie will have her own radio show this season.  You can hear her today from 12 to 1:00 pm on 620 the Bull.  The show will be broadcast from Satisfactions in Brightleafe Square.

- Chante Black is on the Wooden list as the top 30 pre season college players in the nation.

- You can view the home opener on

- Chante Black is fifth in rebound avaerage and 12th in blocks on the Duke All Time list.

- Abby Waner enters the season fourth in three point field goals and fifth in steals

- Duke will play again on Sunday at 12:00 noon versus Maine.  It's a rare time when botht he men's and women's team plays on the same day.  The men face Rhode Island.

* We accidentily printed the draft earlier which had numerous typo's.  Sorry about that![/private]

Ryan Kelly signs his letter of intent to play for Duke University

[private]Ryan Kelly signed his letter of intent today which is the first day of the early signing period.  Kelly, a 6-10 power forward, is ranked by scout as the #3 power forward and #11 overall player in the Class of 2009.  In July, Kelly was a starter for the USA Men’s Basketball U18 Team that won a silver medal at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Formosa, Argentina. As a junior at Ravenscroft, he was named the 2007 TISAC Conference Player of the Year, averaging 23.7 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks per game.[/private]

#5 Duke crushes Georgia Southern 97-54

[private]The Duke Men's Basketball team (2-0) trounced Georgia Southern (1-1) 97-54 to advance to the semifinals of the Coaches versus Cancer 2K Classic.  The Blue Devils used a suffocating defense which held the Eagles to 28.1% shooting from the field.  Duke held the visitors to just two field goals in nine plus minutes of the first half which enabled them to go on a tear.

Kyle Singler once again led the Dukies with 19 points and 8 rebounds in just 22 minutes.  No Blue Devil played more minutes as Coach Krzyzewski went deep into his bench.  Nolan Smith, Greg Paulus and Gerald Henderson all scored in double digits.

Jon Scheyer led the team in assists with 7 and freshman Elliot Williams got an amazing 11 rebounds in as many minutes.  In short, Duke bounced back with a much better effort than the previous evening, save their free throw shooting which was less than 50% - 24 of 49.

The Duke defense also turned 17 turnovers into 24 points.  Like I said in yesterday's game recap, I expected this game to make many forget the opener which was ugly on the eyes.

Coach Krzyzewski used several combinations and Brian Zoubek started for the first time this season.  Duke got contributions from several players, including David McClure who scored 4 points and grabbed 5 boards.

Duke will play the winner of the UMass - Southern Illinois game on November 20th with the time to be determined.  Duke stretched its non conference winning streak in Cameron Indoor Stadium to 61 straight games.  Coach K now has 805 career wins.  Duke will take on Rhode Island in Cameron on Sunday at 4:30 pm.  This will be the third straight game televised by ESPNU in the young season.  Duke is now 2-0 all time versus the Eagles.

Official Box Score Link

BDN Player of the Game - Kyle Singler[/private]

Basketball Recruiting Update

Blue Devil Nation Premium has the latest hoops recruiting update up for members.  Give the gift of information this Christmas to a Blue Devil fan dear to you.  [private] Not too much to report on John Wall until after he meets with Coach K in person which will take place at the earliest convenience.  My sources are saying that Duke feels that they will become seriously

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involved with Wall and an offer is a mere formality at this point.   The Wall camp has been receptive to Duke getting in late and will not hold that against them.

So far, scheduling has been the culprit.  Also, there is a dead period in recruiting at this time.  Many feel Wall wants to stay near home, but there are a few things which need to play out before I'd be willing to guarantee that possibility.  In short, Duke is very serious about getting John Wall to wear the royal blue.  I will talk to Josh Smith sometime this week.  He is still on the radar and Coach Nate James has been in touch with the prospect recently.

Harrison Barnes has become a serious priority and Duke will stay on the hot prospect as much as the NCAA allows.  There is a good feeling that Duke is right there with Kansas as the leaders early on.  Barnes has become a bit tight lipped of late and will not talk of his meeting with K other than the basics.

Duke has been and still is going after Brandon Knight, possibly the best player in his class.  I have heard from his parents that he will likely take a different path than Kenny Boynton.  You know what they say though, anything can happen in recruiting.  Anything can change too.  For instance, Duke has explained to Wall that once they offer a kid they are faithful to him.  When Boynton selected Florida, Wall got the attenation and he will soon know if he doesn't already that Duke is committed to him and him alone for the final spot in the class of 2009.

Finally, Boynton was pushed to stay in state by almost everyone close to him.  I can't go into specifics, but things got a little greasy if you will.  In the long run, teams can point to Nick Calathes he would be a Gator midnight before his "We shocked the world," signing party.  Sometimes, kids will waste a colleges recruiting budget for their own game.

I went into the archives for this July interview with John Wall -

Locked  Wall is still wide open

Before I get into this interview, let me make this clear.  Kenny Boynton is the man for Duke.  If something goes south they might look at John Wall and he is still open to Duke coming in.  He is a very talented true speedy PG who slashes about the court and makes his teammates better with his abilty to get them the ball.  During this interview, I had two cameras on me for they were filming for a documentary on the process surrounding Wall.  You never know what might happen in recruiting.

The last time I talked to you was in Durham during the TOC, has anything changed since then?

Not really.  I am still wide open and trying to get schools to come in.  The schools that are coming at me the hardest are Memphis and Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Baylor, Kansas, Kentucky and NC State so far.  Those are the ones coming the hardest but I think other schools are going to come around.

The last time I talked with your coach he said you were not near a point where you would shut down the process.  Does that still hold true?

Yes, that's still true, but after Vegas I'm going to narrow my list down going into my senior year.  You've got to get your five ... get your business set up.

So, is there anyone that would make the top five for sure ... right now ... anyone guaranteed a visit?

No, not yet.  There's a couple of schools getting close to it.

You just scored thirty points in your last game, but your team came up short.  Did you miss Ryan Kelly?

Yeah, Kelly's a big part.  He gives us a presence in the paint and as you could see we lacked that.  We weren't playing defense and getting back.  We just didn't make our shots but we played hard.

Is the AAU season taking a toll on you?

Yeah, it gets kind of tough, but you go back home.  In between you just ice your knees and relax.  We'll go to Vegas (Reebok) next and then I can rest for a little while before preparing for my senior year.

(I then turned my attention to his coach Dwon Clifton who is always by his side)  He said -

"I think he has an idea of what he wants.  I want him to be comfortable with what he does.  He has a lot of talent and I encourage him to get better and stronger.  I mean, now that people knows who he is some of the flaws he could once get away with he will now have to develop.  Now, everyone is going to start to push him and pull him and try to get him to go against his people and get him to feel like no one can tell him anything.  This world can eat him up.  I've seen it happen to too many players, myself included. (played at Clemson).  I don't want that to be the case with him."

So, will your coach be a big part of the process?

He's like a bigger brother to me.  I don't have one like that so he fills in.  With DC ... we can go out and stuff and just have a good time.  He's trying to develop me through this process because he went through it at Clemson.  So, when I make my decision, I am going to ask him or talk to him about it.

Who are some of the toughest guys you've gone against on the circuit?

Tommy Mason here.  He's really tough.

What does John Wall need to work on for his game to get better?

I've got to get stronger, work on my jump shot, defense, lateral movement ... there's a lot of stuff I can work on.  You just can't stop when you get on top.  I have some God given ability but I need to keep working because everybody else will.

What keeps you motivated?

Playing for my Dad.  He died when I was ten years old.  My Mom, my sister .. just want to get them to a better place.

How long have you known your Coach?

I knew him from the AAU circuit when I was about 14, but he really started coming in in the last two years talking to me.  Now he's my AAU coach and gives me advice.

Of the ACC schools, you mentioned NC State.  With you playing highs school ball down the road, do they push hard?

They come and visit every game they can.  Duke came to a couple of my games this year.  Carolina came to a couple.

You've been to some of there games too, right?

Yes, I have been to a couple of Duke games and a Carolina game.

How did you like the atmosphere at those schools?

It's a good atmosphere.. crazy, people are going crazy everywhere at Duke and UNC ... all those fans.

Did Duke contact you at one time or are they in touch?

Coach Dawkins and Coach K came to a couple of my games.  They said they wanted to start recruiting me and stuff like that.  I took their advice and came to the TOC and was able to play a game in Cameron.

Have they been in touch since that time?

Uhhh .. I haven't talked to them since Coach Dawkins got the job at Stanford.


No, haven't heard from them.

Thanks for your time and I wish you luck in choosing the right school. [/private]

Duke vs Georgia Southern Preview and Predictions

[private]The Blue Devils take on Georgia Southern at 9:00 in Cameron Indoor Stadium to see who advances to New York in the 2K Sports Classic semi finals.  Duke looked a bit sluggish in last evenings 80-49 victory over Presbyterian and they face a Georgia Southern squad that defeated Houston 65-63.

One of the key players for the Eagles will be Sandy Perry (6-7), a junior front court player who scored 12

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points to go with 4 rebounds.  But the main man is Trumaine Pearson (6-8) who is an experienced senior.  Pearson scored 19 points and grabbed 11 boards, anchoring the post for Georgia Southern.

Willie Powers (6-0 sophomore) runs the show with Antoine Johnson (6-0 Junior).  Powers had 14 points and four rebounds in the opener, while Johnson struggled from the field, but led his team in assists.    Julian Allen is a (6-4 Senior) swing-man which plays a key role as well.

Georgia Southern connected on 80% of their free throws and 37% from beyond the three point stripe in their opener.  Georgia Southern is 0-1 against Duke, losing 87-75 in Cameron in 19-86.

What to expect - Duke should play a bit better in tonight's contest, but the Eagles have enough talent to contend throughout the game.  This is clearly the best team the Devils have played to date.  Duke will need to hit the boards and keep Pearson from going off inside. 

My pick is Duke 92 Georgia Southern 64

Bob Green's Pick - Duke 84 Georgia Southern 56[/private]