Category Archives: USA Basketball

Duke Basketball’s Coach K will lead Team USA through the 2012 Olympics (Audio)

Coach K will lead Team USA through 2012 - Photo c/r Blue Devil Nation
Coach K will lead Team USA through 2012 - Photo c/r Blue Devil Nation

The Blue Devil Nation would like to congratulate Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski for being selected to lead Team USA through the 2012 Olympics.  The following is Part I of Krzyzewski's interview with the media.  Simply hit play and turn the volume up.  If you have a lap top, ear buds are suggested.

USA U19 Brings Home the Gold Medal

mens-basketball-action-sethcurry2-7-09large-300x206The United States captured the Gold Medal at the FIBA U19 World Championship, held July 2 - 12, in Auckland, New Zealand. Team USA rolled through the competition going undefeated in nine games, behind a balanced scoring attack, and defeated Greece 88-80 to win the Championship.

In the Gold Medal game, the United States utilized a 27-11 second quarter run to take a 46-30 halftime lead over Greece. Greece responded by outscoring the Americans 21-14 in the third quarter to cut the lead to nine points and setup an exciting fourth quarter. Team USA was paced by Tyshawn Taylor (Kansas Jayhawks) who scored 18 points and recorded five steals. Ashton Gibbs (Pittsburgh Panthers) chipped in 13 points, while Klay Thompson (Washington State Cougars) and Arnett Moultrie (UTEP Miners) scored 10 points each. Both Seth Curry (Duke Blue Devils) and Terrico White (Mississippi Rebels) contributed nine points.

Team USA advanced to the Gold Medal game with victories over Canada and Croatia in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively. The quarterfinals victory was a decisive 93-73 victory, while the semifinals was a tough fought 81-77 victory.

In the semi-finals, Team USA made 10 of 12 free throw attempts down the stretch to secure the victory. Gordon Hayward (Butler Bulldogs) was the team's leading scorer with 15 points. Croatia outscored the USA 26-11 in the 3rd Quarter to take a two point advantage, but the USA persevered in the fourth quarter and secured a berth in the Championship Game.

Against Canada, Gordon Hayward paced the team with 20 points, while Seth Curry made four of five 3-point attempts scoring 12 points. Team USA went 14-26 from behind the 3-point arc overall setting a single game record for 3-point shooting percentage. Arnett Moultrie grabbed 11 rebounds in leading the USA to a 39-35 advantage on the boards.

The USA waltzed through preliminary play with a 41 point average margin of victory in games against Iran, France, and Egypt. Against Iran, seven USA players scored in double digits with Tyshawn Taylor leading the way with 13 points. John Shurna (Northwestern Wildcats) posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. The game against France saw Seth Curry lead the way with 12 points as he made four of seven 3-point attempts. In the victory over Egypt, seven players scored in double digits led by Ashton Gibbs with 18.

In the first game of the second round, Greece put up a valiant fight in the first half, but the USA opened it up in the second half on the way to a 85-69 win. Howard Thompkins (Georgia Bulldogs) paced the USA with 22 points and three assists. Seth Curry was the team's leading rebounder with six.

Team USA opened the second quarter with a 15-0 run to blow open game two of the second round against Puerto Rico. The USA went on to outscore Puerto Rico 23-6, in the second quarter, to take a 43-19 advantage at halftime. Puerto Rico tightened it up slightly in the second half, but the United States cruised to a 82-61 victory. Howard Thompkins just missed a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds. Gordon Hayward contributed 11 points and seven rebounds.

The final game of the second round saw Team USA beat Lithuania 76-69 behind a strong defensive effort. Tyshawn Taylor was the leading scorer with 13 points. Gordon Hayward grabbed eight rebounds.

The USA U19 team was coached by Jaime Dixon of Pittsburgh. He was assisted by Chris Lowery of Southern Illinois and Matt Painter of Purdue.

USA U16 National Team Wins the Gold

quinn-cookTeam USA traveled to Mendoza, Argentina for the FIBA Americas U16 Championship and brought home the Gold Medal with a dominating performance which featured balanced scoring. Four players averaged double digit points, over the five games, led by Brad Beal who averaged 19 points per game. Johnny O'Bryant led the team in rebounding with 9.8 per contest, while point guard Quinn Cook averaged 5 assists. Going undefeated over five games, Team USA broke the century mark in all five victories and averaged 113 points per contest.

In the Gold Medal Game, the USA defeated host, and Group B first place finisher, Argentina 101-87. The game was close early but the United States opened it up to take a 50-36 halftime lead and then opened the second half with an 8-0 run. Brad Beal led the USA in scoring with 26 points, while James McAdoo hauled in 12 rebounds and Quinn Cook dished out five assists. Cook and McAdoo added 22 and 20 points respectively. Argentina qualified for the Gold Medal game with a 66-58 victory over Venezuela in their semi-final game.

In the Semi-Finals against Group B second place finisher Canada, USA jumped out to a 14 point first quarter lead, but Canada outscored the USA by five points in the second quarter cutting the halftime advantage to nine at 57-48. The second half was all Team USA as they blew open the game with a 30-5 run and went on to defeat Canada 126-78. James McAdoo (19 points/11 rebounds) and Johnny O'Bryant (10 points/12 rebounds) both recorded double-double performances. Quinn Cook had a team high five assists to go along with 15 points.

During Round Robin play, the USA dominated Group A by winning their three games by an average 35 points including a 28 point victory over Brazil, a 26 point victory over Argentina, and a 52 point victory over Puerto Rico. In the opening game against Brazil, Adonis Thomas paced the United States with a 21 point performance featuring making 4 of 5 from behind the 3-point arc. The second game against Venezuela saw point guard Quinn Cook explode for 22 points. In the victory over Puerto Rico, six U.S. players scored in double figures and all 12 scored.

The U16 National Team is coached by Don Showalter of Mid-Prairie High School (Iowa). Showalter is being assisted by Herman Harried of Lake Clifton High School (Md) and Kevin Sutton of Montverde Academy (Fl). International competition provides an opportunity for young men to represent their country and develop their basketball skills in a structured environment. Full tournament coverage including game summaries, box scores, and photo galleries is available at the USA Basketball and FIBA Americas websites.

The United States, Argentina, and Canada qualified to compete in the FIBA 2010 U17 World Championship in Hamburg, Germany, in July 2010.

Thursday Morning Links – Plumlee, Redick and more

Mason Plumlee - Photo property of Blue Devil Nation
Mason Plumlee - Photo property of Blue Devil Nation

Future Dukie Mason Plumlee earned All America honors from the Louisville Courier.  Here is the LINK.

Here is the NBA's early entry list with foreign players listed. The face of college hoops will change as players either come out or stay in the draft, so the watch begins.

The Boston Celtics tripped the Orlando Magic last evening to even their series at one game apiece.  Former Duke standout JJ Redick was ejected from the game after arguing a call which gave him his sixth foul.

Duke Baseball swept Presbyterian and prepares for a stretch run in hopes of gaining a bid to the ACC Baseball Tournament which will be held in Durham Athletic Park, home of the Durham Bulls.  LINK

Zack Greer is a candidate for the Tewaaraton Trophy, the highest individual honor in collegiate lacrosse. He is the only one of the five finalists announced Tuesday by the Tewaaraton Foundation who will not be able to advance his case further in the upcoming NCAA tournament. Greer, who finished tied with former Duke teammate Matt Danowski with 353 career points, used his final season of eligibility to play for Bryant and former Duke coach Mike Pressler. He also owns the Division I record with 206 goals. He helped the Bulldogs to a 10-5 record, but the Bryant program is transitioning to Division I and is not yet eligible for the national championship. Greer was among the Duke players who lost a season when the program was shut down following rape allegations against three players. The players were later cleared and all the members of the team who had eligibility left were given another year by the NCAA. Greer chose to transfer to Bryant.

Blue Devil Nation Premium will cover this weekend's Southern Invitational where members will hear from Josh Hairston, Andre Dawkins and Tyler Thornton among other prospects.   So, be sure to stay close to the message board and site this weekend.

The Duke Blue Devils men’s team celebrate their 2009 accomplishments

poaulussThe Duke Men's Basketball Awards Banquet was held this past Friday evening in Cameron Indoor Stadium and serves as a season ending celebration.  For those in attendance there is that feeling of being a part of the team as you listen the seniors give emotional and personal speeches.  The voice of the Blue Devils, Bob Harris, got the evening started and he soon gave way to Athletic Director Kevin White.

White made it quite clear that Mike Krzyzewski had been a big factor when he interviewed for the job and ultimately left Notre Dame.   It was clear that White realized K's accomplishments as he presented him with the Amos Alonzo Stagg trophy.

Krzyzewski took to the podium, where he acknowledged appreciation for the crowd that gathered and looked out adoringly to his family, introducing each and every one in one fell swoop.  His family has always played a big role in the awards banquets, coming up with themes and video highlights features for the seniors and assigning each their own individual song.

Just in front of Krzyzewski's table sat the 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference Champions trophy and he let everybody know of how proud he was of that accomplishment.  We should all recognize that Duke won thirty games against a schedule ranked number one in the RPI and that, when the chips were down after a loss to Boston College, masterful adjustments led to the ACC crown and a number two seed in the NCAA Tournament.

This was, after all, a new staff with the addition of Nate James and the departure of Johnny Dawkins to Stanford.  Not only did Dawkins leave, but so did Mike Scragge, the head of basketball operations.  K's son-in-law, Chris Spatola, took over that job and Chris Carrawell came aboard as well and both may be in line to coach one day.

The point is that Duke persevered by making changes before and after the season.  With a team that had no dominant center and a point guard by committee, this w,as in my opinion, one of Coach K and his staff's finer jobs.  Had the average fan been given the opportunity to take the aforementioned thirty wins, ACC title and Sweet 16 going into this season, I'm pretty sure they would have said, fine by me.

But Krzyzewski knows that it takes players to perform and he was quick to thank them for the experience of coaching them and this was genuine adoration, not just coach-speak.  He then gave way to his assistant coaches who handed out individual awards where Jon Scheyer, Kyle Singler and Gerald Henderson were named MVP's.

Coach Collins was his perpetually exuberant self as he handed out each award, and Wojo limped to the stage on a crutch due to recently suffering an ACL injury in a pick-up game.  Nate James made his first appearance and some of the players mentioned how good it was to have a guy like him around.  Heck, Coach K even called him "Nate Dogg," as the crowd let out laughter.

But despite funny cracks all the way around, it may have been Marty Pocius who stole the show.  He alluded to the fact that his first roommate left for Arizona State and then his second to California and wondered out loud, is it me?  He then mentioned that both went a long way west to get away.   Pocius then stated that he was assigned a walk-on for a roommate the next season.

Marty also joked of his language curve and how hard it was for a Lithuanian to learn English.  "I'd be sitting around in the locker room and be listening to a joke and everybody would start laughing.  By the time I caught up with it and laughed they had moved on to the next joke."

After each senior spoke, Krzyzewski would finish up with some comments and introduce the next one in line.  When he came to Dave McClure, he stated that he just got a text from Matt Christensen with his well wishes.  This again brought a laugh from the crowd for Christensen had a longer stint at Duke than, well, anybody.  McClure's injuries made it seem like he was here for almost as long.  Even Pocius jokingly referred to him as "Uncle McClure."

But when Dave was at the podium flashbacks of one of the most selfless players in Duke history filled my head.  They, of course, showed that awesome shot to win the game versus Clemson a bit later in his tribute video.

When it was time for Greg Paulus to have his turn, Krzyzewski showed the highest admiration, reminiscing on when he recruited him and how tough he was.  While he certainly didn't mention some of his detractors, he made sure that all knew that during Greg's four years that Duke went 112-28, which averaged out to 28 wins a season.

Paulus was grateful for the comments and walked off the round stage with the dignity of a champion, an ACC Champion.   It's not often that a three year starter can accept a new role for the betterment of his team, and Paulus gave his heart and soul to Duke during his four years.

During some of the awards, a hoot or holler if you will, rang out for Gerald Henderson to stay.  But those in the know realized that the talented "G" or Hendo was just hours before he was to announce that he would be entering the NBA Draft.

I suppose some would have liked to hear a farewell speech from Gerald, but this night is traditionally set aside for seniors.  While I certainly hope Henderson will return, my sources say he is likely gone and Duke fans should not hold that against him for he served the royal blue well.

Maybe that's why Krzyzewski didn't really talk as much about next season as he has in past events, but maybe he just wanted these kids to enjoy their championship.  Before the hall of fame coach made his final trip to the podium, the 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference Champions banner fell from above and K stood under it to applause from the diehard fans who were there.

He then called his team up and, once they settled together, the championship trophy was hoisted high by Brian Zoubek as the circular stage turned so all the crowd could see.  It was a proud moment for all and the smiling faces of the players, the fans and family alike is what makes this event special.  Quite simply, it was a celebration of accomplishments, and the history books will always have Duke crowned the 2009 ACC Champs.

Men's Banquet Photo Gallery is located in the menu to your right.
2008-09 Duke Men's Basketball Award Winners (courtesy

Swett-Baylin Award (Most Valuable Player): Gerald Henderson, Jon Scheyer, Kyle Singler
Dr. Deryl Hart Award (Top Scholar-Athlete): Greg Paulus
Glenn E. "Ted" Mann, Jr., Award (Reserve Contributing Most to Team Morale): Elliot Williams
Coach's Award (Player Exemplifying the Commitment and Values of Duke Basketball): Lance Thomas
Iron Dukes Award (Most Minutes Played): Jon Scheyer
Bill Krzyzewski Captains' Awards: Gerald Henderson, Greg Paulus, Jon Scheyer
Best Field Goal Percentage Award: Gerald Henderson
Best Rebounding Average Award: Kyle Singler
Best Free Throw Percentage Award: Jon Scheyer
Most Assists Award: Jon Scheyer
Best Defensive Player Award: Gerald Henderson
Gopal Varadhan Senior Manager Award: Joey McMahon, Griffin Tormey
Harry Rainey Spirit Award: Elise Rose
Charles Hogan Memorial Band Award: John Roelofs