Category Archives: Monday Musings

BDN’s Monday Musings – Quinn Cook, Ryan Kelly, the Plums, Rasheed Sualimon, Julius Randle

Most people are adjusting back to a normal routine after the holidays, but I found myself quite busy covering two Duke Basketball games and three days worth of high school prospects.  In fact, I'll finally make it back to the gym today, but only after another edition of Monday Musings.

17 assists, 0 turnovers

During last evening's post game press conference with Duke Coach Mike Krzyzweski, he quipped, "Quinn Cook has 17 assists and no turnovers in his last two games."  I tweeted that and within a few minutes noticed there were a bevy of retweets.  For those counting, Cook has played 62 minutes without a turnover.  The freshman point guard wasn't quite the same after his injury  last season, but after surgery and rest, he's just now getting back to form.  I'm seeing flashes of what he did before the injury when I covered him on the AAU circuit and that means you will see it as well as the season progresses.  But the true test for Cook will be how does he handle hostile environments like he will in the next two road games with Temple and the ACC opener with Georgia Tech.  Cook is the only true PG on the Blue Devils roster and if he can continue to adjust to the college game and improve his defense, he'll get plenty of burn.  One must remember a PG eight miles down the road named Kendall Marshall burst onto the scene last year, but in his case, he had to.  Duke has a steady, calm leader in Tyler Thornton, a swing guard, who was making three point shots look like a three inch putt in his last two outings, but that is an area he needs to be consistent in to keep opposing defenses honest.  My thinking is that there will remain a combination of the two in some manner all season long

Austin Rivers is the ACC Rookie of the Year

Rivers had trouble finishing off his moves in his last outing, but the freshman is destined to break out before seasons end.  With Duke seeking chemistry going into ACC play, he's finding his spot and once again adjusting.  The keyword though is adjusting for he has had a huge transformation with his game since he was in high school.  His willingness to do so has proven that he is all about team first.  Rivers, provided he stays healthy is a lock for ACC Rookie of the Year and he leads the 12-1 Blue Devils in scoring as a freshman for a reason, that being he's pretty darn good.

The Plums

There was one possession Mason past up an easy shot to dish to his brother Miles who was maybe a foot closer to the rim.  The play didn't set well with the bench but it showed that Mason is looking to get Miles going in his senior year and how close these guys and family really are.  Next time, take the shot but don't worry with that play too much for Mason has been a rebounding machine and a very consistent option for Duke.  He's definitely struggling from the free throw line for sure, but he also leads the team in FG%.  And FWIW, his four blocks last evening tied his career high at Duke.  Meanwhile, Miles had solid back to back games and it seems as if the senior is finding more consistency in his last season as a Blue Devil.  And, for one, think that he will continue to improve.

Ryan Kelly getting aggressive

If you watch the videos we provided from last evenings game, you'll hear junior forward, Ryan Kelly, state that he sought to play more aggressively.  Kelly recorded hi first double-double at Duke with 18 points and 12 rebounds and his 26 minutes played in the 85-55 blowout of Penn was tops on the team.  Kelly had struggled a little bit of late but it always seems like you can count on him to come back.  Duke will need Kelly to be a presence in upcoming road tests and the ACC season.

Covering Rasheed Sulaimon

I am as impressed as ever with Rasheed Sulaimon.  The future Blue Devil will join Alex Murphy and Marshall Plumlee who are both red shirting provided there are no injuries in next seasons class.  Sulaimon was flat out sick as a dog during the Holiday Invitational but he reached deep and helped his team, Strake Jesuit, win their last two games to go back to Texas 2-1.  Sulaimon visited Duke with his father and brother for the win over Western Michigan and he continues to recruit for the Blue Devils hoping to add players to his class.

Julius Randle visits

While the students were gone, Randle still got the "Julius Randle come to Duke," chant which he smiled about.  Randle is a flat out stud in the post and a player the Blue Devils staff covets.  Randle visited UNC yesterday and then caught the entire Duke game.  It'll be a good while before Randle, a junior in high school this season, decides, but there is already panic at every turn.  If you do not believe me take a look at the message boards.

BDN Premium

We are still offering the special rate of 80.00 bucks for one year of Blue Devil Nation Premium, which is 20% off the regular rate.  No other site covers s many AAU and high school events than do we and it's time for you to see what you're missing.  We've put together and amazing staff and correspondents that you have to see their reporting to get a feel for how timely and accurate it is.  We have two exclusive interviews up with Rasheed Sulaimon, a bevy of interviews with stud prospects from the City of Palms already waiting and wait until you see our original, yet copied Duke Basketball Team and Recruiting Updates. We also spoke with Brick Oettinger of Prep Stars, a long time analyst about prospects and up next are ESPN's Jason Jordan and Dave Telep telling our members their thoughts on the Tony Parker situation and more.  By being an independent, we can speak with many analysts and are not limited to the ones in our network and we think that is unique on to itself.  And changes are coming as well which are sure to please in 2012, so take advantage of this offer and stay connected and join in the on the discussions and see for yourself the quality we bring to the table.  A quick not on the offer, when joining select the yearly rate of 100.00 through paypal and we'll send you 20 bucks back.  That's pennies a day for non stop behind the scenes Duke reporting.

 

 

Holiday Musings – Duke in the NBA, High School prospects in action and more

Duke is Family! JWill, CWell and Cdu

Firstly, here is to hoping all of the Blue Devil Nations is having a fabulous Holiday Season!  For me, it's right back to work as I head out to the former Glaxo Tournament now called 2011 HighSchool​OT.com Holiday Invitation​al to check out future Dukie Rasheed Sulaimon in person.  I will also take in two budding prospects from the class of 2014.  In the morning, the plan is to head for Myrtle Beach for the Beach Ball Classic which is loaded and I will be back for the Duke vs Western Michigan game on Friday.  In short, while many of you are hitting the after Christmas sales and stuffing leftovers, I'll be hitting the recruiting trail hard.

Most of the Duke players went home for the holidays and judging from what I saw on social media, all had a great time.  You know Quinn Cook had to be smiling after being named ACC Rookie of the Week and he'll likely get more burn in the next two games against Western Michigan and Penn,  But, he'll have to show up large to for that to continue as the schedule goes into overdrive with a tough road game at Temple before the ACC slate begins.

It may be early in the season, but Austin Rivers looks like a lock for ACC Rookie of the Year.  Another player who is proving he belongs with the ACC's elite is Mason Plumlee.  During ACC media day, I picked three Tar Heels to make the first team, but if I were to vote again today, Plumlee would take Tyler Zeller's spot.  For the record, I voted the exact way the results turned out with Seth Curry on first team, but he will have to pick it up a little to get that vote at seasons end.  Curry is  by no means having a bad year, but he needs to become consistent and take on more of a leadership role after the break.  When a kid makes 1st team All ACC, you have to hold him to a higher standard.

A lot of people did not like the ACC expanding, but knowing the landscape of the future, I was all for it.  The conference currently had three ranked teams in Duke, North Carolina and Virginia, but new members, Syracuse and Pitt would make it five.  The Cuse is ranked number one in the nation and they're about as deep a team as you will see.  Also, Duke is 5th in the coaches poll and 7th in the A.P.

The  NBA season is under way and the Blue Devils have more players on the opening day rosters than any other school.  Of course, you will still hear the negative nellies of the world try and explain that one away.  Still, that is quite a fact you can offer future prospects.  And for the record, Kyle Singler would have been on that list as well but decided to finish the season out in Spain.

JJ Redick went for 20 points last evening helping Orlando even their record up at 1-1. and Chris Duhon added 6 points as well.  Kyrie Irving did not have a stellar debut going just 2 of 12 from the field for 6 points but he did have 7 assists as Cleveland dropped their home opener to Toronto.  Mike Dunleavy tallied 13 points for Milwaukee and Shaun Livingston who verballed to Duke and then decided to go to the NBA had 14, but they fell short to Charlotte where Gerald Henderson had an outstanding opening game dropping 18 points while Corey Maggette added 12.  The 39 year old Grant Hill scored 6 points for the Phoenix Suns but they lost by a point to New Orleans.  Josh McRobert's had just 2 points in 20 plus minutes for the Lakers as they dropped their second game to start the season 0-2.  Meanwhile, Shelden Williams played but did not scratch the scoring column for New Jersey.  Finally the Bulls lost on the road to Golden State as Carlos Boozer tossed in 6 points and Luol Deng added 20 points where he seemed to be the only Bull to show up.  Whew!  A lot of Dukies were playing last night and with a shortened schedule where teams play on what use to be off days due to the lock out, this will be common place as the season progresses.  We'll give last nights game ball to Redick with 20 in his teams win and he can share it with Henderson who showed he wants to be a factor helping a not so good Bobcat's team to an opening victory.  And Kris Humpheries was vote the NBA's most hated player.  For those who do not remember, Humpheries signed with Duke and was then granted a release when he demanded immediate playing time for a good team, taking his game to Minnesota.

That's it for this week Blue Devil Nation and we'll return to our regular Monday Musings feature next week.  And we are extending our yearly membership special rate of 20% off 100 bucks for a few days, so take advantage of our lowest price ever and come on in and see what is going on behind the scenes and catch all the latest recruiting news.  And for new members, you must sign up for the message board separately and will be approved after we see you've joined through paypal.  Go Duke!