Firstly, Happy Independence Day Blue Devil Nation! We've taken it easy around here this holiday weekend in order to recharge our batteries for what will be a busy month. BDN has a long track record of covering all of the major recruiting events to bring you our always dependable coverage which has set the standard for all who cover the Blue Devils. The basketball coaches are allowed on the road in July and they'll be putting in a lot of miles in the air while narrowing down who they'll continue to recruit.
The North Carolina Pro Am is underway as well with the action getting going again this Thursday. BDN was in attendance for the opening session which featured Nolan Smith rocking his newly fitted Portland Blazers shorts. The only active Duke player there was Mason Plumlee, who dropped 24 points, almost all on dunks helping his team shake off a 5 point half time deficit to win by 18. There may or may not be a lot of players there this week, but you can bet that the following week will be quite interesting. BDN has a long history of NC Pro Am coverage, so bookmark us now.
There has been a bevy of new Duke Football verbals of late where Coach David Cutcliffe and his staff are filling their needs at breakneck pace. Be sure to check out our football recruiting coverage which is making waves of late. Duke kicks off their season in 61 days against Richmond. BDN will cover pre season practices in August, so stay tuned for weekly reports from camp. Coach Cutcliffe also announced some changes to football staff this past week.
At the end of the month, I head to the ACC Football Kickoff event in Pinehurst, North Carolina. There, I will predict the conference standings and first two All ACC teams. I'm already settled in with most of my predictions but there are some key battles for a couple of All ACC spots. Speaking of key battles, I am really looking forward to the Oklahoma at Florida State game on September the 17th for a Nole upset would be a huge boost for the conference. The Noles are my clear pick for first in the Atlantic Division.
After an untimely and serious eye injury, former Duke standout Jon Scheyer is joining Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel. This team is of course a big time European League power where Scheyer will get plenty of exposure, much like former Blue Devil Trajan Langdon who recently retired from CSKA Moscow who made the All Decade Team.
In the "In case you missed it," department, check out this article former Duke great, Dick Groat. I remember his jersey hanging in Cameron Indoor Stadium when it was still called Duke Indoor Stadium back in the day. Is this where I enter my "Everything was better back in the day," schtick? Seriously, Groat was a phenomenal baseball player with the Pittsburgh Pirates and a hoops legend in the fifties while at Duke. I always thought to myself, "Man that jersey looks small," but a look at Groats accomplishments makes me realize that it must have been an optical illusion.
One thing for certain is that players need to be careful in certain settings these days. Social Media has opened up a venue for their thoughts to be read by all. The problem is that some fans or say twitter followers, indeed have their own agenda and some are just plain whack. Kyrie Irving is the latest victim in that he has quite the stalker who seems more than just a little intent on causing the top draft pick some trouble. Check out this link where Adam Zangoria offers his two cents and be careful what you think is factual. Again, social media has created a forum which flat out obsessed people can attempt to harass you and yes, even I have been a victim of this.
After a brief hiatus Monday Musings is back and we have plenty of stuff to talk about. The reason the article went MIA was due to an overload of Blue Devil Nation Premium articles which simply dominated the site last week. One thing BDN followers can depend on is the flat out best recruiting circuit coverage available.
The NBA Draft is still fresh in many fans minds and the Blue Devils added three more players to the league. Kyrie Irving became the second Blue Devil to be the first overall pick, joining Elton Brand as the two Blue Devils holding that honor. Irving looked rather suave as he hit the podium fulfilling his dream. While some Duke fans feel a void in that they saw him play just eleven games in the royal blue, there are benefits to his quick departure. Irving will represent Duke well and he's already had good things to say about Coach K and the program. Having an alum in the spotlight will only bring more talk of the program and rising prospects really like seeing the hot rookies which stay fresh in their minds. Duke adds Austin Rivers this year and trend is developing of great guards coming through Durham on a yearly basis. Here is Irving and Tristan Thompson being introduced to Cleveland Cavalier fans.
How cool was it to hear, "And with the 21st overall pick in the NBA Draft, the Portland Trail Blazers select Nolan Smith of Duke?" Maybe Kyle can give Nolan some tips as he rolls to home state to Oregon with a guaranteed contract in tow. Smith worked hard at Duke and had both up's and downs but he stuck it out and he is now in the NBA. FWIW, I jumped out of my chair and cheered as if it were a Duke buzzer beater when his name was called. Here is the latest article on NDotSmitty.
Then there was Kyle Singler chosen #33 by the Detroit Pistons. Singler barely missed the first round but he fell into a good situation with the Pistons in that he was still their first selection and he will get a sure contract. The Detroit brass pointed to his leadership, work ethic and skills when they spoke of their prized rookie. I will sure miss all three of these guys but the memories from each have been great, especially Nolan and Kyle who brought a National Championship to Durham. Here is a link on the Pistons desire for character and that led them to draft KSing.
It seems like a few months ago when I was covering Duke players at the N.C. Pro Am at North Carolina Central University. Maybe it's the fact I am getting older or it could just be that coverage never ends at BDN. Regardless, BDN will be front and center with coverage for the event which starts this week. BDN was the first site to cover this event and therefore we've developed good relationships with those involved. It's a first rate event worth your summer time and a friendly atmosphere awaits. Stop by and say hello for I will once again be in the end zone with my own private desk;) A key change to note -- no high school players are allowed to participate per NCAA rules this season. That means no Pinson, Purvis and such. One other tidbit is that Duke players rarely show the first session, so look for them next week. And yes, Duke will have players participate but their time will be cut short due to the China-Dubai trip which happens in August. As we've said before, Duke is allotted ten full practices before the journey.
USA! A few key Duke Basketball recruiting prospects were missing during last weeks NBA Top 100 Camp and for good reason. Targets Jabari Parker and Theo Pinson were in the red, white and blue leading Team USA to Gold. Parker averaged 15.4 ppg and grabbed 6.4 rebounds a contest. Pinson was the fourth scorer at 11.5 ppg and added an amazing 6.2 rebounds from the wing. Team USA finished 5-0 defeating Argentina 104-64. Here are the TEAM USA U16 Stats.
Stash this in the remember where you heard it department. Harrison Barnes will be the ACC Pre season POY and maybe even the national one as well. A look at returning scorers in the conference shows that he is the top returning one in the league. And look for the Blue Devils Seth Curry to make first team while Mason Plumlee will be on the second team. UNC and Duke will be picked one, two in the league. Yes, Duke fans, Barnes pictured left would have been in the top 8 picks had he gone pro, so his return guarantees that he will be one of the most hated Heels ever.
Measurements are coming in from the Nike Skills Academies and we found out that the measurements for the brothers Plumlee. Mason Plumlee measured 6'10," 234 with 6'11" wingspan, while Miles Plumlee measured 6'11.5," 247 with a 7' wingspan. For full prospect measurements, check out the BDN Premium Message Board.
Recruiting information has been red hot of late and BDN has an incredible amount of material for you to catch up on by becoming a member. We'll be heading to the Peach Jam in July but there is much more before then. We'll keep you in a bit of suspense on that. Look for a lengthy interview with Tony Parker today, so get off the fence and join the most dedicated Duke site in the world! Be sure to go to our premium section located just under the header and take a look at what you're missing. Recent interviews include, Robert Carter, Davonta Pollard, Rodney Purvis, Troy Williams, Joel James and Nate Britt. BDN Premium brings you print and video interviews and if you haven't heard the name Andrew Slater yet then you are not paying attention to our incredibly well informed basketball recruiting analyst and his one of a kind interviews.
Duke Football Recruiting has been on a roll of late and you can find all the latest verbals by simply going to our football section. Our resident recruiting analyst, Patrick Cacchio has been on a roll of late and BDN has become the place to be for Duke Football coverage. We need more members on our football message board to discuss all the breaking news, so join up and help us make our forum the very best. We are currently seeking a football board moderator, so send me a note through our popular twitter site if you are interested. Anyhow, Coach Cutlciffe and staff are on a roll and they are beating some big schools for the latest commitments. One other note, do not miss our BDN Football Friday column which is the best weekly football article on the web. If you find a better column on Cut's team, let us know and we'll work harder.
Speaking of Duke and ACC Football, I have been writing a preview of the conference for another site. Everybody points to the Duke offense being able to move the ball due to more vets on that side of the ball. A closer look will tell you that Duke starts just two seniors and that nine of these kids will be back again the following year. I picked Florida State and Virginia Tech as division winners and the main reason is that both have a manageable schedule. The Blue Devils have the 22nd toughest schedule in the nation according to Phil Steele. By writing a preview, I have a jump on fellow media members in picking the All ACC first and second teams at the fast approaching ACC Operation Football gathering.
The staff of BDN prides itself on covering the Duke Athletics Beat in a most vigorous manner. That means if there is an event going on that is team related, we'll be there. It also means that we look forward to certain events, one of them being the annual Coach K Academy. During this event, Duke Coach Mike Kryzewski always addresses the Emily Kryzewski Foundation first, but then talks to the media for just under an hour. In this video clip, Kryzewski speaks of captain-ship and or leadership. In a nutshell, Coach said that true leaders are few and far between. That said, we kick off this edition of Monday Musings with Coach K addressing the 2011-12 captain-ship question. The keyword, as you will hear, is "culture."
Be sure to check out other recent BDN Video offerings with more from Coach and Jon Scheyer..
It tickles me when some acquaintances say I have might more time on my hands in the off season. This time of year is beyond busy around here. BDN staffed last week's Nike EYBL in Los Angeles and then this weeken'ds Pango's All American Camp. Patrick has broken the last four Duke Football prospects to verbal to Duke and he's got more coming on Cut's crew. The bottom line is that spring and summer means BDN is hitting ALL the major events. Let's just say it'll be non-stop coverage from now until the end of next year's basketball season, and that we have a backlog of amazing content, both free and for members.
That busy schedule goes for the coaches as well, and I can assure you that their off-season consists of few weeks at the beach. Now that the Coach K Academy has wrapped up, the basketball staff will focus on their upcoming trip to China and Dubai. More details on the trip can be found on BDN Premium where we break it down for you. And they will, of course, be on the phones with the nation's top prospects. Once the heat of July envelopes us, the dead period will be over and they'll be on the recruiting trail. In August, they'll find out which players establish themselves going into the October 15th starting date for practice. And while the duties with Team USA are not as plentiful this summer, they will surely keep an eye on the young kids that will don the Red, White and Blue, many of them Duke prospects.
You may have missed this article "Blue Devils go Camping in Effort to Improve," that speaks to which camps the men's basketball team will attend this summer. It's worth a read and is very informative.
A lot of times, good stuff falls off our main page, so go to "Duke Basketball or Football," to read the archives and catch up. Patrick Cacchio has been all over Duke Football Recruiting of late. Today, he broke the fourth straight prospect to commit to Duke on the message board and here is the article on DT Carlos Wray to Duke. He also checks in with other football prospects and the archives will catch you up on the latest efforts by Coach Cut and company.
On the women's hoops front, incoming freshman Elizabeth Williams has been named one of 12 members of the USA Basketball Women's U19 World Championship Team. She'll be the next big start on Coach P's program. The USA finalists downed the Brazil U19 National Team, 49-37, in an exhibition contest. In the game, Williams netted a team-high 15 points, six rebounds, five blocks, two assists and one steal in 25 minutes. Also in the news, or should I say the Sports Illustrated WNBA preview, is former Duke standout Lindsey Harding, who via trade is expected to lead Atlanta to the promised land.
Join Blue Devil Nation Premium for full site access and be in the know on all things Duke. Thanks for checking out another edition of Monday Musings and bookmark this site now so you don't miss a single thing.
In this weeks Monday Musings, I ramble a bit about the history Duke Basketball in the NBA Draft. We also touch on recruiting and upcoming events and salute the LAX and golf teams for their success and advancement.
The Cleveland Cavaliers won the coveted number one pick in the upcoming NBA Draft last week and that means it is almost a foregone conclusion that Kyrie Irving will be their pick. Many might think that he will be the Blue Devils first overall number one pick in draft history but may I remind you that Elton Brand went to the Chicago Bulls in 1999 as the top pick.
Two other Blue Devils were the second overall pick, that being Jay Williams with the same Bulls team in 2002. Danny Ferry was selected by the Los Angeles Clippers in the second spot in 1989 and he elected to go overseas before landing in Cleveland not only as a player but the eventual General Manager of the club in the LeBron James era.
Speaking of the Cavaliers, they drafted two other Krzyzewski era Blue Devils as well. Trajon Langdonwas their 11th pick in the 1st round in 1999 and Carlos Boozer was a 2nd round steal in 2002.
When folks think the Chicago Bulls organization, Micheal Jordon comes to mind and that has made it hard for some Duke fans to root for the team. Despite going down a game in their series with Miami, the Bulls seem to be a team of the future. Carlos Boozer andLuol Dengare two current Blue Devils playing major minutes for said Bulls and I must admit that I am pulling for, dare I say this, da Bulls. And no, Deng was not drafted by the Bulls, for it was the Phoenix Suns who plucked him with the 7th overall pick in 2004.
Among active coaches, Mike Krzyzewski leads the pack with 21 1st round draft picks, followed by the guy down the road, Roy Williams who has had 17 at Kansas and North Carolina. When Irving is selected in the draft , Duke will lead Williams 16-15 and gain sole possession of the most NBA lottery picks for a school.
If Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler go in the first round in this years draft, Duke will have had 24 1st round picks since 1985. A total of 53 Duke players have been on NBA rosters over the legues history. Former Duke greatDick Groat/ started it all off as the 3rd overall pick by Fort Wayne in 1952. The last Blue Devil drafted was Gerald Henderson by the Charlotte Bobcat's in 2009.
The last Blue Devil to make an NBA roster was the undrafted Brian Zoubek who is with the New Jersey Nets organization. Gene "Tinkerbell" Banksand Kenny Dennard going 28th and 78th in the 1981 draft were the first Blue Devils selected in the Krzyzewski era, however, he coached them but one year, that being his first season at Duke. The first two Duke players drafted that played four season under Krzyzewski at Duke were Johnny Dawkins and Mark Alarie, two 1st round picks in the 1986 draft. ESPN announcer Jay Bilas also went 108th that same season.
On the recruiting front, Perry Ellis name became hot over the weekend. Duke has opened a door with the prospect most felt was a strong Kansas lean through new assistant coach Jeff Capel. But the Dukies have a lot of catching up to do before this one becomes interesting.
The basketball recruiting trail starts back up this coming weekend with a local event the Tournament of Champions. This has been a great event in the past but new NCAA rules do not allow games to be played on college campuses. That means a logistical nightmare in that the games will be held at various high school gyms in the Triangle area.
We'll be there to bring you coverage on Duke targets for Blue Devil Nation Premium, our extended coverage subscription service which keeps you in the know on all things Duke. BDN Premium will also have our west coast correspondent, Varand Khachadouri covering the Nike EYBL event in Los Angeles, so if you love in depth Duke focused recruiting coverage, join now and see how we roll during grass roots balling.
And you can also look forward to hearing from soon to be Blue Devil hoopsters Alex Murphy later today, followed by Quinn Cook tomorrow. Both kids will arrive on campus the first of July and they tell us what they are most looking forward to and more in two of our latest interviews. Last week alone, BDN Premium brought you four major prospect interviews through our exceedingly well versed recruiting aficionado, Andrew Slater and this week, there will be more.
The Duke Men's LAX team defeated Notre Dame 7-5 to once again advance to the Final 4. The Blue Devils sophomore goaltender Dan Wigrizermade 14 saves on goal helping Duke get past the Irish who they defeated for the national title a season ago. Duke (14-5) will play unseeded Maryland on May 28 at M&T Bank Stadium at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2. Here is a recapfrom GoDuke.com. Meanwhile, the Men's Golf team won the Eastern Regional as well and that was their first ever regional final title. And the Duke female LAX team rocked #4Florida and they too, advanced in the NCAA tournament.
If you are a member of the media you are well aware that at Duke you interview coaches and players in the Bill Brill Media Room. Brill is a Duke icon and a legend in many ways. When Brill would sit down to write his articles, he had a unique style in that he would pop the keyboard with two fingers rarely referring to notes. That is the kind of guy he was, full of knowledge and that's why his work was off the top of his head and straight forward. Brill would often ask me about recruiting and he was quick to tell you he was into the sport it has become before it became popular. I had an opportunity to visit Brill at his house helping him with a computer issue and from that point forward we got to know each other over the years at various Duke events. Brill passed away on Sunday and he is now in a better place, likely still watching his Blue Devils. I speak for many in the media in saying, we'll truly miss Bill. And each time I enter the media room at Duke in the near future, I will pay homage to his name where it appears on the wall. Here is more on Bill Brill. And this from Go Duke. When I first started attending Duke as media, I would always sit with Bill Brill, Jim Sumner, Al Featherston and Bob Harris at our Duke table. We'll save an empty seat for Bill in the future as a tribute.
It's recruiting season around BDN and I am just getting to many articles that will hit this coming week. I attended the NIKE EYBL in Hampton, Virginia to get a glimpse at Duke prospects and future Devils. We spoke to several kids, including Rasheed Sulaimon who will be doing a diary for Blue Devil Nation during his AAU and coming high school season.
One of Duke's key prospects Tony Parker didn't play in the last two games with back problems, but he showed off his new physique. We have a lot of information on him and the recruiting process on the inside at BDN Premium, so it is a great time to join and gain full site access. We have a ccouple of videos coming this afternoon on him as well. We also cover a bevy of new names and you can discuss the latest with fellow members on our subscriber only message board.
This coming weekend features two events of concern for Duke fans. The first is of course, the Duke Men's Basketball Banquet, always a good time and for the truest blue of fans. Tickets are still available. Then there is the Jordan-Brand All Star event in Charlotte, North Carolina. BDN will be front and center for the festivities where we will talk with Austin Rivers and Michael Gbinije.
This weeks Monday Musings is a bit short, but we will return next week with a more in depth look at happenings around the Duke Athletic Programs.
Now you know all I am going to talk about in this weeks Monday Musings is Duke v. Carolina week. BDN will begin it's coverage Monday afternoon when we'll talk to the Duke players and the man himself Coach Mike Krzyzewski before heading to Chapel Hill to take in what Roy Williams has to say. We'll remain for the Duke at North Carolina women's game. and on Tuesday we'll feature a lot of tidbits and coverage before Wednesday evenings big game with a streaking Tar Heels team in Cameron. We'll be on the scene early for this Wednesdays game in an attempt to bring you a a Duke-centric experience.
Duke-Carolina, there is nothing like it!
If you've ever attended a Duke v. North Carolina Basketball game in person you might equate it to a religious experience. The atmosphere is fever pitch and you can literally feel the emotion and electricity before, during and after the game. Fans are atuned to every move on the court, each turnover painful to the marrow, each great play giving you a total body rush and every play seeming like it could make or break your teams ability to win. There have been Duke-Carolina games in Cameron when it got so loud it seemed like a jet aircraft was taking off, a deafening noise that vibrates your whole body. There have also been times when a player in the hated light blue silenced the minions as well. It can be a roller coaster of emotion and I've seen grown men soaked with sweat, gnashing their teeth and acting like they would nowhere else in life. It's Duke v. North Carolina and there is simply nothing like it be it in person or on television. It's quite simply the game everybody circles, one which the entire nation pays notice to and one that effects the way of life for the fan bases involved.
And the Tar Heels are streaking
There is no way around the fact that North Carolina is coming into Wednesdays game on a tear. They've not only won 11 of their last 12 games, they've also done so in a decisive manner, save the Georgia Tech game. The Tar Heels have also been rejuvenated by the play of freshman point guard, Kendall Marshall who put on an assist clinic against Florida State where his team won by 20 points. That's the same team that Duke lost to badly on the road. No team in the country is playing with more confidence right now, save Ohio State. And when the polls come out later today, expect another jump in the rankings adding more hype to the game.
The Women start it off this evening
It's true that UConn handled formerly undefeated Duke in grand fashion but surely we've learned by now that one game where the wheels come off is not the harbinger of death. Ask the UNC and Duke men about their losses to Georgia Tech and St. John's. Duke, rated #3, bounced back by throttling a highly ranked Miami team in Cameron which went unnoticed but tonight they travel to Chapel Hill to take on their arch rival #15 North Carolina in a game many will talk about. It should be a good game with both teams being atop the conference standings and it's always entertaining. Tickets are still available, so head on over and support your team and kick off rivalry week right.
A quick trip around scalper land shows that scoring a couple of tickets to the Duke-UNC game in Cameron will set you back a minimum of 1000 bucks and the average is about 750 to 1000 duckies a ticket. This is one of those games where people are literally hanging off air conditioning vents high atop the birds nest trying to stick their head around to get a view. The question is how do those people get up there to begin with? I've seen many fans strike out on game day only to have to hustle to a spot on campus to watch the game. The overflow applies to media as well where everybody in their brother suddenly wants credentials and many of them end up having to watch the game on TV in the Bill Brill Media Room in Cameron.
Perhaps you haven't noticed but BDN has been posting all football recruiting articles for free and yes, these are the same types included in subscription packages elsewhere. We'll take them to premium in due time, but for now, we want to cast a light on Duke Football and that means you can get a lot of great information from our recruiting analyst Patrick Cacchio. Be sure to link and spread the word for football fans to visit and read about the many juniors Duke is getting involves with.