Tag Archives: BDN’s Monday Musings

BDN Monday Musings – Huge week ahead for Duke Athletics

 

Countdown to Craziness will be electric when Countdown to Craziness kicks off this Friday. Be there!

After a long hiatus, BDN’s Monday Musings returns, and there is a lot to talk about with respect to Duke Athletics. To say this is a big week is an understatement. Duke Basketball will hold its annual Countdown to Craziness on Friday evening followed the next night by a prime time football game with archrival North Carolina, where a win would snap a long losing streak in the series and gain the Blue Devils bowl eligibility.

Basketball season is here!

The mens basketball team has started practice, and that always means excitement in the air among Duke fans. Coach Mike Krzyzewski seems as pumped up as ever as he enters the season with a record 927 wins, and he will close in on other marks as the year progresses. His teams have been ranked in the AP Top 10 a total of 425 weeks, and this year’s first poll should make it 426. The Blue Devils return 10 letter-winners from a year ago, so there is experience on hand, and the team has received an infusion of talent with the additions of redshirt freshmen Alex Murphy and Marshall Plumlee, who join true freshmen Amile Jefferson and Rasheed Sulaiman.

A couple of early injuries

As you may have heard, Marshall Plumlee is in a walking boot with a foot fracture, but the prognosis is unknown at this time.  Seth Curry is nursing a minor injury as well, and is close to being able to go 100%. Most football programs are mildly evasive in providing news on injuries these days, and basketball is becoming no different.

Early high praise for Mason Plumlee

Blue Devils fans needed a shot in the arm at the end of last season after the upset loss to Lehigh in the NCAA Tournament and the departure of Austin Rivers, who entered the NBA Draft after his freshman campaign. They got that lift when Mason Plumlee spurned the league for another year to return for his senior season at Duke. Plumlee has earned high praise early on from Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski, who has made no secret that he expects big things from the multi-talented big man. Expect a larger role for Plumlee this year, and look for the Blue Devils to establish his game early on.

Who will run the point?

Actually, it is still likely to be done by committee. Many hope Quinn Cook steps up in his second year and takes over the role, but he will share time with Tyler Thornton, Rasheed Sulaimon and maybe even Seth Curry. Cook improved leaps and bounds in the off-season and his confidence and game are where they were when I first saw him on the AAU trail in his junior season in high school. Thornton has improved his quickness, and he is a calming influence on the team with his cool play. Sulaimon has the ability to be the best on-ball defender from the guard spot, and Curry has run the position before and if necessary can do so again. But in the end, Blue Devil fans will look for Quinn Cook to earn the major minutes.  Only time will tell if that happens.

Countdown to Craziness

This is one of the more fun events of the year, where the Blue Devils let their hair down for the last time before getting dead serious and focusing on the season, where early challenges against tough opponents abound. Countdown to Craziness is a celebration of Duke Basketball, where the team comes out to their song of choice during a raucous introduction and comedic skits are seen via video on the scoreboard. Then there is the Blue/White intrasquad game, giving fans a chance to see some action. It’s a great event and one BDN will cover as always, so check back in for coverage. Tickets are still available at reasonable prices at GoDuke.com.

North Carolina at Duke

Both teams come into this weekend’s prime time football game with 5-2 records, including 2-1 conference marks, but the Tar Heels have owned the series of late, and they opened as a 10 point favorite in this one. For the Blue Devils program, nothing would be finer than to see Carolina finally go down, and if the goal posts did not follow, there would be disappointment. A win for Duke would not only snap the long light blue winning streak, but it would also mean Duke is going bowling. Yeah, it’s a big one, but tickets are still available for it, so why not make a Duke weekend of it by having a blast at Countdown to Craziness and then coming back the next night for some serious — and meaningful — football?

Can Duke Football bounce back?

After holding a 20-0 lead over Virginia Tech this past weekend, the team simply collapsed, allowing 41 consecutive points to a team which handled this week’s opponent (North Carolina) with ease. The main concern I have is that the team almost seemed to mail it in once adversity struck, and could never find its way back. There have been times this season where I think the Duke team is better than the players realize; they need to believe they can win and deserve to win some ACC football games. Coach Cut has done a terrific job in rebuilding, but there are still important lessons to be learned, and patience is needed.

Duke Hoops in Fort Bragg

The Duke Men’s Basketball team is practicing at Fort Bragg today.  You can tune into ESPNU at 1:00 to see the practice.

BDN’s Monday Musings – Hoops, Football and …

I hope you guys caught the opening game of the NBA Eastern Finals last evening for former Duke players Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer both helped Chicago to victory.  In fact, the Bulls crushed the much ballyhooed Heat, led by Dwayne Wade and LeBron James.  And even a tremendous effort by Chris Bosh couldn’t sidetrack the Bulls who are 4-0 versus their opponent this season.  CBooz had 14 points and 9 rebounds in the win, but it was Deng who was the most impressive with a team high plus 18 rating.  Deng finished with 21 points, 7 rebounds,  4 steals and 0 turnovers.

One thing you can count on in big time college athletics is the fact that recruiting is a year round affair.  We’re big time recruitniks around here, so that’s okay by us.  Andrew Slater kicks the week off for Blue Devil Nation Premium members with another one of his in depth interviews.  His subject, Nerlens Noel is one of the studs in the top heavy class of 2013.  Duke is as you know, interested in Jabari Parker and Julius Randle as well and members will have heard from all three in the coming days.  In short, three of the top five prospects are on the Dukies radar.

The likes of former Duke greats Christian Laettner, Grant Hill and Jason Williams will be in Durham for Coach K Academy IX which runs from June the 1st through the 5th on the Duke campus.  The event is one of those once in a liftime deals where campers for a price can bond with Duke Basketball is a most special way.  For more information call the Duke Basketball Legacy Fund at (919) 613-7501.  And you can bet BDN will be on hand to talk with some of the former players, so you can look forward to that.

The Duke Men’s LAX team holds off a furious Delaware rally to advance in the NCAA Tournament.  The womens tennis team advance as well sweeping Yale.  And for recruiting?  Here are the newbies for the Duke Women’s Volleyball team.

Duke Football is lining up prospects for their camp as well and you can bet that we’ll bring you coverage via Patrick Cacchio.  Football recruiting news is something we take seriously and we are supportive of the program as they continue to build under David Cutcliffe. Our premium football message board is growing and you can always count on updates there from those who follow the program closely.  Be it the jam packed with inside information  “Football Friday,” articles or coming interviews with true prospects, BDN is the place to be for football.  While we are on football, check out Al Featherston and his take on the Blue Devils efforts to build a running game.

Here is an excerpt from Lindy Brown where he tells of some of the latest news on two incoming stars for the Duke womens hoops team -

The honors keep coming in for two future Duke women’s basketball standouts — Elizabeth Williams and Amber Henson — as the duo were selected Parade Magazine All-America on Sunday.  A 2011 Morgan Wootten National Player of the Year selection, Williams averaged 18.9 points, 11.4 rebounds and 5.1 blocked shots for Princess Anne H.S. She was named MVP of the McDonald’s All-America contest as she set a single-game record with 23 points to go along with a game-high 11 rebounds. Williams, who is from Virginia Beach, Va., led the USA Basketball U-17 team to a gold medal at the 2010 world championships while averaging 13.5 points and 7.6 rebounds.”

To read the full article go to GoDuke.com.  Thanks for checking in with BDN.

Monday Musings talks China trip, draft, football happenings and more …

Well, we’re officially in the month of May now and that means more basketball and football recruiting for our staff.  But later this summer the Duke Basketball  will prepare for their trip to China where lots of answers will come to the staff with concerns to the 2011-12 season.  Monday Musings is back with several thoughts on Duke Athletics.

Duke Men’s team will grow in China

We recently broke down the summer trip for you in our most recent team update for premium members.  Duke will play four, possibly five games on the trip, get ten prepatory practices and unlimited ones on the road.  We ponder the many questions for position battles and break down the latest happening surrounding the program in the update.

More recruiting updates …

If you haven’t been reading Andrew Slaters updates on BDN Premium, then you are missing out on one of the most connected analyst around.  In fact, Slater has become one of the major driving forces on the recruiting front and his analogies laced with knowledge are more than worth the price of admission alone.  Slater was at it again this weekend where he attended the Nike EYBL in Dallas, Texas.  He took in many true Duke prospects and his work will start to appear as the week goes on including his one of a kind in depth interviews.  Parker, Poythress, Pinson, Stokes are but a few off the prospects reported on and the best is yet to come, so join BDN Premium for we are at almost every major event focussing on Duke prospects and we are not talking little blubs from national recruting analysts on other sites.  But we also keep you abreast of the national recruiting scene and you can expect more of that in the future.

Here is a little blurb on Austin

Austin Rivers is garnering the attention of the national media and he is the latest super frosh that will help lead the Blue Devils hoops team.  We linked some videos on the message board, but here is a USA Today blurb with one of those videos.

Back on the market

A BDN friend, Dave Telep, broke the news that Rodney Pruvis is back on the market and he thinks Duke will enter the race for his services Will Duke recruit Purvis?  Well, they did before, so look for them to now as well.

NBA Draft

Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith are  featured in this link.  Not a perrineal All Star?  Some are questioning just how good Kyrie Irving will be at the next level.

Building

If one were to stroll though campus and head over towards Wallace Wade Stadium  you would see construction in the endzone where a new practice facility is being erected.  By the looks of things, it is not far from completion and we are hoping Coach Citcliffe will give us a tour once it is finished, so stay tuned for that.  Duke fans are hoping to see the results of building on the fiedl as well this season where the offense will be seasoned and new defensive coaches take the helm.

Summer means football schedule talk

The football schedule is already out and Duke once again opens with a tough Richmond program, one which has given them fits of late.  There is no such thing as a must win in an opener but if there were this would be one.  The Blue Devils simply must get off to a good start with a win at home.  Three teams will have extra preperation for the Blue Devils this season.  Miami, Georgia Tech and North Carolina all play in Thursday night games before facing the Blue Devils and that means extra time for healing injuries and such.  When comparing the Duke schedule with the close proximity neighbors, the toughest schedule is clarly in Durham outside the conference.  Duke will face a likely top 5 Stanford team on September 10th with the Heisman Trophy favorite, Andrew Luck in tow.  The Wolfpack has Liberty, South Alabama and Central Michigan at home and their toughest no conference game is at Cinicinnati.  The Tar Heels James Madison, Rutgers and Louisville at home with East Carolina on the road looking like their toughest game.  Duke travels to FIU, a bowl team which returns all of their key skilled players and gets Tulane at home to round out their out of conference schedule.

BDN’s Monday Musings

Photo - Lance King for BDN

Welcome to another edition of Monday Musings despite the fact that you probably have the Monday Blues after the Blue Devils lop sided loss to St. John’s.

Perspective

I’m not about to tell you that Duke doesn’t have some major concerns after their flat performance against a fired up St. John’s team.  But I will mention that they tend to bounce back under Krzyzewski and ask you to recall their loss to Georgetown last year.  Now before you say St. John’s is not in their league, look at their wins against the same Georgetown team, accompanied by Notre Dame and West Virginia this season.  And might I remind you that Duke was 17-4 lat year after 21 games  as opposed to 19-2 this season?  The only way you get better is to be humbled enough to regain the hunger it takes to win.

Football Signing Day

This Wednesday is signing day for Duke Football and BDN will be on the scene to report on the future Blue Devils players.  The general public can also meet with Coach Cutcliffe and his staff and get a bite to eat, hear about the players  and you can get your tickets for the event here.  The Blue Devils also held their junior day and Patrick Cacchio will be reporting on the new names to be on the look out for next season.

Measuring Stick for the Duke Women’s Team

The Duke Women’s Basketball team puts their undefeated record on the line when they travel to play Connecticut.  What a test this will be for the Blue Devils have a chance to see how they measure up against  Gino Auriemma and Maya Moore in a hostile environment.  It’ll be of vital importance for the team to not play on their heals and believe they can win.  And as always, the play of Jasmine Thomas will be important but it’s here supporting cast that has to get it done.  Should be interesting, so tune in tonight

Next up Maryland

Duke travels to Maryland this Wednesday to take on those pesky Terrapin’s and their rabid fans in a 9:00 game on ESPN.  Maryland has won three straight games including a 74-63  road victory against Georgia Tech last evening and that pushes their season record to 4-3 in the ACC and 14-7 overall.  Maryland will be hungry to take on a Duke team coming off a decisive loss and a win would not only put them back into the conference race, it would boost their resume come seasons end.

Three NBA Dukies Help Lead Their Teams to a Win

Grant Hill helped Phoenix gain a 104-102 win over New Orleans by knocking down 7 of 10 shots which translate into 16 points the second most on the Suns team.  Meanwhile JJ Redick had 17 in Orlando’s blowout win over Cleveland.  Rounding it out was Elton Brand nailed 6 of 7 shots for 15 points as Philadelphia dropped Denver 110-99.

BDN’s Monday Musings – MLK, Duke Basketball and Football

LK Images for BDN

Welcome to another edition of BDN’s Monday Musings where we roll thoughts out on whatever comes to mind with concerns to Duke Athletics.  To start things off let me wish all of you a happy Martin Luther King Day.  C.B. Caliborne was the first African American athlete to play for the Duke Basketball team and I grew up in those days and can tell you that King ushered in a long overdue era of equality.  I can actually remember a “Blacks Only,” restroom in the Durham downtown Belk’s and Woolworth’s in the sixties.  Being an innocent child in those days, I never understood some of what I saw and had plenty of questions for my parents. 

 I can later remember being on vacation with them in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where I was running about the infamous Ocean Drive arcade when the news came out that King had been shot.  There was no cable or satellite networks in that time, just televisions with rabbit ears or room top antennas.  In short, it certainly wasn’t the techno era but everywhere you went a radio was on and televisions showing that motel room balcony.  Even after the tragic death I overheard some good old boys saying  “He got what he deserved,” or “He was a trouble maker,” when walking around the boardwalk that same evening and it was then I realized I was a part of a change in thinking in America. 

 “It’s a great day in America,” said one man, glowing in approval and I was appalled at his mean spirited gloating narrowness despite my innocence.  Heck, even a child realizes right from wrong and all I knew is that King was a preacher and a so called activist even though I couldn’t have told you what the definition of that word was.  Later that evening,  “I have a dream,” rang out from most televisions and radios and I heard nothing but good in the words as I beamed into his infamous speech for the first time. 

Towards the end of that vacation, I had a defined view of what good and bad really was.  And a lot of supposedly good people had some bad views which was clear now that my eyes were opened.  In hindsight, I am glad my eyes were closed to many of the injustices of that time for it would not have made for as good of childhood memories.  But my eyes were truly opened on that tragic day and as they say, you never forget where you were during historical moments.  Here is to equality folks and me learning in my innocence that a man is a man and that we are all in this together.

These Blue Devils are learning

Last seasons national championship team had three seniors in Jon Scheyer,  Lance Thomas and Brian Zoubek.  And they had two juniors namend Kyle Singlerand Nolan Smithbacking them up which is in a word experienced.  This season both Singler and Smith returned to lead as seniors,  but they have no experienced juniors behind them.  The bottom line is once you get past Kyle and Nolan, Duke is very, very young.  That means this team is indeed a work in progress with a lot of growing to do before they can make a deep run in March. 

We have remained positive that Kyrie Irving would return this season, but the bottom line is that Duke fans need to focus in on what is on the court at the moment for these are the guys we’ll be playing with in the foreseeable future.  Development must take place for Duke to get better and so far, the Blue Devils are still looking for players to step up in a more consistent manner. 

Team chemistry is oh-so vital down the stretch and in the coming days we’ll see if some of the players can buck up and produce.  Irving’s absence has effected getting the ball into the bigs, so there numbers are down save rebounding, but there are some other players who have yet to step up despite getting major minutes.  It’s really quite simple, Duke needs another consistent scorer to step up during conference play.

Hoop’s Recruiting

Duke never stops recruiting and this past weekend they had visits from Austin Rivers and Shabazz Muhammad.  BDN’s Terry Rains stayed in Florida for Rivers back to back games and we hope you go back and look at the video interviews on site.  We currently have Andre Slater at the Hoop Hall where he is covering the hottest names including a couple of possible new kids on the radar. His reporting continues for premium members on our message board and we will have plenty of interviews coming members way.  It is a great time to join BDN Premium for full site access for the upcoming changes and coverage will set us apart.  Join now and read about Alex Murphy’s reaction to his Duke visit in one of our latest offerings.

Football recruiting too …

BDN supports Duke Football and we cover them with the best, be it game day, weekly press conferences or recruiting.  Duke had a big football recruiting weekend and our Patrick Cacchio will be bringing you all the news on the latest happenings.  Our premium football message board is growing and it allows you to stay in the know as moves happen.  We will continue to offer out football recruiitng articles free to the public through January, so come back and check out what our commitments and prospects have to say.

Props to Sen Renfree

Sean Renfree was named the teams MVP for this past season, thus a shout out for the promising quarterback.  Renfree will be one of the most experienced signal callers in the ACC next season and we’ll talk with the rising junior in short time to update you on his off season status.

Support Women’s Hoops

The Blue Devils Women remain undefeated against the nations toughest schedule and they return home to play Georgia Tech this Friday.  The Devils are coming off two road wins over Florida State and Virginia Tech.  Duke has but six home games left on their schedule including the season finale against North Carolina on Sunday  February 27th.   Call GoDuke and get your tickets now.

 

BDN’s Monday Musings – Hoops starting, recruiting, KI and more

A Monday Musings tradition is our Cheerleader of the Week selection and it has been a hit amongst fans of BDN. Image by my pal Lance King

Good Morning Blue Devil Nation!  It’s a rainy day here in the Triangle but that will not stop another edition of Monday Musings.

Basketball is here

When Duke has struggled in football there has been an on going blurb that hoops starts quicker in Durham than anywhere in the country.  Well, when you are the reigning national champion and have a long tradition of kicking butt on the hardwood, return Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler and add Kyrie Irving to the mix, the football team could be 4-0 and the excitement would still be there. 

Countdown to Craziness

You can get tickets to this cherished event by hitting up the Duke Box Office on October 6th and I expect tickets will go quickly.  The event itself is on October 15th and if it is anything like last years and we here it is, it’ll knock your royal blue socks off.  I’ve been around the program for a very long time but I can honestly say that this is as relaxed you’ll ever see the coaches and players.  It’s a night to celebrate all things Duke but this year, you’ll see the new national championship banner making it even better than last seasons event.  Extreme intimacy permeates Cameron Indoor Stadium and you’ll be flush with royal blue leaving the event stoked for what should be another great season.

Recruiting continues

Duke will be in home with point guard Quinn Cook tonight and they’ve made their rounds of late.  We’ve listed attendees for CTC and talk of recruiting non stop on BDN Premium, so why not join our dedicated members and chat about the latest happenings.

Excitement surrounds the Women’s team as well

We’ll preview the Duke Women shortly and their is a ton of excitement surrounding the best recruiting class since Alana Beard and company.  This years team will be a mix of young and old and that should make for some exciting moments.  BDN supports the women and will even cover their recruiting in the future, a first among sites.

Football needs some breaks

Duke Football simply needs a few things to go their way on the field against Maryland this weekend where they open as 7.5 underdogs.  The Terps match up very well with this years team, so to win, Duke will have to cut down on those five turnovers against Army.  The Duke defense is rebuilding and the offense needs to take care of the ball and if the team can just get a couple of breaks their way, they can ride those and good things will start to happen.

Kyrie Irving

Well there has been little hype surrounding the New Jersey native these days.  Yeah, right.  It’s the fact that Irving is a smoking point guard that has fans excited for he is the best they’ve had at the position since another Jersey native.  Still though, I think one should temper their expectations for there is a learning curve no matter how talented you are and Krzyzewski alluded to that in a recent press conference.

Pre Season Magazines

Duke is everybody’s number one with the exception of TSN who tabs Michigan State, a  team that visits Cameron in December.  Don’t be so harsh on Mike DeCourcey thought for he is just trying to be different and this has been their practice in the past when their is a consensus favorite.  There was a time when preview magazines were a big deal and fans would wait their arrival but times have changed thanks to the Internet.  I like a traditional hard copy on occasion but they increasingly come out so late that there is no news we do not know about in them.  Blue Ribbon is a great preview but I am not going to plunk down the bucks to read it when the season starts a week after it hits the stands.  The same goes for those glossy overpriced yearbooks where there is little information fanatical fans do not already know.  I see them more as collectibles these days and if I want to read a preview, I want to do it before Countdown for Craziness and not after.  I highly recommend the championship commemorative put out by Duke Planet though.  It’s well worth the money and serves as a reminder to a magical season.  The rest is on line and articles of Duke Basketball are a dime a thousand these day, up a lot since they were a dime a dozen.