DURHAM - The Duke Men's Basketball team addressed the media just moments ago and BDN was on the scene to bring you the players thoughts. Here is a brief chat with true Duke freshman Josh Hairston to get things started. Hairston has put on quite a bit of size since his AAU days and has been battling the Kelly and the Plumlee's for playing time in the paint. Check back in to BDN for more is coming.
DURHAM, N.C. -- The Duke men's basketball team tips off the 2010-11 season on Friday, Oct. 15 with the second annual Countdown to Craziness. For the second consecutive year, ESPNU will be on hand to cover the events as part of its four-hour Midnight Madness Special.
"Countdown to Craziness was a huge success last year and we are really excited to start this season with another great event," said head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "Friday is going to be a special night for our players, coaches, fans and everyone involved with Duke basketball. We are looking forward to hitting the floor in Cameron and feeling the building shake in anticipation for the 2010-11 season."
Countdown to Craziness will feature live music, inflatable games, highlight videos honoring past champions and the Duke basketball tradition, videos by Duke University Improv, live performances and on-court contests as well as the annual Blue-White scrimmage and a dunk contest. In addition, Duke will unveil the 2010 National Championship banner and members of the 2009-10 Blue Devils will receive their championship rings as part of a ceremony honoring last year's NCAA title team.
ESPN analyst and former Blue Devil great Jason Williams will be on site for Countdown to Craziness as part of ESPNU's coverage of the opening weekend of college basketball.
Countdown to Craziness Schedule of Events
5:00 pm – Inflatable games, live DJ, face painting, mobile TV screen showing 2009-10 video highlights in Krzyzewskiville
6:30 pm – Doors to Cameron Indoor Stadium open
7:00 pm – On-court promotions and student performances begin
8:00 pm – Unveiling of the 2010 National Championship banner and ring ceremony
8:10 pm - 2010-11 Duke Blue Devil player introductions
8:30 pm - Blue-White scrimmage (two 12-minute halves with a five minute halftime)
9:30 pm - Dunk contest
Good Monday morning Blue Devil Nation! Talk about a big week ahead for Duke athletics, hey? It doesn't seem like that long ago when I was coming back from Indianapolis having followed the men's basketball team on their magical run to the national championship, yet the reality of a new season is here.
It's been almost hard to put the 2010 season behind me in that it was such a special and at times surreal ride. One can only hope that this year's team, talented as it is can produce similar moments for there are many factors which go into getting a team to come together at just the right time. There will be no Z-Beard, no energy bunny Lance Thomas and "Steady-Eddie" Jon Scheyer on this seasons team. Those three seniors left Duke as champions but it wasn't always a walk in the park.
Winning national championships is not an easy thing to do folks! How many times has the pre season number one ranked team failed to win the big enchilada? The answer is more often than not for expectations can create some serious pressure, especially down the stretch. The saving grace is that Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith opted to return for their senior seasons and that means Duke will once again have some steady leadership in the senior class.
The season kicks off this Friday evening with the much anticipated Countdown to Craziness II invades Cameron Indoor Stadium. The event is becoming a religious experience for true blue Duke fans in that it brings you up close and personal with the players and coaches. Last seasons event was off the charts fun from beginning to end and in serves in memory as the starting point on the road to Indianapolis.
Despite last season's successful event, this years will be just as good and very likely better. A much hyped freshman Kyrie Irving will be making his CIS debut where he'll join newcomers Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton as well as redshirt sophomore Seth Curry. Then there is the welcoming of the returning aforementioned senior players who will all get their national championship rings as a new banner is unveiled in the backdrop.
In the stands will be a bevy of future Blue Devils and their most recent get in Austin Rivers and special guests will be making an appearance as well. All of the faithful will be gathered in the Holly Temple that seats just over 9000 fans elbow to elbow, shoulder to shoulder. Seriously, what else can be said and how much more hype does this event need?
Meanwhile, the football team will take on a mad bunch of Canes as Miami invades Wallace Wade Stadium. Duke is playing for the future, one which is brighter than it might seem as this time. Duke has nothing to lose the rest of the way and there are still winnable games on the schedule. Take away a couple of mistakes and Duke would have two ACC wins over Wake Forest and Maryland and games. And with Virginia and Boston College on the home schedule it's looking like the Blue Devils have a shot to garner a few more wins. Please continue to support this young team and they will in time give you reason to cheer loud and proud.
Stay tuned to BDN for full CTC and Duke-Miami coverage.
The after effect of Austin Rivers recent commitment will be felt for some time to come. Face it, Duke Basketball Recruiting has been stellar of late with talented kids like Kyrie Irving and Austin Rivers committing back to back. As soon as this seasons basketball analyst get a chance, they'll have to and in some cases be forced to give these guys big props which will lead to some pretty serious exposure for the program. Then again, Duke already has all of their basketball games televised every single season.
Coach Krzyzewski has been on a roll of late winning Gold for Team USA, the 2010 national championship and the recruiting trail. Sometimes one needs to stand back and appreciate his tremendous achievements. The man loves a challenge and the pressure of being at the top is just fine by him. Duke will be ranked number one in the country going into the season in the polls, but as always it'll be fun in the early season to see how Krzyzewski molds the 2010-11 team.
Duke Assistant Coach Chris Collins has been on a bit of a roll too for the aforementioned Irving and Rivers are players he was the lead assistant on. Each prospect is assigned a particular lead assistant while being recruited and it's obvious that Collins did a heck of a job helping close on two sensational guards. We can only hope to see them in the same backcourt one day.
The anticipation for Countdown for Craziness is building like a slow fever as fans anticipate Friday, October 15th, the start of the college basketball season. Last seasons event was special in that it was not only the first, but the beginning phase of a magical title run, or the first stop on memory lane if you will. This years CTC will be just as good if not better, for Duke has a new banner to officially show off. If that weren't enough the recently signed Austin Rivers will lead a bevy of prospects and future teammates into the old girl. Do you think that'll bring a strong reaction from the Crazies? Let's not forget the 2010-11 team itself coming out to a died in the wool royal blue festive bunch of fanatical fans. Who knows what antics Nolan Smith will be up to this year? Topping last years Dawkins short-shorts spoof and his Titanic bit will be tough but I think he's up to the challenge. Simply put, the event is a must for any Duke fan. Have you got your tickets yet?
And in a little NBA talk, new Chicago Bulls star Carlos Boozer will miss eight weeks due to a broken hand this season. The Bulls are depending on the Booz to put them over the hump this season Former Dukie JJRedick signed a 19 million dollar contract in the off season, got married and has a rap album coming out. Glad he hasn't been doingmuch
After last seasons championship, Nike coined a slogan "Order is Restored." Well, they are certainly on to something and one simply has to look at projected All American teams to realize it. Kyle Singler's return has him picked as a consensus first team choice and some taut him as the likely winner of the player of the year award. Nolan Smith is on most second teams and newcomer Kyrie Irving is projected on some second teams and no lower than third. When's the last time Duke had three legitimate first team All American possibilities? I'll end this weeks Monday Musings letting you ponder that question.
Single Game Tickets Go On Sale Oct. 6
DURHAM, N.C. -- Tickets to the Duke men's basketball season opening event, Countdown to Craziness, on Friday, Oct. 15 are on sale now at www.GoDuke.com/tickets <http://www.GoDuke.com/tickets> . Countdown to Craziness begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be shown by ESPNU during its Midnight Madness coverage.
ESPNU's Midnight Madness special will feature extensive whip-around coverage from top college basketball programs around the nation beginning at 9 p.m. ET on ESPNU HD. ESPN platforms have been covering Midnight Madness events since 1993, with this season marking the fifth consecutive year on ESPNU.
Countdown to Craziness will feature the annual Blue-White game, a dunk contest, performances by several campus groups, new videos from Duke University Improv, as well as videos highlighting Duke's storied basketball tradition and the unveiling of the 2010 National Championship banner.
Single game tickets for the Cal Poly Pomona (Nov. 4), Elon (Dec. 20) and Alabama-Birmingham (Jan. 5) contests go on sale online at www.GoDuke.com/tickets <http://www.GoDuke.com/tickets> on Wednesday, Oct. 6 at 8:30 a.m.
Just recently, we posted our latest hoops team and recruiting report, but even more information is coming in. Let's start it off with talk of Austin Rivers. who recently had an in home visit with Roy Williams and North Carolina. The Blue Devils get there turn this Tuesday when Krzyzewski and Chris Collins will head south.
Once they arrive in Florida Duke [private] hopes to start wrapping his recruitment up. And yes, Austin will visit the UNC campus for certain. We have no idea how the in home visit went with the Tar Heels but I can tell you that I still feel just fine with where Duke is at this point and time.
The Rivers camp has never sent anything other than good vibes Duke's way and it is not unusual for him to want to take a couple of visits. I feel Rivers already knows where he wants to go but is simply going through the process due to what happened with his brothers choice of schools.
The Duke coaches had as much contact as is allowed with Rivers all the way through to Istanbul. And as I told you, the action would sart in the Rivers camp only after Kryzewski returned stateside.
I think a key here is that Duke will get their visit after UNC's. This one could be over as early as late October. Austin and his Dad Doc know exactly what Duke wants.
There has been talk of Myck Kabongo but he seems to be happy with Kansas. Duke could not and would not contact him and could only show interest if he were to re-open his recruitment. There sole focus is on Cook at this time.
That means Quinn Cook joins Austin Rivers as the final two targets with offers. While a lot of people didn't seem to know Cook held an offer, I can tell you that Kryzyzewski made it official in late July. Duke is turning up the heat with Cook and I'm getting some good vibes with other information I heard which I cannot share at this time. I can say that Nolan Smith is turning up the chatter with someone he is obviously very close to.
Despite what Savon Goodman said, Duke is still more interested in Amile Jefferson but they will keep an eye on both. Jefferson needs to put on some muscle and Goodmans outside shot is a work in progress.
In the class of 2012 only Shabazz Muhammad and Alex Murphy have offers. In short, Duke is in the proverbial evaluation stage with several players and one of those is Rasheed Sulaimon. We hinted a while back that interest is picking up here and as you read in our last update Nate James dropped in on him recently and took in L.J. Rose as well. We will not know Duke's full interest in Rose until Cook makes his decision.
Our last update let you know that Wojo was on the recruiting trail but we now know that list included J.P. Tokoto. Duke still likes this kid and will hang in there with him. We already told you he checked out Muhammad
Chris Spatola was also allowed to be out on thee road [three at any open period per NCAA rules] also checked out Grant Jarrett, a talented kid they will evaluate. and local sensation Rodney Purvis.
The Blue Devils still like Kaleb Tarczewski a lot and he will definitely be at the forefront in the future.
The football team will host a ton of prospects this weekend as well and we are putting something together on that and will have it up by Friday.
Finally, here is the list for Countdown to Craziness at this time - Austin Rivers, Michael Gbinije, Rodney Purvis, Amile Jefferson, Marshall Plumlee, Tony Parker and Rasheed Sulaimon. [/private]