Tag Archives: Countdown to craziness

More Monday Musings to kick off the week

Duke is set to hang a new banner in Cameron! BDN Photo

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.

Monday Musings – Rivers, Irving, Collins, JJ, Countdown and more

It's time to think about cutting doqwn some more nets with basketball season fast approaching. Photo - Mark Watson BDN

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.

Countdown to Craziness Tickets Set To Go On Sale

Single Game Tickets Go On Sale Oct. 6

Can Nolan Smith bring the house down with his antics again this season? The only way to know is to be there! - BDN Photo

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.

BDN Hoops Recruiting Update – Duke in home with Rivers on Tuesday and much more

Duke set to visit Rivers in home on Monday and more happenings from the recruiting trail are part of BDN Premiums latest update - BDN Photo

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]

Monday Musings, Holiday Style! Football, Basketball, Cheerleaders, Mild Rant

Congrats to this weeks Monday Musings Cheerleader of the Week - BDN Photo

Good Labor Day Monday folks!  Despite the holidaze there is still a Monday Musings column in store for those who read on.  I recap the opening day win over Elon, touch on recruiting, encourage you to support Coach K and Team USA and whine a little bit about the Wade Wacko’s who leave the game early.  And of course, there is our continued salute to the cheerleaders and the best mascot in the world with the pic of the week.

It’s good to be 1-0

The Blue Devils have a lot of areas to improve upon after their 41-27 opening day victory over Elon but for now they are 1-0 and that affords the football team an opportunity to get off to a good start in 2010.  Several young players showed they have good upside and abilities in Saturday’s win including a pair of freshman running backs in Josh Snead and Juwon Thompson ability.  Be it a timely sack from redshirt freshman Justin Foxx or Desmond Scott showing that he wanted to be the man in the backfield, Duke’s youth showed promise and gained valuableexperience.  Trust me, Elon is no slouch or a walk in the park like Samford, Florida A & M or other opening day beating boys for fellow ACC members.  Still, Duke must stop letting up big plays which Coach Cutcliffe alluded to on his call in show on Sunday if they have a chance against Wake Forest in Winston Salem this weekend.

Speaking of Wake Forest

This is a huge game for Duke in many ways for the Blue Devils at some point must break through against an opponent that has had their number the last ten outings.  Despite that disparity, the Blue Devils still dominate the series against their rival.  Cutlciffe could chalk up another signature win should the cards fall right on Saturday where Duke is an early 5.5 point underdog.  Hopefully, the Duke Nation will travel in force to support the team in this noon affair which will be televised by Raycom Sports.  Early indicators point to a good old fashion shoot out but as we all know there is a lot of improvement from week one to week two and that will determine who wins this contest.  You can bet that both teams held back much of their arsenal in the openers which is another indicator that this will be one heck of an early season ACC matchup.  We’ll be talking a lot about this game as the week progresses.

Thaddeus Lewis and the Rams

I love me some Thaddeus Lewis!  Getting to know Lewis over the years was rewarding and it is no surprise to me that he made the cut for the St. Louis Rams.  Unassuming and laid back off the field, Lewis is all about drive when on it and I can tell you first hand that he is a hard worker trying to fulfill his dreams.  I’ll miss Mrs. Lewis being right there on front row to cheer her son on and I will certainly follow his exploits in the NFL as will many of you.  It couldn’t have happened to a better kid.

 
 

I keep telling the Blue Devil he is exclusive to Blue Devil Nation but as you can see, he'll have none of it as he hams it up for yet another camera in the hood.

Nice crowd there, Duke fans!

For those who attended this past Saturday’s game, I am sure they’ll tell you it was nice to see Wally World [Wallace Wade Stadium] full which made for a great college football environment.  Lots of Duke Blue filled the place and those there for the first time will hopefully return.  In short, let’s do it again!  Now, if we can get the students to stay past half time, we’ll have really made progress.  Oh snap!  That’s just not a fair statement for the ones who did remain were really good.  I dream of a day the students will lift the team for the whole game.  It’s happened, it can happen, but will it happen?

USA -USA -USA!

That old Mike Krzyzewski just keeps on winning and he hasn’t let up since last seasons Countdown to Craziness.  Team USA enters the elimination round and after an expected walk through in game one, it will get dicey from then on.  Support our guys starting this week and let’s cheer them on while Kryzyzewski works his magic.  The master will return with assistant coach Chris Collins in late September where they will hit the road running to prepare for what should be a fabulous 2010-11 season.

Countdown to Craziness 2

It’s coming to  theater near you!  October 15h marks the start of the college basketball season in many ways and the Blue Devils are stirring up more than just a little excitement.  Several prospects are lined up for the event which you can read about on BDN Premium, your inside source for all things Duke.  Last years event was incredible and it set the tone for a national championship run and who’ll ever forget short-short’s and ice.  We’ll defer to Nolan Smith for the answers if I lost you there.

Recruiting is quiet but that will change soon

With Coach K  in the middle east and kids just starting back to school, all is rather quiet on the hoops recruiting front, but that’ll change shortly as in home visits will be set up and again, check out BDN Premium for all the latest.  We posted a new interview with Shabazz Muhammad today and have more as the week progresses.

Be safe, be happy and relax

You deserve a break today and not because you visited McDonald’s.  Did anyone get that lame attempt at humor or did I generation you out?  Regardless, take time to relax, recharge, spend time with family and friends.  Think of what is important in life!  That’s obviously Duke Athletics.  Seriously, hope all had a great Labor Day weekend and thanks for checking out the Blue Devil Nation.

Duke Basketball’s Countdown to Craziness is a rousing success

bdn photo (c)
bdn photo (c)

DURHAM, N.C. Duke’s first annual Countdown to Craziness was a rousing success as fans packed Cameron Indoor Stadium not only to kick off the season but to celebrate Duke Basketball.  Several video skits started the event off, with the most outrageous one mimicking the Titanic movie.  Nolan Smith played the role of Rose DeWitt [ Kate Winslett] and Andre Dawkins the role of Jack Dawson[Leonardo DeCaprio.]  Smith stripped down to a towel and some bling and posed while Andre painted the picture.

Former Duke All American Jason Williams was in the house announcing for ESPN where he interviewed Kyle Singler for the broadcast.  Christian Laettner and Bobby Hurley were also present and their presence took fans down memory lane when they won  back to back championships in the 90′s.

Coach K’s daughter, Debbie Savarino orchestrated the event and everything went off without a hitch.  By the time the players were ready to be introduced fans had been worked into a frenzy in anticipation of their first view of the 2009-10 Duke Blue Devils.   The lights went down and the the team was introduced individually, each player having their own individual song — many of them joking about.

4tyOnce all of the players were introduced, the attention turned to the coaches.  Just before Krzyzewski was introduced he glanced into a packed and loud Cameron Indoor Stadium and his face told the tale.  His eyes got a little watery, but he never shed a tear and one has to wonder what was going in the maestro’s mind .

If I were to guess he was probably reflecting on going into his 30th season and all that had happened in the years prior.  After all, his name is on the court and Coach K has become a brand name.  He may have been looking at the young men he loved anticipated coaching and ex players loved as well and a look around showed that he was surrounded and supported by his family.  And that family is not just his immediate family, but his Duke family.

When the action began, Mason Plumlee and Brian Zoubek jumped center and the season was officially underway.  The White team which basically consisted of perceived starters rolled in the first game winning 40-17.  Nolan Smith led the way with 15 points and Kyle Singler chipped in with 9 points.  Freshman Andre Dawkins led the Blue team with 7 points.

bdn photo (c)
bdn photo (c)

After a brief break they switched some players around and played the next game  which was quite close and competitive.  A Curry three pointer put his team within one at 23-22, then the redshirt sophomore hit another on an assist from Smith running the score to Blue 26 White 22.

Andre Dawkins answered with a three pointer of his own cutting the lead back to one, but a Smith lay up put his team back up three.  Not to be outdone, Kyle Singler drilled a three of his own with an assist from Scheyer, but that was answered by Curry’s third three all in short time and that boosted the Blue to a 31-28 advantage.

Are you getting the picture yet? Each team was answering the call in a back and forth affair and the veteran Jon Scheyer hit yet another three point shot with 1:09 left tying the game at 31 apiece.  At that point turnovers and missed shots brought the game to the 7 second mark.

Singler made a sweet move to get free, but Smith made an even sweeter block.  After a Casey Peters miss, Smith grabbed the rebound and was fouled on a drive.  After a timeout, Smith exalted the crowd to get loud and went to the line and drained two free throws with .08 second left on the clock.  Curry stole the in bounds pass and the Blue got an exciting victory over the White  by a 33-31 score.

bdn photo (c)
bdn photo (c)

Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer led the losing White team with 11 and ten points.  Nolan Smith, the player of the evening, tallied 10 for the winning Blue team and Seth Curry gave Duke fans a preview of the future dropping 10 points himself.

Notes - Nolan Smith was 10 of 14 from the field for 25 points to go with 7 assists, Seth Curry had 10 points but 6 turnovers, Freshman Mason Plumlee struggled with 2 points, six rebounds  and 4 turnovers but he didn’t play as bad as the stat line showed.  Kyle Singler had 20 points and 5 assists,  Andre Dawkins, Miles Plumlee 10 points and 6 boards, Lance 5 points and 6 rebounds, Ryan Kelly had 4 points and two boards.  Olek Czyz and Andre Dawkins shared the dunk  contest award as Joanne P. McCallie, Kevin White, Jason Williams and the Duke mascot were judges.  Lance Thomas announced the event.  Wojo had a great video where he played the role of Don Corleone.  The new men’s basketball poster was unveiled and it has a mobster theme “Good Fella’s.”  BDN will bring you some photos from the event a bit later in this incredibly busy basketball weekend.  Don’t forget Duke is holding an open practice and autograph session tomorrow.  We have been buring the candles at both ends, thus a rushed article, but we’ll pick back up with some serious coverage once the dust clears on a huge Duke Basketball weekend.