Tag Archives: DeAndre Daniels

In Depth Duke Basketball Team and Recruiting Update

Duke will face a lot of key questions this off season and we bring you the skinny on several key issues - BDN Photo by Lance King

The Duke Blue Devils will head to China this summer and BDN Premium has some details of interest for our members.  We also take a look at the latest on the basketball recruiting front, and we break down several key issues and questions the team will face in the coming months in our latest team and recruiting update.

The season just ended but it won’t be long before a bevy of freshman prospects become true Blue Devils.  Duke will have all of the freshmen come in early in order to get acclimated with campus life.  While the [private] times may vary for each player, Marshall Plumlee, Alex Murphy, Austin Rivers, Michael Gbinije, Quin Cook and maybe another young man will all be on campus no later than mid-June.

Getting on campus early has always been a good thing for kids in order to play pick up ball and participate in local events like the NC Pro Am at N.C. Central University.  This year however, will carry extra off season significance in that the men’s team will be heading to China and Dubai where they are expected to play either four or five games.

Talk about timely!  Coach Krzyzewski and his staff saw this season coming and planned this long before any of us could have possibly realized the positive ramifications it would have  on a young, reloading team.  You see, Duke will be able to hold ten full throttle practices at their discretion before the trip takes place.  With 13-14 players expected at those sessions, Duke will have a jump on the process of  building team chemistry.

And there are many off season questions to be answered.  One we’ve brought up before is, who will run the PG position for the 2011-12 team? Quin Cook has all the tools but must adjust to the system and blend with the core returnees.  Tyler Thornton is tough as nails, played against Cook on many occasions in high school and he will certainly not roll over and give the position up to the freshman.  Then there is the possibility of Seth Curry getting time at the point in that it would be his position at the next level.  That would also allow for more firepower and combinations on the court.  And don’t think for one second that Austin Rivers will not be handling the ball or have it in his hands during key moments on the offensive end.

Another key question is who will be the captain(s) of this team? This question has puzzled some in the off season for there is no one name that simply jumps out at you when pondering the roster.  Can Seth become more vocal?  Will a Plumlee take a lead role?  How about the outgoing Josh Hairston?  Many questions lay in wait and that is why the summer excursion will be so vital to next year’s team.  Few “rah-rah” guys are on the team but it is not unusual for Duke to have quiet leaders, just look back at Kyle Singler.  A name we think might surface is junior Ryan Kelly in that he is a low maintenance, hard working player who does what he is told, but we’ll see and it will be fun to watch it all shake out.  “There is no timetable in naming Captains. We want to see who steps up and accepts that role,” stated a source as close to the team as one gets.

Some other questions answered will be what kind of offense will the Duke staff settle on this season?  Will they press more?  Will they run their offense through three or more players?  Can Austin Rivers be the go to guy as a freshman?  Will Mason Plumlee have the breakout season everybody thinks he can?  Will the ball go into him more?  Will Duke get out and run?  Can Duke develop more than the usual 7 or 8 players for the rotation with a deep team?  Will Miles step up as the lone senior?  The questions are endless and each will take on a life of its own.

Another key issue that many on our board and others talk about is who will redshirt?  First of all, a poster on the board asked how many redshirts can a team have and the answer to that is as many as they want each season.  “There is no limit on # of redshirts you can have. The only limit is the 13 scholarships we are allowed to give. Right now, there is no definite plan to redshirt anyone.  We want all of our guys to come in competing for spots and those decisions would not need to be made until next fall before our 1st game,” a source told BDN.  That means there are no set plans to redshirt Marshall Plumlee or say Alex Murphy.  Duke will allow and expect players to compete at their highest level and then they’ll take a look at their roster, season needs and depth at various positions.  And be sure to pay attention to the last part of the quote which stated it will be later rather than sooner before we know of the Blue Devils definite plans.

I have already stated that Duke will have ten practices before games but that is just part of the good news for team development.  Once Duke hits the road their is no limit to the amount of practices they can have.  That’s right! Duke can work the heck out of the guys and that will bode well come the early season in that it gives the staff a good idea of what they have to work with.

While pondering the journey ahead, it dawned on me that this would likely limit the amount of players that would participate in the N.C. Pro Am, the summer event we cover from end to end at NCCU.  I asked about it and was told they were uncertain how many players would participate in the event but that their time would be cut shorter than in the past. In short, expect some Duke players to participate in some of the games but at this time no firm plans have been made one way or another.

Who will wear #0? I don’t know.  In fact, Duke doesn’t even know what numbers the freshmen will wear yet.  I can, however, tell you that the numbers will be assigned before Duke heads to China.

Rasheed Sulaimon agreed to do a diary on the coming AAU and high school season for BDN.  He is working on his first entry.

What is up with DeAndre Daniels? All I can say is that the process of dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s is taking place.  Daniels has in no way cooled on Duke, but he is taking his time and the staff is okay with that.  Several teams have turned up the heat of late, so there is fierce competition, but until I hear otherwise, I still feel Duke is right where they are supposed to be at this point in time.

What is up with recruiting in general? Not a lot of major changes since my last update on the subject.  The coaches cannot get out there again until the July period is over, meaning no open gyms, events and such.  But we can get out there and we will for you know you can count on BDN Premium to go to most of the major events, as well as covering the guys from a regional perspective. In fact, the irrepressible Andrew Slater is in the “D” known as Dallas for the Nike EYBL this weekend and you all know what that means!  In-depth interviews and superior board updates are Slater traits.  Quite often when one thinks of BDN, they come up with Watzone, a long time nickname I have had although I have never really gone by it.  I have been asked if it were italian, wat-zon-ne before but the best one was whether it was code for “what-zone.”  Anyhow, we have been introducing some new faces and we have plenty more to come but the staff will not zero in on those names until they can get out and see them in person.  Shabazz Muhammad and Tony Parker top the list still but others are being watched, evaluated and studied and we’ll let you know who the real prospects are and give you in person views.  Andrew and myself see the kids in person playing several games, mingle with sources and such.  Not to brag, but BDN has a pretty good one-two punch team not to mention tuned in posters and contributors. Add in our regional guys like Varand Kachadouri and others and you have the most unique premium site out there.

BDN Football Recruiting coverage needs more hype!  Those of you who follow football know just how good of a  job true Dukie Patrick Cacchio does with his tremendously informative Football Friday articles.  It hasn’t taken long for this site to set itself up as a true player in football recruiting and I will stack our dedication up there with anyone.  Spread the word that if you want to be a Duke Football Insider, this has fast become the place to be.

Changes and such. The season was overwhelming enough but then recruiting kicked in with little or no break.  I have mentioned that a few folks have inquired about bringing BDN in under their flag but as of now we have chosen to remain the best independent site out there.  Talks are ongoing but slow for we care about how content is presented and want to make sure if we ever join a group it is for the right reasons and it shares in our vision of bringing about the most intense, home-centric fan experience one can have.  I would also like to address site changes which are still in the works.  Our staff has had a hard time getting together on this due to unexpected events.  Susan Rego who holds the ship together will be headed for a long three week vacation in the coming days but once she is back and settled in, we will be tweaking the site and finally bringing you the database for prospects we’ve long promised.  I can assure you that a lot of thought has and will go into positive changes, making the site not just better but more user-friendly.  I am open to suggestions and you can e-mail me any thoughts concerning the site at watzonebdp@gmail.com.  Look for one change in the next week or so if all goes as planned where we have partnered with Duke Athletics.

Lastly, thanks for being a member of BDN Premium.  I feel BDN is bringing you the perfect balance of youth and wisdom these days.  Both Andrew and Patrick are in the under 30 club and they are true go-getters.  I bring experience from being around the program even before Coach K came in.  We have all forged genuine relations with top notch sources to bring you accurate, straightforward information you can bank on.  The site is steady as ever and the future is promising and we are glad you are a part of it.  Keep in mind that any member who refers new members of one year still gets their choice of Duke memorabilia or extended time on their membership.  We will clarify the program when changes come about.   Thanks for reading and Go Duke!

Note – I am sorry to address this but must …  Copy and pasting or sharing this article in any form without prior consent is a breach of the user agreement.  BDN reserves the right to ban any member who openly and willingly breaks rules set forth without refund as stated in the user agreement.  This is not a widespread problem, but we have had trouble with discussion on our private message board being  shared in other forums and articles in their entirety.  And a warning for those certain few with an ax to grind or some who may have been banned from BDN, we take slanderous statements seriously around here.   That kind of behavior is clearly a breach of the agreement you check when joining the site.  We ask that you please abide by the rules agreed upon.  In closing, we in no way advocate getting in board wars with members of other sites.  Please bear in mind that actions of our members reflect on the site as a whole and there will be no further discussion of other sites on our message board in a negative way.  We are taking the high road here and hope others follow. [/private]

Desmond Scott leads an improved Blue Devil running game

Football Friday: the calm before the storm

Happy Friday, Blue Devil fans! It’s been another tough week here at Blue Devil Nation, with the NCAA tournament wrapping up and early entrant season in full swing. Keep the faith, fellow Duke fans, there are bright days ahead. Is it football season yet? Not quite. But Football Friday is here to help you indulge your weekly football craving, and we’ve got big things coming up. [private]

 

April 15

We’ve got a big day coming up, Blue Devil Nation! Next Friday will be the last opportunity for most of us to celebrate the outstanding careers of two legendary Blue Devils. The men’s basketball banquet is always a special occasion, but this year, will take on special meaning for many, as we say goodbye to seniors Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith for the final time. It’s been a privilege to watch their careers and it should be another memorable night in Cameron, with a special visitor expected as well. And don’t forget to check out BDN’s Boo Williams coverage!

If that’s not enough for you, April 15 is a significant day for Duke football as well. For most of the spring, recruiting has been in a quiet period, meaning that the staff is unable to go out and visit prospects. That’s not to say recruiting hasn’t been in full swing, as the staff have hosted hundreds of prospects and their families on campus. From April 15 through May 31, you can bet the staff will be hitting the recruiting trail hard as they put together the class of 2012.

 

Speaking of recruiting

Duke hosted a group of prospects last weekend on campus, and among them was athlete Kedrick Davis from Charlotte. The trip was well worth the visit for Davis, as he picked up his first verbal scholarship offer from the Blue Devils, who are recruiting Davis as a receiver. Davis has been on campus for several visits already and it seems likely that Duke will remain a big player in his recruitment. A few other offers may be in the works, and we’ll keep you up to date with the latest from the staff and the prospects themselves.

As other prospects continue to come off the board, either through commitments or lack of mutual interest, several more scholarship offers will be extended over the coming weeks. Duke is working hard to land a defensive back or two this spring and has been after several elite offensive and defensive linemen. At running back, Duke did not make the top 12 for Raleigh’s Keith Marshall, the top running back in the class of 2012, but remain in consideration for Tarboro’s Todd Gurley and a few other backs. As we’ve mentioned previously, recruiting (and commitments) are most likely to peak this summer, as Duke will host several camps and written offers will go out August 1.

 

Class of 2011

Blue Devil fans already got to see LB Jonathan Woodruff in the spring game, but he’ll soon be joined by several of his classmates on campus. It’s hard to believe the spring semester is starting to wrap up, and the first freshmen will report to campus on May 15, just over a month away. The new Blue Devils are excited to get on campus and get to work. This is a stronger class than many people think, and they are coming to Duke with the expectation to play in bowl games and win ACC championships.

 

More 2011 previews to come

We will continue to bring the best recruiting coverage around, but we’ll also start to transition into 2011 mode with some position previews and a look around the ACC. With all of the new faces on the sidelines and under center, there’s been a lot of activity in the ACC this spring and we’ll take a look at some of the headlines as spring practices start to wrap up.

 

Short and sweet

I’ve kept this week’s Football Friday relatively short, as we’re really in the calm before the storm. With spring practice now behind us and the contact period in front of us, it’s been a good time to recharge our batteries and prepare for the summer recruiting rush, which will carry us right into the 2011 season. Speaking of the 2011 season, don’t forget to get your season tickets on GoDuke.com. After retooling in 2010, the Blue Devils are ready to take a step forward in 2011. We’d love to see you all out in Wallace Wade this fall, chanting WE ARE DUKE.

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Is it football season yet?

BDN’s Monday Musings – AAU ballin, hoops talk, tidbits, rants and musings

Firstly, I hope everybody is having a great Monday.  I have been missing in action of late for various reasons, but I am back for another edition of Monday Musings.  As the weather warms, one might think basketball takes a break but that simply isn’t the case.  BDN Premium kicks off its AAU Basketball coverage this week where we’ll report from the Nike EYBL Boo Williams Invitational in Hampton, Virginia.  As many of you already know, we have refined our coverage and set the pace in years past and this one should be no different.

I know some are hanging on to hope Kyrie Irving will return and I of course hope he does, but the harsh truth is that he would be a really high selection, top five for sure.  There will be several issues to consider for the Irving family including the possible lock out.  And just how many kids will enter their name for good this season?  This may or may not be a weak draft depending on said decisions.  Irving may actually be more marketable by returning to Duke with concerns to endorsements for playing in just a few games lowered his visibility.  The Irving family will likely have some news before the week is out.  Question is this … does Kyrie want to be stuck in Cleveland or in Minnesota?

Duke is very much involved with DeAndre Daniels, a 6-7 forward with length that could be the final member of the class of 2011.  Word is he may visit the Duke Men’s Basketball Banquet on April 15th but nothing is etched in stone just yet.  Regardless, the Blue Devils will get a visit and soon and his addition would be quite the pick up for Coach Mike Krzyzewski.  For more on Daniels check out the members only BDN Premium message board.

As you know, BDN follows the team throughout the season, covering them in person to bring you as close to the action as possible.  We followed the team to Anaheim, California but this season the Devils fell short.  The loss was a tough one for the faithful but it should be noted that 32 wins and an ACC Championship is something other fan bases would die for.  It was a good season that ended a bit too soon, but still one where you can hang your head high.

Well, I held in the emotion after last weeks loss to Arizona, until …  After the game, the last thing I wanted to do was interview the players as you could see by our cut backed versions.  For some reason the next morning, I felt unusually compelled to go down to the vast hotel lobby of the Hyatt Regency in Orange County around 8:00 A.M. pacific time.  Sure enough once off the elevator, there was Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler and Josh Hairston dragging their wears behind them on the way to the bus.  I wished Nolan well and gravitated towards the corner of the doors leading to the three buses but stayed to the far end.  I watched as Nolan and Kyle loaded their gear one last time and entered the bus , knowing it was the last time I would see this, while simultaneously thinking of what the two seniors had done for Duke including last seasons glorious national title.  That is when I felt the tears well up.  I turned fighting them off as the rest of the team and assistants came by, getting a nod from them while again, staying out of their way.  But it was when Mike Krzyzewski, the last one to come down the long corridor  that truly choked me up.  The man had his chest held high, completely composed as he always is in public, showing that he was indeed the strong leader of the bunch.  Coach K made his way over, walking out of his way and acknowledged my presence and that always means a lot to me.  He did the same with about three or four other people in what was a literal handful of well wishers before boarding the bus headed to LAX.  I suppose I realized how much I loved what the team had done and their collective character at that time and his handshake kept me from holding in the emotion as a couple of crocodile tears streamed before I caught my composure.  Hey, I was crying like a baby on the inside.  As the buses pulled away I thought how awesome it was to have been on the journey with them from start to finish.

When you are on press row, one must remain professional at all times, not wear team colors and not cheer.  There is very little monkey business during the team beat run unlike the AAU and or recruiting season and there is  a world of difference in the two.  Everybody can seemingly get credentialed to AAU events and fan boys are a dime a dozen.  The problem is that it has become unprofessional beyond a few.  Back stabbing, posturing, rumor mongering, petty jealousy and outrageous accusations not to mention boorish self serving behavior is the bad part of it and it is more prevalent than one might think.  I recently spoke with some long time legends of the business about the climate and all three agreed that most recruiting media are clueless to traditional media protocol and some are quick to act like twelve year olds.  I can assure you that the staff at BDN will mind their own business and we can only hope others do the same, keeping their pride and ego’s in check.  It’d be nice to see some tend to their own house this year.

Had one told me Butler would return to the National Championship game again this season, it would have been a tough sell to get me to remotely consider the possibility.  Well, here we are with one of the nations hottest teams in Connecticut taking on what will essentially be America’s Team in the Bulldogs.  I will be rooting for the four year guys, that’s for sure.

In case you missed it  former Duke star Thomas Hill in alongside Grant Hill and Chris Carrawell to counter Jalen Rose’s outlandish accusations.  Meanwhile, Rose responded by getting a DUI.  Try telling the street wise CWell that growing up in the St. Louis hood paved his lily like path and he’ll tell you different.  One thing is certain, Duke haters are a dime a dozen these days but their hatred is a personal issue and are rarely if ever based in actual facts.

Football recruiting is heating up and premium members have been reading Patrick Cacchio’s weekly football column each Friday.  There you will go behind the scenes with all things Duke Football.  We’re just getting started with our converge, so stay tuned all summer long leading to the opening game with Richmond.

 

 

Duke Prospects and Commitments Viewing Guide

Quinn Cook, copyright BDN Photo

BDN’s Andrew Slater breaks down Duke Hoops commitments and prospects you can view over the next few days.  For more analogies on future Blue Devils future players and their key targets, join BDN Premium for full site access as we prepare for the upcoming AAU Basketball season.

3/31

ESPNU:

Austin Rivers and Winter Park take on  Boys & Girls at 6 EST

Quinn Cook and Oak Hill take on United Faith of North Carolina at 8 EST

 

4/1

ESPN2:

National High School Invitational Semi-final between the winners of the aforementioned games at 5:30

 

4/3

At the inaugural Next All-American Classic in Chicago, DeAndre Daniels will be playing on CBS College Sports at 3 PM EST.

 

At the inaugural All-American Championship in Houston,

Tony Parker and Robert Carter will be playing for the South team (Coached by I$aac Pitts of QEA) at 9 EST on ESPNU.

Alex Murphy and Mike Gbinije (Coached by Jason Smith of Brewster Academy) will be playing for the East team against Rasheed Sulaimon and Shabazz Muhammad for the West (Coached by Greg Wise of Yates) at 10:30 EST on ESPNU.