Tag Archives: Duke Cheerleaders

BDN Monday Musings – Upset loss, Duke-UNC Women and Men, Crazies, Cheerleaders and Quinn Cook

 

Duke cheerleaders returned for a reunion yesterday.

No more Super Bowl day games for Duke, I say!  The Blue Devils fell in overtime to Miami for their second ACC loss of the season in Cameron Indoor Stadium and their third straight loss on Super Bowl Sunday. They must now pick up the pieces for the coming media blitz and hype which is known at the Duke-Carolina game.  Monday Musings takes a look at a litle bit of everything today and with that let’s get the ball rolling.

In search of the right buttons

The Duke Men’s staff has tried to shake up the lineup and they’ve tried to figure out ways to get to this years team to play together and smart.  Early in the season it worked for Duke holds nice wins over Kansas and Michigan and Michigan State, but since that time the team has struggled a bit and of all places at home.  The reason I say, a bit, is because they could have easily won their games against Miami and Florida State with a couple of made shots or execution.  The frustration on Coach Krzyzewski’s face was evident yesterday and he is trying to figure out a way to get his team to play a full 40-45 minutes of what is known as “Duke Basketball,” and their year in and out lofty expectations.  Just when you thought the team had reached deep and turned a corner, they fell back into some bad habits.  I hate to say this, but this years team seems a bit soft at times and there were some loose balls and rebounds missed that could have turned the tide in their two ACC lossesYou see, Krzyzewski wants all his teams to win the regular season, but yesterday, those hopes took a major hit and it is not acceptable by his standards.

Growing pains for freshman

Quinn Cook came off the bench to spark Duke in a big way yesterday, but at games end he throws up an inexplicable wild runner with the outcome on the line and nobody in position to board late in the game.  It was a critical mistake and one of several which changed the games outcome.  But before you give up on Cook, realize that he now has an assist to turnover ratio of 3.33 to 1 which is the best of any freshman ever at Duke.  And just ask the assistants on the bench or go back and look at tape on any of the former PG’s in their freshman years and they all had growing pains or a lapse when the game was on the line.  And the good news is the rest of the aforementioned or former freshman I alluded to all learned and helped Duke to many victories.

Duke gets all the calls … yeah, right

You will never see the staff blame the refs for a loss, nor me for that matter.  But those who think Duke gets all the calls haven’t been paying attention of late.  It’s funny how Karl Hess is well known by the Crazies and the Blue Devils record is, well, just look it up under him.  But the real crime is with the game on the line, none of the three refs were seemingly paying attention to the Duke head coach who was doing everything he could to call a timeout.  In my experience, a ref is almost always near the bench in those instances or at least aware the game is on the line and paying attention.  That in no way caused the loss, but it sure makes one wonder of yet another what if.

The elephant in the room for me was …

The Cameron Crazies have been in the news more than I care to see this season and for good or maybe I should say, bad reasons.  There have been so many articles on this of late that I can honestly tell you I read maybe one.  But there is a problem and it is a huge one and the university itself needs to figure out a way to resolve this before the bottom tier of the stadium is dominated by average fans.  The turnout yesterday was deplorable at best and I heard many reasons from the CC’s which sit behind me.  For the record the Crazies who come on a regular basis are great and I mean that, but what on earth is happening to where students will not come to a Duke game when it is free?  I could put together a book on how they just aren’t the same anymore but that just seems a waste of time when the season is in full swing.  Maybe it’s time the scrap everything and start fresh, I don’t know, nor can I personally do more than complain that I miss the atmosphere that has made the stadium so famous through the years.  Seriously, former Crazies never used the same chant for a player in a game more than once and there was a brain trust who came up with some outrageously witty and fun cheers.  Coach stopped short of saying the Crazies had anything to do with the loss when asked by media members seeking yet more ammunition for articles.  He instead blamed his team for the loss and he was right, but he did mention atmosphere and if you have been around as long as I have, you easily read between the lines of what was said. 

Everything was off

The air was ripe for an upset in so many ways.  On message boards fans wanted to fast forward to the UNC game this Wednesday evening and overlooked Miami, a team projected #5 in the ACC this season.  Then the team looked flat and almost sleep walked through the first half and in the process dug a hole too deep to climb out of.  And then the aforementioned worst turnout of the season by the Crazies which has caused a ton of negative media towards the program didn’t help.  But I can tell you this for a fact, Duke did not overlook Miami and they were not looking ahead to the UNC game.  Nope, it was just one of those foul, unusual days where all alligned in a not so good way.

UNC at Duke Women

Before the men’s team play this week, the women get it going this evening in Cameron Indoor Stadium.  This is always a spirited and entertaining affair and tickets are cheap, so tuen out and cheer on the Blue Devils as they try to maintain their hold on first place in the ACC.

And the hype begins

There is no doubt that yesterdays upset loss to Miami tarnished the upcoming Duke at UNC game a bit for you always want to come off a win.  But the hype begins today with a Coach K press conference and players talking about the game and BDN will be there and remain for the Duke vs UNC women’s game, so stay tuned for a lot of coverage all the way through the game.

It’s the end of the world as we know it, but not really

As usual, any Duke loss this season is met with the Chicken Little effect from many fans and it is the end of the world as we know it, but nothing is fine.  Okay, that was a  bad play on an old song.  Duke is a few plays away from being 21-2 and there is plenty of balling left.  There are some red flags for sure, but this Duke team has 19 wins against a difficult schedule.  Some Duke fans need to suck it up, just like our team will do.  Support your Blue Devils when they need it most.  Duke was down 16 points yesterday and staged a comeback which fell short.  Krzyzewski will find a way to get his kids to play together  and  with a collective heart and make a run when it counts in March and the lessons learned will help along the way.  Remember, this team lost Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler and Kyrie Irving and they are young at many key positions.

 

 

Monday Musings – Lot’s of Duke Basketball chatter

photo- Lance King for BDN

As Duke took a 15 point lead over Michigan in yesterday’s game, the song “California Dreaming,” started to play in my head, but a furious Wolverine comeback almost burst that dream bubble and that’s what it is all about.  It takes but one made shot to send your dreams packing and nightmares to begin, but Duke survived and advanced and this is how you do in the NCAA’s.  In this weeks Monday Musings, late afternoon column, we’ll take a look back and ahead with happenings surrounding Duke Basketball.

Sometimes, you have to make your own emotion

For the first thirty minutes of the game I kept thinking to myself on press row, how flat the crowd was in Charlotte.  Across the way, the only person I could make out standing up in the Iron Duke section was Debbie K, Coach K’s daughter.  A few moments later with the team looking flat, Coach Krzyzewski slapped the court with his hand, jacket peeled off, arms in the air exhorting fans as he walked out to meet his team, emotion clearly implanted on his face.  It’s not the first time he’s had to do this for as fans we get a little fat and happy.  Regardless, without that emotion Duke would have never vaulted to a substantial lead, one which they had to hang onto for dear life to advance.

900 wins, 1,2,3, 4 …………….. 896 more

Wow!  Coach K now has 900 wins!  Amazing feat indeed and it deserves even more attention than it is getting but make no mistake, Coach will reflect on this after the season.  For now, he wants nothing more than this team to win, not for him, but for them and the fan base.  With so much going on, BDN hasn’t even been able to write much about the accomplishment but we want to address that after four more victories if you know what I mean, wink, wink.  We do however salute him with the count box on our main page which will soon contain a link to his vast accomplishments.

 
 
 
 

LK Image for BDN

The return of Kyrie Irving

Let me tell you first hand that it was quite the circus surrounding Kyrie Irving this past weekend.  Never have I seen so many cameras on a kid during NCAA events.  Irving is clearly coming along fast at this point and he will see even more minutes against Arizona and may even start.  We have several video interviews up with Irving, so check them out.  You could see flashes of Irving getting back to where he was but there is a ways to go yet with concern to his   Still, Duke may not have advanced had it not been for his second half play.  His one steal was a key one and the only one the Blue Devils made all day and that runner was the difference in the end.

… but Rollin’ Nolan is the backbone

Make no mistake, Nolan Smith is the leader of this season’s team and his skills have allowed Duke to get as far as they have to date.  Nolan put the team on his back, scoring 10 straight points against Michigan yesterday and without him Duke would be staying in Durham until graduation.  Smith has been flat out hard to stop and when he gets on the same page with Irving … watch out!  He is the most dependable player on the team and his consistency has been amazing.  Give him a good look the rest of the way Duke fans, because he’s having one of the best seasons of any player in the Blue Devils illustrious history.

Kyle Singler, he’s not that good

Relax!  I didn’t  say it, an astute well thought of sports writer beside me on press row did.   Look, Kyle had some misses yesterday that make you want to hide until the next play and it is funny how some only seem to recognize an air ball.  That was the case with the writer beside me.  I then pointed out that Kyle had 7 rebounds and led the team with assists with 4 with about 17 minutes left in the game.  It amazes me how people fail to see what he does off ball and how good a defensive player he is.  Singler is a flat out winner who could care less about his stat line.  You better get a good look this week at #12 Duke fans, for you will not realize how much you miss an eternal starter until he is gone.

Jet lag and adjusting

Duke will leave tomorrow afternoon for California in order to adjust to a three hour time difference.  It will be quite an adjustment for the Devils and could point to a slow start.  Arizona is much more familiar with the turf, having a lot of players from Cali on their roster mixed with some street tough New Yorkers.  Anaheim is a nice family oriented place so it shouldn’t be too many crazed fans and for the first time, Duke is away from the baby blue bunch that is booing them heartily at every turn.

Speaking of the lunatic fringe fans …

Okay, there are a lot of Carolina fans, so that means more fools in their fan base and all schools have them.  But I just cannot understand the make up of hate some of them seem to have.  F&%$ Duke shirts are a bit over the top and you never see Duke fans, no matter how redneck they may be in similar garb.  There were fans there whose soul purpose was to spew hate when Duke took to the court, spittle flying out of their mouths, faces red with last nights beverages.  One got escorted away and even more rational Tar Heels fans actually clapped.  One couple held up an anti Duke sign saying I hate  Dooke?  Any Tar Heel hating fan knows its Dook.  On to a public restaurant where four Heels fans were asked to leave or take off their F&%# Duke shirts.  Not the kind of thing one would wear in public unless of course they are part of the lunatic fringe.  The hate really is disturbing at times.

Get well soon to one of our cheerleaders!

One of our own suffered an injury yesterday, cheerleader Hattie Cutcliffe.  BDN loves the support group behind the Blue Devils and we wish her a speedy recovery.  She’s the one that turns like 164 flips in Cameron, being the best at that!  No details on the injury but we have our sources working on it;)

We love what we do!

Just wanted to take a moment to say thanks for all the fans who support and make up the Blue Devil Nation!  We love what we do around here and will continue to bring you passionate yet professional coverage of all things Duke Athletics.  We will be working on some changes soon which are sure to please and our AAU Basketball coverage will begin soon.  You can support our efforts and ability to bring you up close and personal with the teams by joining Blue Devil Nation Premium, our subscription service.  It is our members which help keep the site going and that give us the ability to offer so much on the free side of the site, much of which other sites charge for.

In closing, a little  story for you

After the media scramble where I interviewed players in the Duke locker room, I ventured back to my computer which was court side.  Most of the media had left for the media room but I remained with maybe five others due to a faster Internet connection.  It must have been maybe an hour after the game ended when I  looked up from my work.  Walking towards the court with his head hanging was a player in a Michigan warm up.  As he strolled out on to the court area, I could see tears in his eyes.  He walked onto the court and then started from just inside the free throw line and walked through and took a shot with and imaginary ball and repeated this two more  times.  You could see his mind working and he was doing all he could to fight back more tears.  He then strolled silently off the court and walked to the top of the arena where he stood and reflected one more time before turning and walking off until he faded from sight.  It was Darius Morris who missed the shot at the buzzer.  Folks, this is what it is all about!  And this is why you need to relish every single victory and understand it is not your birthright as a fan to see Duke win every game.  Each win is sweet and it should be cherished for there are players on the losing team who showed as much heart despite the loss.  Keep your head up Darius for you guys played a helluva game.

 

Monday Musings – ACC Champs, NCAA, whipping the Tar Heels

BDN's Cheerleader of the week goes plural! The champs behind the champs! BDN Photo by Rick Crank

Duke won its third consecutive ACC Tournament Championship yesterday afternoon, but this one was sweeter than the previous two for they beat their arch rival North Carolina.  BDN takes a look back at the 75-58 win and a look forward to Charlotte this weekend in the return of Monday Musings.

Greensboro is the Blue Devils home away from home

Yes, I know that I called Greensboro Coliseum the Dean Dome West in tweets this weekend, but in reality, Greensboro has been good to the Blue Devils.  There is a distinct comfort zone for Krzyzewski and his troops when they play in the ‘Boro and the evidence is that they have won three straight titles there.  Despite a large North Carolina fan base, the Duke fans were quite loud and supportive, and I must say I came away impressed.  Of course, Duke led from the outset and they never trailed in the game and that took the light blue colored bunch out of the game in that they had little to cheer about.

Hit them square in the mouth

Duke took the fight to the Tar Heels from the opening buzzer, rolling out to a 8-0 lead and they never looked back.  This seemed to stun many in the audience but not so much me for this team is always focused when it comes to championship games.  You could almost see the worry in the Heels eyes as Duke came to play down low, where Mason and Miles Plumlee, teamed with Ryan Kelly for some very effective minutes.  There was no let down in this game for Duke who showed how important it is to have senior leadership this time of year.

Happy! Photo Rick Crank for BDN

Ministers of Defense

Duke held the vaunted North Carolina offense to 58 points and a mere 33.9% shooting from the field, not to mention causing 16 turnovers, many of those coming in the first half.  But it was Nolan Smith’s ability to take Kendall Marshall out of the game that stood out… or was it Kyle Singler’s defense on Harrison Barnes?  Barnes was coming off a 40 point effort and he looked the part of a first team All American in the second half of the season.  Barnes scored 16 points, but it was clear he was frustrated and many of his points came when Singler was not covering him.  Marshall didn’t sneak up on Duke like he did in Durham and he looked like a deer in headlights at times when the ACC Player of the Year shadowed his every move.   Marshall ended the game with 8 points and 4 assists, but his 5 turnovers stood out as well.

A Kyrie Irving Tease

As you know by now, Kyrie Irving warmed up with the Blue Devils before the UNC game and that set off a frenzy of speculation.  BDN conducted a video interview directly with Irving to get more information.  Our take is that Irving loves being on this team and he really wants to play, but he still needs to get in basketball shape and he admited that.  On the other hand, he said there was little risk in aggravating the same injured toe.  I feel he will get some spot minutes this weekend in order to re-acclimate him to the game. But Duke will be careful in keeping their chemistry in tact and handle him in a most careful manner.

copyright, Rick Crank and BDN

More Tar Heels!  Duke can’t get away from them

Once again, UNC and Duke will be in the same venue when the NCAA regionals kick off this weekend.  And again, that means that a lot of fans will be pulling against Duke in their home state.  Tickets to Charlotte will be at a premium for the most part, but there still may be time to buy tickets directly from the venue, so check it out quickly. Come to Charlotte and support the Blue Devils!

Duke seeded #1 in the West

Duke got the number one seed and in the process, will get stuck in Anaheim where there is not a large Duke alumni base.  Maybe I should say I may be stuck there.  Don’t get me wrong, I have been to and like Anaheim, California a lot, but it is brutal on BDN from a financial standpoint and travel time where you must adjust to another time zone.  And Texas a number four seed?  Are you kidding me?  Should Duke get out of Charlotte, the best four seed in the tournament will await them in the Sweet 16 game.

Team play essential

Duke needs continued contributions from what many refer to as role players.  Personally, I do not like that terminology and feel that the Blue Devils need everybody to show up each game.  The play of Andre Dawkins and Miles Plumlee was a shot in the arm for Duke in Greensboro and the coaches will look to continue to find ways to keep them involved.

"Get out of the way, I'm rollin!" Rick Crank for BDN

A word on Duke cutting down the nets

BDN has been underneath the basket during a lot of net trimming in the past couple of years.  While the ACC was obviously sweet, you could teel the Blue Devils had been there before.  A week before, UNC fans rushed the court in glee when the Tar Heels won the regular season, but their reaction was a tad somber when the scissors came out on Sunday.  It was clear that the Blue Devils loved the nets they were cutting but that it was not the ones they covet.  There was a focus, like this is nice, but we haven’t done anything yet.  Duke expected to win, they did and they want more.  Duke fans are all glows this morning, sporting their colors while trying to figure out where a certain shade of blue suddenly disappeared to.  In the end, Duke found itself in its rightful place, the ACC’s representative and the ACC Champions!

Join BDN as we continue to bring you the best coverage available during the NCAA title quest.  And check back today for we have a lot of videos on the cutting room floor to post as well as a sure to please photo gallery from yesterday’s game.  And you can support our efforts by joing Blue Devil Nation Premium for full site access.  Help us to continue to bring you our brand of coverage.  Go Duke!

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.