In this weeks Monday Musings, I ramble a bit about the history Duke Basketball in the NBA Draft. We also touch on recruiting and upcoming events and salute the LAX and golf teams for their success and advancement.
The Cleveland Cavaliers won the coveted number one pick in the upcoming NBA Draft last week and that means it is almost a foregone conclusion that Kyrie Irving will be their pick. Many might think that he will be the Blue Devils first overall number one pick in draft history but may I remind you that Elton Brand went to the Chicago Bulls in 1999 as the top pick.
Two other Blue Devils were the second overall pick, that being Jay Williams with the same Bulls team in 2002. Danny Ferry was selected by the Los Angeles Clippers in the second spot in 1989 and he elected to go overseas before landing in Cleveland not only as a player but the eventual General Manager of the club in the LeBron James era.
Speaking of the Cavaliers, they drafted two other Krzyzewski era Blue Devils as well. Trajon Langdon was their 11th pick in the 1st round in 1999 and Carlos Boozer was a 2nd round steal in 2002.
When folks think the Chicago Bulls organization, Micheal Jordon comes to mind and that has made it hard for some Duke fans to root for the team. Despite going down a game in their series with Miami, the Bulls seem to be a team of the future. Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng are two current Blue Devils playing major minutes for said Bulls and I must admit that I am pulling for, dare I say this, da Bulls. And no, Deng was not drafted by the Bulls, for it was the Phoenix Suns who plucked him with the 7th overall pick in 2004.
Among active coaches, Mike Krzyzewski leads the pack with 21 1st round draft picks, followed by the guy down the road, Roy Williams who has had 17 at Kansas and North Carolina. When Irving is selected in the draft , Duke will lead Williams 16-15 and gain sole possession of the most NBA lottery picks for a school.
If Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler go in the first round in this years draft, Duke will have had 24 1st round picks since 1985. A total of 53 Duke players have been on NBA rosters over the legues history. Former Duke great Dick Groat/ started it all off as the 3rd overall pick by Fort Wayne in 1952. The last Blue Devil drafted was Gerald Henderson by the Charlotte Bobcat’s in 2009.
The last Blue Devil to make an NBA roster was the undrafted Brian Zoubek who is with the New Jersey Nets organization. Gene “Tinkerbell” Banks and Kenny Dennard going 28th and 78th in the 1981 draft were the first Blue Devils selected in the Krzyzewski era, however, he coached them but one year, that being his first season at Duke. The first two Duke players drafted that played four season under Krzyzewski at Duke were Johnny Dawkins and Mark Alarie, two 1st round picks in the 1986 draft. ESPN announcer Jay Bilas also went 108th that same season.
On the recruiting front, Perry Ellis name became hot over the weekend. Duke has opened a door with the prospect most felt was a strong Kansas lean through new assistant coach Jeff Capel. But the Dukies have a lot of catching up to do before this one becomes interesting.
The basketball recruiting trail starts back up this coming weekend with a local event the Tournament of Champions. This has been a great event in the past but new NCAA rules do not allow games to be played on college campuses. That means a logistical nightmare in that the games will be held at various high school gyms in the Triangle area.
We’ll be there to bring you coverage on Duke targets for Blue Devil Nation Premium, our extended coverage subscription service which keeps you in the know on all things Duke. BDN Premium will also have our west coast correspondent, Varand Khachadouri covering the Nike EYBL event in Los Angeles, so if you love in depth Duke focused recruiting coverage, join now and see how we roll during grass roots balling.
And you can also look forward to hearing from soon to be Blue Devil hoopsters Alex Murphy later today, followed by Quinn Cook tomorrow. Both kids will arrive on campus the first of July and they tell us what they are most looking forward to and more in two of our latest interviews. Last week alone, BDN Premium brought you four major prospect interviews through our exceedingly well versed recruiting aficionado, Andrew Slater and this week, there will be more.
The Duke Men’s LAX team defeated Notre Dame 7-5 to once again advance to the Final 4. The Blue Devils sophomore goaltender Dan Wigrizermade 14 saves on goal helping Duke get past the Irish who they defeated for the national title a season ago. Duke (14-5) will play unseeded Maryland on May 28 at M&T Bank Stadium at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2. Here is a recap from GoDuke.com. Meanwhile, the Men’s Golf team won the Eastern Regional as well and that was their first ever regional final title. And the Duke female LAX team rocked #4Florida and they too, advanced in the NCAA tournament.