Tag Archives: Duke National Champions

Coach K addressed the giddy crowd during Duke’s Award Banquet

Coach K took out his NCAA stool to sit on while he addressed Duke fans during the Awards Banquet where Duke raised their 2010 National Championship banner to the ceiling. copyright BDN Photo

DURHAM – With the National Championship still fresh in the minds of Duke fans, BDN brings you some of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s comments from the Award Banquet.  So, enjoy -

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Monday Musings – Singler decision to come soon, reflecting on the championship

This Monday we feature three cheerleaders of the week.

If you  failed to see or missed the ratings, the Duke-Butler National Championship game was a huge hit for CBS.  It’s been a decade since any game has garnered the ratings of this seasons title game, yet we are to think all of the folks who tuned in are Duke haters?

The answer to the above question is of course not.  Much of the Duke hate spin has come from media types.  Even after the Blue Devils won the title, local and national media types were still making excuses and or trying to explain with flawed reasoning why and or how Duke won it all.  Do you think other schools would have faced such scrutiny?

Duke will continue their celebration fo their fourth National Championship on Thursday

Much of the national media has grabbed onto falsehoods past concerning the men’s basketball program.  As time passes some fans fall prey to this supposed hate train but, in reality, many fans around the country like Duke just fine.  Heck, even Sports Illustrated did some research on the issue in their commemorative magazine.  No matter who you were media wise, had you followed this team, you would have seen no sign of bad attitudes, pompous arrogance, entitlement or, well, the list is long as you well know.  In short, this team was more than a little likable.

Speaking of the Sports Illustrated Commemorative, it is well worth the time to buy it and read it.  I’m not quite as fond of the USA Today offering

How much would this stool bring on Ebay? BDN Photo

Yes, you could still hear some media .types whining after the game and I am talking about the national media room at Lucas Oil Arena.  Objectivity was is short order in some circles but that is to be expected.  One of those who constantly offers their opinion is a local radio host who ate enough crow this season to write a book on the subject of sticking ones foot in their mouth.  Has this person mellowed?  A little, but it is still painful to listen to one local loud mouth spout off opinions without an ounce of thought.

Everybody wants to know what Kyle Singler will do and I can’t tell you, for it looks like it is too close to call.  I can tell you that his answer could come before the ink dries on this article.  Should the Blue Devils lose Singler, they will have lost four starters and that will be a rebuilding job despite the talent on hand.  If he returns, Duke could well earn the nation’s top spot going into the season.  So yes, it is a big deal.

The Duke Men’s Basketball Banquet on Thursday offers fans one last chance to say goodbye to Jon Scheyer, Lance Thomas and Brian Zoubek.  Trust me, it will be one heck of a show.  Let’s hope the aforementioned Singler doesn’t join the beloved departing senior class.

The Blue Devil and yours truly from Indianapolis

I doubt you’ll see the men’s basketball program appear on the television show Myth Busters.  But let’s just scratch the surface for a moment if you will on what the episode would look like.  Duke plays their starters too much for an NCAA Tournament run.  Well, Duke rode the legs of their famished players to grab the Sears Cup.  Coach K stretched himself thin with Team USA and it has hurt Duke.  Uh, tell that to the recruits coming in.  Hey, Coach K!  Please stretch yourself thinner than ever this season.  Duke is too white, right?  Where did this one come from?  Duke is bringing in four athletes of color next season and just about everybody on the radar is of color, but look, Duke recruits kids not color.  Duke can’t develop big men.  Well, Wojo should be standing atop a chair waving about a towel that would make Crazy Towel Guy envious.  Me thinks that Brian Zoubek, Lance Thomas and the brothers Plumlee were collectively the bruise brothers.  We could go on, but what’s the use?  Media hate for Duke is alive and well despite a team of extreme character players who epitomized togetherness.

Recruiting?  It’s that time of year around here.  We will continue to cover the AAU and other tournaments this season.  Andrew Slater and myself will be joined on occasion by some interns to bring you the best coverage available for our growing list of members.  Patrick Cacchio and I will kick off our football recruiting coverage this week as well.  The bottom line is that being a member of Blue Devil Nation Premium is to be a part of all the latest happenings often before they happen.  Want to know who the next prospect to sign will be?  Do you want coverage that set the bar last season?  Would you like to participate in the most rational Duke related  members-only message board on the web?  Try us out, for we are certain that once you have, you’ll be with us for a long time.  At $100.00 per year, it’s like having a daily Duke fix for about a quarter a day.  And our members will be the first to tell you that this is the place to be for premium coverage.

Lastly, I would like to thank not only our members, but our followers for making the Blue Devil Nation such an awesome site.  We loved tweeting from every game in Cameron as well as from the NCAA Tournament.  We were there every step of the way in a magical season, for that is what we are about.  We are hands on at BDN, wanting to be your eyes and we know what you want to see.  We look forward to serving the Blue Devil Nation for a long time and we are constantly trying to make this site better.

Join BDN on twitter and Facebook for a complete fan experience.  Join BDN Premium for full site access and be in the know on all things Duke.

National Champion Duke Blue Devils honored by the City of Durham

Coach K and Durham Mayor Bell share a moment as Duke was honored by the City of Durham on Thursday. BDN Photo

DURHAM – The Duke Men’s Basketball team was honored by the city of Durham on the American Tobacco campus on Thursday.

Several Duke fans gathered in the converted former warehouses to honor their Duke Blue Devils for winning the 2010 National Championship.

Chants of “Let’s go Duke,” rang through a beautiful spring day in the City of Medicine as the band and cheerleaders helped get the crowd going.

Coach Krzyzewski led his troops out as Durham Mayor Bill Bell and other dignitaries gave homage to a team that Krzyzewski called the most together team he’d ever coached.

After Krzyzewski sang the praises of his team and Durham, seniors Jon Scheyer, Lance Thomas and Brian Zoubek spoke to the gathering of smiling faces, most all of them wearing royal “Duke” blue.

When junior Final Four Most Outstanding Player Kyle Singler was mentioned, chants of “One more year,” were heard.  Singler is undecided on whether he will enter the NBA Draft with the deadline fast approaching.  When asked by Mayor Bill Bell if he was ready to make an announcement to make, Singler smiled and declined.

Several signs will go up on Durham highways stating, “Home of the Duke University Blue Devils 2010 NCAA Men’s National Champions.”

Brian Zoubek has continued to have a tight hold on the National Championship Trophy. The crowd of Durham locals chanted, "Zoubs," as the senior held up some special hardware.

The Blue Devils then made their way over to the DAP home of the Durham Bull’s the defending AAA Champion who were playing their home opener.  Scheyer, Thomas and Zoubek all threw out pitches and the team was honored during the third inning.

In winning the title, Duke gave a gift to its fans that keeps on giving as time goes on. It’s clear that Blue Devil faithful are still basking in the glow of victory, each one on this day immersed in sunlight surrounded by Duke blue.

Just below you can hear the celebration in its entirety.  Coach K and the team speak at the sixteen minute mark for those who want just that.

Just press play – (see photos below, more to come on our Blue Devil Nation Facebook site)

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Even the local Duke pooch loves him some Blue Devil - BDN Photo
Duke's Kyle Singler and Lance Thomas share a light moment - BDN Photo
A fond farewell from Duke seniors Jon Scheyer and Lance Thomas - BDNP

Duke’s special senior class leaves lasting memories for the Blue Devil Nation

Duke Senior Jon Scheyer scored 2077 points in his Duke career faling one basket shy of Gene Bnks who stands at 8th place on the Duke All Time Scoring list. Scheyer hit one or more three point field goals in his last 33 games. His total of 144 games played ties Chris Duhon for 4th in history.

DURHAM – It’s almost as if the 2010 Duke senior class bloomed right along with spring.   As Duke celebrated their fourth national title this past Monday, three Duke seniors – Jon Scheyer, Lance Thomas and Brian Zoubek – blossomed in full glory.

Each senior basked in the lighted stage of victory, all of them smiling, all of them relieved and all of them standing in the end as national champions.  In fact, they were the only ones standing when past seasons brought about disappointing ends.

If you follow the Duke program closely you know that this core of seniors had nobody look up to in their freshman campaign.  Despite that, the group was seasoned in the Duke system and in their senior year they formed a special bond which led to some amazing team chemistry.

In short, this senior class is special in many ways and it is one that will always be cherished in that they made all proud to say “We are Duke!”  Not that many fans were not content, but that the taste of another title on an exhilarating tournament run was that little something which brings about fan base bliss.

When Jon Scheyer was asked to run the point this season there were many who doubted that he could get the job done, but it didn’t take long for them to realize he could.   That’s how talented Jon Scheyer is. He became the primary ball handler and survived the pressure of the one position that controls the game all season long.

That season ended, of course, in a national championship and his ability to switch from the off guard spot is one of the main reasons that Duke cut down the nets in Lucas Oil Stadium.  There is no doubt that the signs which  read, “Scheyer was on fire” in his senior season were spot on in so many ways.

The amazing thing about Scheyer was his selflessness.  At no time this season did he worry about individual records.  He fell just short of JJ Redick’s all time free throw percentage mark, inches from Wojo’s assist to turnover ratio mark, and a three pointer away from passing Gene Banks on the Duke all time lists.

With a ‘team first’ mentality, Scheyer sacrificed personal accolades for the big prize.  What Scheyer does is put his team first and he left fans with what they most covet that being a national championship and he himself now has a ring.  Despite the aforementioned three alums records, each of them would trade places with number 30.  With Duke’s stringent standards on raising numbers to the rafters, Scheyer’s will not appear there.  But if he were playing for the neighbor a few miles down the road, he would probably get four banners for his play.

Regardless of the fact that his name will not hang atop Cameron Indoor Stadium, Scheyer has embedded himself as one of the most popular players in Duke basketball history.  The Illinois native represented Duke in a class way while in Durham and there is a tremendous sadness when one realizes they’ll never see this kid in the royal blue again.

Here was a player who proved himself to be one of the best and, in the end, King of the Hill.  While he fell a few votes shy of ACC Player of the Year and came painfully close to first team All American, Jon did what it took for Duke to take home the big enchilada.

Make no mistake in that the Blue Devil Nation sheds a tear when they think of the exploits of Jon Scheyer.

Brian Zoubek Duke
This picture is kind of special to me in that getting to know Brian Zoubek this season enabled me to read his eyes. Brian Zoubek came up big for Duke down the stretch and his size and agressiveness helped Duke win a thriller over Bayler. What do his eyes tell me? That he came full circle through adversity and earned respect with his determined and aggresive play and that look at me now world, I'm a national champion and I was viatl to my teams success. ZOubek enjoyed the late season attention and he was the best interview down the stretch run. Zoubs you are and will be the man.

There was a time when one would have thought Brian Zoubek would come and go from Duke with little fanfare when the buzzer sounded for his last game.  Zoubek went through a litany of problems while at Duke, most of which are documented enough that there is no need of mention.

One doesn’t have to know Zoubek’s struggles to appreciate what will be remembered for a long time to come.  The nation was still sleeping when Zoubek started to don a beard and in the process his play took on a Sampson-like quality.

Here we are at the national championship game and a deep cheer “Zoubs,” rolls through Lucas Oil Stadium as the senior rips down his tenth rebound of the game.   And what a critical rebound it was, with seven seconds left on the clock and Duke clinging to a 60-59 lead.

Zoubek was fouled on the play and hit the first of two shots, the second bounding off the rim per instructions from the bench.  That miss was rebounded by Butler’s star player Gordon Hayward who slashed to mid court as a vicious pick was set on Kyle Singler allowing him to get an open look.

While the ball just barely bounced off the backboard and rim, Zoubek had run back towards the basket after raising a long arm in Haywards face.  Who is to know if that didn’t just alter Hayward’s shot enough to barely miss?

Either way, Zoubek came up big in the last minutes of this game and his play down the season stretch helped will the Blue Devils to a red hot 18-1 mark, finishing off a year to remember.  Zoubek came full circle after a career with ups and downs and he did that at just the right time for without his play the Blue Devils would not have been the last team standing.

Zoubek was quite simply a beast of a presence and watching his confidence grow and to have gotten to know him during this amazing stretch run is something that made a lifelong impression on  me.  Brian leaves Duke as one beloved Blue Devil and I think I speak for the entire Blue Devil Nation in saying, “thank you so much for the memories, Zoubs.”

There were a lot of good players in the NCAA Tournament but Duke's Lance Thomas was one aof a few last men standing. When the dust cleared Thomas had becoem part of a three man senior class that will long be remembered in the anals of Duke lors. The har working Jersey born bread and proud Thomas was a workhorse that did whatever was askled of him with full throttle energy and desire. LT is and will always be in the house.

Much like Zoubek, Lance Thomas would often be taken to task on message boards by armchair coaches over his career.  What they now recognize is that Thomas was the workhorse for this season’s Blue Devils team and he did not only what was asked of him, but more.

Some might still need to be told that Thomas really did the dirty work his whole career and that the fact he was starting for many years meant there were never better options.  Some things just don’t show up in the stat sheets.  You can’t measure hustle, nor is there a stat for the willingness to guard the other team’s best player, be it a guard or a power forward.

Thomas was Duke’s ‘Energizer Bunny’ and his chemistry with Zoubek allowed Krzyzewski to form a two and two rotation with the brothers Plumlee, providing Duke with front court depth unlike any season in their history.

Thomas got his hand in the face of many shooters in the Butler game and by hitting three of five shots in the game, he forced the Bulldogs to come out to guard him on the perimeter.  Thomas was invaluable to Duke this season after losing Gerald Henderson to the NBA and Elliot Williams to Memphis.  Thomas rose to the occasion and played his role to perfection to fill the gaps and, as a result, he has some new bling on his finger to show off to his beloved New Jersey homies.

Having followed Thomas and the Duke beat all season long, I can tell you firsthand that Thomas was one of the most focused and hardest working young men I’ve been around.  Here is a youngster who would never say quit, one who would get knocked down and get back up before he even hit the floor.

Thomas, like the other Blue Devil seniors, fought off some tears when answering questions for the media.  It was Thomas who told me during the off day in a sincere eye to eye manner, “We’ve got one more game.  We’ve got one more game to take care and then I can smile.”

Well, Thomas was all smiles in the Duke locker room after his mission and that of his fellow seniors was complete.  There in the background was the national championship trophy sitting on a trainer’s table and a piece of net hanging from each of the seniors’ newly minted champion hats.

There was a special glow surrounding the kids who would wear their Duke uniform for the last time, and there was a sense around the whole Duke family that nobody want this magical journey to end.

“I’m at a loss for words,” said Thomas in his now well realized passionate manner as I questioned him perhaps for the last time.  And I can tell you, Lance, with mirrored passionate honestym that the Blue Devil Nation is at a loss for words too and we thank you with all our collective hearts for leaving us with a gift that will keep giving as time passes on.

Ryan Kelly, Mason Plumlee, Steve Johnson and Todd Zafirovski are happy Blue Devils

Duke National Champions
And the place went nuts! BDN Photo

INDIANAPOLIS – BDN Caught up to Ryan Kelly, Mason Plumlee, Steve Johnson and Todd Zafirovski during the Blue Devils trophy presentation.  The Blue Devils won their fourth national championship in what turned out to be one of the most amazing seasons in Duke Basketball history.

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