Tag Archives: Kyle Singler

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.



More from Anaheim: Video interviews with Kyle Singler, Miles Plumlee, and Andre Dawkins

ANAHEIM - Blue Devil Nation is in the house at the Honda Center where Duke hit the practice court today.  As always, we bring you videos, you'll see nowhere else, so bookmark BDN now!  Support BDN's efforts by joining Blue Devil Nation Premium where you will get full site access and can check out our insiders message board.  Let's us take you behind the scenes in Anaheim with out members only blog, but of course, there is plenty free, like these timely videos from Kyle Singler, Miles Plumlee and Andre Dawkins.  Go Duke!

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.