Firstly, Happy Independence Day Blue Devil Nation! We've taken it easy around here this holiday weekend in order to recharge our batteries for what will be a busy month. BDN has a long track record of covering all of the major recruiting events to bring you our always dependable coverage which has set the standard for all who cover the Blue Devils. The basketball coaches are allowed on the road in July and they'll be putting in a lot of miles in the air while narrowing down who they'll continue to recruit.
The North Carolina Pro Am is underway as well with the action getting going again this Thursday. BDN was in attendance for the opening session which featured Nolan Smith rocking his newly fitted Portland Blazers shorts. The only active Duke player there was Mason Plumlee, who dropped 24 points, almost all on dunks helping his team shake off a 5 point half time deficit to win by 18. There may or may not be a lot of players there this week, but you can bet that the following week will be quite interesting. BDN has a long history of NC Pro Am coverage, so bookmark us now.
There has been a bevy of new Duke Football verbals of late where Coach David Cutcliffe and his staff are filling their needs at breakneck pace. Be sure to check out our football recruiting coverage which is making waves of late. Duke kicks off their season in 61 days against Richmond. BDN will cover pre season practices in August, so stay tuned for weekly reports from camp. Coach Cutcliffe also announced some changes to football staff this past week.
At the end of the month, I head to the ACC Football Kickoff event in Pinehurst, North Carolina. There, I will predict the conference standings and first two All ACC teams. I'm already settled in with most of my predictions but there are some key battles for a couple of All ACC spots. Speaking of key battles, I am really looking forward to the Oklahoma at Florida State game on September the 17th for a Nole upset would be a huge boost for the conference. The Noles are my clear pick for first in the Atlantic Division.
After an untimely and serious eye injury, former Duke standout Jon Scheyer is joining Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel. This team is of course a big time European League power where Scheyer will get plenty of exposure, much like former Blue Devil Trajan Langdon who recently retired from CSKA Moscow who made the All Decade Team.
In the "In case you missed it," department, check out this article former Duke great, Dick Groat. I remember his jersey hanging in Cameron Indoor Stadium when it was still called Duke Indoor Stadium back in the day. Is this where I enter my "Everything was better back in the day," schtick? Seriously, Groat was a phenomenal baseball player with the Pittsburgh Pirates and a hoops legend in the fifties while at Duke. I always thought to myself, "Man that jersey looks small," but a look at Groats accomplishments makes me realize that it must have been an optical illusion.
One thing for certain is that players need to be careful in certain settings these days. Social Media has opened up a venue for their thoughts to be read by all. The problem is that some fans or say twitter followers, indeed have their own agenda and some are just plain whack. Kyrie Irving is the latest victim in that he has quite the stalker who seems more than just a little intent on causing the top draft pick some trouble. Check out this link where Adam Zangoria offers his two cents and be careful what you think is factual. Again, social media has created a forum which flat out obsessed people can attempt to harass you and yes, even I have been a victim of this.
After a brief hiatus Monday Musings is back and we have plenty of stuff to talk about. The reason the article went MIA was due to an overload of Blue Devil Nation Premium articles which simply dominated the site last week. One thing BDN followers can depend on is the flat out best recruiting circuit coverage available.
The NBA Draft is still fresh in many fans minds and the Blue Devils added three more players to the league. Kyrie Irving became the second Blue Devil to be the first overall pick, joining Elton Brand as the two Blue Devils holding that honor. Irving looked rather suave as he hit the podium fulfilling his dream. While some Duke fans feel a void in that they saw him play just eleven games in the royal blue, there are benefits to his quick departure. Irving will represent Duke well and he's already had good things to say about Coach K and the program. Having an alum in the spotlight will only bring more talk of the program and rising prospects really like seeing the hot rookies which stay fresh in their minds. Duke adds Austin Rivers this year and trend is developing of great guards coming through Durham on a yearly basis. Here is Irving and Tristan Thompson being introduced to Cleveland Cavalier fans.
How cool was it to hear, "And with the 21st overall pick in the NBA Draft, the Portland Trail Blazers select Nolan Smith of Duke?" Maybe Kyle can give Nolan some tips as he rolls to home state to Oregon with a guaranteed contract in tow. Smith worked hard at Duke and had both up's and downs but he stuck it out and he is now in the NBA. FWIW, I jumped out of my chair and cheered as if it were a Duke buzzer beater when his name was called. Here is the latest article on NDotSmitty.
Then there was Kyle Singler chosen #33 by the Detroit Pistons. Singler barely missed the first round but he fell into a good situation with the Pistons in that he was still their first selection and he will get a sure contract. The Detroit brass pointed to his leadership, work ethic and skills when they spoke of their prized rookie. I will sure miss all three of these guys but the memories from each have been great, especially Nolan and Kyle who brought a National Championship to Durham. Here is a link on the Pistons desire for character and that led them to draft KSing.
It seems like a few months ago when I was covering Duke players at the N.C. Pro Am at North Carolina Central University. Maybe it's the fact I am getting older or it could just be that coverage never ends at BDN. Regardless, BDN will be front and center with coverage for the event which starts this week. BDN was the first site to cover this event and therefore we've developed good relationships with those involved. It's a first rate event worth your summer time and a friendly atmosphere awaits. Stop by and say hello for I will once again be in the end zone with my own private desk;) A key change to note -- no high school players are allowed to participate per NCAA rules this season. That means no Pinson, Purvis and such. One other tidbit is that Duke players rarely show the first session, so look for them next week. And yes, Duke will have players participate but their time will be cut short due to the China-Dubai trip which happens in August. As we've said before, Duke is allotted ten full practices before the journey.
USA! A few key Duke Basketball recruiting prospects were missing during last weeks NBA Top 100 Camp and for good reason. Targets Jabari Parker and Theo Pinson were in the red, white and blue leading Team USA to Gold. Parker averaged 15.4 ppg and grabbed 6.4 rebounds a contest. Pinson was the fourth scorer at 11.5 ppg and added an amazing 6.2 rebounds from the wing. Team USA finished 5-0 defeating Argentina 104-64. Here are the TEAM USA U16 Stats.
Stash this in the remember where you heard it department. Harrison Barnes will be the ACC Pre season POY and maybe even the national one as well. A look at returning scorers in the conference shows that he is the top returning one in the league. And look for the Blue Devils Seth Curry to make first team while Mason Plumlee will be on the second team. UNC and Duke will be picked one, two in the league. Yes, Duke fans, Barnes pictured left would have been in the top 8 picks had he gone pro, so his return guarantees that he will be one of the most hated Heels ever.
Measurements are coming in from the Nike Skills Academies and we found out that the measurements for the brothers Plumlee. Mason Plumlee measured 6'10," 234 with 6'11" wingspan, while Miles Plumlee measured 6'11.5," 247 with a 7' wingspan. For full prospect measurements, check out the BDN Premium Message Board.
Recruiting information has been red hot of late and BDN has an incredible amount of material for you to catch up on by becoming a member. We'll be heading to the Peach Jam in July but there is much more before then. We'll keep you in a bit of suspense on that. Look for a lengthy interview with Tony Parker today, so get off the fence and join the most dedicated Duke site in the world! Be sure to go to our premium section located just under the header and take a look at what you're missing. Recent interviews include, Robert Carter, Davonta Pollard, Rodney Purvis, Troy Williams, Joel James and Nate Britt. BDN Premium brings you print and video interviews and if you haven't heard the name Andrew Slater yet then you are not paying attention to our incredibly well informed basketball recruiting analyst and his one of a kind interviews.
Duke Football Recruiting has been on a roll of late and you can find all the latest verbals by simply going to our football section. Our resident recruiting analyst, Patrick Cacchio has been on a roll of late and BDN has become the place to be for Duke Football coverage. We need more members on our football message board to discuss all the breaking news, so join up and help us make our forum the very best. We are currently seeking a football board moderator, so send me a note through our popular twitter site if you are interested. Anyhow, Coach Cutlciffe and staff are on a roll and they are beating some big schools for the latest commitments. One other note, do not miss our BDN Football Friday column which is the best weekly football article on the web. If you find a better column on Cut's team, let us know and we'll work harder.
Speaking of Duke and ACC Football, I have been writing a preview of the conference for another site. Everybody points to the Duke offense being able to move the ball due to more vets on that side of the ball. A closer look will tell you that Duke starts just two seniors and that nine of these kids will be back again the following year. I picked Florida State and Virginia Tech as division winners and the main reason is that both have a manageable schedule. The Blue Devils have the 22nd toughest schedule in the nation according to Phil Steele. By writing a preview, I have a jump on fellow media members in picking the All ACC first and second teams at the fast approaching ACC Operation Football gathering.
NEW JERSEY - Duke's Kyrie Irving was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the first round by the Cleveland Cavaliers in Thursday's NBA Draft, while Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler were taken 21st and 33rd, respectively by the Portland Trail Blazers and Detroit Pistons. Irving, who entered the draft following his freshman season at Duke, becomes third Blue Devil tabbed with the No. 1 overall selection. "This is what I have worked so hard for and I am excited to start my NBA career with the Cleveland Cavaliers," said Irving. "I am thankful for the support of my family, friends and coaches and I am trying to enjoy every moment of this journey." Irving, a 6-2 guard from West Orange, N.J., played in just 11 games last season, sitting out 26 contests with a toe injury on his right foot. He averaged 17.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game while shooting .529 (55-of-104) from the field, .462 (18-of-39) from behind the three-point line and .901 (64-of-71) from the free throw line. Irving started the first eight games of the year, averaging 17.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game during that time frame. He returned to action in the NCAA Tournament and averaged 17.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in Duke's three outings. He scored a game-high 31 points to go with six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and two steals against No. 6 Michigan State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. It was just the fourth time in school history a freshman scored 30 or more in a game. He was also selected the CBE Classic MVP after averaging 14.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.5 steals in the four games.
With three players selected in the 2011 NBA Draft, including two first rounders, head coach Mike Krzyzewski has now mentored 43 draft selections. Duke has now produced 76 NBA draft picks overall. "Being selected in the NBA Draft is a dream come true," said Smith. "This is a special night for me and for my family. They have sacrificed a lot to help me reach my goals and my dreams. I am excited to have the opportunity to play for the Trail Blazers, set new goals and continue to work." Smith, the 2011 ACC Player of the Year and a consensus first team All-America, led the ACC in scoring (20.6 ppg.), 20-point games (21) and 30-point games (four) as a senior. He also ranked among the league leaders in field goal percentage, free throw percentage, assists and minutes played. Smith was also named ACC Tournament MVP after averaging 18.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.0 steals per game in Duke's conference championship run. Smith averaged 13.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 143 career games (including 97 starts). He ranks 17th all-time at Duke with 1,911 points and is the only player in school history to score over 1,500 career points after scoring less than 500 total points in his first two seasons combined. Smith's father, the late Derek Smith, played nine years in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors (1982-83), San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers (1983-86), Sacramento Kings (1986-1989), Philadelphia 76ers (1989-90) and Boston Celtics (1990). He also spent two seasons (1994-96) as an assistant coach with the Washington Bullets and was a second round pick (No. 35 overall) by the Golden State Warriors in the 1982 draft.
Singler, a second team All-America selection in 2011, ranked among the ACC leaders in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage, free throw percentage, three-point field goals made and minutes played a year ago. He was also named to the ACC All-Tournament first team after averaging 17.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game while helping Duke to its third straight ACC Championship. Singler averaged 16.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.1 steals per game in his career and owns Duke career records for games played (148-tied), consecutive games played (148), games started (147) and minutes played (4,887). He led Duke to 125 victories to rank second all-time in ACC history and is just the fourth player at Duke and ninth player in ACC history to amass over 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career. Singler ranks fourth at Duke with 2,392 career points and sixth with 1,007 career rebounds. Duke Draft Notes * Irving joins Elton Brand and Art Heyman as the only Blue Devils selected with the No. 1 overall pick. Brand was taken with the top pick in the 1999 draft by the Chicago Bulls, while Heyman was selected No. 1 overall in 1963 by the New York Knicks. *
Duke has had seven top-3 picks since 1985, four more than any school. * Irving, Smith and Singler become the first trio of Blue Devils taken in the NBA Draft since 2002; Jason Williams (No. 2), Mike Dunleavy (No. 3), Carlos Boozer (No. 35) ... Duke has had three or more players selected in the NBA Draft six times overall (2011, 2002, 1999, 1986, 1971 & 1956). * Irving is the 16th Duke player selected in the NBA Draft Lottery, more than any other school in the nation since the system was put into place in 1985. * Irving becomes the third Duke player selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland also selected Carlos Boozer with the 35th pick in the 2002 draft and Trajan Langdon with the 11th pick in the 1999 draft. * Smith is the first Duke player selected with the 21st pick in the NBA Draft. * Smith is the third Duke player selected by the Portland Trail Blazers. Alaa Abdelnaby was taken No. 25 overall by Portland in 1990, while Josh McRoberts was selected with the 37th pick of the 2007 draft. * Irving and Smith become the 22nd and 23rd players under Coach K selected in the first round of the NBA Draft ... Duke has now had 15 first round selections in the last 14 years. * With Irving and Smith going in the opening round, Duke has now had 30 players selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. * Duke has had two or more players selected in the first round five times (1986, 1999, 2002, 2006 & 2011). * Singler is the fourth Blue Devil selected by the Detroit Pistons. Detroit took Steve Vandenberg in 1969, Larry Saunders in 1971 and Grant Hill in 1994. * Singler is third Duke player taken with the 33rd pick in the NBA Draft. Steve Vacendak was taken in that spot by San Francisco in 1966 and Garry Melchionni was the 33rd pick by Phoenix in 1973.
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 Langdonwas 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 andLuol Dengare 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 greatDick 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" Banksand 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 recapfrom 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.
Young Austin Colbert is starting to gain the attention of the nations top schools. He currently lists a lot of Big East Schools but he covets the ACC powers as well. Colbert is in the Class of 2013, stands 6-8 and weighs in around 200 to 205 at this time. He plays his high school basketball at St. Patrick's and looks up to his former teammate Kyrie Irving of Duke. Colbert supposedly was a but quiet but he was quite open with BDN. He is a good student that seems to have his head in the right place and realizes he has work to do to achieve his goals.
How would you describe your game for those who have never seen you play?
I would say I am wiry and like to jump ... I can jump pretty high actually. I can shoot, my mid range game is pretty good, I can shoot the three point basket, I can finish around the rim and decent through contact. I am quick, lightning up the court and I am always staying hungry and humble.
Do you pattern your game after any particular player?
A little bit. I kind of want to take the best from several players. Kevin Durant, Amare Stoudemire and if I half to, I go Dwight Howard, but I need to work on my frame a little bit. [smiling]
Your mom said you were a little bit quiet but you seem quite open and affable to me.
Yeah, she keeps me straight.
You are just a sophomore but the hype is starting to play a role, how do you stay grounded?
I don't really let it get to me and I don't want it to go to my head and I will not let it go to my head. Off the court? I am kind of quiet except when I am with my boys [friends] but other than that, I just want to have fun.
Did you have a dream school growing up?
When I was younger I liked North Carolina but now that I have had a chance for my eyes to open up with my recruitment, I can't say, so now, it's wide open,
Which schools have you heard from the most of late?
I have heard from Xavier, Seton Hall, Pitt, Georgetown and Temple.
I'm from ACC country, do you like those schools?
Oh yes. Duke, North Carolina, those are some great schools.
You have a relationship with Kyrie Irving of Duke, can you speak to that?
Kyrie? That's my boy. He taught me a lot, he definitely taught me a lot. And when he comes back to school I like to talk with him and ask him what and how to do things.
Is Duke a school you would consider?
Of course, they are a great school ...
At this point he had to meet with his team about their next game, but we'll hear more from Colbert if Duke gets past the look-see process when their are open periods.
Scouting Report - Colbert is long and lean and quite fast getting from point A to point B on the basketball court. Colbert has good hands and can post his man up or take them outside where he has a nice stroke for his age and size. He can block and alter shots. He needs to work on his strength but his frame will fill out in by the time he gets to college. He is a solid post prospect that impressed me during the Nike EYBL at Boo Williams.[/private]
Duke freshman guard Kyrie Irving will enter the 2011 NBA Draft with plans to hire an agent, head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced Wednesday. The 2011 NBA Draft will be held on June 23 in New York City and Irving is expected to be among the top picks in the draft.
“Our whole program is overjoyed with having Kyrie here for one year and that he has the chance now to pursue a dream of being a high draft pick and a great player in the NBA,” said Krzyzewski. “We are totally supportive of Kyrie, his family and his decision. We look forward to continuing to work with him during the upcoming months leading to his entry into the NBA and afterwards while he is an NBA player. He is a great young man, a terrific student, and a truly amazing representative for our program and for Duke. We love him and are very happy for him and his family.”
Irving, a 6-2 guard from West Orange, N.J., played in just 11 games this season, sitting out 26 contests with a toe injury on his right foot. He averaged 17.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game while shooting .529 (55-of-104) from the field, .462 (18-of-39) from behind the three-point line and .901 (64-of-71) from the free throw line. Irving started the first eight games of the year, averaging 17.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game during that time frame. He returned to action in the NCAA Tournament and averaged 17.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in Duke’s three outings.
“I want to thank the entire staff at Duke, especially the coaches,” said Irving. “It was a great experience playing for Coach K. He taught me a lot about the game. Even when I was hurt, I learned a lot. Also a special thanks goes to the medical staff for getting me back on the court for the NCAA Tournament and my teammates for sticking with me throughout the entire year. Duke offered me an experience I could never have imagined.”
He scored a game-high 31 points to go with six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and two steals against No. 6 Michigan State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. It was just the fourth time in school history a freshman scored 30 or more in a game. He was selected the CBE Classic MVP after averaging 14.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.5 steals in the four games. He had 17 points, five rebounds, six assists and two steals in the finals against No. 4 Kansas State. Irving also dished out nine assists against both Princeton and Colgate. In the NCAA Tournament, he scored team highs of 14 points against Hampton and 28 points against Arizona in the Sweet 16.
“This was a special year for me. I love everything about Duke and I’m going to miss it,” added Irving. ”Duke has a special place in my heart. Even though I’m leaving this year, Duke will always be in my mind and my heart. I’m going to miss putting on that No. 1 jersey.”