Tag Archives: Kyrie Irving

Pondering a few questions surrounding Duke Hoops

Lance King for BDN

Duke will of course hold their annual basketball awards banquet on April 15th, a mere nine days off.  Wonder if we'll know the intended fate of Kyrie Irving by then?  The Duke Chronicle published this tongue in cheek  plea today, but before you bring up Elton Brand, step back and relax for it was meant in humor.  But fancy me this Batman!  Isn't it a fact that there is no way he'd have a back court sidekick like Austin Rivers in his first "professional" season? 

There is absolutely no rest when it comes to basketball coverage here at BDN.  This coming weekend we kick off our coverage for the 2011 season by covering Nike EYBL Session I, formerly known as the Boo Williams Invitational.  The question here is are the kids today overexposed?  Also, how crazy is it that grown men hang on the comments of 16 year old kids?  Mike Krzyzewski is the first to tell you that when the freshman come in today, they are far more adept at fitting in and producing right away.  Of course, one look around the nation this season proved that major freshman impact is here to stay.

Can Duke take their freshman on their trip to China this summer?  The answer is yes for they will be enrolled in school in July.  Imagine your first Duke experience is balling in China and Dubai.  Think that will help the freshman develop and aloow the coaches to see what they have?

If Kyrie Irving doesn't return, who will Duke go with at the starting point guard spot?  Quinn Cook made a case for himself with his recent play which quieted his doubters, but do you think Tyler Thornton will roll over without a fight?  The answer is no for the two went head to head in the same high school league.  But wait!  What about Seth Curry?  Could he develop at this position as well?  The bottom line is Duke will have some interesting options, but if Kyrie comes back, it is more than just a little settled.

Should Virginia Commonwealth been ranked higher than Duke in the final poll?  Sure, they had a great season ... down the stretch.  They beat Duke out for sixth by a single digit and I for one think most feel Duke at 32-5 had a better overall season.  Is it fair to award teams with high ranking from their final run alone?

Will Duke be a top ten team next season?  You bet they will.  Even if UNC finds a way to keep everybody home, the Blue Devils will still be at the top of the ACC.  They will be picked pre season number two in the league at the very lowest and will have the kind of team that gets better as the season goes along.

This years Butler-Connecticutt television ratings were down 18% compared to last seasons  Duke-Butler game.  What would the ratings have been in a rematch?

The Duke Women will lose three key seniors in Jasmine Thomas, Karima Christmas and Krystal Thomas.  Will Duke still be top ten?  Yes, they will.  Coach P is welcoming Elizabeth Williams and Amber Henson to the fold of a group of young budding players with a pinch of upperclassmen.  I think the Blue Devils will be just as good.

How tough is Duke's football schedule this season?  Tougher than North Carolina's and N.C. State, that's for sure.  Several ACC teams are playing cupcake schedules this season.  Duke will take on a pre season top five team in Stanford at home and travel to Florida International.  Hey, don't laugh at FIU who played in and won their bowl game last season.  If the game was the opener, Duke would likely be a field goal underdog on the road.  Duke also opens with the always dangerous Richmond Spiders.  Meanwhile, our neighbors get the likes of Liberty and James Madison.  The Heels toughest game outside the league is either Louisville at home or East Carolina on the road.  NCSU gets Cincinnati on the road and a truck load of cup cakes beyond that.

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.



Kyrie Irving returns to practice, could play this weekend

DURHAM - Coach Mike Krzyzewski addressed the media just moments ago about the upcoming NCAA Tournament where his Blue Devils will play in Charlotte.  The big news was that Kyrie Irving was clear and participated in practice today.  Krzyzewski said that more would be known by the open practice in Charlotte on Thursday and BDN will be there to bring you the very latest.  Irving would see spot duty while he re-acclimated himself to the team and worked into playing shape.  Coach said he was ahead of schedule and that the injury was healing nicely.  Kyle Singler said, "He hasn't missed a beat, but is not in the shape he needs to be." 

On the Floor of the 2011 ACC Championship

Blue Devil Nation captured video highlights of Duke's celebrations on the floor of the Greensboro Coliseum as the Blue Devils celebrate their 2011 ACC Championship with a dominant victory over North Carolina. Click on each of the videos below to partake in the celebrations!

2011 ACC Champs Cut Down the Nets:

Kyrie Irving and Coach K Cut Down the 2011 ACC Championship Nets:

Nate James and Chris Carrawell on the Floor of the 2011 ACC Championship:

Scene on the Floor after the 2011 ACC Championship:

Tyler Thornton on the Floor of the 2011 ACC Championship: