Tag Archives: Kyrie Irving

BDN Monday Musings – Records, Recruiting, Cheerleader of the Week

BDN Monday Musings Cheerleader of the Week

It's the Christmas and Holiday season and BDN wishes all of you a safe and happy time.  Duke students are hard at work on their exams while the basketball and football staffs gear up for a bit of recruiting. 

Tickets still avaliable

On December the 29th, a Wednesday evening in Greensboro, Duke will take on UNC-Greensboro in a game that will push their record to 12-0 on the season.  But it is Krzyzewski's record that will be the focus and around 9:00 that evening the HOF coach will pass North Carolina's Dean Smith with 880 wins landing him in 2nd place on the All Time NCAA wins list.  There are still tickets available for the historical game, so get on the horn and make arrangements to be there for a piece of history.  You'll be hearing a lot more on this as the game approaches and you can see that we have added a graphic to salute Krzyzewski's accomplishment.  And 23 wins past that, Krzyzewski will own the record all by himself over his mentor and friend Bobby Knight. 

Krzyzewski keeping it low key

One might think Coach K would be living in the moment with such a record coming but he is more concerned with this seasons team and he seemingly will prolong the urge and joy of celebration.  No matter how you cut it, this will be one historical season but he wants to be the last team standing in Houston, so his work efforts will be focused on that goal rather than the record. 

Holiday Tournaments begin

The Men's Basketball staff wil be hitting up some holiday basketball tournaments where they'll see pretty much everybody on their watch list.  BDN will be taking in a few of the events as well so we can keep the information flowing.  The recruiting picture will begin to clear this month but it'll be spring before we really get a feel for who the new targets will be.

Let's defend

No, I'm not talking about the national title.  Besides, if you are a Duke fan you realize that the Blue Devils do not defend any championship for each year the team changes personnel.  Krzyzewski has put great emphasis on defense during the December games though and that is the first sign of what the team might look like without the injured Kyrie Irving.  It's really not a big departure from last year but expect the team to morph even more in due time.  You can bet that there are some late nights where the staff is rethinking their plans and you of course know by now, that I for one remain positive that Kyrie Irving will be back on Coach K floor before the season is out.

It's "on" come January

Enjoy the break while you can for once January hits it'll seem like Duke is playing a game every night compared to the December lull. Duke plays their first of six conference games starting with Miami in Cameron.  Next up will be Maryland who fancies themselves Duke's rival, again at home but away games with Florida State and N.C. State will give one an idea of how Duke measures up before the February-March run.  Duke will go out of conference with a trip to New York to face St. John's as well.

Singlers time of year

I continue to be impressed that Duke senior Kyle Singler doesn't bump his averages up against weaker competition.  Most players numbers or stats drop come ACC time but that's when Singler picks his game up.  Watch as his numbers trickle up against better comp, a rare thing indeed.  Kyle wants to win first and all else will fall into place.  It should be fun to watch Singler close out his four years at Duke.  That said, realize that this kid stayed when he could have been preparing to hit the road to Boston or Golden State for his next NBA game.

A last minute Christmas Gift thought

Looking for some stocking stuffers for a Duke fan?  Of course there are tickets available for Elon and UNC-Greensboro but Bob Harris has a new book out too.  Bob, of course, is the long time voice of the Duke Blue Devils and his new book "How Sweet It Is!," just hit the bookshelves.  It has a forward from Coach Mike Krzyzewski and even a CD with interviews done with Muhammad Ali and a long list of interesting characters.  My favorite part of the book was when Bob addressed the game where Dean Smith rapped the scoreboard in Cameron and didn't get a technical.  I was there but the game was not on television and Bob recaps what happened on that night and it is simply too good to give away here, so pick up a copy and get the scoop for yourself.

Give the gift of BDN as well

Another gift suggestion is Blue Devil Nation Premium which gives one full site access where you'll be on the inside.  BDN Premium cover more than just recruiting but that is the main draw.  We'll bring you up close and personal be ith the recruiting trail or the hallways of the Final Four.  We'll happilylet somebody know around Christmas that you've purchased them a membership and that is sure to make any Blue Devil fan happy.  We have 1, 3, 6 and 12 month rates that you can link to above.

Duke Football Recruiting

Coach David Cutcliffe and his staff have been hard at work on the trail and with official visits of late.  BDN's Patrick Cacchio has had a bevy of interviews unlike other subscription sites, these are still free at BDN to all at this time.  We'll have more of these interviews as the week progresses so bookmark our site for the best free Duke Football coverage anywhere.

Duke standout Kyrie Irving makes his New Jersey return

Kyrie breaking legs - Lance King for BDN

Back in the building where he won a New Jersey State Championship as a junior for the St. Patrick's Celtics and about a thirty minute drive from his hometown of West Orange, NJ, Kyrie Irving didn't waste an opportunity to help Duke achieve a decisive 82-70 win over last season's national title runner-up, Butler University.

Among his seventeen second-half points were critical back-to-back three-pointers at the top of the key late in the second half to stretch Duke's lead to nine at 66-57.  With 4:!2 left in the second half, the freshman point guard stubbed his toe after taking Butler's Matt Howard off of the dribble. He was taken out of the game temporarily, but, after getting looked at by the Duke support staff, reentered the game in the closing minutes with his father, Drederick Irving, seated nearby.

This game concluded a difficult stretch for the Duke Blue Devils, as they have faced Marquette, Kansas State, Oregon, Michigan State, and Butler in a two week span, all but one having been played far from the friendly and loud confines of Cameron Indoor Stadium. After the game, the always personable and mature young point guard, fresh off a pair of high-scoring games against high-profile opponents, spoke with the media anxious to hear from the hometown star.

Can you put the last few few weeks in context?

Up to this game..well, coming up to this game, we had a rough two weeks because we were playing against the top teams in the country. It's been a good growth period for us as a group. You know coming up to New Jersey. My hometown, man.

You guys got off to a slow start and they played you well defensively initially. Were you guys a little flat?

Yeah, we started off the game a little flat. Coach talked to us about, you know, picking up our energy. Our pressure was there, but they were seeing a lot of open looks. We tried to limit that, but, you know, they're a good team. Credit to them.

What did you see offensively? It seemed like the high-screen was really working in the second half?

Yeah, you know, we just continued running it, until they stopped it. In the second half, it worked really well for us.

What happened on the play where you hurt your toe and came out of the game?

Yeah, I was just on the wing and Howard was guarding me and I think I just stumped my toe. I had to come out of the game.

But you're okay now?

Yeah, yeah.

Offensively, in the second half, did you try to take over or did you feel like the game really came to you?

I think the game came to me. Nolan did a tremendous job. He played like a veteran tonight. He put us on his back in the second half and just knocked down a few big shots.

One of the good spurts tonight came actually when you were on the bench and Andre was out there and Seth too. What did you think about the way some of the other guys stepped up tonight?

Yeah, you know, they played well and applied pressure really well. Butler was working really hard offensively. Yeah, you know, like when I was on the bench, they really picked up the intensity and helped us a lot tonight in valuable minutes. It was big in terms of raising our intensity.

Zagoria: Did you have a lot of family and friends there today?
Zagoria: Do you know how many family and friends were out there? Your dad and everybody else.

Did you get to see him before the game? Obviously, you're coming off of a great game against Michigan State. He must've been very proud of you.

My Dad wasn't at the Michigan St. game, but I'm going to talk to him after I'm done here.

So, you didn't see him before?

No, no, I didn't.

Did you feel any additional pressure playing in front of so many family and friends?

Yeah, I was definitely pressing, particularly in the first half. You know I picked those two charges up in the first half. That was just a mistake on my part, being too aggressive. I don't think I was playing smart there. In the first half, I was really flat until I had those two baskets, but, in the second half, I really came out aggressively.

Can you talk about those back-to-back threes at the top of the key in the second half? It seemed to break their back.

Yeah, well, those were rhythm threes and they felt good.

Zagoria: I know going undefeated this season is a long way to go, but do you feel that, in any game, you can win?

Well, we approach, each game the same way mentally. So, we're just ready for each challenge.

Zagoria: Do you ever look ahead and say, "Oh, this team could beat us here." or do you not look it at it like that?
No, no, we can't do that.

Was there any sort of layoff coming off of that strong win against Michigan State and then making that quick turnaround? Do you think that was the reason for coming out somewhat lethargically?
Not really, I was a little flat in the first half

Not as a team, though?

What changed in the second half?
My energy picked up in the second half. We had a great halftime talk. Coach was (laughing) giving us that halftime speech that we needed.

Can you talk about how good Norad and the other perimeter guys were defensively?

Yeah, they're really good defensively individually, but as a team too. They were trying to clog the lanes in the first half. In the second half, when we started executing our plays, we were able to push them further from the basket.

Can you talk about getting them into foul trouble off of penetration. You got two of their guys into trouble and it sort of forced them to readjust. Was that a goal or did that just sort of happen?

No, Nolan and I just kept trying to attack openings when we would see them.

This building is not just important to you, but for the program. What was it like to come back here and get a win?

feels good. You know, when I landed at Newark airport, this is where I'm from.  So, I love it. I won a state championship here in my junior year You know coming back here feels good.

Walking away, what was the key difference in the second half?

Nolan helped sustain drives and lead in this game.  Nolan was definitely it and our energy picked up. Also, I think our conditioning. We work on it a lot and so I think it helped make a difference for us in the second half. It probably wore them down a little bit in the second half. It really worked for us in the second half, once we started to run.

Did you think of this as a business trip or a homecoming? When you thought about this game, how did you view or approach it?

Oh, every game is business. It's always a business trip for us. I mean it's my hometown, but I try to approach it like every other game, as if it was a home game at Duke.

And what does it mean to have come back here and match up with the same team that took Duke down to the wire in April. Now, eight months later, it didn't have to come down to the wire, but the opponent and the location.

It feels good that I'm now part of the team. When I saw them play, I was just a recruit. Being on the court and playing against a top team like Butler is a great experience.

Did you get a chance to see any of the guys from St. Pat's today?
No, not yet, but I'm sure I'll get a chance right after this.

Thanks, Kyrie.
Sure thing.

Smith, Irving lead Duke past Butler 82-70

Nolan Smith led Duke past Butler with 24 points - Lance King Images for BDN

The Butler Bulldogs lived up to their nickname but the Duke Blue Devils wore them down in the second half for a victory.  Duke's guard duo of Nolan Smith [24] and Kyrie Irving [21] combined for more than half of their points with 45 between them.  Kyle Singler added 13 points but was held in check for much of the game.

The smaller Bulldogs grabbed 35 rebounds, the same amount as the Blue Devils, and their hustle and defensive sets bothered Duke until and 11-0 second half run which helped Duke get a comfortable working margin down the stretch.  There were 11 lead changes in the game reminding one of last seasons national championship game which has been deemed one of the best of all time.

Duke looked flat in the early going and they were not matching the intensity their opponents were putting forth, perhaps because of a hangover from playing a break neck early season schedule where they defeated two of the nations pre season top 5 teams.

Andre Dawkins played a key role off the bench and was the Blue Devils only other double figure scorer ending the game with 10 points.  And to give you an idea of the pace of the game, neither team scored off a fast break.

While the Devils were not particularly impressive, they learned from being forced to run their half court offense.  Duke led by as many as 14 points late and Butler held a 5 point lead as well but foul trouble and cramps cost them the opportunity to finish the game with some of their key players.

We'll have more on the game shortly and a photo gallery from the event, so check back in with Blue Devil Nation. Here is a link to the Official Box Score.

Game Notes – Duke vs Butler

Game 8 l Carquest Auto Parts Classic  [1 AP / 1 Coaches] Duke (7-0)  vs. Butler (4-2)
Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010 • 3:15 p.m.
The Opening Tip• Duke faces Butler on Saturday, Dec. 4, at 3:15 p.m. (EST) in the Carquest Auto Parts Classic at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J.
• The game is being televised by ESPN with Dan Shulman (play-by-play), Jay Bilas (analyst) and Doris Burke (sideline) calling the action.
• Duke is ranked No. 1 in the AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, while Butler is unranked in both polls.
• The Blue Devils enter the contest 7-0 on the year, while the Bulldogs are 4-2 overall.
• Duke has won 17 consecutive games entering Saturday’s contest.
• The Blue Devils are looking to open the season 8-0 for the 16th time under Coach K.
• Saturday’s game marks a rematch of the 2010 NCAA Championship game. Duke earned its fourth NCAA title with a 61-59 win over Butler.
Duke at the Meadowlands (Izod Center)• Duke and head coach Mike Krzyzewski are 18-1 all-time at the Meadowlands.
• The Blue Devils have won 11 consecutive games at the Meadowlands dating back to a 77-75 loss to Arizona on Feb. 26, 1989.
• Duke is 10-0 in NCAA Tournament games and 8-1 in regular season games in East Rutherford, N.J.
Duke vs. the Horizon League• Duke is 9-1 all-time against teams currently in the Horizon League.
• The Blue Devils have won seven straight games against Horizon League opposition.
• Mike Krzyzewski is 7-0 at Duke against Horizon League opponents.
• Duke has a +18.3 scoring margin versus the Horizon League with six wins by 20 or more points.
Numbers Game
l Mike Krzyzewski is one win shy of matching Adolph Rupp for third place on the all-time coaching wins list. Coach K enters Saturday’s game with 875 career wins.l The Blue Devils have won 17 consecutive games dating back to a 79-72 loss at Maryland on March 3, 2010. Duke has won 25 of its last 26 games overall.
l Duke has won 34 consecutive games against teams outside the traditional power conferences (Big Ten, Big East, SEC, ACC, PAC 10, Big 12). Virginia Commonwealth’s 79-77 win over Duke in the 2007 NCAA Tournament was the Blue Devils’ last loss to a team from a non-power conference.
l The Blue Devils have won 16 straight neutral site games dating back to a 77-54 loss to Villanova in the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
l Duke has trailed a total of 3:00 this season. The Blue Devils have not trailed in the final 30 minutes of any game and have not trailed by more than two points this season.l Senior Nolan Smith leads the ACC with 18 straight double-figure scoring games. He has scored 10 or more points in 31 of the last 32 games for the Blue Devils.
l Duke’s starting backcourt of Nolan Smith and Kyrie Irving combines to average 33.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 11.2 assists per game. The tandem is also shooting 53.0 percent (79-of-149) from the floor. Smith and Irving have both reached double-figures in scoring in all seven games this season.
l Duke has scored 80 or more points in six games this season. The Blue Devils have won 21 consecutive games when scoring 80+ points. Duke is 488-46 under Coach K when scoring 80 or more points in a game.
l Sophomore Mason Plumlee has three double-doubles and has grabbed 10 or more rebounds four times this season. Plumlee is averaging 13.0 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.0 steals per game in the last four contests.
l Senior Kyle Singler is expected to make his 118th career start on Saturday. Duke is 99-18 with Singler in the starting lineup. Singler’s .846 winning percentage as a starter at Duke is the fourth-best in school history.
l Kyrie Irving, Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler are combining to average 53.8 points per game over the last four contests. l Duke is the only team in the ACC with more than one player ranked in the top 10 in scoring. Nolan Smith and Kyrie Irving are tied for fourth at 16.9 points per game, while Kyle Singler ranks seventh at 16.0 ppg.
l Freshman Kyrie Irving ranks in the top 10 of the ACC in six statistical categories (scoring, field goal percentage, free throw percentage, assists, steals and assist-to-turnover ratio).
l Duke has forced 20 or more turnovers four times this season. The Blue Devils are averaging 25.3 points per game off turnovers.
l The Blue Devils are averaging 49.0 points per game in the second half of play this season. Duke is shooting 55.5 percent (111-of-200) from the field, including 56.5 percent (39-of-69) from three-point range, over the final 20 minutes of action.
l Senior Kyle Singler is averaging 18.3 points per game while shooting 48.6 percent (18-of-37) from the field and 47.1 percent (8-of-17) from three-point range in neutral site games this season.

BDN Post Game – Duke handles Michigan State 84-79- Coach K post game comments

Kyrie Irving scores a career high 31 points to lead Duke past Michigan State 84-79, Photo Lance King for BDN

The Duke Blue Devils rode a 31 point effort from Kyrie Irving to take out pesky Michigan State 84-79 in a jam packed  Cameron Indoor Stadium.  With the win the Blue Devils go to 7-0 on the season and next entertain Butler in a rematch of last seasons national championship game.  BDN takes a look at the win with our post game report.

Kyrie, Kyrie and Kyrie

Almost every question posed from the media was about Kyrie Irving no matter who they were talking to.  I followed Irving on the AAU trail and saw him play 20 plus games before he set foot on campus so tonight's 31 point career high effort is no surprise to me.  Irving blew up in the eyes of the national media tonight and the freshman made an early statement as the conferences best newcomer.  Heck, he may be the best freshman in the nation.  Irving was in short sensational ... wait I stole that from Krzyzewski.  Irving's 13 made free throws is tops of any freshman in Duke history.  His two blocked shots were a season high.  Irving had been sick earlier in the week on Monday but returned to practice on Tuesday.

Sensational, superb, scintillating

When asked by media members to describe Irving's game Krzyzewski joked with the media member who asked him to use adjectives which you will hear in the post game audio below.  Krzyzewski borrowed some from Dick Vitale but hey, they sounded original.  Krzyzewski's mood was as expected good after beating a solid Spartans team.

Stars warm up just in time

After slow starts Kyle Singler and fellow senior Nolan Smith warmed up and both finished strong.  Singler knocked down two three pointers after going 2 of 11 early on finishing with 15 points to go with 7 rebounds.  Smith had a team high 5  assists to go with 17 points and he had back to back baskets during a key stretch run.

Mason Plumlee was a man

Mason had a double-double sure.  But it was his 5 steals which really impressed and that earned him glowing comments from Krzyzewski.  Plumlee has turned the corner of late and was an iron man in the game but he did not participate in post game interviews.  The reason is he was immediately treated for a sprained ankle.  Duke would not have won this game had Mason not played as well as he did.  It's a game he can really build on.

Duke forces 20 turnovers

The Duke defense was especially good during a second half run an they forced the Spartans into 20 turnovers and scored a whopping 28 points.  Michigan State forced Duke into 15 but  scored just 14 off of theirs.

More notes - Duke moves to 11-1 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and their streak of home wins goes to 81.  Duke has now won 17 straight games going back to last season.  Duke has recorded ten or more steals in 5 of 7 games to date.  Duke has trailed a grand total of three total minutes in all games this season.  Duke has started 7-0 for the 12th time.  Mason Plumlee now has three career double-doubles.  Nolan Smith leads the ACC with 18 straight double figure scoring games.

Coach K left the podium at 12:20 and here are his comments verbatim -

Just press play -