Tag Archives: Monday Musings

BDN Monday Musings, Duke Hoops football recruiting and fans of the week

Monday Musing's - Duke fans of the week

The Duke Men’s Basketball team pushed their record to 9-1 this past week with a wins over Colorado State and Washington while the football coaches secured three verbal commitments on the recruiting trail.  That’s a pretty solid week and thus we begin this weeks Monday Musing’s.

The win over Washington

I personally thought it was a good win and a learning experience for a young team but many found fault in the win.  Of course, we are talking message boards here and everybody, no matter who you are has an occasional melt down.  Yes, the Huskies staged a comeback late in the game but Duke built a sizable lead which didn’t allow the comeback to take hold,  I mean come on critics, a three pointer at the buzzer cut it to six for the Huskies and who actually thought in reality that Duke was going to lose that lead?  Now granted, the comeback is a lesson to a young team on how to close a game but I just find no major negatives in this win.  In fact, with Austin Rivers and Seth Curry on the bench it forced young players into action on the big stage of Madison Square Garden and that to me is a positive learning experience.  So, I don’t get the criticism unless you want to win by 20 every time out.  And no knock on my man Mason Plumlee, who struggled at the free throw stripe, but had he hit half of those the lead would have been much larger and that is a single intangible.

A work in progress

What fans need to remember is that this Duke team is a work in progress and is 9-1 against the toughest early schedule in the nation!  Coach Krzyzewski is bringing this team along just as he has others and to succeed in March it takes both improvement and luck.  The Blue Devils seem to be just below a tier of four or five teams, but there is not one of those teams that Duke could not beat on a given night, so that is something to hang your hat on.  The Blue Devils lost Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler and to some extent Kyrie Irving, so this team is developing it’s leaders and Coach has said from day one, different players will step up.  You know, I use to make fun of the UNC fan base at times for complaining when Dean Smith was there, but the Blue Devil fan base is right there now, demanding perfection when they’ve only come to expect it from mad success.  So, sit back and enjoy this years team develop and for the record they’ve pretty darn good.

Austin Rivers named rookie of the week

Austin Rivers averaged a team-high 17.5 points per game in leading seventh-ranked Duke to wins over Colorado State and Washington. The Winter Park, Fla., freshman guard was 11-of-22 from the field, including 5-of-10 from three-point range, and 8-of-10 from the foul line for the week, while also adding 3.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He scored a team-high 17 points in Duke’s 87-64 win over Colorado State Wednesday. In Saturday’s 86-80 victory over Washington, Rivers tallied a team-high 18 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists in 25 minutes of action.

So, you think December will  be slow with just two games, huh?

Duke does not play again until  a week from today against UNC-Greensboro at home and then Western Michigan on the day before new years eve.  Yep just two games, but it is December and that means high school basketball tournaments fro Raleigh to Myrtle Beach and we’ll certainly bring you some coverage.  We’ll discuss this further shortly, but you can bet you will hear from the likes of Rasheed Sulaimon and other targets.

Football Recruiting has a big day

Coach Cutcliffe hit the road the day after the loss to UNC as did his whole staff.  And that’s not just speak on our part, they are beating the road hard trying to improve the talent base.  As BDN’s football guru reported yesterday, the Blue Devils have three new verbals and one in particularly excites me.  Check out this link – Football gains three verbals

It’s Back! More of BDN’s Monday Musings on Duke Athletics

BDN Photographer Rick Crank caught wonderful moment after Duke defeated UNC for the ACC Championship. BDN Photo

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.

The player nicknamed "The Black Falcon," flew on both sides of the fence until his most awkward Skype announcement. We'll let you fill in the caption on this pic. BDN Photo

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.

BDN Photo

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.

Lastly, our prayers go out to the friends and family of two high school football players that were shot in Durham.

BDN’s Monday Musings – It’s tournament time!

Monday Musings is back!  Well, at least for now.  The main reason for our three weeks absence has been the fact that our platter is more than a little full of late.  BDN really gets out there in the trenches when covering Duke men’s and women’s basketball and football.  That coupled with a bevy of Sunday evening tip offs has made for an unusually busy schedule.

Speaking of Sunday games, ESPN will take over those games starting next season and our understanding is that no game will tip off past 6:00 which helps.  If we had it our way, that time would be 4:00.  Heck, we’d do away with those brutal Sunday games all together.

Just yesterday, we attended the championship game of the ACC Women’s Basketball tournament and you know by now, that the women took care of business beating their arch rival North Carolina.  As usual, Jasmine Thomas led the way, but Duke is getting great contributions from freshman and that bodes well for the future despite the fact, they’re losing three great seniors in the aforementioned Thomas, Karima Christmas and Krystal Thomas.  The bottom line is that the program is on firm footing and recruiting has been strong of late.  Back to the title, Duke remained poised and wore down the Tar Heels and now they await NCAA pairings which are announced next Monday.  Check out our raw but fun videos from the title game and Lance King’s photo gallery

And this week, the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament starts up on Thursday, but the Blue Devils tip off Friday at 7:00 against the winner of the N.C. State-Maryland game.  Duke is looking to regroup after a tough loss to North Carolina on Saturday where their offense became bogged down in key stretches.  BDN will be on the scene in Greensboro and we’ll add a lot of updates via twitter, the site itself and video.  In fact, we head to Cameron Indoor Stadium this afternoon where we’ll share in a Q & A session with Coach Mike Krzyzewski.  Of course, you’ll hear what he had to say shortly after it’s completion, so come back and see us.

I cast my vote for the All ACC teams yesterday and there were some tough choices.  We pick three All ACC teams and when you get down to the last spot on the third team, well, there is not much choose from.  For the record my last spot went to Derwin Kitchen of Florida State.  Roy Williams got my Coach of the Year vote and John Henson, Defensive Player of the Year.  Yes, I am more than able to remain objective and I am glad this site is known for it’s balance in such arenas.  Another Tar Heel, Harrison Barnes got my Rookie of the Year.  Nolan Smith earned my Player of the Year vote and it was the easiest pick of the bunch.  Kyle Singler was a first team All ACC pick for me as well.  The Coach of the Year came down to Saturday’s game in that I would pick the winner of that contest.  Coach Krzyzewski has done an amazing job after losing Kyrie Irving having to retool his team and I have often wondered why he has so few ACC COY awards with consideration to his vast accomplishments.  Williams took some hits with player defections and after a loss to Georgia Tech on the road, those guys have been one of the hotest teams around.  When picking the all rookie teams I so wanted to put Kyrie Irving on there for after three players, there were few obvious and or worthy picks.  After discussion it with several trusted friends in the media I balked in that he played in just eight games and none of those were conference games.  This morning, I actually regret changing the pick and wish I had left him on the team for he was that good in  games.

We have continued to cover football recruitingwith vigor and we will bring you more from spring practice after the break.  The timing of the practices have conflicted with hoops, making it hard to be in two and sometimes three places at once.  If you want to catch up on Patrick Cacchio’s latest football blurbs, simply go to our football section.  Our premium football side is growing as is our new premium Duke Women’s Hoops forum where we talk recruiting on that front as well.

We’ll be talking with some prospects in basketball this week as well, so our premium members have that to look forward to as well.  We’re still making some site changes in the near future but most of that will roll out after the season.  We’ll guarantee you that our new Duke prospect data base will be the best you’ve seen anywhere to date.

We have a very large free section of content at BDN, but it’s also a great time to join Blue Devil Nation Premiumfor we will follow Duke every step of the way in the NCAA’s.  We were the only site to do so during every game last season where we reported from he Final Four on an hourly basis.  Our members have rational discussions with other members on the subscription only message board where you do not see a ton of immature posts which are sometimes found elsewhere.  The bottom line is no site is more dedicated to bringing you a Duke-centric experience and we’re only getting better.  With AAU season around the corner, I can assure you this is the place to be for we are the only Duke related site that covers ALL the major events in person and in depth.  BDN does not lean on national or corporate beat guys  for content.  Instead, we focus on the kids you want to hear from in a most concise manner.  There is a difference when a kid iis interviewed for multiple sites and when it is more personal.  Our in home recruiting analyst Andrew Slater is the best in the business with concerns to hoops recruiting and he is a walking, talking encyclopedia of information.  Between Andrew, myself and our correspondents, we get the job done.  The bottom line is that our AAU coverage rocks and there is no comparison when compared to others and that is nothing but a straight forward fact.

We have recently added videos but it is a work in progress, but again, BDN is the first to break out this medium in an up close and personal manner with concerns to unofficial sites.  We try to feel the gaps between the coverage of GoDuke.com and Duke Blue Planet, Official sites covering Duke.  In short, we are at the head of the pack in the new age of Duke beat coverage as newspapers continue to decline for we follow Duke in person to bring you the coverage you deserve.

Yeah, we’ve talked a lot about the site today, but that’s because we’re excited about the coming changes, the ACC Tournament, NCAA’s, recruiting and everything surrounding Duke Athletics.  For now, we remain independent but there are some corporate sites knocking at the door.  No matter what we decide to do, you will never see a drop off in coverage from the site that truly covers the beat every day of the week.  At the end of the day, it’s all about the content and we’ll put our coverage up against any independent site and let you be the judge.

Monday Musings

Bannerville - BDN Photo

Good Monday morning Blue Devil Nation!  We’ll start to churn out some interviews with the likes of Jay Bilas, Chris Collins, Chris Carrawell and Elton Brand as the week progresses.  Of course, a lot of ex players were in town for the Coach K Academy which started earlier than normal due Krzyzewski’s duties with Team USA.  Needless to say, you’ll enjoy hearing Bilas talk next season, Collins talk this past year, while CWell talks of future aspirations.

A trip to the Duke University Store will allow you to pick up plenty of national championship gear.  Check out the new LAX Championship items and grab another men’s basketball t-shirt while you’re at it.  Also, do not forget our sponsor football fanatics where you can get some really nice gear in a timely manner.  The ad is located at the top of our main page.

BDN’s Andre Slater was on the scene at Pango’s [AAU Camp] this past weekend and he will bring you reports and interviews as the week goes on if you are a premium member.  Quincy Miller won the event’s most outstanding player and we’ll be hearing more about that shortly.  BDN Premium still has several prospect interviews on the way including updates on the biggest names on the recruiting radar.

Speaking of recruiting, the Duke Football coaches have just returned from the road and we’ll take a look at the latest as we play a little catch up on that front this week.  Our staff has had a lot going on of late and that has caused some temporary delays in coverage, but as many of you know, BDN supports Coach Cutcliffe and the football team and we’ll attend pretty much every available event to bring you coverage of an up and coming program.

Pre season football magazines are rolling out and Duke is predicted 5th in the coastal division by almost everyone.  The best projected record to date is 5-7 with 4-8 being the cumulative average.  Our recommendation for the best publication is Phil Steele’s College Football Annual.  Also worthy of mention is that Elon is rated 2nd in the nation in the FCS by one publication and no lower than 6th nationally in any of them.  In short, Elon is a pretty solid club that can give Duke problems on opening night.

Monday Musings – Felix will not play for Duke, QB offered, Collins to Sixers

This Monday morning the BDN sends a shout out to the parents of Tyler Thornton and Josh Hairston both of whom will be on campus this summer. BDN Photo

Well, it never fails folks!  I attempt to take 48 hours away from the wired world and all heck breaks loose.  Okay, okay, not that much but enough starting with the answer to the question about Carrick Felix.  Yes, it is true in that he will not enroll at Duke.  The word is admissions were the hold up but the fact is nothing official is out there yet and he has opened up his recruitment.  The BDN wishes Felix the best in all of his future endeavors but fortunately Duke is really deep this coming season.  Felix was viewed as an athletic wing with good defensive capabilities to go with his explosiveness.  The Duke staff was looking forward to working with him before the latest happenings.

The Duke Football staff has been on the recruiting trail and they are working it hard.  Duke offered Colorado quarterback Brock Berglund which you can read about in our football section.  We’ll have more on this and another offer coming shortly.

More props to Doug Collins who will be officially named the coach of the Philadelphia Sixers today.  Doug of course is the father of Duke Assistant Coach Chris Collins and played his most memorable moments in Philly as a player.  While Chris will be returning to Duke this season one has to wonder if this will open some doors down the road.  Collins [Chris] is a basketball fanatic who misses only the occasional bounce of the ball if a game is on television.  BDN wishes Doug the very best in his new job.

You may have seen a few folks saying Jon Scheyer could play basketball in Israel.  It’s not far fetched.  BDN will follow the situation.

This weekend will likely be an end to one of the AAU’s best tournaments, the Tournament of Champions where the games are played on the campuses of Duke, North Carolina and North Carolina State.  BDN Premium members will get all the skinny and this may be your last chance to catch this tournament in that the NCAA will soon not allow these events to be played on major college campuses.  A lot of other changes are in the works and as summer rolls in we’ll discuss the future of off season hoops.

More of Watzone’s Monday Musings

Monday Musings likes to salute the people behind the scenes, like these two lovely cheerleaders.

The Duke Blue Devils continue to reap the rewards of being crowned national champions.  The team will go to the White House to meet with President Obama soon and some of the players helped with the Jon Scheyer Foundation’s May Madness Gaming event this past Saturday in Cameron Indoor Stadium.  Kryzyzewski and Duke’s National Championship is the gift that keeps on giving in so many ways.

As you know by now, recruiting never stops and the men’s basketball staff is mapping out their plans for the coming summer months.  The Duke staff are not allowed to attend events in May due to NCAA rules.  Speaking of rules, the NCAA will decide the future of camps soon, so stay tuned for that.  The consensus is that they will not allow events like The Tournament of Champions to be played on major college courts and or in venues.  This would drastically change the landscape and many of the current tournaments could soon be a thing of the past.

Speaking of events, BDN’s Andrew Slater took in some action at the Spiece Field House event in Fort Wayne, Indiana this past weekend and he will soon be reporting on what he saw with interviews and a analysis for BDN Premium members.  The coverage will likely start some time tomorrow so check back in with BDN as we remain the most active Duke subscription site on the circuit.

For you recruitniks [not a real word butr appropriate]  it’s also worth noting that Nike has already started to roll with changes in their camp sessions.  The most recent Boo Williams event was coined Nike EYBL Development camp and teams now play an even amount of games.  In the past, the teams played to meet in a championship game.  The verdict is still pending on whether or not people like the changes.

The Duke Football coaches have been out on the road as well and they’ll now sit down to see which kids warrant an offer.  Duke most recently signed an interior lineman in

You may have noticed that BDN’s Patrick Cacchio has been interviewing football prospects and he will continue to serve in that role.  He concentrated on the offensive line prospects the past couple of weeks and we’ll switch gears to some skilled positions in the near future.  BDN is dedicated in covering Duke Football as many of you already know, but we’ve amped up our recruiting coverage and for now, all of the articles are free.  So, be sure to tell your friends that BDN is the place for football and we are certain our coverage of prospects will be just as good as our infamous basketball offerings.

I had a friend say the other day that he knew I had been busy going out on the road to cover an AAU event after following the team every step of the way to the national championship.   “You must be glad to have some free time now,” he said.  I wish!  BDN stays busy all year round with recruiting and we constantly strive to come up with off season articles of interest.  We cover the Duke beat and more and by more we are the only subscription site to offer a ton of free articles to the Blue Devil Nation.  In short, check in often in the coming months or you’ll be missing a lot.

You may have noticed a bit of slow coverage of late, well, we had a lot of our key people in transit on way or the other and every now and then I try to sneak a couple of days in.  The trouble with that is it never fails that something happens when I let my guard down, so not a lot of rest for the weary.

In closing this weeks Monday Musings, I want to thank the Blue Devil Nation for their support.  You guys make us constantly want to improve our coverage and we are always open to suggestions provided they are grounded in reality;)