Tag Archives: N.C. Pro Am

From the Cutting Room Floor: Amile Jefferson and Rodney Hood recap NC Pro-Am

With so much going on in the world of Duke athletics these days , BDN can get backed up with material.  Case in point: here are two videos with Duke newcomers Amile Jefferson and Rodney Hood that had been left on the cutting room floor .  Jefferson proved to be quite competitive during the N.C. Pro-Am, where his team fell just short of the championship.  Hood admits to missing Granny’s cooking (and who wouldn’t?) but said he’s adjusting and enjoying being in Durham.  Check them both out:


Amile Jefferson drops 29 points at the NC Pro-Am

The N.C. Pro-Am provides fans an opportunity to get a look at incoming players for the first time, and those who saw Duke freshman Amile Jefferson last evening came away impressed.  Jefferson led his team to an easy win with a game-high 29 points, which included six dunks, many of which came off assists from teammate Quinn Cook.  Jefferson graciously took the time to talk to Blue Devil Nation after his performance.  Here is our latest video offering:

BDN Monday Musings – Irving, Plums, Peach Jam, Pro Am, Football Approaching — and More

I took this picture of Coach K upon his return with the first Gold his team earned. Let’s hope he can do it again and BDN will once again greet him at the RDI Airport.

There is always a lot happening around Duke athletics, and this coming week is no different.  BDN Monday Musings takes a look around  in our latest group of tidbits.

Kyrie Irving injured again

Kyrie Irving suffered an untimely injury when, during a Cavaliers practice, he hit his hand out of frustration — breaking a bone in the hand — and will now be out of action until the start of training camp.  Irving is, of course, the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year who most recently was a member of USA Basketball’s NBA Select Team.  Here is more on his injury.  BDN wishes him a speedy recovery.  For the record, according to BDN’s recruiting analyst who was recently in Las Vegas watching Team USA’s preparations, Kyrie’s play was as good as any guard in the USA camp.

The Nike Peach Jam is upon us

One of the more popular stops on the AAU circuit is the Nike Peach Jam, which is held in North Augusta, SC, just minutes from the site of the Masters golf tournament.  This event provides coaches with one of their last opportunities to scout the Nike kids.  Only the top teams qualify for the tournament, which ultimately crowns the best team on the “Swoosh” circuit.  In fact, the importance of the event caused several players to back out of the Nike Hoops Summit this past weekend.

Several key Duke prospects will participate in the Peach Jam, and BDN will be there to bring you all the action.  Our most recent offering for premium members is a very interesting interview with big man Jahlil Okafor, who stated on record how bad his team wanted to win it.   The Nike Peach Jam was one of the first events that Blue Devil Nation covered, and it’s always one of my personal favorites.  BDN has now been around for ten years and our message board is celebrating its 5th anniversary this season.  Want more great coverage?  Join today!

Team USA preps and also entertains the troops

What an exciting summer it is for Duke fans, as they get to see coach Mike Krzyzewski try to mold another gold medal-winning national team.  During yesterday’s practice several members of our military and their families got to watch their heroes work out at the National Guard Armory in Washington, D.C.   “They humble us. I mean they do so much for our country and represent our flag,” said Timberwolves and Team USA forward Kevin Love.  “We just go out there and play basketball. So they are the reason we have our freedom.”  Team USA will take on Brazil today; here is the team’s entire schedule through theLondon Olympics.

Duke Football

Just 47 days remain until the Duke football team kicks it off against Florida International in Wallace Wade Stadium on September 1st at 7:00 EST.  There is no update on Blair Holliday, who was recently injured in a horrific boating accident.  Please keep his family and Blair in your prayers. But Duke Football will have to suck it up and prepare to start practice, where they will undoubtedly be hampered by the loss of Holliday at wideout, where he was slated to start.  In fact, this is the position that will be watched most closely in the pre-season by media and coaches alike.

The ACC Kickoff happens in Greensboro this coming Sunday.  This event marks the unofficial media start to the season, as coaches and players meet and the pre-season projected standings and All-ACC teams are released.  BDN will be there as always to bring you full coverage, including the comments of Duke Coach David Cutcliffe.

Elton Brand

In a move designed to shed $18 million from their payroll, Elton Brand was released by the Philadelphia 76ers.  But Brand was quickly picked up and signed by the Dallas Mavericks, who outbid the rest of the league for his services.

 

My man, Rick Crank is a heck of a photographer and we’ll see more of his work soon.

Mason Plumlee named to Honor Court

Mason Plumlee was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches 2011-12 Honors Court today. The Honors Court awards the talents and gifts that these men possess off the court and the hard work they exhibit in the classroom.  Plumlee, a double major in Psychology and Cultural Anthropology, also received CoSIDA First Team Academic All-America honors last season. On the court, he was named third team All-ACC while averaging 11.1 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Plumlee also shot 57.2% from the floor and finished the year with 12 double-doubles and a school record 60 dunks.

North Carolina Pro-Am

The N.C. Pro-Am has kicked into high gear on the campus of N.C. Central University, and more Duke players could be participating in the event this week, on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  There really hasn’t been enough play thus far to warrant us passing on our opinions of the players we’ve seen, but that will change in the coming weeks.  There are several interviews from the event up on the site already, and even more for members on the message board.

Miles Plumlee is a hit

Miles Plumlee was named to the NBA’s Orlando summer league’s First Team.  Check out his video from Dime Magazine.

Syracuse is set to join the ACC

It’s official!  Syracuse will join the ACC in July of 2013.  Check out this link.

Duke Blue Devil Andre Dawkins, “Dre, All Day”

It’s a sweltering summer evening inside McDougald Gym on the campus of North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina. Fans pack the arena to cheer on local college stars and current professional players during the annual North Carolina Pro Am, an extremely popular event. Andre Dawkins’s team is up next and once the game starts it takes no time to hear the P.A. announcer bellow in a loud voice, “Dre, all day!” as Dawkins drains back to back three pointers.

“I like the nickname, Dre all day. It’s my Twitter handle and is a nickname that I have had for a long time. The dad of one of my childhood friend’s came up with it. I’m not sure where he got it from, but it stuck and I like it,” Dawkins told BDN on that late August evening.

After Dawkins drained the aforementioned three point shots, he turns and runs back up court and you can see a ton of confidence in his body language. There is little doubt that Dawkins has improved his game in the off season and that allowed him to start during the China / Dubai trip.

As it turns out, Dawkins performances during the Pro Am were no anomaly. Dre racked up points by the bushel scoring 35 one night, 24 of those coming in the second half. “I tried to get easy baskets instead of forcing the issue,” said Dawkins who nails three pointers with the same ease as a grown man dunks on a Nerf goal.

Dawkins had three consecutive 30 plus point games before slumming at a mere 25 points one evening, only to come back and hit 31 in the next game.

“The first night I was hitting a lot of threes in the first half but in the last game I concentrated more on getting to the basket,” said the rising junior.

When asked if he was ready to step up his game this season, Dawkins stated, “I hope so, we lost a lot of scoring from last season so there will be opportunities.”

Perhaps no player on the Duke roster has been through what Dawkins has. His sister’s untimely passing was something he had to deal with as a true freshman. In fact, Dawkins had enrolled in Duke a year early after graduating early by going to summer school. And for those who may not remember his recruitment, Dawkins was a huge Duke fan before the offer ever came.

Dawkins emotions were evident after the tragedy and he realizes that as well. His confidence would sway with a hit or missed shot and it was clear to read that on his face. “This year if I miss a few shots I have to come back just as confident,” said Dawkins. He continued by saying “I have been working everyday on ball handling and trying to get in real good shape and be aggressive on both ends of the court.”

The sharp shooting swing man is now one of the older players on the Duke roster and he is aware that young guys will look up to him and learn from his experiences. “It’s been going really well for them to date with the newcomers and I show them what I can. Guys are learning our system and we try to get better each time out.”

He also said that the coaches expect him to step up as well, “I know what all the coaches expect and it helps a lot to understand the expectations.”

When Dawkins smiles, he can light up a room. The smile is genuine. One will quickly notice that his braces are gone this season and that in some sense relates to the maturation of his game.

Once the dust settled at the Pro Am, Dawkins was one of the leading scorers in the event, if not the top one overall. More importantly, his team went undefeated until the last day of the regular season, but he missed the playoffs preparing for the Fiendship Games in China. “It’s just a comfort level. I’ve played with a lot of the guys on the team before and they know to look for me in my spots. It just felt good out there,” stated Dawkins on his overall play.

Next up for Dawkins was the China-Dubai trip where the Blue Devils got some early preparation for the coming season. Once the trip concluded, Dawkins showed again that he was more than capable of scoring in bunches. You can bet that other ACC teams payed close attention and they’ll certainly concentrate on trying keep him from going off on them.

I asked Dawkins after the trip about his confidence and improvement and he replied, “Yeah, I do have more confidence. It comes from a lot of hard work over the summer and as you work hard you gain confidence. I feel like I have gotten a lot better and plan to show that this year.”

That said, you may not hear the announcer in Cameron Indoor Stadium exclaim, “Dre, all day,” with a booming voice which echos throughout the rafters, but that doesn’t mean Andre won’t be lighting the competition just as he did this summer.