Tag Archives: Nolan Smith

Irving goes #1 in NBA Draft , Smith, Singler selected

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.

BDN Monday Musings – Devils in the NBA draft, recruiting …

BDN Photo

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 Langdon was 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 and Luol Deng  are 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 great Dick 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” Banks and 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 recap from 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.

Desmond Scott leads an improved Blue Devil running game

Football Friday: the calm before the storm

Happy Friday, Blue Devil fans! It’s been another tough week here at Blue Devil Nation, with the NCAA tournament wrapping up and early entrant season in full swing. Keep the faith, fellow Duke fans, there are bright days ahead. Is it football season yet? Not quite. But Football Friday is here to help you indulge your weekly football craving, and we’ve got big things coming up. [private]

 

April 15

We’ve got a big day coming up, Blue Devil Nation! Next Friday will be the last opportunity for most of us to celebrate the outstanding careers of two legendary Blue Devils. The men’s basketball banquet is always a special occasion, but this year, will take on special meaning for many, as we say goodbye to seniors Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith for the final time. It’s been a privilege to watch their careers and it should be another memorable night in Cameron, with a special visitor expected as well. And don’t forget to check out BDN’s Boo Williams coverage!

If that’s not enough for you, April 15 is a significant day for Duke football as well. For most of the spring, recruiting has been in a quiet period, meaning that the staff is unable to go out and visit prospects. That’s not to say recruiting hasn’t been in full swing, as the staff have hosted hundreds of prospects and their families on campus. From April 15 through May 31, you can bet the staff will be hitting the recruiting trail hard as they put together the class of 2012.

 

Speaking of recruiting

Duke hosted a group of prospects last weekend on campus, and among them was athlete Kedrick Davis from Charlotte. The trip was well worth the visit for Davis, as he picked up his first verbal scholarship offer from the Blue Devils, who are recruiting Davis as a receiver. Davis has been on campus for several visits already and it seems likely that Duke will remain a big player in his recruitment. A few other offers may be in the works, and we’ll keep you up to date with the latest from the staff and the prospects themselves.

As other prospects continue to come off the board, either through commitments or lack of mutual interest, several more scholarship offers will be extended over the coming weeks. Duke is working hard to land a defensive back or two this spring and has been after several elite offensive and defensive linemen. At running back, Duke did not make the top 12 for Raleigh’s Keith Marshall, the top running back in the class of 2012, but remain in consideration for Tarboro’s Todd Gurley and a few other backs. As we’ve mentioned previously, recruiting (and commitments) are most likely to peak this summer, as Duke will host several camps and written offers will go out August 1.

 

Class of 2011

Blue Devil fans already got to see LB Jonathan Woodruff in the spring game, but he’ll soon be joined by several of his classmates on campus. It’s hard to believe the spring semester is starting to wrap up, and the first freshmen will report to campus on May 15, just over a month away. The new Blue Devils are excited to get on campus and get to work. This is a stronger class than many people think, and they are coming to Duke with the expectation to play in bowl games and win ACC championships.

 

More 2011 previews to come

We will continue to bring the best recruiting coverage around, but we’ll also start to transition into 2011 mode with some position previews and a look around the ACC. With all of the new faces on the sidelines and under center, there’s been a lot of activity in the ACC this spring and we’ll take a look at some of the headlines as spring practices start to wrap up.

 

Short and sweet

I’ve kept this week’s Football Friday relatively short, as we’re really in the calm before the storm. With spring practice now behind us and the contact period in front of us, it’s been a good time to recharge our batteries and prepare for the summer recruiting rush, which will carry us right into the 2011 season. Speaking of the 2011 season, don’t forget to get your season tickets on GoDuke.com. After retooling in 2010, the Blue Devils are ready to take a step forward in 2011. We’d love to see you all out in Wallace Wade this fall, chanting WE ARE DUKE.

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Is it football season yet?

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.

 

 

Nolan Smith named A.P. 1st team All American

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke senior Nolan Smith was named Associated Press First Team All-America on Monday. He is joined on the team by Jimmer Fredette (BYU), JuJuan Johnson (Purdue), Kemba Walker (Connecticut) and Jared Sullinger (Ohio State).

Smith, the 2011 ACC Player of the Year, earned 61 votes for his outstanding senior season in which he led Duke to an ACC Tournament title, the school’s 12th 30-win season and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. He is the fifth Duke player to be an All-American since 2000; two of them — Jason Williams and J.J. Redick — were selected twice.

“It’s been a long process for me, just getting better each year and improving,” Smith said. “That’s something I hope to share with younger kids coming up. If you put the time in and get better and better and then by the time your senior year hits, you’ll start to accomplish some of those individual goals, and that’s something that I’ve done.”

The Upper Marlboro, Md., native led the ACC in scoring (20.6 ppg.), 20-point games (21) and 30-point games (four). He also ranked among the league leaders in field goal percentage, free throw percentage, assists and minutes played.

Fredette was nearly a unanimous