Deviled Eggs 8/31/09

Every Monday morning, Crazie Talk culls Duke basketball news, articles, and videos into a half dozen of the best “Deviled Eggs” on the interwebs.

Here are this week’s best:

Demarcus

Photo courtesy of DukeBluePlanet.com

1. DeMarcus Nelson to Italy

DeMarcus Nelson, the former Duke guard who previously played with the Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls, will head to Europe to play for Air Avellino in the Italian Professional League. In bocca al lupo, DeMarcus!

2. Harrison Barnes Is Incredibly Motivated

Like we didn’t know that already…but it’s still good to know. Get ready, Crazies. The one and only HB will be on campus October 23rd for the season opener against Pfeiffer!

3.  Kyrie Irving: A Surprise Superstar?

Seriously, we can’t get enough of Kyrie. He’ll be on campus September 25th for Homecoming weekend. All in all, a great interview.

4. Jordan Davidson looks to provide a spark

The fifth-year senior and former walk-on redshirted last season, but could prove to be valuable veteran off the bench this year.

5. GP3 named as one of four Syracuse Co-Captains

Can this get any more outrageous? Paulus has now been a co-captain for two Division I teams – in different sports. Congrats, Greg.

6. Nolan, Kyle, and Casey decide to visit the freshmen on East Campus…

This is great. Awesome work, DBP.

A Recruiting Whirlwind

Over the past few years,  Blue Devil fans bemoaned the near-misses and shocking twists that came to characterize Duke recruiting. But this was not always the case.

As many fans can recall, Duke enjoyed a recruiting “renaissance” in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s that resulted in five consecutive (1997-2001) and six overall ACC Regular Season Titles, five consecutive ACC Tournament Championships (1999-2003), four consecutive seasons ranked No. 1 in the  final AP poll (1999-2002), three Final Fours (1999, 2001, 2004), and the 2001 National Championship.

But the mighty did finally fall, even if what Duke has achieved in the past few years outranks a vast majority of Division I programs. One can mark the genesis of the recruiting struggles in 2004 – with the three man recruiting class of Shaun Livingston, Demarcus Nelson, and David McClure. Livingston was a prep phenomenon—many called him the prototype point guard of basketball’s next generation. Boasting a height of 6’7”, a fantastic passing game, and innate leadership skills, Livingston was the next great Duke floor general. That is, until he declared for the NBA Draft, and left a loaded Duke team weakened at the most important position. Livingston would later suffer a devastating knee injury, derailing what looked to be a promising professional career.

Since then, many highly-touted recruits have either spurned Duke (despite previously praising us) or not panned out (despite high expectations and rankings). Greg Monroe broke hearts by attending Georgetown (although he floundered in Cameron this past year) and Kenny Boynton decided to stay in his home state of Florida. Former Tar Heel Brandan Wright seriously considered Duke (after Kentucky, of course) before crossing over to the light blue side (It should be noted that since leaving after his freshman campaign, he has played in only 77 games in two years in the NBA). Meanwhile, Greg Echenique declined to follow fellow Garden State native Lance Thomas’ path to Durham, electing to attend Rutgers instead (?!).  To be certain, Duke has known pain on the recruiting trail for several years now—and fans have rationally theorized that the sub par recruiting has led to lackluster performance in March. Actually, it guarantees fewer wins and disappointment in the postseason (see: Josh McRoberts). It’s a natural law, like Bernoulli’s principle or whatever.

In that murky light, the revamped recruiting efforts of the last 6 months have quickened the heart rates of Blue Devils nationwide. Instead of targeting a select few recruits and praying for their commitments, Coach K and the coaching staff have adopted the tried and true “wide net” strategy. The practice is simple: get in touch with several elite players at each needed position. When a relationship is firmly established, and said player understands that he may need to compete for minutes in the rotation, extend an offer of scholarship. At worst, the player loses interest and chooses another school. At best, the group of players develops camaraderie and appreciates the competitive nature of their recruitment. They get excited at the team’s potential. Several of them commit and compose a highly talented and touted class. Championships ensue, and benches are set ablaze on the West Campus quad.

So what are the fruits of this labor? Duke landed Andre Dawkins in June 2008, with Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton following a few months later. Dawkins, a Duke fan since childhood, has already added to his legend by enrolling early and strengthening this year’s guard core. Hairston and Thornton are eager to join him in two seasons. Moreover, Duke has a reasonably high chance of landing both Harrison Barnes (who plans to visit canpus on October 23rd) and Kyrie Irving (September 18th), two top-10 players in 2010, as well as Baltimore-area prospect Roscoe Smith. We have also been in contact with three other top point guards: Brandon Knight, Ray McCallum Jr., and Joe Jackson. Although it’s improbable and/or impossible to land all of these players, the new strategy instills hope in our upcoming classes, rather than anxiety at what they may lack.

More recently (especially within the past two weeks), Duke has been involved with standout athletes from the junior and sophomore high school classes. 2011 power forwards Quincy Miller and Marshall Plumlee (yes, the youngest brother of Miles and Mason) have been offered scholarships, and Class of 2012 standout J.P. Tokoto received a scholarship offer on Tuesday, August 25th after separating himself from the pack at the High Performance Camp this past weekend. Duke has also contacted several other elite recruits in the 2011 class, including shooting guard Bradley Beal, point guard Quinn Cook, and power forward James McAdoo. Each player on Duke’s list is a major national prospect, armed with offers from elite programs. Duke fits firmly in that category—there is no reason to settle for less than the best recruits.

Coach K and the coaching staff have sent a clear message: the proverbial “eggs” will no longer be in only a select few baskets. By actively recruiting a surplus of prospects, Duke is acting confidently and adapting to changes in prep basketball. This aggressive approach should allow Duke to once again redefine the upper echelon of college basketball in the near future.

The recruiting lilt of the past 5 years directly correlates with our relative slip over the past 5 years. It’s time for that tide to turn.

Deviled Eggs 8/24/09

Well, the boys are officially back in town. Today is a very special day – the first day of classes  (FDOC, if you will) at Duke. And we’re already counting the days until basketball season (fifty-four, to be exact). That said, let’s get back to culling Duke basketball news, articles, and videos into a half dozen of the best “Deviled Eggs” on the interwebs.

Here are this week’s best:

mason1

Photo Courtesy: DukeBluePlanet.com

1. Duke Blue Planet goes one-on-one with Mason Plumlee

Finally, the most pressing question of the offseason (for me, at least)  is answered. What will Miles and Mason put on the backs of their uniforms?! Just kidding. But all in all, a great interview.

2. Seth Curry wants to make “his own name”

The more I read about him, the more I think he’s going to be a champ. On another note, he was spotted on campus along with brother Stephen and father Dell in front of Cameron Indoor Stadium Sunday afternoon.

3. 2010 Targets Barnes, Irving, and Smith shine at Boost Mobile Elite 24 Classic

Former Tennessee-commit Josh Selby (recruited heavily by Calipari and Co.) may have garnered more attention, but three of Duke’s main targets in the Class of 2010 turned in three impressive performances against some elite competition.

4. Greg Paulus named Syracuse’s starting QB

This has been well documented, but it still has to be on this list. Outrageous.

5. NCAA clears Elliot Williams to play at Memphis in 2009-2010

It’s great to see that he’ll be in action next year. He’ll be a force for Memphis this year. Best of luck, Elliot.

6. 2010 Targets Harrison Barnes and Kyrie Irving both list Duke in their Top Six…

Saved the best for last. Coach K and the staff are facing some serious competition in landing these two future stars, but we’re still very much in the game. For more on Harrison and Kyrie, check out Crazie Talk’s Official Recruiting Guide.

P.S. –

A very special Happy Birthday to Jon Scheyer from all of us here at Crazie Talk!

Happy Birthday Jon!


Deviled Eggs 8/17/09

John Scheyer: tired of the hating.

Jon Scheyer: unfazed by haters. (Photo by C. Ko)

Every Monday morning, Crazie Talk culls Duke basketball news, articles, and videos into a half dozen of the best “Deviled Eggs” on the interwebs.

Here are this week’s best:

1.  Jon Scheyer wants to be the next “Most Hated Dukie”

Scheyerface talks to SI’s Luke Winn about playing point guard, Maryland fans, and Luther Vandross. What a guy.

2.Kyrie Irving is a Man with a Plan

2010 target Kyrie Irving, one of the top point guard prospects in the nation, is seriously considering Duke; moreover, he plans to study journalism in college. We have a pretty solid track record with journalists (the President of CBS Newsthe Chief Washington Correspondent for CNBC and Senior Contributor on the Wall Street Journaland the late founding editor of New York Magazine, to name a few) as we do with professional basketball players (tops in the NCAA with 14-current alums playing in the NBA, not to mention 11 Top-10 NBA Draft picks). Here’s to hoping Kyrie gets to join both of those illustrious lists.

3. Former Duke great Jason Williams looks to revive career…

In the Chinese pro league. We all still love you down here, J-Will. Best of luck.

4. Coach K, USA Basketball moving to new levels

Coach K continues to showcase why he’s at the helm of USA Basketball. He also looks to be the first coach to win multiple gold medals since Hank Iba in 1968.

5. Paulus earning his keep at Syracuse

Somehow I still can’t believe this is actually happening…but it is. Preseason workouts are in full swing at Syracuse, and Greg Paulus is garnering plenty of media attention.

6. Harrison Barnes For President

Top 2010 prospect Harrison Barnes talks about his monster game  against Serbia (46 pts, 14 reb, 4 stl) at the Nike Global Challenge last weekend.

BONUS:

He also wants to tear the rim off.


Breaking News: It's Official!

Andre Dawkins (Atlantic Shores Christian, Virginia Beach, VA) is set to receive his high school diploma Friday, and will attend freshman orientation at Duke University beginning Monday, August 18th.

Andre Dawkins - BDN Photo

He's ready to go. (Photo courtesy of http://www.bluedevilnation.net)

According to ESPN’s Paul Biancardi and The Virginian-Pilot, the erstwhile rising senior will forgo his final year of high school and join the team this season along with freshmen Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly.

The addition of Andre, a five-star recruit ranked third among shooting guards and 16th overall by Rivals.com will undoubtedly give Coach K more depth in the backcourt – a weakness that has been well documented this offseason.

For more on Andre and what impact we might see from him this year, check out our closer look at Andre Dawkins.