A Visit From New Jersey's Finest

Photo Courtesy of BlueDevilNation.net

Photo Courtesy of BlueDevilNation.net

Homecoming isn’t the only thing happening at Duke this weekend. Kyrie Irving, consensus top-10 recruit in the class of 2010, will be on campus for his official visit this weekend. Since our last update about Irving, the chips have fallen tremendously in Duke’s favor. Indiana, long perceived as Duke’s main competitor for Irving’s services, was abruptly removed from Irving’s list last Friday.

Duke has the advantage of hosting Irving for his first official visit. His father, Drederick, has stated that Kyrie could possibly commit on the spot at one of his official visits if he feels extremely comfortable. In the same vein, Irving was quoted  saying after his in-home visit with the Duke coaching staff on September 9th that if, on his official visit, he feels “comfortable that it’s the right school, [he’ll] commit.”

Irving will be on campus Friday and Saturday. He will be on the field at the football game versus NC Central when the basketball team is honored for their 2009 ACC Championship. Fellow Duke students, make Kyrie feel welcome if you see him this weekend!

Eight years ago, New Jersey native Jason Williams led Duke to its third national championship. Nearly a decade before that, Jersey-born Bobby Hurley helped Duke win back-to-back championships. Is it a coincidence that Kyrie Irving hails from the Garden State as well?

Deviled Eggs 9/21/09

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:

kylejon

A tremendous tandem. Photo courtesy of DukeBluePlanet.com


1. Captain Jon Scheyer breaks down 2009-2010

Jon is unbelievably valuable to this team. He’s calm, collected, and really understands the game and his role in the system. Let’s hope its a season to remember for him and fellow senior Captain Lance Thomas.

2. Mason Plumlee is a BEAST.

If Mason can play like this in the ACC, things are looking really, really good down low for Duke this year and beyond.

3.Recruiting Update: Kyrie, Harrison, and Austin Rivers

These next few weeks could be incredibly exciting for Duke basketball. On Friday, Kyrie eliminated Indiana from his list – a school previously thought to be in contention. With his official visit coming up this weekend, Duke is sitting pretty with a player who may be “the next Jason Williams“.

4. Harrison Barnes…what more is there to say?

Yeah, Harrison’s pretty good at basketball.

5. Duke students don’t know how good they have it…

A surprisingly positive take from The Dagger on Duke’s decision to allow graduate students to sit behind both baskets in Cameron this season.

6. Cameron Indoor Gets a Facelift

Check out our Photos page to see what the hallowed arena will look like this year!

BONUS:

Countdown to Craziness: Be There.

Lo and behold, college basketball season is almost upon us. On October 16, Coach K and the team will open the season with “Countdown to Craziness” in Cameron. Follow the jump for everything you need to know about what looks to be a hell of a weekend. Thanks to DBP once again for the link.

Grad Campout '09: Crazier Than Ever

“The Premier Social Event of the Year”

The basketball universe respects Duke undergrads for the absurd things we do to watch basketball games in Cameron Indoor Stadium. From sleeping in flooded tent cities to burning massive wooden benches, Dukies “blow off steam” in ways that the average American college student wouldn’t consider even at the pinnacle of inebriation. Thus, the Cameron Crazies are widely considered the best and most creative fans in college basketball.

But there’s one thing some Blue Devils may not know—the Graduate students just might be the craziest of the whole lot.

This past weekend, students from Duke’s 60 graduate programs flooded three Blue Zone parking lots with trucks, tents, DJ Equipment, and of course, a healthy, fun loving attitude. Typically, each graduate program carves out a section of turf and sets up dozens of tents, or in the case of the Fuqua Business School, rented RV’s.

Like K-ville, campers must complete mandatory tent checks signaled by blaring sirens. If you miss one tent check, you’re out of the running for one of the coveted 725 grad student season tickets. Typically, students enter the lottery in groups. For example, a group of 30 law students will camp out together. When the names are drawn, 15 of them win season tickets. Those 15 have their choice of games, but the home games are “divided” among the original group of 30. The system satisfies everyone.

Jonathan Page, a second year Divinity Student, observed that the high stakes of the weekend “makes for a more intense moment” when a tent check occurs. At the sound of the siren, the mass of students horded around the white check-in tent, arranged alphabetically by last name. After checking in, students dispersed back to their activities, which included a Guitar Hero tournament, basketball shoot-out, and enormous projection screens erected to watch college football and classic Duke basketball games.

The weekend is planned by the Graduate and Professional Student Council’s Basketball Committee. Campout co-chair Mark Kohler, a Ph.D. candidate in chemistry, said that the weekend took over five months to plan.

“About 2,500 campers signed up, and around 2,000 are here,” he said Saturday night, “it’s great to have everyone coming together for a great weekend.”

Kohler noted that since graduate students have different schedules than undergrads, the idea of “sleeping outside for weeks” is simply impossible. “People are teaching, grading papers, we’re all busy.” He also observed that Grad Campout has its traditions just like K-Ville. “Some people have come back for ten years running.” Traditions like creative t-shirts, beer pong tables, and late night karaoke lend the weekend an aura of intensity that would impress even the undergrad tenants of Tent 1.

The grad students may not occupy the marquee spots in Cameron, but as Campout Weekend ’09 demonstrated,  there’s no doubting their crazieness.

“The Season Starts Tonight”

On the same day that he was inducted into the Army’s Sports Hall of Fame, Coach Mike Krzyzewski stood before another group several hours after Duke football’s 35-19 win over the Black Knights in West Point.

We need to have an edge...

"We need to have an edge..."

Around 9pm on Saturday, Coach K and the men’s basketball team filed into the Blue Zone for Krzyzewski’s annual speech to the Graduate Students. The team donned the official Grad Student t-shirts, and K took up the microphone before an ocean of students seated on the pavement.

He began with introductions of the “new guys”–freshmen Mason Plumlee, Ryan Kelly, Andre Dawkins, and Seth Curry. He noted jokingly that Dawkins is “going to turn 18 this month.” A voice then yelled out to Andre, “Show me your I.D.!” “Just don’t find one for him!” Coach K replied.

The trademark wit continued through the talk, but Coach K was sure to inform the graduate students of Cameron’s new developments. To the cheers of the crowd, K announced that the end zone opposite the graduate section, usually occupied by padded seats, is now part of the grad section. The new seats push the number of season tickets from 700 to 725.

Coach K also offered some advice: “We need an edge, not just enthusiasm…We should come [to Cameron] to kick someone’s ass.”

He reiterated throughout the speech that “the season starts tonight.”  Trust us, Coach. We can’t wait to see what the team can do in your 30th year at the helm.

Check out the video of Coach K’s speech below, which contains some language. For more scenes from the crazie weekend, check out our Photos page.

CRAZIE NOTES:

Karaoke

The Karaoke Station

At the karaoke station, people leapfrogged in a circle while a pair of students sung a heartfelt rendition of “Total Eclipse of the Heart”

– Fuqua students on their RV neighborhood: “We keep it classy.”

– A student asked: “Are we going to beat UNC at home this year?” To be brief, K was not too pleased by this question.

When Coach K mentioned practice, several students yelled, “You talkin’ bout practice?” mimicking Allen Iverson’s famous press conference. Coach wisely said, “If you don’t practice, you can end up in Memphis.” Nice.

Coach K is going to take us to the promised land.

"Coach K is going to take us to the promised land."

Coach K Quotables

On speedo guys: “I’m not a speedo guy. I’m 62…speedoes [sighs]…anyway. It’s not a good scene.”

– On Team USA: the experience has increased his shelf life at Duke, and has been positive in every way.

– After accepting a cozy from a student, Coach K joked, “Do wine glasses fit in these? I’m a big wine guy.” But not a big wine and cheese guy, hopefully.

– “Coach is going to take us to the promised land,” said Captain Lance Thomas.

– On the grad school campout and the commitment of the students: “Thank you for what you’ve done. Don’t ever lose this.”

Jake & Amogh collaborated on this article.

Deviled Eggs 9/14/09

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:

1. Coach K inducted to Army Sports Hall of Fame

…and then watches Cutcliffe, Renfree, Wright, and Duke Football defeat his alma mater in West Point. Congrats to Coaches K and Cut!

2. One-on-one with Andre Dawkins

His favorite part about Duke Basketball? The fans. We can’t wait to see the new #20 in action.

3. Kyle Singler named Preseason First Team All-American by FoxSports.com

No surprises there. Kyle’s legend grows each time he steps on the court.

4. Kyrie Irving on Duke

We’re sitting pretty with one of the best PG’s in the nation. He’ll be in Durham the weekend of September 26th for Homecoming, all Crazies unite!

5. Being a Manager for Duke Basketball is a LOT Harder Than You Think

If you think it’s just about great seats in Cameron, you’re dead wrong.

6. Eagles QB and Syracuse alum Donovan McNabb full of praise for GP2(3)

On Greg: “He has the maturity of an older guy, being in tough games [as a Duke basketball player] and knowing how to handle it.”

Check back later this week for extensive coverage of one of the craziest traditions at Duke that took place this past weekend – Graduate Student Campout!

Deviled Eggs 9/7/09

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:

freshmen

A Few Good Men: the Freshmen Trio. (courtesy of DukeBluePlanet.com)

1. Q&A with Syracuse starting quarterback Greg Paulus

GP2 displayed the qualities that endeared him to Duke fans for four years as GP3 – leadership, toughness and poise. But he left some fodder for the haters as well with that game-sealing interception.

2. SLAM Online’s Preseason Top 25

Duke at 14? Time will tell if that ranking is too low. We here at CT like Andy Katz over at ESPN better.

3. SLAM Q&A with Duke junior point guard Nolan Smith

SLAM catches up with our starting point guard, as Nolan will be running the show this year without having to look over his shoulder. In Nolan we trust.

4. A First Look at the 2009-10 Uniforms

DukeBluePlanet with a photo gallery for the jerseys that will be worn by the Blue Devils this season.

5. Kicking it Old-School with Ex-Blue Devil Howard Hurt

Howard Hurt, captain of the 1961 Blue Devil squad, remains an athlete, at 70 years of age.

6. Keeping Up with Harrison Barnes

We love Harrison Barnes. End of story.

BONUS:

7. 2011 Prospect James McAdoo commits to UNC

Though Duke was in the mix, UNC seemed to be the frontrunner all along.