Deviled Eggs 10/19/09

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:

dredunk

Hopefully, we'll be seeing a lot more of this. (Photo courtesy of DukeBluePlanet.com)

1. “H” has a few things he wants to clear up.

A press release written by Harrison Barnes himself in response to speculation about his in-home visits. We’re hitting the home stretch, Crazies. Barnes, who likes to be called “H”, will be in Gothic Wonderland for his official visit this Friday! To any students who read this: ditch your parents and come to this game!

2. Ahead of the Curve

Andre Dawkins is Duke’s heralded freshman shooting guard who chose to enroll early, providing a much needed spark after the departures of Gerald Henderson to the NBA and Elliot Williams to stay close to an ailing parent.  Dawkins, armed with a sweet stroke and G-like leaping ability, is a much needed addition to Duke’s roster.

3. Open Letter To Duke

Duke athletics isn’t all about basketball, as Heather Dinich argues in this open letter to all Cameron Crazies.  Our football team has taken some major strides this season, with Thad Lewis doing his best imitation of Tom Brady. We play Maryland at home this Saturday, with the chance to go to 2-1 in ACC play in Coach Cutcliffe’s second year.

4. J.J Redick: A Class Act

J.J fulfills a dream of one of his biggest young fans, 16 year-old Max Runyon. Stories like this just never get old.

5. Coach K reveals starting five

…and we’re going to be HUGE, with the average starting height at 6’7. Now if we could just conjure a few more (eligible) guards.

6. SI’s Preseason Power Rankings

Duke sits at 12, perhaps a tad low but nothing too out of the ordinary. My problem is with UConn at 3, who we potentially matchup against in the preseason NIT at Madison Square Garden. Does part of Jim Calhoun’s salary go to Luke Winn?

BONUS:

Countdown to Craziness – In Living Color.

Crazie Talk photographer Christine’s photos from Friday night’s inaugural basketball extravaganza. It’s about time we did this at Duke.

Click to see more of the incredible night that was Countdown to Craziness. (All photos copyright Crazie Talk, 2009)

ACC Rundown: Miami

The 2009-2010 basketball season is slowly drawing closer. Every Tuesday and Thursday this fall, Crazie Talk will preview each of the twelve ACC teams in order of conference standings – from the bottom up.

Today, we’ll take a look at the Miami Hurricanes.

Ut

Photo courtesy of DukeBluePlanet.com

2008-2009 Record: 19-13 (7-9 in ACC)

Postseason Record: (0-1 in ACC Tournament, 1-1 in NIT)

Projected Starting Lineup: James Dews (Sr.), Durand Scott (Fr.), Adrian Thomas, (RSr.) Dwayne Collins (Sr.), Cyrus McGowan (Sr.)

Returning:

[TABLE=18]

Departing:

[TABLE=19]

Incoming:

[TABLE=20]

The Good: Durand Scott is by far Miami’s only legitimate recruit, having garnered a 5-star prospect rating from rivals.  Scott is an athletic shooting guard with an innate ability to get the basketball inside the bucket, particularly when he gets inside the paint.   He has the capability to start as a freshman, but much of this is due to the fact that Miami lacks experience at guard.  His scoring ability, while potent, lacks a solid foundation and consistency that is crucial to succeeding against faster, stronger, and smarter ACC defenses.  He has a very awkward jump shot, and he needs to work on extending his range.  He also struggles with creating his own shot, an area he will need to improve upon considering miami’s lack of a true scoring threat.  Overall, Scott reminds me a lot of a young Gerald Henderson- an athletic swingman has the potential to grow into a premier threat.

The Bad:  This isn’t football.  This team simply doesn’t have a the true scoring threat that they had last year in Jack McClinton.  Without McClinton and his 20 PPG, they will rely heavily on Durand Scott to provide an offensive spark from the guard position.  In addition, this team is incredibly inexperienced, a trait which will inevitably be exposed later on in the season.   Their backcourt, which is spearheaded by the combo of senior James Dews and freshman Durand Scott, does not contain a seasoned play-maker who can truly run the point.   In a conference as competitive as the ACC, having an excellent point guard who can bring the ball up and run an offense is key to any team that wants to be successful (unless your team is coached by Mike Krzyzewski).

The Crazie: While Miami will not be a major contender this year, this club will always be a threat .  Durand Scott, paired with Dwayne Collins, should provide a volatile offensive arsenal whose inconsistency can both help and hurt the team.   In games where both scorers are locked in, this team’s athleticism should prove a difficult hurdle to overcome for teams who lack quickness.   The Blue Devils need to watch out for their 2/17 game down in Miami- this team, while inexperienced, could definitely take a cheap one from Duke.

We Love to Hate… Dwayne Collins. Self explanatory.

The Bottom Line: Look for Miami to finish somewhere in the bottom 3 of the ACC.  Let’s face it- this team just doesn’t have the experience or consistency to contend in a conference as tough as ours.   Miami should have a tough time making it to the tournament, so look for this team to contend for the NIT.

* * *

Crazie Talk’s ACC Rundowns:

Georgia Tech | Virginia | NC State | Virginia Tech | Miami (FL) | Maryland
Boston College | Clemson | Florida State | Wake Forest | North Carolina | Duke

ACC Rundown: Virginia Tech

The 2009-2010 basketball season is slowly drawing closer. Every Tuesday and Thursday this fall, Crazie Talk will preview each of the twelve ACC teams in order of conference standings – from the bottom up. Check out the rest of our previews here.

Today, we’ll take a look at the Virginia Tech Hokies.

Virginia Tech Forward J.T. Thompson (Courtesy of DukeBluePlanet.com)

Virginia Tech Forward J.T. Thompson (Courtesy of DukeBluePlanet.com)

2008-2009 Record: 19-15 overall (7-9 ACC)

Postseason Record: 1-1 (lost to Baylor in NIT Second Round)

Projected Starting Lineup: Malcolm Delaney (Jr.), Dorenzo Hudson (Jr.), J.T. Thompson (Jr.), Jeff Allen (Jr.), Cadarian Raines (Fr.)

Returning:

[TABLE=15]

Departing:

[TABLE=16]

Incoming:

[TABLE=17]

The Good: Last season was another depressing denouement for Hokie hoops fans. The team started 6-3 in conference, including a road win at No. 1 Wake Forest.  Then Seth Greenberg’s squad dropped 6 of the final 7 games, including a second straight close loss to UNC in the ACC Tournament which dashed their hopes at March Madness. However, Tech returns star point guard Malcolm Delaney and steady (if rude) power forward Jeff Allen. In addition, Coach Greenberg keeps bringing in good talent: big freshmen guard Manny Atkins will do his best A.D. Vassallo impression while classmate Cadarian Raines is a solid rebounder and post presence.

The Bad: Can this team be consistent? In Greenberg’s tenure, the Hokies have had some signature wins over top teams like Duke, UNC and Wake. On the brink of the Big Dance, however, Virginia Tech has faltered, often losing in heartbreaking fashion. We’re not convinced that Greenberg can actually coach, but his players have proven their merit and must be hungry for some real postseason experience. If Virginia Tech can stay over .500 in conference, they should reach that goal.

The Crazie: The Hokies did not learn from missing on Stephen Curry. His brother Seth is now a Blue Devil (YES!), and Dell’s alma mater is now 0-2 on the sons of their most prestigious basketball alumni. Their loss is our gain–and we have a feeling that Hokie fans are going to be hitting themselves in two seasons.

We Love to Hate: Deron Washington. Oh wait, he graduated? Still.

The Bottom Line: There is reason for excitement in Blacksburg this season, and it’s not just for the football team. With the talented Delaney at the helm, this experienced squad should win 20+ games and make the NCAA Tournament.

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Crazie Talk’s ACC Rundowns:

Georgia Tech | Virginia | NC State | Virginia Tech | Miami (FL) | Maryland
Boston College | Clemson | Florida State | Wake Forest | North Carolina | Duke

Deviled Eggs 10/12/09

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

Let's get this party started. Photo courtesy of DukeBluePlanet.com

1. Freshman Adjustment

Ryan, Mason, and Andre are anxious to get things started. So are we. Four days!

2. Harrison Barnes Talks OU

Fresh off of a visit to Norman last weekend, Harrison dishes about Oklahoma and his relationship with former Duke guard and Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel.

3. Zags on Kyrie Irving

Irving was at Texas A&M this weekend for an official visit – his first since he visited campus a few weeks ago. This weekend also looks to be a busy one for the #2 point guard prospect in the nation.

4. The Dagger: Duke, UNC battle comically over Harrison Barnes

A decent rundown of the drama that ensued between Roy, K, and Barnes last Monday – the final day of the in-home contact period. My favorite part of this little piece:

“The last time we saw him, he was being wined and dined at the UNC Alumni Game…”

The ‘wine and cheesers’ certainly know how to ‘wine and dine’. But are they deserving of the plethora of talent that is Harrison Barnes? We think not.

5. Senior QB Thaddeus Lewis Honored By Walter Camp Foundation.

…as National Offensive Player of the Week for his incredible performance against State on Saturday. Congrats, Thad!

6. From Obama, With Love

President Barack Obama is a well-decorated man. He holds the most powerful office in the world, a law degree from Harvard, and was the winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. He also had one heck of a block on his personal aide – former Duke forward Reggie Love – that was met with as much fanfare as his aforementioned accomplishments. A photo was taken, framed, and even presented during a White House press briefing.

Can the season start already?

The Final Countdown…

Fellow Crazies, the 70th basketball season  in Cameron Indoor Stadium and 30th year under the leadership of Coach Mike Krzyzewski is finally upon us.

The 2009-2010 season officially commences next Friday, October 16th, at 8PM, with our own version of “Midnight Madness”. The official website for the event is CountdownToCraziness.com. Check it out!

800x600_CountdownCrazy_Countdown

On the website, there is a schedule for Countdown to Craziness and a reminder that on the morning of October 17th, there will be an Open House in Cameron with the basketball team. There is even a box for readers to submit their own “Crazie Story.”

Best of all, Countdown to Craziness will set the stage for the first ever “Crazies Choice Awards”. As you might have guessed, these awards are determined by the Crazies themselves, so make sure to check out  some of the most hallowed Duke moments and vote for your favorites!

Here are the categories:

1: What was the greatest Duke comeback of the past 30 years?

A. Duke at Maryland, 2001 (Miracle Minute)
B. Duke vs. Maryland, 2001 National Semifinal
C. Duke vs. UNC, 1998 (Coach K’s 500th win)
D. Duke vs. NC State, 2003 ACC Championship

2: What was the greatest Duke buzzer beater of the last 30 years?

A. Christian Laettner vs. UConn, 1990 NCAA Elite Eight
B. Christian Laettner vs. Kentucky, 1992 Elite Eight
C. Chris Duhon vs. Wake Forest, 2001 regular season
D. Sean Dockery vs. Virginia Tech, 2005 regular season

3: When was the most “electric Cameron chaos” of the last 30 years?

A. 1981, Gene Banks forces OT vs. UNC
B. 2000, Duke scores three straight baskets in 18 seconds vs. UNC
C. 2005, Duke defense stops UNC in last 17.3 seconds
D. 2009, Duke goes up 40 vs. Maryland

4: What was the best dynamic duo of the past 30 years?

A. Johnny Dawkins and Mark Alarie, 1983-1986
B. Bobby Hurley and Christian Laettner, 1990-1992
C. Jason Williams and Shane Battier, 1999-2001
D. J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams, 2003-2006


There is TONS of amazing stuff planned – including a dunk contest and player introductions from a very special guest!

But don’t just take our word for it. Check out CountdownToCraziness.com!

One more week!

ACC Rundown: Virginia

The 2009-2010 basketball season is slowly drawing closer. Every Tuesday and Thursday this fall, Crazie Talk will preview each of the twelve ACC teams in order of conference standings – from the bottom up.
Today, we’ll take a look at the Virginia Cavaliers.

sylven

All eyes will be on Sylven Landesberg in his sophomore year. Photo courtesy of DukeBluePlanet.

2008-2009 Record: 10-18 overall (4-12 ACC)

Postseason Record: (0-1 ACC Tournament, Did not qualify for NCAA Tournament)

Projected Starting Lineup: Calvin Baker (Sr.), Sylven Landesberg (Soph.), Jamil Tucker (Sr.), Mike Scott (Jr.), Assane Sene (Soph.)

Returning:

[TABLE=9]

Departing:

[TABLE=10]

Incoming:

[TABLE=11]

The Good: Sylven Landesberg, who yours truly went to elementary school with, is Virginia’s leading scorer and the reigning ACC Rookie of the Year. He can simply get to the rim and finish and will make a strong push for ACC Player of the Year. He had a solid performance (20 points) this past February as a first-timer at Cameron. However, teams will surely look to double-team him to keep the ball out of his hands. For Virginia, the climb to respectability in the ACC begins and ends with Landesberg.

The Bad: Three point shooting and team defense. This team just cannot make it rain. Their combined team percentage from 3 was an abysmal 31.6% last year. Only one player, Tucker (40.3%), shot over 34% from deep. JJ Redick can shoot that percentage with his eyes closed. Their poor shooting is compounded by their Swiss-cheese defense. Virginia allowed opponents to score 72.5 points per game, good for dead last in the ACC.

The Crazie: The firing of Dave Leitao allowed for the hiring of former Washington State coach Tony Bennett, whose teams have ranked slowest in the Pac-10 in terms of game pace. However, as a preacher of tough, team defense, Bennett will almost certainly improve the shoddy Cavalier D. But will he adjust to the up-and-down tempo of the ACC? Coaches sure are stubborn. Expect lots of games in the 50s and 60s.

We Love To Hate… Mike Scott. I personally can’t hate on Sylven, because he’s my boy from P.S. 196. Anyway, someone on this team needs to step up to help Landesberg in order for Virginia to move up the ACC. Enter a handful of returning veterans, led by Scott, the team’s second-leading scorer and leading rebounder. Scott, an athletic foward, will have to do the dirty work in the paint and if everything goes right, could average a double-double this year.

The Bottom Line: Virginia returns its six leading scorers, so this team should have the veteran leadership to make a run in the ACC. Calvin Baker and Sammy Zeglinski provide a serviceable tandem at point guard, but you know the ball will be in Landesberg’s hands in the final minutes. Virginia should be talented and experienced enough to move up to the middle of the ACC, and with a little luck, make a decent push upward.

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Crazie Talk’s ACC Rundowns:

Georgia Tech | Virginia | NC State | Virginia Tech | Miami (FL) | Maryland
Boston College | Clemson | Florida State | Wake Forest | North Carolina | Duke

Deviled Eggs 10/5/09

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:

Photo courtesy of BlueDevilNation.net

Photo courtesy of BlueDevilNation.net

1. Irving: “I’m leaning towards Duke”

Irving is scheduled to take his visit to Texas A&M this upcoming weekend and Kentucky the following weekend. But he’s also said that he’s taking “one visit at a time”. Does that mean he’ll make it to Big Blue Madness in Lexington?

2. Kyrie Irving, Pioneer?

Sports Illustrated has a great read about the use of social networking in recruiting, which has its advantages and disadvantages. Kyrie Irving is an avid Twitter user (he will announce his decision via Twitter) and has scheduled live UStream shows to interact with his fans.

3. Duke students too trigger happy

The Charlotte Observer noticed that Duke compliance had to intervene during Kyrie’s visit. We here at Crazie Talk have no comment on this issue.

4. Roscoe Smith To Visit Duke Oct. 9th

Roscoe Smith, Duke’s top 2010 target behind Irving and Harrison Barnes, has cut his list down to three schools and set his visit schedule. Two Big East schools, UConn and Georgetown, are in the running with us and he will be on campus this coming weekend (October 9-11).

5. Austin Rivers, chip off the old Doc

Austin Rivers is the prodigal son of the Celtics’ championship coach. You know the story of Rivers, how he is somewhat committed to Florida right now, but is interested in Duke. Boston Globe writer Bob Ryan notes that Rivers is a high school senior. Does that mean he can be in the class of 2010 instead of 2011, or is that a mistake on Ryan’s part?

6. CBSSports’ Gary Parrish comments on Duke’s recruiting

I’m calling out Gary Parrish right now. You can attack Duke’s recruiting all you want, but you are extremely ignorant when you say this:“It’s a direct result, I think, of putting too much emphasis on character and intangibles — i.e., so-called “good and smart kids” — in recruiting and not enough emphasis on just getting badass ballers who can run and jump at an elite level.” I’ll leave it for you guys to figure out what he meant.

BONUS:

7. Former Duke stars in competition for top recruit in unlikely places

Academic stalwarts Harvard and Stanford are neck-and-neck in the race for 6’10” Dwight Powell, a Scout four-star recruit (five-stars from Rivals) out of Toronto. Former Duke guards Tommy Amaker (Harvard) and Johnny Dawkins (Stanford), who comprised the backcourt for Duke’s 1986 Final Four team, are the men pulling the triggers on Powell’s recruitment. While Stanford plays in the Pac-10, Harvard does not usually recruit four and five-stars to the Ivy League, so a win for Amaker could be huge for the Crimson.