Deviled Eggs: July 26th, 2010

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.

Duke & USA Basketball

Duke players and coaches have amassed 36 gold medals in Olympic play, with that number continuing to grow as Blue Devils continue to make their presence felt in international play.  The school’s strong representation can be traced to the fact that at least one Blue Devil has been on every USA Basketball team since 1988.

What Do the Coaches Think of the State of College Basketball?

ESPN.com interviewed 20 (anonymous) top head coaches to find out their thoughts on the recruiting process and violations.  Be sure to check out this interesting piece to find out which league coaches think is the dirtiest and much more.

USA Basketball the New AAU?

Several current and future Blue Devils have impacted the U-18 USA Basketball team.  The team, which features incoming freshmen Josh Hairston and Kyrie Irving, recently won the Gold medal at the FIBA Championships in San Antonio. That team’s leading scorer- none other than Duke target Austin Rivers.  With such a star-studded cast of high school players opting to play for the national team instead of their respective AAU squads, it’s no wonder that Coach K remarked “We’re moving in that direction,” in reference toward more high school participation in U-18 basketball.

Former Duke Trainer Chases Coaching Dreams

Trinity School’s (Durham, NC) men’s basketball coach, Mike Huff, is a man who knows what he wants.  After all, how else could you explain his decision to leave behind a job where he got to work with the likes of Grant Hill, Jay Williams, and J.J. Redick?  Though Mike enjoyed his previous job as coordinator of sport’s performance at the Michael W. Krzyzewski Human Performance Center, he wanted to coach.  When that option wasn’t available at Duke, he followed his dreams by taking the Trinity job.

Player Survey: Kyrie Irving

When Kyrie was asked to describe himself in three words, he wrote “Hungry, Honest, Humble.”  I’ve got a different answer, “Nice. At. Ball.”  We can’t wait to see Kyrie light it up this season against the rest of the country.

Chris Duhon Giving Back to the Community

Last week, former Blue Devil Chris Duhon hosted his 6th annual basketball camp.  The camp hosted a total of 133 kids ranging from ages 7 to 15.  Read on to see what some of the participants themselves had to say about Duhon and the camp.

Also, a special congratulations goes out to Duhon, who is set to get married in a few weeks.  Best of luck in the future!

Video: Duke at the Pro-Am (7/20)

Crazie-Talk’s Arun and Peter were on the scene again over at NC Central for the NC Pro-Am Summer league. We managed to catch some good action on the court tonight, and the Blue Devils were certainly out in full force.

In our first game of the night, Seth Curry was the lone Devil on his squad. Kyrie Irving and Josh Hairston teamed up in the second game of the night, and they did not fail to impress. Kyrie in particular showed a dazzling display of moves both on and off the ball, and as usual, was very comfortable with the ball in his hands. We continue to be amazed by his ability to squeeze through the smallest openings in the lane and finish with either hand or find an open teammate for an easy bucket. His 3 point range was also on display, as you can see from our highlight reel.

The third game of the night was a real treat for all the Duke fans in the building. A handful of Duke’s youngest stars, including Ryan Kelly, Tyler Thornton, Andre Dawkins, Mason Plumlee, and Marshall Plumlee all saw action in this game, and all five were occasionally on the court at the same time. Ryan Kelly continued his solid summer season at the NC Pro-Am and showed off his varied offensive repertoire of drives to the basket, shots beyond the arc, and midrange jumpers. In one spectacular move (which we luckily managed to capture), Kelly used multiple crossovers to get around his defender (Marshall Plumlee) and finished with a smooth up and under move.

Not to be overshadowed by his fellow freshman point-guard, Tyler Thornton showed Duke fans his deceptive quickness, improved range on his jumpshot, and consistent defense.  Andre Dawkins played to his strengths and buried a number of long range jumpers. Mason Plumlee used his athleticism to his advantage by throwing down some thunderous dunks, and he also showed some surprisingly tight handles on multiple unassisted drives to the hoop. Marshall Plumlee, the youngest of the three brothers, teamed up with his older brother to form an imposing frontline for the opposition. Although his game is quite raw at this point, we noticed much of the same athleticism that his older brothers are blessed with. At this point, Marshall seems to be more comfortable closer to the basket in a traditional center role, where he can use his seven foot frame and length to his advantage.

We’ll continue to go to the Pro-Am as time permits, but until then, check out our other videos on Crazie-Talk TV, our official YouTube channel.

Deviled Eggs: July 19th, 2010

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.

Redick and Williams sign new NBA deals

The former teammate All-Americans JJ Redick and Shelden Williams signed new deals in the past few days—Redick staying with the Orlando Magic, and Shelden signing with the Denver Nuggets.

Redick cashed in on a steady season (averaging about 10 ppg off the bench), earning a 3 year/$19 million deal. The Chicago Bulls had offered JJ that same amount, but the Magic exercised his free agent option and kept him. Good choice, Orlando. JJ was the most competent bench player for the Magic throughout the playoffs, upping his scoring to 11.2 points per game in the thrilling Boston series, and consistently making smart plays (even if he should’ve called that timeout in Game 2). With Vince Carter moving into his late innings, JJ could earn more playing time (and more money) after these three years are up. Whether he remains in Florida for the rest of his career or moves elsewhere, Redick has duped all of his critics (including this author) who thought he wouldn’t be able to hang in the league. Congrats, JJ—you can laugh at the haters all the way to BofA.

Shelden has been more of an enigma. Short stints in Atlanta and Sacramento and last year’s run to the Finals with Boston yielded little for Duke’s all-time record holder in rebounds and blocks. Thus far in the NBA, The Landlord’s only tenant has been himself, on the pine. Who knows, maybe that will change in Denver. The Nuggets’ two power forward options, Kenyon Martin and Chris “Birdman” Andersen, are both recovering from knee surgery in the offseason. I think with some more PT in the regular season (before Martin and Andersen are at full strength) will boost Shel’s confidence a lot. He looked lost when thrust into the lineup in the late games of the Finals, blowing a wide open dunk at one point. This is not the beast Duke fans knew during his time in college (or the man Candace Parker fell for). The former fifth draft pick (wow) needs to prove himself in Denver to stick in the league. Good luck, Shel.

ETA: Duke connections just abound, don’t they? Lee Melchionni is Shelden Williams’ agent. That’s what you call a family.

2012 wing prospects Alex Murphy and Shabazz Muhammad light up the summer stage

With the 2011 class adding another member last week, Duke recruitniks are looking toward 2012 to see what high school prospects we’d like to add to the roster (but will we even exist in 2012?). Murphy and Muhammad are two guys the coaching staff are really pursuing, and for good reason. Some thought Murphy (older brother Erik was a former Duke recruit and now plays for Florida) was a Duke lock after he and his family chatted up Coach K in his office during the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions in the Triangle. But Murphy, a smooth and skilled 6’8” wing, is getting looks from all the top dogs, including the dreaded Calipari (don’t buy his shtick, Alex, or let him buy you a car or whatever he does). Muhammad will end up a top-5 prospect in my opinion—see the video linked above for a sample of his many skills. We have a legitimate shot with both players, but don’t be surprised if we get neither. Talented guys like Murphy and ‘Bazz have all kinds of options.

For more on these two players check out our highlight video and scouting report from the Tournament of Champions.

Jon Scheyer leaves Heat summer league team with injured eye

Bummer, man. After a promising start to the NBA summer league, Jon Scheyer was smacked (inadvertently) in the eye during a game against the Golden State Warriors. What’s worse is that Scheyer left the Las Vegas camp to see a specialist in Chicago, and will likely miss the rest of the summer league games. Jon’s chance to ride the Heat wave (see what I did there?) deep into the playoffs seems to be receding into nothingness like the Florida Everglades. It’d take a big effort by the Miami brass to get Scheyer onto the roster, and let’s face it, Pat Riley is a huge ass and head coach Erik Spoelstra is like, what—16 years old? Not happening.

Get well soon, Jon. Even if he has to sit out the NBA for a season (maybe a good thing, with a potential lockout pending anyway), I’m confident his talents are good enough to earn a roster spot in the future. And what NBA audience wouldn’t love the Scheyerface?

Michael Gbinije leads Team Takeover to Peach Jam crown (video)

The Nike Peach Jam in North Augusta, S.C. wrapped up over the weekend, and ’11 commit Michael Gbinije was the ostensible star, racking up 19 points in the final (His teammate, 2012 prospect James Robinson, is another player to keep and eye on). Congratulations to Mike G. and his D.C. team. In the video above (ESPNU recruiting ‘guru’ Paul Biancardi…I know, sorry), the Gbinije highlights start at 1:12. Kid’s got confidence going to the rim to go with his smooth jumper. Some Duke fans have compared him to what Ricky Price was supposed to be (without all of Ricky’s crazy athleticism).

ESPN loves Duke enough to give us an ESPY

…for best Male Collegiate Athletic program. Pretty well-deserved, considering our triumphs in hoops and lacrosse, with a strong showing by the men’s tennis team (Henrique Cunha—remember the name). We even won five games in football. Congratulations to Duke A.D. Kevin White, who is awesome, and Kyle and Zoubs, who got the “TwESPY” for tallest collective at the awards show. Whatever that means.

Ten Great Moments from 2009-10

Our cohort in the Duke blogosphere DukeHoop is counting down ten great moments from the 2009-10 Title season. Check the above link for moment number ten, which is actually several moments of pure Duke toughness. Or, as my friend back in Asheville, N.C. used to say when I dove on the floor for a loose ball in a meaningless pickup game—”THAT’S DUKE HUSTLE!”

For random “Deviled Eggs” throughout the week, be sure to follow C-T on our totally awesome Twitter, bro.

Video: Duke at the NC Pro-Am (7/13)

Crazie-Talkers Arun and Peter made the short trip from Duke to McDougald Gymnasium on the campus of North Carolina Central a few times this summer, and have been able to get great footage of several of our players in action. Enjoy these videos, featuring Kyrie Irving, Nolan Smith, Seth Curry, Mason and Miles Plumlee, and Josh Hairston. Here’s video from last night.

Kyrie Irving’s pretty darn good, isn’t he? Oh, and Seth Curry can really play too. Miles Plumlee looks like he’s working on his He-Man impression. Even Josh Hairston looks like he’s ready to play quality minutes off the bench.

But check out highlights from last Thursday, where Nolan and Mason did work.

As if having two studs in Kyrie and Seth wasn’t enough, Nolan Smith would like to remind you that he was the most improved player on the team that won the National Championship in 2010. He’d also like to remind you that he’s got some awesome shoes. Factor in confidence in Mason and Ryan’s games, and you have the perfect recipe to wreak havoc in 2010-2011.

Yikes. Look out, ACC.

Deviled Eggs: July 12th, 2010

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.

Coach K, Kyle, and the rest of us can't wait until next year. (Photo courtesy of DukeBluePlanet.com.)

Kyle, Nolan Hungry For More

Duke fans, we are incredibly lucky two have not one, but two very, very special kids representing Duke basketball and Duke University. Also – both Nolan and Kyle were selected to play on the USA Select Team, which practices against the Men’s National Team as they prepare for World Championships in July.

J.J. Redick is a Hot Commodity

Da Bulls offered him a three-year, $19 million offer sheet on Friday night. But the Magic want to keep him in Orlando. Either way, J.J. is getting paid.

Scheyer Eyes Miami Roster

With three superstars on board, Miami may be the perfect place for Jon to get a shot at success in the NBA. We wish him the best.

Austin Rivers Loves the Duke Store…

…just like the rest of us. Even though he won’t be announcing in August, we’re pretty sure he’ll be a Blue Devil when it’s all said and done.

ACC, ESPN Agree to 12-Year Deal

Which means more local games will be syndicated to Raycom. At least the second UNC game will be on CBS in Primetime.

Kings of the Dance

For any of you who may have forgotten: exactly thirteen weeks ago, Duke won the 2010 National Championship. Another excellent video from DukeBluePlanet, as usual.

PS. This video will be the best nine minutes and twenty-two seconds you spend on the internet today.


Marshall Plumlee Commits to Duke

Last night, Marshall Plumlee, the younger brother of Miles and Mason and Scout.com’s 5th-ranked center for 2011, announced his decision to follow his brothers and play for Coach K.

He is the third commitment Duke has nabbed in the Class of 2011, joining Michael Gbinije and Tyler Adams, and if Miles and Mason stay for their senior and junior years, it would be the first time in Duke’s history (and maybe college basketball history?) that three brothers would be on the same roster.  Like both of his brothers, Marshall has a great basketball IQ.  He is a 7-ft 215-lb center who will bring a slightly different game to Duke than his brothers did.  He uses his height to take on a more traditional center’s role, using a number of back-to-the-basket moves in the low post.  He has great hands and footwork for a player of his size.  However, he’ll need to bulk up and become more physical if he wants to have a big impact in the ACC.  He has a large 7 foot frame to fill, and he’ll no doubt use his senior year of high school to work on that.  If he can build muscle, he has the chance to excel on offense and defense, much like Brian Zoubek did this past season.

So now that Plumlee #3 is in the bag, what does this mean looking ahead for Duke recruiting for 2011?  With our second big man locked up, Duke will likely focus much of its attention in the coming months on the smooth-shooting Austin Rivers and the speedy Quinn Cook.  Both place Duke high on their lists.  Rivers led the way alongside incoming freshmen Kyrie Irving and Josh Hairston to a gold medal for the US U18 team at the FIBA Americas tournament just a little over a week ago. Cook, who is Nolan Smith’s god-brother, was the starting point guard for the US U17 team that won the gold medal at the FIBA World Championships this very morning.  No doubt that will have an impact on where the two end up.  Here’s to hoping for the best!

Finally, here’s a video showing a sneak peek of what Duke is getting in Marshall. Although the footage is about a year old, one can see glimpses of his work ethic and leadership abilities:

We figured that the 2010 National Title would pay big dividends on the recruiting trail. With several more targets in 2011—and the talented crop of 2012 prospects still wide open—look for the coaching staff to work hard to bring the top talent where it belongs: Durham, N.C.

Follow C-T on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for all the latest news and updates from the Duke Basketball universe. Go Devils.

Barnes Nominates Self to Replace LeBron in Cleveland

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.–Shortly after LeBron James announced his decision to sign with the Miami Heat Thursday evening, residents of Cleveland, Ohio—a place fraught by every imaginable misfortune—began mandated preparations to burn their city to the ground and move to Florida like everyone else.

Stop, drop and roll, Cuyahoga County—you have a new savior to call your own.

In a unprecedented move, incoming University of North Carolina freshman basketball star Harrison Barnes declared himself available and eager to sign with the ailing Cavalier franchise.

“I invited you all to this press conference today, heretofore, to discuss, with your willingness, my immediate future plans,” Barnes said Friday morning.

“That is, I would like to be the next LeBron James, please and thank you.”

Holding forth in the nasal voice that has become his trademark, Barnes outlined his plans to solicit a hefty contract from distressed Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, and told members of the press that he had already discussed his uniform number with incoming coach Byron Scott.

“After a few weeks of shooting hoops here in Chapel Hill, I just really think I’m ready for the next level,” he said. “The NBA just calls to me.”

Barnes’ mother Shirley flew in from the family home in Ames, Iowa to provide “some moral support” for her son in a transitional period.

“Harrison Bryce Jordan Barnes just has so much to give,” the proud mother said.

He started watching Nova at three years old, and he asked for the complete works of Bill Shakespeare for Christmas. Now how many young men do that?”

Mrs. Barnes added that Harrison had maintained a 6.0 grade point average at Ames High. A recorded greeting at the office of Barnes’ former high school revealed that it, too, is moving to Cleveland.

In an e-mail, Ames freshman Kayla Rasmussen declared, “We go where Prince Harry goes!”

Prince, indeed. Barnes has a chance to start at small forward from his first day in Cleveland, and should usurp several veterans still in search of the Rust Belt city’s elusive first NBA championship.

“Anthony Parker, Jamario Moon, they’re nice fellas,” Barnes gesticulated with a chuckle. “Didn’t Moon have like, six rebounds against the Raptors once last year? I look forward to teaching them all I’ve learned this summer here at UNC.”

When reminded that former Tar Heel stars Danny Green and Jawad Williams would likely be his teammates in Cleveland, Barnes momentarily fell silent.

“Oh, right! Danny really cut the rug at the Alumni Weekend Ball last year. I’m sure he’ll be the life of the party on the team bus.”

But Tar Heel country is unlikely to be partying after this jolt of news. Last season, the team salvaged a 5-11 conference record with a daring run to the NIT championship game, but fans were jumpy for Barnes to lead their team back to their rightful place—the Big Dance.

As such, early afternoon patrons of the popular Chapel Hill bar Players were predictably distraught.

“But, he promised!” said sophomore Leigh Anne Clayton, a lifelong UNC supporter from nearby Pittsboro. Turning around on her barstool, Clayton pointed out a tattoo near her waistline. “That’s H, for Harrison. And the heart and crown, ’cause he’s the king of my heart, you know?”

Regardless of the local mood, Barnes insists his weeks in Chapel Hill were highly educational. He cited a correspondence course at the Barack Obama Center for Elocutional Studies, whose office in the Dean E. Smith Center basement opened last fall.

“Listen: the hard-scrabble, Main Street folks in Cleveland deserve a second chance at victory,” Barnes said. “It’s not only what I believe, it’s what’s right.”

Shirley Barnes noted that Harrison’s early acceptance into the University’s prestigious Kenan-Flagler undergraduate business school still holds weight.

“With Harrison’s 13 A.P. [Advanced Placement] credits, he’d be only a few courses away from graduating if he ever wanted to come back and get his degree.”

It’s doubtful, however, that the hoops-rabid community would welcome him. John Swofford, commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference and a former UNC Morehead Scholar, issued a press release from his home in Greensboro Friday afternoon.

“In light of this recent news, the ACC will re-open the voting for conference Player of the Year,” the release read. “We will also withdraw our nomination of Mr. Barnes for the Barbara Walters Most Fascinating People of 2011.”

But Swofford was only the tip of the iceberg.

In his wood-paneled office, beleaguered Tar Heel coach Roy Williams was stunned by the announcement from his “thoroughbred.”

“It was just last weekend we were out shopping for suits,” an aghast Williams said, pausing to grab a Coke from his mini-fridge and fiddle with his cell phone.

“Do you know how to use these things?” Williams asked, tapping the phone’s screen. “I’ve been trying to Skype him all morning.”