Deviled Eggs: 3/28/2011

Alright, so Duke’s 2010-2011 campaign is now finished. The end of the season is always tough, but here’s your silver lining; Deviled Eggs are back!

It does stink to have to start these a few weeks early, but what’s done is done. I’m sure most of you spent the rest of the weekend trying to avoid the productivity black hole that is college basketball in March, so here are six of this week’s best links on the interwebs that might be of interest to you.

 

From blueplanetshots.com

I don't know how much attention this Duke cheerleader gets. So here you go, hon. You're famous! (Courtesy of DBP's Photo website, BluePlanetShots.com)

1. Austin Rivers on The Fab Five and Jalen Rose’s Uncle Tom comments

Not sure how much coaching AR got on this article. But good lord, man. If he wrote any of it, he’s going to represent himself well at this University. Better than half of the humanities majors at this school! #notmeanttooffend

2. SethCurrySavesDuke on the Kyrie Irving twitter saga

(Editor’s note: Good lord I’m proud to be a Duke English major when there are people like Shane at SCSD out there)

Must read for those who want one possible explanation for Kyrie deleted his twitter. He’s back, by the way. @RealKyrieIrving. Tweet a lot of things about you know. Coming back.

3. DeAndre Daniels: MORE 2011 recruits???

If you want to read a LOT about this potential power forward recruit (who’s rated 9th in the country at that position), go to The Devil’s Den message boards. More than enough wacky theories and “insiders,” right JohnTDD?

4. “Is Brandon Knight Kentucky’s best freshman ever?”

So says Cincinnati.com…maybe? I think he’s more accomplished than Wall, but there’s a guy named Jamal Mashburn who might have something to say about that title. Or not?

Neither Rex Chapman nor Sam Bowie nor Jamal Mashburn nor Chris Mills nor Kenny Walker nor Ed Davender nor Ron Mercer nor Rajon Rondo nor Keith Bogans nor Patterson nor anyone else you can think (even Alex Groza) had the statistical or even intangible impact Knight has had.

Ugh. I don’t even follow Kentucky and I can tell that’s a stupid article written by some whiskey drunk Western Ky. grad who always wanted Big Blue…but never quite made it. Sad life.

5. Charlotte Observer on Andre Dawkins’ next steps

Ah, that’s more like it! Useful articles by people who cover the Triangle instead of the “Commonwealth of Kentucky.” Man, all the Ph.D’s around here must wear off on everyone.

(Ed. note: how many of our readers have doctorates or majorly advanced degrees of some sort? Just wondering. Tweet us @crazietalker or comment below. Go Duke.)

6. Follow @DaggumRoy, @NotCoachK, @NotBradStevens and more on Twitter!

It started with @DaggumRoy. Then @FakeJayBilas. Then…in a stroke of genius, somebody made @NotCoachK. Follow them all on Twitter via @crazietalker‘s list.

Here’s K’s bio from @NotCoachK:

Almost NCAA #winning-est Duke coach. Dammit, Derrick Williams. From mean street Chicago. Don’t mess with me–I’ll buy your hometown and turn it into a charity.

 

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The offseason is going to be fun. Go Duke. Thank you seniors. We’re going to miss you, but you all have accomplished so much and there’s much left to do going forward. You’ll have a Duke diploma–you’re set. Good luck. And hopefully you’ll all be pulling for Butler this weekend…you totally screwed them over last year.

Check out Crazie-Talk TV’s video of the Kyle, Nolan and Casey doing their senior speeches below. Subscribe to us on YouTube, you connected weirdos. And if you’re on LinkedIn….well. We’re sort of hard to find there. 🙂

(Ed.’s note: UP NEXT FROM CRAZIE-TALK: The Arizona Post-Mortem. Coming once I gather my thoughts. –@JGStanley12)

 

Section 17: Road Block in Blacksburg

As the ESPN College GameDay crew cast their game predictions moments before Duke and Virginia Tech tipped last night, Bob Knight—clad in his trademark v-neck sweater—said one word. “Duke.” And proceeded to stare into space.

Duke held a six point lead with eight minutes to go, but Virginia Tech simply wanted it more down the stretch. (Photo: DukeBluePlanet.com)

The General was so close to being right. But the Hokies prevailed 64-60 in a game VT guard Malcolm Delaney called “the biggest of my life.” Delaney didn’t deliver on his promise until 2:02 left in the second half, when he hit his first 3 pointer to give his team a lead it didn’t relinquish.

In lieu of focusing on the heart of the home team, which was considerably large last night, let’s see what we can gather about our performance in our penultimate ACC road game.

  • Without Irving in the lineup, Duke’s post players are ineffective. Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler are a particular breed of player—winners. But while each of them are usually comfortable taking (and making) big shots, it didn’t happen last night, as the seniors combined to shoot 15-37 from the field. Nolan only had two assists against VT’s stifling perimeter defense. So what does this have to do with Kyrie? Well, Irving made this team great by getting everyone involved, including the Plumlees. Remember Mason’s 25 point performance against Marquette? You can credit Irving’s 7 assists for much of that, as he knows how to set up big men. Nolan and Kyle didn’t demonstrate that skill last night, and our interior play suffered. Particularly when the Plumlees would rather try to tip dunk misses than get an easy putback and Ryan Kelly is bricking threes.
  • It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish…Not just advice from this guy. With 7:33 left in the game, Duke was up 53-47. Greenberg called a timeout, VT settled down and outscored Duke 17 to 7 the rest of the way. How did this happen? Well, our free throw woes didn’t help—Nolan and Mason went 1 for 3 with under 30 seconds to go. But that was after Miles boneheadedly missed a dunk, Kyle missed some tough contested “hero shot” jumpers, and the Hokies somehow outfought Duke for every loose ball. It was a grueling game, and the pressure was certainly more on the home team to win and (maybe) make the Big Dance for the first time in however long. But at Duke, our expectations are higher. When we play teams like VT in the Tournament, we have to step on their throats in the final 8 minutes. That ruthlessness has gotten Coach K the second most wins of all time. And it will get Duke back to the Final Four if we learn it now.
  • We must have a third scorer. Again, the Big 3 would be intact if Irving were in action. Since December, our offensive strategy has been “The Big 2″—Kyle and Nolan—plus whomever felt like stepping up that game. It’s been Curry and Kelly on the offensive end, and Mason and Thornton on defense. We’ve put together some ramshackle wins with Irving on the bench in a cast. Last night, though, it was just the Big 2—Kyle had 22 and Nolan 18. But with the seniors’ inefficient shooting and Seth Curry nowhere to be found, the offensive attack sputtered. This will not do.
  • A number one seed is still possible, no matter what ESPN tells you. Congrats to BYU for winning on the road and all, but I’ll still match our resume with theirs. A top line seed is still within our reach. Texas laid an egg at Colorado yesterday, which is a much more embarrassing loss than ours. Kansas has been inconsistent and could easily lose in the competitive Big 12 Tournament. Ditto Ohio State in the Big Ten tourney, and Pitt in the Big East. Duke? Well, we play in the pitiful ACC. We should beat Clemson, and we have a good shot at North Carolina. If we win those two, we’ll sit at 28-3 and will have won the ACC regular season. We have owned the conference Tournament as well, and nobody takes that more seriously than K. With our out of conference wins looking better with the resurgence of Michigan State, Kansas State and Marquette, our Strength of Schedule will likely climb. And don’t be surprised if Jimmer Fredette somehow shoots 8-35 (gasp!) and BYU drops a game to some West coast rando.
  • Save the Toe. All said and done, we certainly hope Kyrie can come back for the Dance. At least one local yokel writer “wouldn’t be surprised” if he does. Everyone has been rumbling about it on the Twittersphere, including the man himself. Yeah, Kyrie. We’re op(toe)mistic about your comeback too. Mostly because opponents will quake in their Kobes when they think that the 26-3 Duke Blue Devils won 18 of those games without the nation’s best point guard. More importantly, the team would be complete again for the best month of the year.

That’s all from me. I always get wired after losses, and would love for some soothing words from our readers. Leave your thoughts about our beloved Blue Devils in the comments section, or give us a shout on Twitter or Facebook.

Let’s go Duke. Let’s keep working harder.

P.S. Vote for Nolan to win the Cousy Award!

Section 17: Whomping the Wolfpack

That was real talk.

Duke took to the floor at Cameron Saturday evening full of confidence coming off a fantastic performance at Maryland on Wednesday. Our guys were out for blood in the final game before the Tar Heels come to town, destroying the hapless NC State Wolfpack, 76-52. State’s embattled coach Sidney Lowe—who normally dresses up as the Kool-Aid Man for big games—was absolutely helpless to stop the Blue Devils, as our offense put up 54 points in the first half. Even if Duke sputtered a little bit in the second, State never got closer than 21 all game. SMH, ACC.

Here are some cogent observations from the night to accompany the delightful highlights above, shot from Section 17 by C-T’s Scott and Arun.

  • Mason Plumlee has come alive. He had 16 points on a Boozer-esque 7-8 shooting, and added his standard 12 boards as well. It seems as if Wojo has finally hammered Mason’s brain enough for him to learn how to finish correctly around the basket: no longer is he trying to dunk when a layup is more efficient. Mason also demonstrated an excellent jump hook tonight, connecting on two Kareemers that looked completely natural. After his excellent game against the Terps, it’s great to see Mason gaining confidence as ACC play heats up.
  • This whole Nolan Smith thing is getting ridiculous. NdotSmitty turned on the cheat codes several times throughout the game—appropriately, since DukeBluePlanet put up a “Nolan’s Trick Dribbles” video yesterday. The ACC’s scoring and assists leader just about hit his averages tonight, dropping 20 points and 7 dimes. And he was the only player who shot well from the line, hitting all six of his freebies. Overall, Duke shot 53% from the line. That has to change.
  • Kyle continues to put in a solid day’s work every game, adding a cool 14 points and 9 boards. The world’s best bucket-getter passed Danny Ferry for fifth place on Duke’s all-time scoring list against Maryland. Singler will go down as one of Duke’s all-time greats—the dude just wants to win so badly. Hell, he’s already got his national title and Final Four M.O.P. Ironically, Kyle was picked as preseason National Player of the Year by most publications, and Nolan is a much surer bet for that award at this point. I don’t care what Jimmer says (well, I do).
  • Sidney Lowe is on his way out. Any thoughts on his replacement? It’d be so badass if the NC State brass tried to re-hire Herb Sendek and he was like, “No, bro. I’m cool out here in Arizona. The Pac-10 is really on the rise.” Then what? Lowe can recruit, but his “surefire guy,” CJ Leslie, was suspended for this game, and his team is now 12-11. Superfrosh PG Ryan Harrow had some kind of sickness, and Tracy Smith is basically content to shake his head morosely and call it a night. Man, the ACC misses guys like Jimmy V…
  • Kyrie looked fresh on the bench in the post-cast boot. ESPN commentator Len Elmore loves calling him the “Duke’s best cheerleader.” Man, if Kyrie could walk properly, he would go up to the bird’s nest and smack Len in the head for that kind of talk.
  • I like K’s new strategy of starting Tyler Thornton. Along with his stalwart defense, it’s nice to be able to look toward the bench and remind yourself, “oh yeah, we have two of the ACC’s best shooters over there.” And then Seth and Dre come in and light up the place.

Well, that was fun. Next week is Heel Week, and we’ll be throwing up posts like Blake Griffin throws down on the world. Get thrilled.

We’re going to miss you, Larry! We’ve had some great times together.

GTHC.