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?

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.

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.

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.