Duke Basketball

Spending the evening with Coach K

Last night I had the pleasure of listening to Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski speak to a sold out crowd in Rapid City, SD as he was the guest speaker for the John T. Vucurevich foundation. I never thought that I would get to see Coach K clear out here where I am from (90 miles from Rapid City) and I was lucky enough to find a couple of tickets to the event on craigslist the night before the event. I’m glad I was able to go and my wife even enjoyed it so that was a plus.

A couple of interesting facts that Coach said was that as a high school senior he was set on attending either Creighton or Wisconsin but his parents really wanted him to attend West Point after Bob Knight stopped by for his home visit. He laughed and said that you pretty much did what Coach Knight said because you did not want to have one of your chairs broken in the house especially when you only have four to begin with. Later on Coach k came back to the story and said no chairs were broken only a couch lol.

A good portion of the speech was about coaching the Olympic teams and how he and the other assistant coaches were able to bring the players closer together and get USA Basketball back on the map and winning championships. We were shown a 2.5 minute video clip that was played to the team right after they landed in Beijing which stressed about having no excuses and having each others backs. Hearing how he communicated with players like Kobe Bryant, Lebron James and Dwyane Wade was pretty interesting and you can tell why Coach K is such a great leader.

Toward the end of the event, coach did take some questions from the audience which I thought was pretty cool. One question asked what he was thinking with about four minutes left against Butler in the championship game. Coach K replied “Scared as Hell, fortunate to win. He wanted to just allow the team to play and follow their instincts rather than try to over coach the situation” Now that is having trust and great communication with your team!

Another question that was asked asked what he looks for when recruiting student athletes. His answer to that was three things. Basketball talent, academic talent, and last but not least good character kids. He then mentioned former Duke player Grant Hill winning the NBA Sportsmanship Award for the third time in his career and that is one of the great character guys that he has had at Duke.

Overall, the event was great. Tickets were only $7 for adults and $3 for students. Students and community played a big role in the speech and that is exactly what the Vucurevich Foundation is about. Coach K did a great thing and went around during the afternoon and spoke with all the area basketball teams which I thought was a great thing and played right into the foundation’s goals.

Was anyone else in attendance last night? Leave us a comment with your thoughts if you were please.

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Category: Duke Basketball

Tyler Adams to join 2011 class at Duke

Post player Tyler Adams has announced that he will be attending Duke University and be part of the 2011 signing class for the Duke Blue Devils. Adams can bang down low with his 6’9 260 lb frame. Word is that Adams can still add on some muscle to that frame so expect a big boy when he arrives in Durham for the 2012 season. Adams will be able to take up a lot of space and can score multiple ways from 15 feet in his coach says. Sounds exactly the type of player Coach K needed for this class.

Adams is ranked as the 81st player in the 2011 class by Rivals and also a four star recruit.

“Tyler is a very skilled young man, especially in the low post,” said Larry Stamps, Adams’ club team coach with the Jackson Panthers. “He definitely is a low-post center, which is unusual now because a lot of the big kids like to face up. He likes to play down low and has the body to do it.”

Adams joins forward Michael Gbinije of Richmond, Va. as part of the 2011 class. Welcome aboard Mr. Adams!

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Category: Duke Basketball, Duke Basketball Recruiting

Kyle Singler coming back to Duke for his senior year

Good news Duke fans! Kyle Singler announced this evening that he will be coming back to Duke for his senior season and out the NBA on hold for another year. Singler will be the main guy in the Blue Devils offense next year without question and he will be looking to bring back another championship to Durham!

“I love being here at Duke and am excited about next year,” Singler said in a statement released by the university. “I had two great options in front of me, but I did not want to miss out on all of the great things to come in a senior season.”

Singler will be one key component on next years team but we cannot forget about Nolan Smith and the Plumlee brothers. The key to the team is how well Kyrie Irving can step in at the point guard position and if he can do that look for the Blue Devils to be contending all year long!

Thanks for coming back for another year Kyle!

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Category: Duke Basketball

Duke is your 2010 NCAA Champions

WOW! Don’t have much to say as I’m still shocked over the game. Congrats to the guys for pulling out the victory and props to Butler for almost pulling off the unthinkable. I’m pretty much speechless right now so I’ll just end this post with this:


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Category: Duke Basketball, Duke Basketball Game Notes

Duke and Butler in the 2010 Championship

Duke will be playing for the 2010 NCAA Championship Monday night against the Butler Bulldogs in their home town. You can call it David vs Goliath or a true Hoosiers story for the Bulldogs but no matter what it is going to be one exciting match up in my opinion.

Can Duke win it’s first NCAA championship since 2001 when they defeated Arizona 82-72. In that game, Duke used a 47-39 second half to get by the Wildcats and that is how I see the game against Butler playing out for the Blue Devils.  Sure the 01 team was more stacked with their starting five but this years Duke team has three scorers and four big men that know their roles and play them very well.

Butler will attempt to slow down the game and play in a half court set while chewing up the clock and knock down the open shots that they get. Duke will be fine in the half court I think as it allows their players to get back on defense and not have a speedy point guard running right at the basket drawing fouls or getting wide open layups.

Butlers Matt Howard will be a game time decision as he sustained a mild concussion in their game against Michigan State on Saturday. Don’t expect Howard to sit on the bench and watch his team play in the championship though. Howard will be out there with his teammates as they attempt to pull off another victory and bring the championship back to their school just six miles from Lucas Oil Stadium.

In the end I think Duke just has too much offensive firepower with Nolan Smith, Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler. Any one of those players can go for 25 points if needed and if they all three score over 15 points like they did on Saturday against West Virginia well then you can expect a 10-12 point victory for the Blue Devils. Current odds have the Devils favored by 7.5 points.

If you are looking for tickets for the game, they are still available and actually pretty cheap in my opinion unless you want to sit on the baseline in the first 20-30 rows. Head on over to Ticket City and check out what they have left for seats.

I will be tweeting live during the game tonight so feel free to add @justdukecom to your twitter account!

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Category: Duke Basketball


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