Duke Reloads

In a hot recruiting battle that included all three of the triangle schools, and also Kentucky and Kansas for good measure, Kinston High School’s Brandon Ingram chose Duke as the place where he will take his talents next season. Coach K and his entire coaching staff made two trips to Kinston in the last week to make the pitch to Ingram, apparently keeping Jeff Capel around was a good thing.

“Coach (Mike Krzyzewski) is a profesional. He’s a player’s coach and I just love everything about him,” Ingram said. “Talking to Jeff Capel, he made a good pitch and they sold it well.” -wral.com

Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones led Duke to their 5th national championship before declaring for the NBA, now Coach K adds Ingram (another probable one and done) and last week Derryck Thornton, a five-star point guard from California, reclassified from the class of 2016 to 2015 and committed to Duke.

Duke has the number 1 recruiting class (again), and is poised to make another Final Four and national championship run.

Brandon Ingram Update

According to ESPN’s Jeff Borzello’s Twitter feed, Brandon Ingram told ESPN that Duke was in home for a visit this morning.  Up next is Kansas tomorrow, followed by NC State on Monday, and UNC on Wednesday.  No mention of Kentucky, and UCLA is trying to get something set up.

With all three Triangle teams in hot pursuit of Brandon, and with this recruitment going back a few years now, this is a decision that all of us should be excited for.  No word on when said decision will be made yet.

Attrition Galore

This year there are quite a few early departures for the NBA draft.  Hit the jump to see a current list of players who have declared.  Who should have stayed?  Who else should have gone?  How does this change the landscape for next season? Continue reading Attrition Galore

TJ Announcement Tuesday (allegedly) and Is Jabari Staying at Duke?

TJWarren_College_2014_USAT1 Jabari Parker

Last week, Yahoo! Sports was reporting that NC State sophomore TJ Warren was leaving for the NBA. The announcement never came, but now the News&Observer is saying that Warren will make his decision on Tuesday .

TJ’s father Tony Warren said Warren has met with prospective agents and has received feedback from NBA teams from Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried. NBAdraft.net projects Warren to be a lottery pick, Draftexpress.com has him in the top 20. The father said he told Warren he should go if he’s going to be a top-20 pick.

“He had such a great year and proved to a lot of people what he could do,” Tony Warren said. Warren considered going to the NBA after his freshman season last year but wanted to come back to improve his draft stock. “That’s what he did,” his father said. “I’m not sure he could have done much better.”

 

It looks like his days in Raleigh are done. In more of a surprise, there is buzz that Duke freshman phenom, all-world Jabari Parker might be back in Durham next year. ESPN.com’s Chad Ford said Parker and Kansas’ Joel Embiid are considering another year in college.
Both are weighing their options. Both are seriously considering returning … with Parker so much so that several scouts are claiming he’s coming back to school. But I think that’s premature. They have time. The deadline is April 27th to decide. However, if they declare after April 15th, there’s no turning back. They’ll lose their college eligibility. Parker is really NBA ready. He could obviously improve if he stayed, but he’s a NBA starter from Day One. He’ll get minutes and playing against the best competition is the best way to improve
Apparently Parker also doesnt want his college career ending with a first round exit against Mercer. Duke also has a top-ranked class coming in next year.

Marquette Hires Wojciechowski

When Buzz Williams departed Marquette to become the new head coach of men’s basketball at Virginia Tech, it left a pretty big hole to fill in college basketball.  While Marquette may not be a top tier job, it is a good job and is certainly worthy of a good coach. A lot of speculation began, and of course Shaka Smart was in the mix at some point.  So who would Marquette nab to be the successor to Williams, who was an assistant with the Golden Eagles when he won the job?

Steve Wojciechowski

Duke’s own Steve Wojciechowski.  That is who.  Wojo gets his first head coaching gig after being on the Duke bench since 1999.

Most excited for this move are all current and future frontcourt players for Duke, as they will not have to deal with the floor slapping, former point guard trying to teach them post up moves.

Best of luck to Wojo and Marquette.  This is a head scratcher to me, as I think Marquette could have drawn someone with experience running a program versus someone who has experience being a glorified drama professor.

Postponed. Until February 20.

imageThis Photo Of Dick Vitale Is Art

Bullock’s BBQ made it, Dickie V was stuck at RDU. 

The Great Snowpocalypse of 2014 caused the game between North Carolina and Duke to be postponed. Oh my goodness, what next?

“Duke’s bus is not able to get to their campus to pick up the team in time to be able to make the trip to Chapel Hill so we can’t play this evening.” Says UNC Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham. “The safety of the teams and officials is the number one priority and this was the best decision to make at this time. Coach Williams, Coach Krzyzewski, (Duke AD) Kevin White and I will be on the phone with the ACC and make a decision as to when to play the game as soon as possible.”  – UNC AD Bubba Cunningham

UNC was bummed because students were going to be allowed to sit in the lower seats and the atmosphere would have been more dare I say, Cameron-like.  My complaint with the Smith Center is that it should have been designed like that in the first place. It is officially the Dean Smith Student Activity Center, but I digress.

ACC rules are that if both teams and officials can make it to the game site, the game will be played. Two weeks ago in Atlanta during the ice storm, UNC ran into the same situation. The game against Georgia Tech was played, but not televised and people were encouraged not to go to the game unless they were on campus or could walk.  As we have also heard, UNC had to take MARTA and walk to their hotel, and the game was played.

So Duke will now play this Saturday vs. Maryland, Tuesday at Georgia Tech, makeup game at UNC at 9 on Thursday, then Syracuse at home next Saturday.  UNC will host Pittsburgh on Saturday, at Florida State on Monday, Duke on Thursday, and then Wake Forest on Saturday at Chapel Hill.

I didn’t have a problem with the game being postponed, the weather was brutal and people were being stranded on the roads, maybe making the decision sooner rather than later.

It is only a basketball game.

Monday Morning Fodder

Busy weekend in sports as we head towards Turkey Day and the final regular season weekend of college football.

North Carolina beat Old Dominion 80-20. Both head coaches agreed to shorten the fourth quarter to 10 minutes, a modern mercy rule. Some were calling Fedora classless, dont know why, they had scout team players in and took a knee on a fourth and goal. Cant just stop playing. ( btw, Florida State and South Carolina also won by 60 or more points)

Duke beat Wake Forest 28-21.  This sets up a big game vs North Carolina this weekend, they win and they will be in the ACC Championship Game vs Florida State.

Will Jameis Winston be able to play in the Championship Game, and a possible National Championship? We wont find out until after Thanksgiving.

East Carolina beat NC State in Raleigh 42-28.  State fans had to endure the “Our State” chants again, and a billboard on Capital Blvd.  Some statefans have called for that campaign to be retired.

Duke basketball escapes with a 91-90 win over Vermont. Coach K said they were “lucky to win”. 

UNC basketball bounces back with two wins over the weekend, including a 93-84 win over defending champs and #3 ranked Louisville. Marcus Paige had a career high 32 points.

Carolina Panthers won their 7th game in a row, Manning cant beat Brady, Brian McCann to the Yankees, five years, $85 million.

Ice Up, Son!

Duke & Maryland File For Divorce

Set your DVRs for this years Duke/Maryland tilts on the hardwoods.  This will be the last year the two play each other outside of a match-up in the ACC/BIG10(?) Challenge.  Coach K told ESPN 980’s Kevin Sheehan that “we won’t schedule them”, meaning other than a match-up in the NCAAT or the Challenge, this year will see the end of a great rivalry.

So who is to blame for this?  Maryland, of course.  They are the ones bolting on the ACC to join the Big10, even though they are charter members of the greatest basketball conference in the history of ever.

Coach K gets off a classic blast in the interview:

And by the way, these conferences, they keep adding teams,” he said as an aside. “Why don’t they put the right number [in their names]? I forget how many teams are in all these conferences, including our own sometimes, but I can just say it’s the ACC. I can get away with that. That was smart of our conference to do that. It’s a little bit crazy what’s going on all over.

This poses the following question.  What is your favorite Duke/Maryland memory?  For me it would be this: