Tag Archives: Duke Basketball

Tangled Up In Blue-White

Duke point guards Greg Paulus and Nolan Smith battle for a loose ball in Saturdays Blue-White scrimmage in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Photo by Glen Gutterson/The Chronicle

Duke point guards Greg Paulus and Nolan Smith battle for a loose ball in Saturday's Blue-White scrimmage in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Photo by Glen Gutterson/The Chronicle

Check out a photo slideshow of Saturday’s Blue-White scrimmage by following this link.

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Filed under Men's Basketball, Through The Lens

LIVE BLOG: Blue-White Scrimmage

POSTGAME THOUGHTS:

1. Nolan Smith is ready to lead the Duke offense. After playing a complementary role in conducting the trio of Scheyer-Henderson-Singler in this first half, he took control in the second with a lineup that wasn’t as offensively minded and still thrived, this time as a scorer. He should get equivalent playing time to Greg Paulus, and we might even see more of the two of them together, especially after the Blue team ran a quasi-two point guard set with Smith and Jordan Davidson in the second period.

2. Pocius has recovered well from the ankle injury that sidelined him most of last season. He looked mobile, was an effective scorer in the second half, and played his role well without rushing any shots, Krzyzewski said. Expect the junior to compete for minutes at the guard position like he did last year before he went down against Eastern Kentucky.

3. Miles Plumlee was the most comfortable freshman out there. Krzyzewski said that he protected the basket, ran the floor well, moved well without the ball and had good hands. Defensively, he helped take Singler out of his rhythm in the second half. All of the freshman will have a learning curve, but Plumlee looked the most game-ready. Olek Czyz didn’t see much playing time, and Elliot Williams had the unenviable task of guarding the red-hot Henderson in the first half and Smith in the second half.

4. Krzyzewski was most effusive in his praise for Smith, who he said “played as well as anyone”, but also commended Dave McClure’s defense-particularly in the second half on Henderson-and Pocius’s veteran presence.

79-70 Blue, END OF SECOND HALF: And that’s a wrap. The second half took a significantly different trajectory than the first and with a different result. Pocius and Nolan Smith were the high scorers will 11 points apiece in the second session and Smith, David McClure and Miles Plumlee were the three Blue Devils to win both “games”. Postgame recap and quotes to follow.

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A Season Begins Anew

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski talks to his team in the Blue Devils first open practice Friday. They tip the season Saturday in the annual Blue-White scrimmage. Photo by Chase Olivieri/The Chronicle

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski talks to his team in the Blue Devils' first open practice Friday. They tip the season Saturday in the annual Blue-White scrimmage. Photo by Chase Olivieri/The Chronicle

Check out The Chronicle’s photo slideshow from Friday’s open practice by following this link.

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Filed under Men's Basketball, Through The Lens

Sky High

Freshman Elliot Williams soars for a dunk in Dukes open practice Friday. Photo by Chase Olivieri/The Chronicle

Freshman Elliot Williams soars for a dunk in Duke's open practice Friday. Photo by Chase Olivieri/The Chronicle

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LeBron, Not Coach K, Still The Chosen One

When he’s not going by King, LeBron James has been dubbed The Chosen One—or at least, he has since Sports Illustrated pegged him with that title when the King-in-waiting was only a high school junior in 2002. Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski coached James this summer as he guided Team USA to a gold medal in the Beijing Olympics.

One day, he told students at “Have a Coke with Coach Cut” Wednesday in the Great Hall, Krzyzewski was talking with James and the superstar had his shirt off, showing off the tattoo on his back that reads “The Chosen One.” Krzyzewski noticed the body ink and asked if he could get a tattoo of the same ilk.

“Coach, I really like you a lot, but no one would choose you,” Krzyzewski recalled James saying to the delight of the approximately 200 students in attendance.

—by Ben Cohen

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Filed under Men's Basketball, Olympics

Krzyzewski To Join Cutcliffe For Cokes and Nachos Wednesday

When David Cutcliffe meets with students Wedneday to break down game film and sip Coca-Colas, he will be accompanied by the only coach more prominent than he is: Mike Krzyzewski.

Coach K himself will join Cutcliffe in the Great Hall for soda and nachos at 8 p.m. Both he and Cutcliffe will take questions from the gathered students (no word on whether Krzyzewski will analyze football film).

Krzyzewski’s squad tips its season Saturday with the annual Blue-White intrasquad scrimmage at 1 p.m. preceding Cutcliffe’s team’s home game against Miami at 3:30 p.m. Krzyzewski will open his practice to the public Friday at 5 p.m.

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Dean Smith Endorses Obama; Is Coach K Next To Endorse?

Duke and North Carolina’s basketball programs have become more entangled with presidential politics than perhaps any of their competitors. Reggie Love, a former Blue Devil walk-on, is Democratic nominee Barack Obama’s bodyman, and last year, Obama ran in a five-on-five scrimmage with the Tar Heels, astutely observing that the players on this year’s preseason No. 1 were “a lot better” than him. Lest you think Obama has an unbreakable allegiance to the Tar Heels, he did ball wtih former Duke point guard Chris Duhon and 6-foot-7 former Duke center Alison Bales last year.

And now we can add this curveball to the equation: legendary North Carolina head coach Dean Smith and his wife, Linnea, endorsed Obama in an e-mail sent to Obama supporters Monday morning. (E-mail after the jump.) Apologies for mixing sports metaphors. Further apologies for cliched metaphors.

Most college basketball fans know that Smith and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski were never the best of friends. Smith represented the old guard, and Krzyzewski the new. And even though Krzyzewski seems more like Smith every day (a column for another day), it’s clear that they would still trade barbs on political issues. In 2002, Krzyzewski hosted a fundraiser for Republican Senate nominee Elizabeth Dole at the Washington Duke Inn on campus, inciting a swarm of unexpected and primarily negative media attention. What’s more, the event was dubbed “Blue Devils For Dole” and the invitations were sent to an undisclosed list of recipients, prompting accusations of University endorsements. (Former New York Times columnist Selena Roberts penned a witty column off the controversy four years before she failed miserably in covering another.)

Smith has made his move, supporting the increasingly popular candidate in this state that has swung from Republican stronghold to battleground to leaning Democratic in the past year. It’s not likely that Krzyzewski supports the same candidate. But will he endorse Republican presidential nominee John McCain? Given the ensuing firestorm the last time he made a political move, we don’t think so. Then again, his national profile has never been higher having led Team USA to a gold medal in August.

Moreover, should Krzyzewski publicly endorse? That is, is it the role of a college basketball coach to send out an e-mail to an (undisclosed) list of political supporters? (We must note that there is a difference between Smith and Krzyzewski; one is employed by a university, the other is not.) Professors are free to make their views public, and some are actively engaged in the local political scene. Then again, Krzyzewski is in a different position than your average tenured English professor. It is possible, after all, to associate his endorsement with that of the University–which is the exact reason Duke President Richard Brodhead has abstained from commenting publicly on the historic race.

It’s certainly something worth asking Krzyzewski at his first press conference of the season Friday. After all, the difference between Smith and Krzyzewski has has once again proven to be more than just a slight shade of blue.

–by Ben Cohen Continue reading

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