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On Friday night, I ventured to Chapel Hill to watch the spectacle that is Late Night with Roy. But the joy of YouTube allows Carolina fans (and jealous Dukies alike) to get a glimpse of the mayhem from the comfort of their own homes and year-round. If you don't want to take my word for it that Late Night with Roy is vastly better than Duke's annual Blue-White scrimmage, check it out for yourself, and then get back to me.
ACC Commissioner John Swofford announced Wednesday that the 2009 ACC Championships will be held at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in downtown Durham from May 20-24.
Finally, by the grace of youtube, the video of the skydivers who were hired to bring the game ball to Kenan Memorial Stadium for UNC's home opener Saturday but missed their target by a couple miles and ended up in Wallace Wade during Duke/JMU warm-ups instead.
In Tuesday's Chronicle, former sports editor and current columnist Meredith Shiner writes about a message left on her cell phone by one of the nation's top college football coaches. She defends Spurrier's annual top-25 vote for Duke and laments the decision rendered by the American Football Coaches Association to prevent him from casting one this year.
In an interview with The Chronicle today, sophomores Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler revealed that the entire team got together early Sunday morning to watch the USA take on Spain for the gold medal with a fully catered hot breakfast from Mad Hatters at 2:30 a.m. I'm pretty sure there isn't another student group on campus that would get that sort of royal food treatment. The highlight of the after-hours feast, they say? French toast.
USA Basketball assistant head coach Jim Boeheim has been blogging from Beijing for the Syracuse Post-Standard. The coach offers some insight into what has been happening in terms of the game--he says the coaching staff stayed up until 2:30 a.m. after a tight 87-76 bout with Australia and that the team's struggles were not a result of complacency, but rather execution. The gems of the entry, though, come from Boeheim's off-the-court accounts, like how the Chinese have been shutting down roads for the team when they travel. The Syracuse coach also shares his shock at how good Chinese food is in China ("It's not like a P.F. Changs; it was more, you know, Chinese!") and demonstrates how open NBA star players are to new cultures (They've been eating every night at California Pizza Kitchen and Tony Roma's sans coaches). Also, you apparently can get great deals on Odyssey putters and dress shirts, so I highly suggest booking your flights to China soon, before they're all gone.
Duke's Department of Athletics announced Friday that it has commissioned video display manufacturer Daktronics to design and install a new center-hung scoreboard for one of the most famous college gymnasiums in the country. The 14-feet wide, 15-feet tall system will include new LED screens capable of flashing statistics and instant replays. The project is expected to be complete by the beginning of the 2008-2009 season.
The Chronicle of Higher Education posted this report today, dated for its August issue, which highlights the skyrocketing costs incurred by athletic departments across the country to attract the nation's top talent. The article, entitled "Have Money, Will Travel: the Quest for Top Athletes" cites that Duke's recruiting budget of $1,245,300 has grown a staggering 229% since 1997, which is the fourth highest jump in spending among the 65 BCS schools over that time frame. In case you're interested, Tennessee has the largest annual recruiting budget, spending $2,005,700, and the University of Maryland has had the highest spending jump over the past 10 years, increasing its budget by 277%. The ACC ranked third among the BCS conferences in spending, with the SEC blazing the money...er...recruiting trail.
Cbssports.com national columnist Gregg Doyel posted a piece on Wake Forest's Jim Grobe this morning, but if you scroll down, you'll notice a nice sidebar about Duke's own David Cutcliffe in which Doyel calls the coach the best hire of the offseason.
From an article in the Herald-Sun:
For the bargain-basement price of $551, you can out-jockey current high bidder "tommoetj" for an autographed Matt Danowski all-star jersey. Danowski, an attackman for the New Jersey Pride, was named as an injury replacement for Thursday's Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game. The 2007 Tewaaraton Award winner also participated in the Freestyle Shootout (the Slam Dunk contest of the MLL all-star experience) and had the dubious pleasure of making the finals but following the guy who jumped over two kids while riffling it into the net. The video was posted in deadspin's morning round-up and shows up with 41 seconds left in the clip.
I would love to be a fly on the wall when Coach K and former Duke women's basketball head coach Gail Goestenkors run into each other in Beijing. Krzyzewski, of course, is the head coach for the men's national team, while Goestenkors was named as an assistant for the women's side. The University of Texas athletics site posted this interview with the acclaimed coach who spent 15 years on the sidelines of Cameron Indoor before bolting to Austin. Nowhere in the questioning does she mention Coach K. Goestenkors did say this, however:
Although many of the Duke-related stories coming out of the sin city this summer have revolved around Coach K and the Olympic team, former Blue Devil guard DeMarcus Nelson has been trying to earn a shot at the Golden State Warriors' preseason camp in October. After going undrafted in June, Nelson inked a free-agent deal with the Warriors July 2, commissioning his services for the team's summer league competitions in both Vegas and Salt Lake City.
Bundled with headlines in today's Chicago Tribune about yesterday's USA Basketball press conference, the inevitable 2008 Cubs World Series, and the daily Derrick Rose vs. Michael Beasley banter was this piece about finding a new athletic director at Notre Dame. In analyzing the difficulties of guiding one of the country's most prestigious athletic departments, the story read more like postmortem No. 2 on the Kevin White Era in the land of the Golden Dome. The most interesting quote came from former ND athletic director-turned-Duke search consultant Gene Corrigan, who was reportedly the first person to reach out to White about the Duke position:
CHICAGO -- In a press conference held this morning at the Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (yes, such a place exists, and yes, the coolest part is the Mario Andretti racecar mounted to the wall of the main entrance), USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo announced the roster for the team that will represent the U.S. in the upcoming Olympic games in Beijing. Although the announcement was mostly a formality, as many of the names had been leaked and confirmed preceding the event, Colangelo, head coach Mike Krzyzewski, Carmelo Anthony and hometown favorite Dwyane Wade answered questions from the media.
ESPN basketball senior writer Andy Katz had a lot of material from which to pull in constructing this ESPN.com profile on Mike Krzyzewski: from the departure of Duke's associate head coach Johnny Dawkins and director of basketball operations Mike Schrage to picking up former Stanford recruit Miles Plumlee to widdling down the short list of 33 players down to 12 for Team USA. Krzyzewski spoke out on Dawkins taking the Stanford job—reiterating that his former right-hand man is ready for the head-coaching task, as well as the relatively quick promotions of son-in-law Chris Spatola (to the director of basketball operations post) and former player Chris Carrawell to Spatola's position on the bench.
The opinions on Johnny Dawkins' move to Stanford keep rolling in...
Yes, Duke and Stanford are eerily similar—from to top-notch academics and great athletics to unparalleled mascot drama (three cheers for drunken trees and blown knees!)—but what are writers from North Carolina and California saying about Johnny Dawkins’ ability to lead the Cardinal?
While Johnny Dawkins was contemplating leaving Durham for greener pastures out west, former Blue Devil Alison Bales was on Presidential hopeful Barack Obama's team in the "3-on-3 Challenge for Change" at Maple Crest Middle School in Kokomo, Ind. Bales, who plays for the WNBA's Indiana Fever, teamed up Obama, who is hoping a win in the Hoosier state can put away fellow democrat Hillary Clinton. Maybe a 15-5 victory over the opposition on the hardwood is a harbinger for the Illinois native's chances in the state's voting booths on May 6.
THE DILLO — As I sat at a cramped table in the Armadillo Grill in the basement of the Bryan Center surrounded by Dukies too nervous to down their Coronas or queso, the same names kept flashing through my mind: