Happy Holidays to the Blue Devil faithful! This edition of the Roundball Notebook comes to you on Christmas day. Hopefully you're all spending time with your families this week like all of our players and staff.
The Blue Devils are off through Christmas day and report back to campus on Wednesday to resume practice. After playing just one game from Dec. 11-29 - a 90-63 win over UNC Greensboro in Cameron Indoor Stadium - it's a quick turnaround after the holiday as Duke will play four games in nine days beginning on Dec. 30. After the Blue Devils face Western Michigan in Cameron Indoor Stadium on Dec. 30, the team will face Pennsylvania in a special New Year's Day game at home.
Duke had a big layoff before the last game against UNC Greensboro and had to shake off some exam week rust before dispatching the Spartans at home. Out of class for winter break over the next 10 days, however, the Blue Devils have plenty of time to work on weaknesses through practice and film. Beginning on Tuesday, the team will have four consecutive days of basketball-related activities to prepare for the second half of the season, which includes the ACC opener at Georgia Tech on Jan. 7.
We were able to catch up with a few of the players before they left for the holidays and asked them some Christmas-related questions. Read on to find out how your favorite Blue Devils plan on spending the holidays.
BLUE DEVIL HOLIDAY TRADITIONS
Mason Plumlee: "My mom has a German recipe for some Christmas cookies, and they're the best cookies I've ever had." (Mason declined to share the recipe)
Michael Gbinije: "It changes every year. This year, we're just going to watch all the NBA games and root for LeBron and Melo."
Seth Curry: "The big thing is probably Christmas Eve. We have a big Christmas dinner, and everybody gets to open one present. That's the most exciting thing because you only get to choose one, and you've got to make that choice wisely. It's a lot of pressure, but it's fun."
Ryan Kelly: "My father always buys some gift for himself and writes 'From The Family' on it, and it's normally something that only he can think of. This year, I think it's an electric saw or something like that. It's 'from the kids.'
gift ever given:
Mason Plumlee: "Hopefully she won't read this beforehand, but this year I did a good job. I got a video from China that I made my mom with my flip video camera."
Michael Gbinije: "This tattoo on my left shoulder for my dad (Frank)."
Seth Curry: "Once in a while, I hand draw some cards for my family. Any time you can put that much effort into something, it's special."
Ryan Kelly: "I'm a giver. I give away so many gifts, I can't remember which one of the best gift. I just try to make people happy."
gift ever received:
Mason Plumlee: "When I was younger, my parents got me a pair of Jordans for Christmas. That was my first pair. I liked them a lot."
Michael Gbinije: "My PS3 when it first came out."
Seth Curry: "My brother and I got a go-kart one year."
Ryan Kelly: "Probably the trampoline we got a few Christmases ago. That was a blast for a little while. For about a year, it was hot. Now it's just chilling in the back yard and doesn't get used much."
WATCH FORMER BLUE
DEVILS ON CHRISTMAS DAY
Of the 14 former Duke players currently in the NBA, six of those will play in Christmas day games. If you've got some down time after your own holiday traditions, flip on the TV to watch some good NBA matchups throughout the day. Several Blue Devils have new homes this season, including Shane Battier, who joins Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade in Miami when they take on the defending NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks. Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls then square off against Josh McRoberts and his new teammates on the Los Angeles Lakers at 5 p.m. Finally, J.J. Redick reunites with Chris Duhon on the Orland Magic to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder at 8 p.m.
2:30 p.m.: Miami Heat (Shane Battier) at Dallas Mavericks
5:00 p.m.: Chicago Bulls (Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng) at Los Angeles Lakers (Josh McRoberts)
8:00 p.m.: Orland Magic (Chris Duhon, J.J. Redick) at Oklahoma City
CURRY A CANDIDATE
FOR BOB COUSY AWARD
Junior guard Seth Curry, who moved to the point this year, was announced as a candidate for the Bob Cousy Award which is given annually to the nation's top point guard. Curry averages 12.3 points per game, is the top free throw shooter in the ACC at 94.4 percent (34-36) and leads the team with 33 assists.
WAGNER PAST NO. 19 PITT
Former Duke standout and two-time national champion Bobby Hurley guided Wagner to a 59-54 upset of No. 15 Pitt on Friday. Hurley and his brother, Dan, are in their second season together on the coaching staff at Wagner and have the Seahawks off to an 8-3 start this season. The win over Pitt ended a nine-game winning streak for the Panthers and was Wagner's first win over a ranked opponent since 1978.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Against UNC Greensboro, Miles Plumlee dominated the glass and hauled in a season-high 13 rebounds. Plumlee did that without scoring a single point, missing his only field goal attempt. He is only the fourth player in school history to record 10 or more rebounds without scoring, joining a list that includes Mason Plumlee, David McClure and Bob Lakata.
with 10+ Rebounds and 0 Points in a Game
Miles Plumlee -- 13 Rebounds, 0 Points -- Dec. 19, 2011 vs. UNC Greensboro
David McClure -- 12 Rebounds, 0 Points -- Jan. 28, 2009 vs. Wake Forest
Bob Lakata -- 11 Rebounds, 0 Points -- Feb. 2, 1956 vs. Virginia
Mason Plumlee -- 10 Rebounds, 0 Points -- Jan. 22, 2011 vs. Wake Forest
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
"When you go home from this clinic, I want you to get a piece of paper and write down your goal and put that piece of paper where you can see it every day. Look at it every day, and ask yourself, am I prepared on this day, are you prepared to get a little bit closer to your goal? And every night ask yourself, did I do everything possible to get a little bit closer to my goal?"
-Former Blue Devil and current Miami Heat Shane Battier to a group of Elementary school students at a basketball clinic hosted by Chelsea High School
"Every day I see glimpses of what this kid can do. Then
maybe 10 minutes later, he'll show me he's still a rookie. It brings a smile to
my face, though, because we've got a good one."
-Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott on former Blue Devil and No. 1 overall pick Kyrie Irving
Battier Talks Hoops, Life at Chelsea Clinic (Heritage.com)
on Irving to Lead them Back to NBA Relevance (Washington Post)
in the Paint is Strong
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
RainMan6801 Jacob Nawlin
All I want for christmas is a @Duke_MBB national championship @AustinRivers25 @coach_collins @masonplumlee @RyanKelly34 @dre_day20
SaqibKhan Saqib Khan
@dukeblueplanet @dukebasketball @duke_mbb Thought of the coach on a train in England pic.twitter.com/htP56TQI
Always tell when @Duke_MBB is playing. I can't keep up with my timeline! #GoDuke
BILAS TWEET OF THE
JayBilas Jay Bilas
Just got "The Last Great Game" by @espngeno on UK v. Duke '92. Really cool. I was on Coach K's coaching staff, and I'm learning new stuff.