Best of the Week

Reviewing the best of this week's online content surrounding the Blue Devils.

GO Duke (Official site):

The offensive line returns four starters for the 2013 season. The fifth starter will be Matt Skura. GoDuke's Bob Harris sat down with the third year junior offensive lineman to discuss his new role and the expectations which accompany it.

Practice kicked off this week, and GoDuke put together some highlights of the first day of training camp:

The ACC Academic Honor Roll was released on Wednesday, and Duke was the ACC leader with 63 selections, 34 more honorees than the next closest school.

The Honor Roll is comprised of student-athletes who participated in a varsity-level sport and registered a grade point average of 3.00 or better for the full academic year.

"From day one when you get here, Coach Cut makes it clear that our priority is faith, family, future and football. Within that realm of future is academics," said redshirt senior offensive guard Dave Harding, a three-time selection to the ACC Academic Honor Roll. "If you don't compete hard in the classroom like you do in the field, you're not going to be able to play. Coach Cut is a big believer in making us good men, and part of that is being respectful and responsible with our studies. That's what it means to be a Duke football player."

FULL LINK: GoDuke.com Story


DUKE BLUE PLANET (Men's Basketball Official Site)

The annual refinishing of Coach K court took place earlier this month and DBP was kind enough to post some photos of the finished job as well as the previous logos for comparison.

FULL LINK: Duke Blue Planet Story

DBP also had a chance to sit down with rising sophomore guard Rasheed Sulaimon to discuss his summer, his expected role, and much more.

Sulaimon says he's got specific goals for himself this season, and it starts on the defensive side of the court:

"I want to become a better defender, a lock-up defender. A go-to defender. If coach needs a stop, he will go to me and I want to be that guy."

FULL LINK: Duke Blue Planet Story

Former Blue Devils Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee had their first NBA photo shoots this week. Here's a look at the only two players from this year's draft class with a Duke degree and a national championship ring to their credit:


BEST OF THE REST

The Duke fan base held its collective breath this summer when sophomore Rodney Hood was forced to withdraw from Team USA camp with an injured achilles. Hood quickly returned to Durham to find out that the injury was not as bad as originally feared, and to to restart the rehabilitation process.

Associated head coach Steve Wojciechowski confirmed this week that Hood has completely recovered from the setback, and is expected to be ready to go come season tip-off.

FULL LINK: ESPN Story

Sticking with the ESPN theme, the Blue Devils will appear twice on ESPN's Big Monday feature this year. The ACC has replaced the Big East for "Big Monday" games. Duke will show up on January 13th against Virginia before reappearing on January 27th for a game at Pittsburgh.

FULL LINK: Duke Report Story.

Looking back at the NBA, Duke has several alumni making some off-season decisions and moves.

Gerald Henderson has resigned with the Charlotte Bobcats (soon to be Hornets). It's a three year, $18 million contract. The third season is a player option.

"The No. 1 think I learned from Coach K is to be responsible for yourself. You can worry about how the team is doing. But if you're not concerned about how your play is affecting the team, then you're being selfish. How are you performing? In a nonselfish way you should always evaluate yourself.

FULL LINK: Raleigh N&O Story

Henderson's former teammate, Lance Thomas, was released by the New Orleans Pelicans before the start of the summer. Now, Thomas is believed to be negotiating a deal to return to the team. If the deal with New Orleans doesn't work out, the Indiana Pacers are also interested.

FULL LINK: Real GM Story

The third and final former Blue Devil in NBA news this week is Seth Curry. After being undrafted, Curry has received multiple NBA training camp invites. He's going to start his tour by working out for the Charlotte Bobcats before weighing options with the Timberwolves, Spurs, and Golden State Warriors.

FULL LINK: Blue Man Hoop Story

Turning to Duke Football, Duke began the process of changing perceptions of the program last year by making the post-season. If that process is to continue, the Blue Devils will need to continue winning and making it to bowl games as Star News Online's Brett Friedlander writes:

"Most of all, they're going to have to start winning games in November when the stakes get higher."

"That's something with which Duke has struggled mightily during Cutcliffe's tenure, winning only once in 19 tries during the season's final month. That includes four straight setbacks last November when the Blue Devils had a realistic shot at winning the Coastal and earning an unlikely trip to the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte."

FULL LINK: Star News Online

Joining in on the theme of continuing to change the perception of Duke Football, Fox Sports' Lauren Brownlow chimes in and points out that this group of Blue Devils seems to be motivated by the media's low preseason expectations:

"It makes me realize that there's still a lot of culture work left to do. We've worked awfully hard on just changing the culture, the mentality, the entire thought process," Cutcliffe said. "Knowing that this could happen in January, I went back to -- what are our expectations? And I really focused on that with our team."

"I really want our team to understand that our expectations are far more important and should be far tougher than anyone else's expectations."

FULL LINK: Fox Sports Story

Duke will have several key position battles facing the team as the fall practice season progresses as the Chronicle staff writes.

The student newspaper believes the three critical position battles that will need to be sorted out take place at running back, linebacker, and cornerback.

FULL LINK: Blue Zone Story

Once the position battles have subsided and the rotation is set, it'll be time to navigate throughout he schedule as Duke looks to find six victories. The team over at Ball Durham has a preview of the schedule along with a confidence meter.

BD's staff believes five games are definite wins. With another four as toss ups.

FULL LINK: Ball Durham Story


DUKE VIDEOS:

Diamond Stone is a rising junior in high school and this 6'10" 225 pound big man showed throughout the summer that he is one of the best in the country. Watch as Stone showcases his incredible hands and size during three events this summer as a part of the Association presented by Under Armour. To find out more about this event visit www.ballislife.com.

When you think of Duke Basketball the first thing that comes to mind is their Elite Shooters. Well Matt Jones of Desoto HS & Texas Titans is the newest Guard to add to their loaded list. He's one of the most efficient Scorers in the High School Game, and will make you pay for leaving him open.

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