"Every day, I wake up and tell myself 'I'm a basketball player.' But that's not who I really am. I'm just a fun-loving kid who just happens to play basketball." -Nolan Smith
Now, as for Knowles, I'm not concerned with the pedestrian record at Cornell - we're not asking him to build a program, and it's I-AA or FCS or whatever it is these days and he couldn't even give out scholarships - so that's really apples and oranges. I'm a little concerned that, looking over Cornell's schedule this year, they gave up an awful lot of points. Like, a lot. And without running any numbers, it looks like defense has gotten weaker at Cornell over his tenure.
That said, I think Cutcliffe's earned our trust, and thereby Knowles the benefit of the doubt, unless he proves otherwise. Welcome aboard!
Take the rivals top 250 and then set an SAT cutoff of 1000 math verbal and then take a look at where they come from. I believe you will find players coming from California, Illinois, Ohio, PA, NJ, NY, New England, and fewer from the Southeast. For top-rated players willing to consider a Duke education, who might consider Duke over a top Program (Tomlinson picking Duke over Ohio State) the Northeast, Midwest are indeed "hotbeds."
??? Better evidence is needed for this, please. You've made a statement counter to conventional wisdom and anecdotal experience, then as proof offered only your perusal of a top 250 recruit list for the current year (which covers a sample of, what, 10% of the D-1 recruits in one season?), setting SAT parameters you know will eliminate a disproportionate number of kids from the South (I think your intent was to set for better Duke targets academically but your blanket statement fails to make a distinction between high academic achiever recruits and others), and then dropped California, Illinois and Ohio into the list of examples bolstering your claim. Perhaps a breakdown of roster members on BCS squads from the Northeast (PA does not count for football - we all know the majority of its recruits come from the western half of the state, and what's now Big Ten territory), as opposed to the Southeast may be more convincing.
Also, number of recruits per capita, which appears to be your measure, is meaningless. Raw number of recruits is more important. Wyoming may have a higher number of rare talents per 1,000 people than California, but scouts aren't going to pour in there anytime soon.
When we see 7 or 8 guys from Jersey and New York on every SEC team and not 7 or 8 guys from Florida and Georgia on every Big East team, the presumption might change. Until then, I'm afraid I'm quite unconvinced.
Regardless, I don't think access to a new recruiting ground in which our new coordinator has been coaching at a non-scholarship institution is worth all that much, so the whole discussion is more academic than anything. Knowles may have set up some connections with high school coaches in the area, but he wasn't even approaching the kinds of talent Duke's now looking for, much less directly competing with Rutgers and UConn. If some stud QB emerges out of Ithaca HS, his time there may help, but that's about it.
To keep track of the positions, it appears the power structure is this:
David Cutcliffe - Head Coach
Ron Middleton - Associate Head Coach (special teams coordinator/tight ends)
Marion Hobby - Assistant Head Coach (Defensive Coordinator)
Kurt Roper (Offensive Coordinator, QBs)/Matt Luke (Offensive Coordinator/running game, O-Line)/Jim Knowles (Defensive Coordinator - Safeties)
Jim Collins (Linebackers)/Scottie Montgomery (Receivers)/Derek Jones (secondary)/Zac Roper (Recruiting Coordinator, RBs, special teams)
I don't think there should be any issue with Knowles coming in ahead of Collins and Jones, because he has quite a bit of experience as an assistant, and is the only other person on the team with prior HC experience.
As a sidenote, having an assistant with experience as a head coach is really a huge plus for the program, in my opinion.
Edit: Official announcement from Duke.
Last edited by Acymetric; 12-28-2009 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Link to official release
I am (pleasantly) surprised that he has been a success as a coach at a school like Colgate.
He sat us alphabetically so I sat between Wes Chesson and Marcel Courtillet with Biddle immediately in front of me. I think that the only time that Suitcase saw me all semester was on the Fridays when the team was traveling.
I think it is fair to say that Suitcase...err...Dr. Simpson....was a very fine professor. He helped me out my senior year permitting me to add a class after the deadline...it was urban government (or something along those lines) and he was really knowledgeable and effective.
I'm reluctant to keep this going in this direction, but is there a story of some kind as to why Dr. Simpson is referred to as "Suitecase"? Thanks... He sounds like a great prof. I also had a chuckle when reading about TZD's "obscurity". ;-)
I suspect that Professor Simpson just got tagged with 'Suitcase' because they shared the same last name.
I certainly never heard why students called him Suitcase -- but they did -- and I believe he enjoyed it.
Time will tell. I certainly like Cut's focus on team speed -- one of those things that's hard to "teach." Now, let's keep bringing in those high-3 and maybe 4-star recruits! Getting a NEW foot in the door in an important and "natural" recruiting area for Duke can only be good.
One day Dr. Simpson went out to his car to go home and apparently was carrying enough that he placed his briefcase on top of his car and loaded the rest in the car. Somehow he forgot that the briefcase full of students' papers and tests was still on top of the car and drove off scattering the papers as he sped off to his home on Dollar Ave. Some students witnessed the event and gave him his popular nickname.
Another colorful figure on campus during the same period of time was "Nurmi" Shears whose nickname came from the name of a famous Olympic runner from Scandinavia I think. Nurmi earned his nickname because of how fast he could run even in his later years. He was a math tutor for some of the athletes and would frequently challenge some of them to a foot race with him in the quad. He was also known for wearing several watches on his arm all set for different timezones. He was still tutoring and running foot races in the last sixties.
Thanks to you too... I enjoy these interesting stories of Duke personalities.
Cutcliffe has concentrated his recruiting efforts and staff time regionally, players he might like who he could get in with the relaxed admissions standards. Stanford on the other hand faces much higher admissions hurdles, team average criteria, and screened the top 250 and beyond (likely high 3 star players or better) firstly on the basis of academic criteria, and then concentrated their sales pitch on the better students who could make the cut.
Coming from a fairly prominent high school program in the Northeast, I also think you are wrong on what the new Defensive Coordinator may add in our recruiting equation.
Firstly, he will know the larger programs at better high schools which produce football recruits. Some of these may go the BCS route and others may go the route of the Ivy League. He has talked some kids into Cornell who had scholarship offers with better programs than Duke. He knows coaches, principals, guidance counselors. He knows what it takes to sell an elite education. If he could talk kids into freezing weather and attending Cornell, sometimes over full scholarship offers with BCS programs, he just might help us talk academically well-qualified who are highly ranked Football players into coming down to Duke, a higher ranked school than Cornell, Ivy equivalent school, to play BCS football.
In the day of the internet, camps, combines, if someone in Wyoming playing ball is a top talent, he will be found and offered. Our chances of landing that top talent will depend on the regional competition and how well-qualified academically, how academically-motivated the recruit. The national approach works much better, firstly screening on the basis of high academics. Stanford's recruiting advantage over Duke is explained in large part by their approach. Duke's relative disadvantage is also explained largely in our approach.
Here is your initial proclamation: "The Northeast is a far better BCS Football Program to millions of population ratio than the Southeast, including Florida." [emphasis added] Who Duke targets or should be targeting, and our recruiting history, has nothing to do with that statement. I'm asking you to prove your initial thesis, because it's counterintuitive. That is, if I can assume what the intended wording was; I think you meant to say something along the lines of "The Northeast is a far better pipeline of BCS football talent in terms of good recruits per million inhabitants than the Southeast, including Florida." On its face, that's ludicrous. So, if you'd like, back it up with some non-skewed to your benefit, sufficient sample size numbers.
Your point about the scant number of top flight programs in the Northeast also argues against your thesis - for one, that's less players playing collegiate ball up there, even if all those teams were stocked with local kids. But when the Big East programs still look to Texas, Florida and Georgia to fill out their rosters to a much greater degree than the reverse happens, it makes your statement look even more untrue.