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View Full Version : My Duke/Wake visit (Sorry, pretty long story!)



Mr Blue Devil
01-19-2010, 11:51 AM
I left Jacksonville at 8am Sunday morning and made my way to Durham. It took about 6 and a half hours which is not too bad, but what a boring drive!

I parked on Ninth Street and headed to The Duck Shop. Being broke, I held off on buying anything but did grab a one-sheet of this year’s team with “autographs” and a Scheyer schedule on my way out the door.

I headed down and grabbed a seat at the bar at Charlie’s and ordered a few $1 Coors Lights. Great bar and I would hope it is usually packed during game time. The walls were covered with replica jersey’s posters, photos, and magazine covers.

I paid the tab and headed up to Dain’s to check it out. I grabbed one of Durham’s own Triangle Belgian Whites. It was delicious. Very cool small pub but I certainly looked out of place in my Duke gear. It appeared you need a beard, piercings and to be an artist to drink there but I really enjoyed it either way.

My brother called me and I had to meet him at the hotel so we could be outside Cameron at 4:45 to meet Mason for a tour of the facilities.

We met up with Mason around 4:45. What a great kid. He is so friendly and down to earth. He took us for a tour of Duke’s facilities. We got to see the practice gyms, as well as the weight and cardio rooms. Everything is embroidered, stamped, or carved with the Duke logo, down to every single dumbbell. It is all top notch. We met and spoke with Coach Stephens for a few minutes as my brother had previously met him on a few occasions. He said how hard Mason worked and he was getting bigger.

We checked out where the team watches film and then headed up to the admin offices where the coaches have their space. It was awesome to see the main hallway where every signed team poster was proudly displayed since the first year they started doing them. I mentioned how I was going to make sure and pick up the Goodfellas poster and Mason grabbed me 3, rolled them up and gave them to me.

We headed down to the locker room and Nolan, Miles and a few others I didn’t get to see where next door watching the Jets game. The locker room was incredible. They had replicas of each of the National Championship trophies and a 60 inch TV. It was awesome.

We then took the same walk the players take out on to the floor in Cameron.

After seeing the facilities, I simply cannot understand why a player who is offered by Duke wouldn’t choose to come to Duke. They are the best in the country and everything is done to perfection. Walking through the halls and seeing life size posters of all the players of the year, defensive players of the year, ACC Champion teams, title teams, NBA players, etc, there is no doubt Duke is the best.

We asked Mason where we could grab some food and he walked us through campus to the union center and into Dillos (is that the name?) Mexican place. He asked what other games I had been to and I told him about my first game in 1992 when Clemson came to visit and I got to see Hurley, Laettner, Hill, etc. It later dawned on me he would have only been 1 years old at the time!

Mason headed back to get some shots up and we ate dinner.

We headed back to Cameron and found out our tickets were in the line with the recruit tickets. We had to wait to 7pm to get in but were waiting in line with Rusty LaRue’s father. He was a nice guy and was talking to other Wake fans in line about how great Cameron was to see a game in.

We got our tickets and went to our seats. We were 2 rows back from the bench, the best I have been in yet. One of the scouts for the Bulls (Dave somebody) noticed my brother and came to speak to him and introduced himself. Funny guy, said he was headed to Texas/K State next. My brother went and shot some footage of Duke’s warm-ups (which will be on his You Tube channel soon).

Josh’s parents came and sat right in front of us. My brother introduced them to me, very nice people. His mom mentioned how much they loved the family atmosphere at Duke and it was a big factor in Josh’s decision. She loved that down the road you knew you always had a place back at Duke as a coach, assistant, etc. Josh soon came out from the player’s locker room and sat with us. Quincy Miller and his friend showed up a few minutes later as well and sat next to Josh.

Ross was not in attendance, he couldn’t make it and Justin Anderson wanted to make it but my brother was unable to give him a ride due to his work with several programs.

The players took the bench and K came out and shook hands and spoke quickly with both Josh and Quincy.

Josh’s parents introduced us to Mr. Scheyer as well. He is very nice. Jon’s mom is also more attractive in person 

Few notes from the game:

1) Aminu is good, VERY good. He plays so quietly and just gets it done. He has this poker face and just plays the game very well. I would love to have seen him in a Duke unfiform.
2) Ishmael Smith is quick. Like Ty Lawson quick. I never saw Ty play in person but Smith is incredible.
3) The officiating was horrible, on both ends. It was so lop-sided in the calls they made. Some of the most obvious fouls were never called while little touches got blown on immediately. One of the refs was a real smart I'm a real wanker for saying this.I'm a real wanker for saying this.I'm a real wanker for saying this. too. It was funny to me to hear him call Coach K Mike. Almost like it is disrespectful! In my mind, even Mickie doesn’t call him Mike. “Coach K, could you please take out the trash?”
4) Miles was awesome and Mason is very explosive to the rim. They are both going to be incredible over the next few years.
5) Nolan has become the player everyone thought he could be. He has easily stepped in and filled in where G left off. He is not quite as explosive but he will be next year.
6) Josh seemed to really just soak everything in and didn’t show too much emotion.
7) Quincy was very in to the game in the first half from what I could tell, yelling and cheering with the crowd. He was more quiet in the second half.

It was a very good and physical game as you all know. I really like Wake’s team, except for McFarlene, he seemed like an I'm a real wanker for saying this.I'm a real wanker for saying this.I'm a real wanker for saying this.. The officiating was so poor and the whistle was constantly being blown that neither team could get in any sort of rhythm.

After Kyle’s hard foul, K was giving it to the ref and then Kyle air-balled the FT. K looked dead at the ref and said, “Kyle Singler doesn’t just miss free throws”.

It was very cool to be so close to the action and watch the entire staff work. During a huddle every assistant, manager, etc, has a specific function. And listening to Coach K was incredible. Of course most of the words I cannot repeat in case children are reading 

After the game we hung out and my brother got a chance to speak with Quincy some. We waited for Nolan who came out to speak with us. He is so nice, he came out specifically to talk to my bro and got bombarded by fans for pictures, autographs, etc and he graciously signed everything and took every picture.

I got some good insight on a few recruiting tips which I just cannot share, but one could be good, and one potentially won’t go our way.

Bluedog
01-19-2010, 11:59 AM
Wow, thanks for sharing! I wish I had your brother as a family member....

sagegrouse
01-19-2010, 12:01 PM
What's the "back story" -- your brother, your access, etc.?

sagegrouse

stillcrazie
01-19-2010, 12:01 PM
Wow, that sounded like an amazing experience.

Can you tell us who your brother is?

Mr Blue Devil
01-19-2010, 12:07 PM
Alan Stein, Strength and Conditioning coach for Montrose in Rockville, MD.

He also owns Strongerteam.com and works with all kinds of college and pro basketball players. He also speaks for Nike at different conferences throughout the year.

Also works the players for the many NBA combines, Jordan Game, Mcdonalds game, etc each year.

It's pretty amazing the people he knows!

stillcrazie
01-19-2010, 12:19 PM
Alan Stein, Strength and Conditioning coach for Montrose in Rockville, MD.

He also owns Strongerteam.com and works with all kinds of college and pro basketball players. He also speaks for Nike at different conferences throughout the year.

Also works the players for the many NBA combines, Jordan Game, Mcdonalds game, etc each year.

It's pretty amazing the people he knows!

Interesting -- thanks.

I am wondering if the recruiting tips you wrote about have to do specifically with Montrose students. I am tempted to try to pull you into a game of 20 Questions, but that would be classless of me. Wouldn't it?

Mr Blue Devil
01-19-2010, 12:24 PM
Interesting -- thanks.

I am wondering if the recruiting tips you wrote about have to do specifically with Montrose students. I am tempted to try to pull you into a game of 20 Questions, but that would be classless of me. Wouldn't it?

Ha ha it sure would :D

lmb
01-19-2010, 12:33 PM
Well, that beats my trip. My husband and I drove 5 hours, stood in the rain for 2 hours and still didn't get into the game. We refused to buy from the scalpers.

Sounds like you had an awesome experience!

jafarr1
01-19-2010, 12:34 PM
Interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing!

allenmurray
01-19-2010, 12:38 PM
I paid the tab and headed up to Dainís to check it out. I grabbed one of Durhamís own Triangle Belgian Whites. It was delicious.

A minor non-basketball related note - a friend of mine owns Triangle Brewing Company. They make great beer, and it is very local (just off downtown Durham) and truely hand-crafted - made in very small batches. All of them are great. Nice to see them get a mention.

Mr Blue Devil
01-19-2010, 12:40 PM
A minor non-basketball related note - a friend of mine owns Triangle Brewing Company. They make great beer, and it is very local (just off downtown Durham) and truely hand-crafted - made in very small batches. All of them are great. Nice to see them get a mention.

How do I get some?!

I am a big fan of Blue Moon and Shock Top and this was better than both. I checked out their website this morning but it didn't appear to show where they sell. I guess finding it in Jax, FL would be a no-go huh?

allenmurray
01-19-2010, 12:57 PM
How do I get some?!

I am a big fan of Blue Moon and Shock Top and this was better than both. I checked out their website this morning but it didn't appear to show where they sell. I guess finding it in Jax, FL would be a no-go huh?

As of now they only sell in kegs, mainly to restaurants (some "growlers" at a few local retailers). They don't have bottling capacity yet. So for now, you'll just have to come to Durham more often (actually I think they sell to some places as far as Charlotte, so you don't have to drive all the way to Durham.

http://trianglebrewingcompany.blogspot.com/

roywhite
01-19-2010, 12:58 PM
Alan Stein, Strength and Conditioning coach for Montrose in Rockville, MD.He also owns Strongerteam.com and works with all kinds of college and pro basketball players. He also speaks for Nike at different conferences throughout the year.

Also works the players for the many NBA combines, Jordan Game, Mcdonalds game, etc each year.

It's pretty amazing the people he knows!

Thanks for the story, Mr. Blue Devil, and glad you had a good experience.

A few questions (and feel free not to share info if you don't care to)
You mentioned your brother does strength and conditioning; from watching our game on TV, some of the Wake players got winded early and appeared to run out of gas in the latter part of each half. It seemed noticeable for Aminu, McFarland, and even Ish Smith. Did you observe the same thing and any comments about conditioning of each team?

Seems like Josh Hairston is glad to have made the switch to Montrose. Have you (or more likely, your brother) seen him play; any observations?

Any word from Montrose about whether Terrence Ross is likely to join the Blue Devils?

Thanks

AlaskanAssassin
01-19-2010, 12:59 PM
Apparently Deuce Bello was there with Quincy. I don't think we're recruiting him, but how did he react to the game?

Mr Blue Devil
01-19-2010, 01:07 PM
Thanks for the story, Mr. Blue Devil, and glad you had a good experience.

A few questions (and feel free not to share info if you don't care to)
You mentioned your brother does strength and conditioning; from watching our game on TV, some of the Wake players got winded early and appeared to run out of gas in the latter part of each half. It seemed noticeable for Aminu, McFarland, and even Ish Smith. Did you observe the same thing and any comments about conditioning of each team?

Seems like Josh Hairston is glad to have made the switch to Montrose. Have you (or more likely, your brother) seen him play; any observations?

Any word from Montrose about whether Terrence Ross is likely to join the Blue Devils?

Thanks

I noticed a lot of tired bodies out there in the second half. Considering I get winded just watching other people playing basketball I am not sure what else they could do :)

But seriously, my brother focuses on basketball specific training. What will make a player quicker, stronger, last longer, etc in the game.

Josh has played extremely well at Montrose so far this season and I know his family is happy for the switch. Coach Vetter runs one of the best programs in the country. My brother is of course at every game and most practices so he has seen him play.

Montrose comes to Florida the weekend after this one and I am heading down for the tournament. I'll post about what I see.

I just cannot comment on Ross, I am sorry. If I hear something I feel I can share, be sure I will!

Mr Blue Devil
01-19-2010, 01:10 PM
Apparently Deuce Bello was there with Quincy. I don't think we're recruiting him, but how did he react to the game?

That is who I was told he was, I had not heard of him.

He seemed to have a good time too.

High school recruits spend a lot of time on their phones! :)

stillcrazie
01-19-2010, 01:37 PM
[Any word from Montrose about whether Terrence Ross is likely to join the Blue Devils?

Thanks[/QUOTE]

Nice try!

fuse
01-19-2010, 01:44 PM
Alan Stein, Strength and Conditioning coach for Montrose in Rockville, MD.

He also owns Strongerteam.com and works with all kinds of college and pro basketball players. He also speaks for Nike at different conferences throughout the year.

Also works the players for the many NBA combines, Jordan Game, Mcdonalds game, etc each year.

It's pretty amazing the people he knows!

From following Nolan on Twitter I came across Alan. I have to say he is a great person to follow on Twitter. Alan has quite an inner wellspring of motivational quotes and insight and is well worth following on Twitter.

MChambers
01-19-2010, 01:45 PM
I left Jacksonville at 8am Sunday morning and made my way to Durham. It took about 6 and a half hours which is not too bad, but what a boring drive!

Jacksonville, FL? It's been about 30 years since I made that drive, but I can't imagine the roads are that much faster. (Yes, the speed limit is higher, but still . . .)

How bout those South of the Border signs?

oldnavy
01-19-2010, 02:37 PM
Jacksonville, FL? It's been about 30 years since I made that drive, but I can't imagine the roads are that much faster. (Yes, the speed limit is higher, but still . . .)

How bout those South of the Border signs?

Was stationed in JAX for 3 years, took me 8 hours to get back to Durham!! I-95 is pretty boring ride, and the Pedro signs are about the only interesting thing to look at. Thanks for the description of your visit, Mr Blue Devil, very nice indeed.

ChicagoCrazy84
01-19-2010, 02:54 PM
Pretty cool story.

I wish my brother had an "in" with Duke basketball. Mr. Blue Devil, is your brother a Duke fan or is he just connected because of Josh? How does that all work?

jv001
01-19-2010, 02:56 PM
Mr. BlueDevil can you shed some light on the thread regarding Mason woofing after his reverse slam. Was he talking trash to Kyle or a Wake player? Thanks for your comments on your Duke experience. Go Duke!

SupaDave
01-19-2010, 03:17 PM
Pretty cool story.

I wish my brother had an "in" with Duke basketball. Mr. Blue Devil, is your brother a Duke fan or is he just connected because of Josh? How does that all work?

Trying using the PM function for questions like this. It's obvious he's not trying to put too much of his brother's business out there...

Mr Blue Devil
01-19-2010, 05:08 PM
My brother is basketball fan.

He has connections with teams everywhere. He owns shirts and shorts and shoes from everyone. He wore all Durant great to the Duke game as he is close to Kevin still.

My bro is one of the most intelligent and hard working people I know and an outstanding person. When he gets tickets through Duke you'll see him cheering for Duke but making sure to cheer on the guys who make great plays for the opposite team. He'll go to MD games with tickets from MD players, Nova games from Nova players, etc.

Is certainly has a lot of respect for Coach K and the Duke program, as well as the other programs he has had the pleasure of working with.

I could definitely see it being hard for him to not play favorites! :)

He got us tickets to the Loyola game last year at Duke from Loyola's coach. I had to wear neutral colors and couldn't do too much cheering of course!

Mr Blue Devil
01-19-2010, 05:13 PM
Mr. BlueDevil can you shed some light on the thread regarding Mason woofing after his reverse slam. Was he talking trash to Kyle or a Wake player? Thanks for your comments on your Duke experience. Go Duke!

I couldn't make out what he said, but tell you what, after that jam and the way the game was going, a little confidant (which I saw it as) swagger was well deserved IMO.

If there is cause for concern or that he was trash talking or saying or doing something he should have, be sure that K will let him know.

I think people forget that these are kids, they are 18-22 years old and enjoying playing just as much as they are working their butts off.

Mason is a good kid, down to earth, and was just excited.

Mr Blue Devil
01-19-2010, 05:17 PM
Jacksonville, FL? It's been about 30 years since I made that drive, but I can't imagine the roads are that much faster. (Yes, the speed limit is higher, but still . . .)

How bout those South of the Border signs?

I averaged 75 the whole trip. I stopped once for gas as quick as I could :) It's just about 500 miles total.

I hate those signs!!! I grew up in MD with family in Durham and we went to Myrtle Beach once a year. I have been reading those same signs for almost 30 years!!!

Olympic Fan
01-19-2010, 06:36 PM
A lot of us may be making that Durham-Jacksonville run in a couple of months.

Nothing is writ in stone at this point, but Jacksonville is Duke's most likely NCAA first-round destination (I'd rate Providence and New Orleans -- my choice -- as the second-third most likely).

summerwind03
01-19-2010, 06:40 PM
Thanks for the writeup, what an awesome experience for you!

OlympicFan, interesting about Jacksonville as a likely tournament site.

MChambers
01-19-2010, 07:18 PM
I averaged 75 the whole trip. I stopped once for gas as quick as I could :) It's just about 500 miles total.

I hate those signs!!! I grew up in MD with family in Durham and we went to Myrtle Beach once a year. I have been reading those same signs for almost 30 years!!!

Burro in with Pedro!

Pedro's weather forecast:

Chili today, hot tamale.

These and more are marked indelibly on my brain.

Mr Blue Devil
01-19-2010, 07:35 PM
Burro in with Pedro!

Pedro's weather forecast:

Chili today, hot tamale.

These and more are marked indelibly on my brain.

I like the picture of the big sausage!

"You never sausage a place! You're always a wiener at Pedros."

77devil
01-19-2010, 09:45 PM
He got us tickets to the Loyola game last year at Duke from Loyola's coach. I had to wear neutral colors and couldn't do too much cheering of course!

I had the same experience at the 2006 game against Columbia. It felt especially odd to act neutral because the only other times I sat behind the visitors' bench was as a student during MD games during which I was particularly load and obnoxious to harass Lefty.

westwall
01-19-2010, 10:04 PM
-- We were breathless. Thanks!

Mr Blue Devil
01-20-2010, 06:09 AM
I had the same experience at the 2006 game against Columbia. It felt especially odd to act neutral because the only other times I sat behind the visitors' bench was as a student during MD games during which I was particularly load and obnoxious to harass Lefty.

Oh it was agonizing!

And after last year's MD slaughter I had to stay a few steps behind my bro so Greivis, Bowie, etc wouldn't see me associating with my brother!

jv001
01-20-2010, 09:49 AM
A lot of us may be making that Durham-Jacksonville run in a couple of months.

Nothing is writ in stone at this point, but Jacksonville is Duke's most likely NCAA first-round destination (I'd rate Providence and New Orleans -- my choice -- as the second-third most likely).

I may not be making that trip in a couple of months, but God willing my family and I will be taking our annual vacation to Orlando. For those of you familar to that area. Is there a way to bypass Jacksonville. I'm sure there is, but not knowing the area, I've been hesitant to try another way. Any help would be great. Thanks and Go Duke!

Indoor66
01-20-2010, 10:04 AM
I may not be making that trip in a couple of months, but God willing my family and I will be taking our annual vacation to Orlando. For those of you familar to that area. Is there a way to bypass Jacksonville. I'm sure there is, but not knowing the area, I've been hesitant to try another way. Any help would be great. Thanks and Go Duke!

Depends on where you start. You can go to Atlanta then catch I-75 south and pick up Florida 91 near Wildwood and take that into Orlando - but it is the long way around if you live east of Charlotte. Other than that it is I-95 to I-4 and love it.

jv001
01-20-2010, 10:23 AM
Depends on where you start. You can go to Atlanta then catch I-75 south and pick up Florida 91 near Wildwood and take that into Orlando - but it is the long way around if you live east of Charlotte. Other than that it is I-95 to I-4 and love it.

We usually take I-40 to I-77 to Charlotte or I-85 to Charlotte and continue to Columbia and take I-20 or I-26(can't remember which) to I-95 and go into Florida that way. We live in Winston Salem and both Mapquest and GPS says it the shortest quickest route. Thanks for you help. Go Duke!

Mr Blue Devil
01-21-2010, 08:14 AM
For those that are interested, please check out my brother's various sites.

http://www.strongerteam.com
http://twitter.com/alanstein
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rockville-MD/Stronger-Team/88856262175
http://www.youtube.com/StrongerTeamDotCom