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Duke's Andre Dawkins and Sean Kelly used his year away from basketball to build close bond

Andre Dawkins is back on the court for Duke and now wearing No. 34. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

DURHAM—It’s a friendship that started in stereotypically male fashion: video games and golf.

Sean Kelly, a Duke basketball manager, didn’t particularly care for his freshman dorm, so he would go hang out with his big brother, Ryan, at his off-campus apartment. Ryan, then a junior on the basketball team, lived with teammate Andre Dawkins. Round-robin tournaments with a version of the NBA 2K game for Xbox were frequent between the three, but the younger Kelly and Dawkins shared another hobby.

“It started with golf,” Kelly said. “We were both beginners, and we were both embarrassed to play with anyone else good, so we just started playing golf a lot and just hanging out, and it developed a lot last year, especially in the fall.”

Dawkins, now a redshirt senior, had more free time last year than he’d had in previous years. He took a leave of absence from the team in order to work through the grief associated with the 2009 death of his sister, Lacey. She, along with their mother, was on her way to watch Dawkins play against St. John’s on Dec. 5, 2009, but the two never made it, as a fatal car crash took Lacey’s life.

1381344446 Duke's Andre Dawkins and Sean Kelly used his year away from basketball to build close bond The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Injuries taking toll on Wolfpack offense

Running back Matt Dayes and receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling are expected to play against Syracuse on Saturday, N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said.

There's hope that quarterback Brandon Mitchell will return against the Orange, too, but Doeren won't know until Mitchell gets back on the practice field this week.

Doeren ran through the list of injuries on Monday in his weekly press conference and offered some hope that the Wolfpack will get some major parts back for Saturday's home game.

Best in the state? Wake has filled a void left by Mack Brown

N.C. State plays its first game under Dave Doeren against a Big Four opponent on Saturday at Wake Forest.

Coupled with ECU's win over UNC last Saturday, it inspired an idea for the "state championship."

Former UNC coach Mack Brown made a big deal about winning the state title (there's still a plaque in the Kenan Football Center to commemorate the accomplishment). He should have made a big deal the way he blitzed through Duke, Wake Forest and N.C. State in the mid-1990s.

Duke's Mike Krzyzewski on what he'd like to do in his retirement

Mike Krzyzewski held court yesterday at the Durham Sports Club, addressing a variety of topics. Credit: HARRY LYNCH

Mike Krzyzewski was in a big-picture thinking mood yesterday when he addressed the women and gentlemen of the Durham Sports Club. He mentioned he had met last week with Mark Emmert and was optimistic major change can come to the NCAA in the next 5-6 months (more on that in the previously linked text). Krzyzewski also held a Q&A session with the group, and he was asked about what he wants to do in his retirement.

Pack QB Mitchell closer to return

N.C. State quarterback Brandon Mitchell is a step closer to getting back on the football field.

Mitchell, who broke a bone in his left foot in the season-opener and has missed the past three games, is out of the walking boot and off crutches, Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren said Monday.

Mitchell won't play against Wake Forest on Saturday but there's a chance he could be back as soon as N.C. State's game with Syracuse on Oct. 12, according to Doeren.

Duke's Jamison Crowder and Jeremy Cash among ACC Player of the Week

Jamison Crowder continues to put up big numbers for Duke. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

For the third time in five weeks, Duke's Jamison Crowder has earned ACC Player of the Week honors. Crowder was joined this week by safety Jeremy Cash, who earned weekly honors for the first time in his career.

Crowder, a junior, was named the league's receiver of the week after catching 7 passes for 149 yards (an average of 21.3 yards per reception) and a touchdown in Duke's 38-31 win against Troy. Six of his seven catches produced Duke first downs. Previously, he was twice named the ACC Specialist of the Week after punt return touchdowns against N.C. Central and Pittsburgh.

Cash, a redshirt sophomore, recorded 14 tackles against the Trojans, including 2.5 tackles for loss, both career-highs. He also reeled in his first career interception on the final play of the game. Cash leads the ACC in both tackles (51) and tackles per game (10.2).

Here's the full release from the ACC. Full disclosure, both Andrew Carter and I are on the panel that votes on the awards.

Pack routs Central Michigan, 48-14

RALEIGH — N.C. State went into Saturday's game with Central Michigan with two goals: build off of a competitive loss to Clemson and avoid an upset scare like it had against Richmond.

Done and done.

The Wolfpack (3-1) got a touchdown from both its defense and special teams and a balanced offensive effort to throttle Central Michigan 48-14 on Saturday.

Thornton still working his way back into game plan

Sophomore running back Shadrach Thornton is working his way back into N.C. State's offense and the good graces of coach Dave Doeren but he's not there yet.

Thornton touched the ball twice in the Wolfpack's 26-14 loss to Clemson last week and both plays were effective. He had a 32-yard catch and a 21-yard touchdown run on the same second-quarter drive. Thornton, the team's leading rusher a year ago, didn't have another carry or catch the rest of the game.

Duke coach David Cutcliffe on the Arian Foster interview and full cost of attendance

DURHAMDavid Cutcliffe has never been one to mince words. So when he was asked about the APU protest (which he hadn’t heard about) and then the Arian Foster interview in which he said he needed money for food during his senior year (2008) at Tennessee, Cutcliffe didn’t hesitate to give his opinion, which is in full below. Cutcliffe was the offensive coordinator at Tennessee for the 2006 and 2007 seasons before coming to Duke.

“That may have been as weak of interview as I’ve heard,” Cutcliffe said of the Foster interview. “Arian never looked hungry.”

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