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Dear Duke fan, Thanks for picking up the second annual edition of Blue Devil Tip-Off! A lot has changed since last season. Gerald Henderson is in the NBA. Elliot Williams transferred home to be near his ailing mother (best wishes to his mom and family as she battles cancer), Dave McClure and Greg Paulus have graduated, and Paulus has amazed the world by going to Syracuse for one more year of competition and not just resuming his football career, but grabbing the starting position. Seth Curry decided to transfer to Duke and 2010 prospect Andre Dawkins figured, “Why wait?” so he’s on campus and incorporating himself into the team. Coach K decided to coach the Olympic team again as well. The dust has settled after a wild offseason, and the pieces are in place for a potentially wonderful season. There’s a lot inside this year’s edition, from a season preview and individual profiles of the players, to a close look at ACC and non-ACC opponents. We’ve got a great group of writers—Al Featherston, Barry Jacobs, Brett Friedlander, Dan Wiederer, Jim Young, John Watson, Jim Sumner, and Carl Heimel—and they’ve done an amazing job. Duke basketball is not like anything else in the sporting world, and that’s mostly because of the incredibly unique Cameron Indoor Stadium. The floor has been refinished and the seats painted Duke blue. Everyone’s getting ready. But a building is only as good as the people inside. The Duke fans are the living, beating heart of Duke basketball, and they’re the reason why coach Mike Krzyzewski has said he won’t tolerate any move to replace Cameron. Good for him—the place is a treasure and the fans are the best. Duke has the best gym, the best coach, and the best fans. Can we get started already? Before we do, though, one more piece of business. Duke has a lot of fanatical fans, but in my life, a couple stand above the rest. So with all due respect to everyone else, this magazine is dedicated to Doug Hines. He’s one of the two greatest Duke fans I’ve ever known, and I can’t wait to talk to him after a game again. The man is the very definition of a Duke fan. Enjoy the season,

J.D. King September 2009 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

From Duke, Dave Bradley, Duke’s recruiting and communications coordinator, and Jon Jackson, associate AD/communication. Both of them have been hugely supportive. Also Robbie Allen, whose site StatSheet.com has been a great source of information and he has graciously allowed me to use his charts freely. I’d also like to thank the guys at Maple Street Press: Jim Walsh for asking me to do this again, Jon Franke for all his help and support, and Bryan Davidson and Ryan Bray for putting it together.


MAPLE STREET PRESS

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Here comes duke!

5 Big, Bad, And Ready To Rumble by Al Featherston

An in-depth look at the factors that will determine whether Duke can improve on its 2008–09 results.

18 2009–2010 Blue Devil Player Profiles

Biographies, game-by-game statistics, and more on all the important Blue Devil contributors.

51 Dawkins Shoots For Early Arrival by Brett Friedlander

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He arrived in Durham a year early, but can Andre Dawkins be the backcourt savior Duke hopes he’ll be?

55 The (Other) Son Also Rises by Dan Wiederer Everybody knows his brother Stephen and his father Dell. Learn more about incoming transfer Seth Curry and what he can bring to the Devils.

59 Ready Rudy? by Brett Friedlander Jordan Davidson’s redshirt in 2008–09 was a bit of a head scratcher, see what this littleknown fifth-year brings to the table.

63 Patriot Games, The Sequel by Brett Friedlander Are the Olympics taking away valuable time and energy, or rejuvenating Coach K?

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The Opponents 69 The Kids Are Alright by Barry Jacobs Learn what to expect from the rest of the ACC, from rival UNC down to UVA, and every team in between.

77 I Got Next! by Carl Heimel Duke’s non-conference schedule has its share of challenging... and not so challenging games. Preview them all here.

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87 Is Bigger Better? by Barry Jacobs When the ACC expanded it was hailed as a prudent fiscal and competitive move. How does it look five years later?

91 The Best Of The Guests by Jim Sumner Love them or hate them, you have to respect them: The top ten opponent performances at Cameron Indoor.

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true blue 97 Meet The Press by Jim Young The heat. The crowd. The adrenaline. There’s nothing quite like press row at Cameron.

99 You Can Go Home Again by Brett Friedlander After four years at Duke, Greg Paulus still had an itch to scratch. Now he’s pulling on the pads for Syracuse football.

103 Daper Daly by Jim Sumner Fashion plate. Raconteur. Master communicator. Great coach. Chuck Daly.

107 “Forever Duke… In My Case It’s True” by J.D. King

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Catch up with one of Duke’s all-time most beloved (backup) big men, Terry Chili.

113 The Message Is The Medium by J.D. King In order to stay competitive in the ACC, recruiting innovation is a must. See how Duke uses its website Blue Planet to get ahead.

117 Passing The Torch by the Editorial Staff of Blue Devil Tip-Off Deep down, in places Duke fans don’t talk about at parties, the question is there: “Who will replace Coach K?”

123 Wow, Did You See That?! by J.D. King While the 2008–09 season didn’t end with a championship, there were still many memorable moments. Check out one person’s top ten.

128 The Last Word by Carl Heimel Questions and answers to some of Duke’s most pressing questions for the 2009–10 season.

Maple Street Press LLC 155 Webster Street, Ste. B Hanover, MA 02339 www.maplestreetpress.com © 2009 Maple Street Press LLC. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any way, stored in any type of retrieval device, or transmitted by any method or media, electronic or mechanical, including, but not limited to, photocopy, recording, or scanning, without prior permission in writing from the publisher.

Front Cover photo: Elsa/Getty Images Interior Front Cover photo: Kevin Cox/Getty Images Back Cover photo: Kevin Cox/Getty Images

Cover design: Garrett Cullen Interior design: Garrett Cullen/MSP Julian King editor. Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 ISSN: 1944-7213

120 Maple Street Press LLC and Blue Devil Tip-Off are in no way affiliated with the University of Kentucky or the NCAA. The opinions expressed in the articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Maple Street Press. All product names and brand names mentioned in this book are trademarks or service marks of their respective companies. Any omission or misuse (of any kind) of service marks or trademarks should not be regarded as intent to infringe upon the property of others. The publisher respects all marks used by companies, manufacturers, and developers as a means to distinguish their products. Printed in the USA


Here Comes


Big, Bad, and Ready to Rumble Can Coach K and the Blue Devils Improve Again? by Al Featherston

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hange is the essence of college basketball. It’s the nature of a sport that relies on young men who are still growing and still learning the game. Even in the days of yore when most players stayed in college to earn their degrees, there was always a four-year turnover in personnel. In this modern era, when the great players leave the NCAA for the NBA as soon as they achieve greatness (and often before), consistency is a thing of the past. Players are always coming and going, and often getting better from one season to the next. Teams and programs change quickly and projecting success (or failure) has come to depend upon a difficult balancing act. Player losses hurt, but most teams lose key players every year. The prognosticator must balance the negative impact of off-season player losses against the positive effect of incoming recruits and veteran improvement. Just look at the Duke basketball program over the last few seasons for an illustration of how difficult it is to project from one season to the next. After winning a decade-low 22 games in 2007, Duke lost its best all-around player—second-team All-ACC pick Josh McRoberts—to the NBA draft. Yet, the Blue Devils were better in 2008, winning 28 games and finishing ninth in the final AP poll. That ’08 team also went further than the ’07 squad in both the ACC and NCAA tournaments. After the ’08 season, Duke’s best player—first-team All-ACC choice DeMarcus Nelson—moved on to the NBA.

Duke!


Here Comes Duke! Keep in mind that Duke’s balancing act is not taking place in a vacuum. The Blue Devils are a part of the NCAA as a whole and the ACC in particular and all the other teams in those entities are undergoing the same off-season transformation. Theoretically, it’s possible for Duke to be a better team in 2009–10 and end up with a worse record because the competition is tougher. It’s equally possible that Duke could be weaker next season and still finish as strong or stronger if the competition declines. On the surface, there is good reason to think the ACC, at least, will be weaker next season as a whole. In fact, it appears that the proud league has never endured such a talent drain from one season to the next. For just the third time in conference history, no first-team All-ACC player will be returning. The league’s top five 2009 scorers are gone, along with the top seven three-point shooters. Yes, Duke lost two starters, including an NBA lottery pick. But just check out Chapel Hill, where North Carolina coach Roy Williams lost four starters and his top backcourt reserve off his national championship team. Or visit Tallahassee, where Leonard Hamilton lost his only doublefigure scorer. At Clemson, Oliver Purnell must replace almost all of his three-point shooting. Wake Forest lost its best two players. Miami and Boston College both lost their best player and leading scorer. Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech lost their leading scorers. Down at the bottom of the league, NC State lost its top three scorers. In that context, Duke’s outlook looks pretty good. But Krzyzewski is not counting on the ACC’s relative weakness to cover up any slippage at Duke. “You guys always [focus on] what left and not what’s coming,” Coach K said. “In the 30 years that I’ve been here, the league is always outstanding. One of the great things about college basketball is the creativity that is brought about because of necessity. And even more so in college basketball with the one-anddone and a number of guys who leave before their senior years. That’s one of the things that separates our game from the NBA. The NBA is creative, but they do it with the same people. For us, there are new stars. There are new older guys. You’re going to go in the direction of those guys. As a result, you are creative—at least you Kyle Singler drives to the basket against Southern Illinois at Madison Square Garden. try to be creative in that regard.”

6 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

Photo on previous page: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images  Photo this page: Nick Laham/Getty Images

Yet, once again, the Blue Devils improved. In 2008–09, Duke won 30 games, claimed its 17th ACC championship (tying UNC for the most in ACC history), and finished sixth nationally in the final AP poll. That team also went farther in the ACC and NCAA tournament than either of its two predecessors. After the season, Duke’s best player—first-team All-ACC pick Gerald Henderson—moved on to the NBA. Can the Blue Devils take another step forward after losing their best player? The chances of that happening depend on which factors an analyst weighs more heavily: the talent lost or the talent returning? Does the loss of Henderson, plus the departures of late-season starter Elliot Williams, veteran guard Greg Paulus, and solid defender David McClure mean more than the return of proven players such as second-team All-ACC forward Kyle Singler, ACC Tournament MVP Jon Scheyer, two-year starter Lance Thomas, veteran guard Nolan Smith, and imposing big man Brian Zoubek? Can the added maturity and expected improvement by those players, or by unproven youngsters Miles Plumlee and Olek Czyz close the talent gap? Will the addition of newcomers Mason Plumlee, Ryan Kelly, and Andre Dawkins make Duke better next season or will they take time to develop into ACC-level contributors? “I think we have a good team,” coach Mike Krzyzewski said this summer. “I like my team—obviously you want everybody healthy and everybody back you thought was going to be back. I’m good about my team. I love my guys. We have experience... the freshmen are very talented and skilled. They can play right away.”


Big, Bad, and Ready to Rumble Nobody in the ACC will need to be more creative than Krzyzewski. For while it’s an open question as to whether the Blue Devils will be better or worse in 2009–10, there’s no debate that this season’s Duke team will take on a brand new shape.

Photo: Steve Dykes/Getty Images

THE BIG GUNS It doesn’t take more than a quick look at the roster to see that Krzyzewski is going to have to change the tactics that he’s used so well over the last two seasons. Blessed with depth on the perimeter and the versatility of players such as Nelson, Henderson, and Scheyer, the Duke coach has heavily relied on a three- and sometime four-guard alignment in recent seasons. In the last two campaigns, the Blue Devils have used slim, quick Lance Thomas—physically built like a small forward—most of the time at “center,” sharing the post with forward Kyle Singler, a player big enough and tough enough to hold his own down low, but possessing a small forward’s offensive game. Duke has been the smallest team in the ACC (in terms of frontcourt size), yet has prospered with a reliance on a deep, talented perimeter. The Devils have attempted and made more three-pointers than anybody else in the ACC over the last two seasons. Coach K’s team has played an uptempo style, using a pressure defense to hide any weaknesses down low. But that’s going to change. The 2009–10 Blue Devils simply don’t have the guards to continue that perimeter-oriented strategy. The graduation of Paulus and little-used Martynas Pocius, the early departure of Henderson, and the transfer of Williams has stripped four perimeter players from Coach K’s roster. For much of July, it looked like Duke was going to be left with just two recruited guards, Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith. There weren’t even any swingmen, a la Gerald Henderson or 2000 ACC Player the Year Chris Carrawell, to help out in the backcourt. For almost a month, Duke fans were tortured with the thought of Scheyer and Smith having to play 38–40 minutes a game with either Singler or former walk-on Jordan Davidson filling in as a third guard. Those fans underestimated Mike Krzyzewski. Just when things looked darkest, the Blue Devil coach pulled a recruiting rabbit out of his hat, arranging for the early enrollment of projected 2010 recruit Andre Dawkins, a wonderfully athletic, 6'3" guard with an exceptional threepoint shooting touch. It’s still not going to be possible to rely on a three-guard offense with just three real guards on the roster, but Duke’s backcourt depth suddenly looks a lot better with the addition of Dawkins. His presence gives Krzyzewski the flexibility to

Nolan Smith struggled during the middle of the season, but after suffering a concussion late in the year he was a different player for Duke. exercise his long-established ability to shape a team around the personnel on hand. “I’m always big on what you have, not what you don’t have,” Coach K said. “I don’t think about what I don’t have. I think all the time about what I have and how to make what I have better.” Any short-term fans who think Krzyzewski has been wedded to one style of play, or to one type of lineup, need to go back and look at his track record in Durham. Over the years, he’s fashioned successful teams out of almost every conceivable combination of big men, swing men, and true guards. Coach K’s first great team featured a fairly traditional lineup in 1986. He started two small, slender guards, a swing man at small forward, and two natural power forwards in the post—one of whom was senior Mark Alarie, whose insideoutside skill set closely resembled Singler’s combination of talents. But Krzyzewski’s next Final Four team was far more unusual. He constructed a team in 1988 that featured 6'5" jumping jack Robert Brickey in the middle and combo guard Quin Snyder handling the point, while wings Kevin Strickland and Billy King brought an offensive-defensive yin-yang to the

Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 7


Here Comes Duke! For instance, the 1995 team that collapsed at midseason was an odd combination of both. That team almost always featured three true guards on the floor together, but natural centers Cherokee Parks and Erik Meek played together in the post. Two years later, Duke returned to contention in the ACC with an undersized team that featured three guards, forward Roshown McLeod (a natural small forward who played power forward at Duke) and 6'6" freshman swingman Chris Carrawell in the post. In 2000, Duke dominated the ACC and finished first in the final AP poll with a team that included just one true guard (Jason Williams) in the rotation. His backup at the point was the same Chris Carrawell who started at center down the stretch in 1997. Carrawell’s unique career path—from center to swingman to point guard—provides a pretty good illustration of Coach K’s flexibility and his refusal to pigeonhole players. Those qualities were in evidence a year later, when Carrawell was replaced by Chris Duhon and a team that featured just two real guards won Duke’s third national championship.

Lance Thomas has quietly become an important figure for Duke. lineup. But the key to the success of the 1988 team was 6'10" Danny Ferry, who played inside and out and was the team’s primary scorer and distributor. A year later, King and Strickland were gone and Duke returned to the Final Four with a totally different kind of team, one that featured a huge starting frontline of Ferry, Brickey, and 6'11" Christian Laettner. Off the bench, Krzyzewski used 6'10" Alaa Abdelnaby and 6'7" John Smith (the starting center on the 1987 team) extensively. That was a big team, especially with just two guards, Snyder and junior Phil Henderson, in the rotation. The 1991 national title team started Laettner in the middle and slender, 6'8" Grant Hill at power forward. Although Greg Koubek, a natural small forward, started at small forward, Coach K frequently went to a three-guard alignment with Bobby Hurley, Thomas Hill, and Billy McCaffrey. A year later, Duke won another national title with 6'8" Antonio Lang and 6'7" Brian Davis getting most of the minutes at “small” forward and very few instances of a three-guard alignment. It’s obvious that Krzyzewski has alternated small-ball and big-ball with equal facility.

8 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

Actually, the 2001 season is important and deserves to be studied in more detail. Coach K began the season with fifth-year senior Nate James joining senior Shane Battier and sophomores Jason Williams, Mike Dunleavy, and Carlos Boozer in the starting lineup. Williams was the only guard, but the 6'9" Dunleavy and 6'8" Battier were remarkably versatile forwards, able to handle the ball, shoot outside effectively, and guard a variety of opposing players. James was also a fairly unique talent: A powerfully-built, 6'6" wing with the toughness to play outside and the quickness to defend on the perimeter. The 6'9", 280-pound Boozer was, of course, a beast in the paint. Duhon started the season as a sixth man, but when Boozer broke his foot against Maryland in the last week of the regular season, Krzyzewski radically restructured his lineup in an effort to salvage the season. He replaced Boozer with slender, 6'11" sophomore Casey Sanders (giving 6'4" football refugee Reggie Love major minutes in the middle off the bench), but more imaginatively, he replaced James with Duhon, giving the starting lineup two natural point guards in the backcourt. “‘We have to transform to a more up-tempo style,’ I thought,” Krzyzewski later wrote, describing his thought process. “Duhon... Duhon is the key. He’s fast. He’s a great defender. He can shoot. He’ll free up Jason to do more.” Sanders was told that his only job was to play defense and to screen for the quartet of three-point shooters that would

Photo: Elsa/Getty Images

THE MOTHER OF INVENTION


Big, Bad, and Ready to Rumble

Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

join him on the floor. Coach K made the determination to live or die with the three-point shot. Krzyzewski unveiled his new lineup—and his new style of play—in the regular-season finale at North Carolina. The Tar Heels had upset Duke in Durham and held a one-game lead in the ACC standings entering that game. They were heavily favored to defeat a Duke team that was without its one and only inside threat. “I’ll never forget the look on the face of Brendan Haywood when Casey [Sanders] stepped into the jump-ball circle,” Battier told Coach K biographer Donald Phillips. “He got this sarcastic smile on his face and started shaking his head. He was thinking, ‘You’ve got to be kidding, you’re starting this guy?’ I looked over at Mike [Dunleavy] and we just smiled at each other. I could read his mind. We were both thinking, ‘Haywood, you just don’t know what’s coming. You just don’t know.’” Nobody guessed what was coming... but Coach K’s new tactics clearly befuddled the Tar Heels that afternoon in the Smith Center, UNC outscored Duke by seven points from the foul line and both teams converted exactly 21 two-point field goals. But the Devils attempted 38 three-pointers and outscored UNC 42–21 from beyond the arc to win 95–81. During the final ten games of the 2001 season—ten straight wins that produced a share of the ACC regular season

title, an ACC championship in Atlanta, and the NCAA title in Minneapolis—Duke averaged just under 30 three-point attempts per game, making an even 100 treys in its title run. The Blue Devils didn’t shoot an outstanding percentage from behind the arc during the ten-game spurt (just 33.6%), but the sheer volume of three-point tries ended up blitzing everybody in Duke’s path. It was appropriate that the decisive run in the title game against Arizona was sparked by Dunleavy’s three three-pointers in 46 seconds and that the final dagger was a late three by Williams. What happened down the stretch in 2001 is pivotal not just because it brought Duke its third national title, but because that style of play would become the preferred Blue Devil offensive strategy though the first decade of the 21st Century. Tough man-to-man defense would remain the cornerstone of Krzyzewski’s program, but it would be matched by a heavy emphasis on the three-point shot and perimeter scoring, tactics that became even more pronounced with the arrival of long-range gunner J.J. Redick, the most prolific three-point shooter in NCAA history. Even with Redick’s departure after the 2006 season, Duke remained a perimeter-oriented, three-point shooting team. The Devils have attempted and made more threes than anybody in the ACC this decade, including last season when

Kyle Singler and Gerald Henderson team up to stop FSU’s Toney Douglas, who still got the shot off. Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 9


Here Comes Duke!

DUKE’S NEW LOOK While Mike Krzyzewski would never try to define his team’s rotation or his players’ roles before the season, it’s possible to look at the Duke roster for 2009–10 and make some informed guesses about how the Blue Devils will look. It’s easiest in the backcourt, where Scheyer and Smith will almost certainly open the season as starters, while Dawkins fills in as a backup for both players. And for all the talk about Duke’s weakness at guard, that could easily be the best backcourt in the ACC next season. Scheyer ranks with Maryland’s Greivis Vasquez and Virginia Tech’s Malcolm Delaney as the top returning guards in the league. The 6'5" native of Northbrook, IL has been a model of consistency since arriving in Durham three years ago.

10 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

By the end of the season, Elliot Williams had emerged as a superb guard for Duke, then decided to transfer to Memphis to be closer to his ailing mother. As a freshman in 2007, Scheyer started 32 of 33 games and averaged 12.2 points in 33.7 minutes a game. He came off the bench as the team’s sixth man in 2008 and although his averages dropped to 11.7 points in 28.3 minutes a game, his production actually improved: He upped his percentages from the floor and the three-point line, his rebounds went up, and his assist/turnover ratio improved dramatically. Last season, Scheyer was a mainstay for a 30-win team. He returned to the starting lineup and led the team in minutes played (32.8) and scored a career-high 14.1 points a game. He led the team in assists and steals. Most importantly, the natural wing guard moved to the point late in the season and anchored Duke’s late-season surge. He has a chance to become just the ninth player in Blue Devil history to average double figures for four straight seasons. “Jon has proven himself to be one of the better players in the league,” Krzyzewski said. “He’s a great competitor. He handles the ball real well. He scores—he scored more when he was bringing the ball up than when he didn’t bring the ball up. I think the more the ball is in Jon’s hands, the better. Because he usually positions it well, whether he shoots it,

Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Duke’s 766 three-point attempts were 84 more than anybody else in the league. Is it any wonder that a new generation of fans thinks it’s the only way Krzyzewski’s teams can play? Well, anyone who thinks that is as misguided as Brendan Haywood was before tip-off of the 2001 Duke-UNC game in Chapel Hill. Over the course of his career, the evidence is overwhelming: Coach K has been able to adjust his style of play to fit his personnel. When you have J.J. Redick, you shoot threes. When you have Elton Brand, you pound it to him inside. When you have Danny Ferry, you put the ball in his hands and let him get creative. And it’s important to remember, Duke’s Hall of Fame coach has never troubled himself with positional limitations. It was rival Dean Smith who devised the rigid numerical system that so many coaches, fans, and media types use today—from 1 (point guard) to 5 (center). Those teams must have two post players, two wings, and a playmaker. Coach K has never played that game. “I’ve been here 30 years and I don’t think you’ve ever heard me call guys guards, forwards, and centers,” he said recently. “You all call them that. Somebody said, ‘What about your backcourt?’ and I said, ‘We’re not a major league infield or a football backfield.’ In our sport, you put five people out on the court and they play. Because somebody has to give them positions, you call them guards, forwards, and centers. But I’ve never liked doing that.” He’s won with what most people would call small forwards playing center and he’s won with combo guards playing the point. He’s won with big teams, small teams, and traditionally-sized teams. In the last two seasons, he’s won 58 games, an ACC championship, and twice finished in the final AP top ten with a small, guard-oriented team. This season, he’ll try something different.


Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Big, Bad, and Ready to Rumble passes it, or he’s dribbling... he positions the ball well when playing the best basketball of his career at Duke. He hit he has it.” double figures in three of his last five games and, even more During his 12 games as Duke’s starting point guard, impressively, his ball-handling stats made a quantum leap. Scheyer committed just 14 turnovers (and never more than Before his injury, Smith passed out 45 assists and committed two in any game). He was at his best in the ACC Tournament, 51 turnovers. In the six games after his return, Smith had 13 earning the Everett Case Award as he averaged 22.7 points, assists and committed just four turnovers. hitting 12-25 threes in the three games in Atlanta. That’s the Nolan Smith Krzyzewski is hoping to see this Scheyer will almost certainly remain at the point to start season. the 2009–10 season, although Krzyzewski hesitates to use “When he came back from [his injury], he was really that word. good,” the Blue Devil coach said. “We would have never won “We won’t have a traditional point,” Krzyzewski said the ACC Tournament without his contribution. For about in a summer interview with the Duke Chronicle. “There will five games there, he was outstanding. That’s who we hope he be more movement, motion offense, where it’s not one guy will be for an entire year. I mean, he’s capable of doing that.” setting up a play, and you can hit, cut through, and no one’s It’s worth noting that Smith arrived at Duke with little the point. It doesn’t mean we won’t ever call a play, but that’s experience at point guard. During his prep career at Oak sort of what Jon did the last 12 games. He averaged like one Hill Academy, the Washington, DC native played wing turnover a game, his scoring average went up, and we played guard in the same backcourt as Ty Lawson and later Brandon better. Jon is the natural leader of this team. Jon’s terrific, one Jennings—two dynamic point guards who were both taken in of the best kids in the world.” the first round of the 2009 NBA draft. It doesn’t hurt that his backcourt mate also has experi“I consider myself a combo guard,” Smith said when he ence at the point. arrived at Duke. “I was playing with two great point guards. If Indeed, Nolan Smith opened the 2008–09 season as I got the ball, I was pushing it. If they got the ball, they were Duke’s starting point guard, beating out three-year starter pushing it. Both of them could also score, so it was basically Greg Paulus to win the job. And the 6'2" Oak Hill Academy two combo guards in the backcourt.” product started the season strong, delivering excellent on-theSmith has always known that if he is going to get a ball defense and some effective offensive punch early (he was chance in the NBA, he must transform himself into a point in double figures for nine of Duke’s first ten games). guard. Unfortunately, his offense started to slip as Duke entered “It was a learning experience from the minute I got to ACC play, and when that happened his defense declined too. Duke, and I’m still learning now,” he said early last season. By late January, he was struggling and Coach K had to replace “It took a long summer working on it. [In 2007–08] I really the sophomore guard in the starting lineup. Smith’s season learned a lot from watching Greg and watching tape of guys took another downward turn at Maryland, when he ran into a pick set by the Terps’ Dave Neal and suffered a concussion. “Nolan, over all, had a really good year,” Coach K said. “He was very good for half of it. I think being young and being in the conference knocked him back a little bit. And it really knocked him back physically.” The injury forced Smith to sit out the last three games of the regular season. Amazingly, the enforced absence seemed to energize the slumping youngster. When Smith returned to action in the ACC Tournament, Jon Scheyer, shown fighting Binghamton for the ball in the NCAA Tournament, has a knack for being in the middle of things. he was outstanding, clearly

Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 11


Here Comes Duke!

12 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

many skills, Kyle Singler is a solid passer. “I just jokingly threw it out there: ‘Wouldn’t it be great if Andre could go now and help out?’” Andre Dawkins Sr. told Wiederer. “And then I said [to the Blue Devil coaches], ‘Okay, seriously, if this could happen would you guys be for that or against it?’ They then started to look at things from an academic point of view. That all seemed realistic.” It actually wasn’t that much of a stretch. Dawkins was originally a member of the Class of 2009, but he dropped back a year when he transferred from Deep Creek High School to Atlantic Shores Academy and he repeated his freshman season. The reason was to allow for athletic development, not because of any academic problems. Dawkins was, in fact, an excellent student who reportedly had a 3.2 GPA and scored better than 1200 on the SAT. “Andre’s a very bright young man,” Bruce Croxton, Dawkins’ coach at Atlantic Shores said. “This is a kid who started taking high school-level courses in middle school. For his age, I can tell you he’s definitely ahead of the curve academically.” Even before the possibility of entering Duke emerged in July, Dawkins was planning to graduate from Atlantic Shores this summer and to enroll at a post-graduate prep school this fall. Now, he’ll simply take his high school diploma and enroll at Duke a year early. Croxton is convinced that Dawkins can make the jump. “Andre is a kid who likes to put things on his shoulders,” Croxton told Wiederer. “He’s never been afraid to carry a load. He’s always wanted the ball in clutch situations. Granted now he’s obviously entering a new arena at the top level of

Photo: G Fiume/Getty Images

like Chris Paul and just really studying every aspect of the point guard position. Now, if I’m watching another college or NBA game, I’m really focusing on the point guard, since that’s my position.” Smith clearly made progress as a sophomore, especially in the final weeks after returning to action after his injury. Is it too much to think that with another summer or work and study that his point guard skills will be even more honed? Smith and Scheyer should make a good, if slightly unusual, backcourt combination. Scheyer is the better shooter Among his and protects the ball better. Smith has the ability to slash through defenses and score on the drive. Defensively, Scheyer is the more fundamentally sound, but the quicker Smith is better suited to apply ball pressure—indeed, while Scheyer plays point at the offensive end, Smith is likely to defend opposing playmakers. Dawkins, the third guard on the roster, is much more of an unknown quality. The 6'3" Virginia product brings the kind of superior athleticism that Henderson and Williams provided last season. He has the potential to be a shut-down perimeter defender, although defense is probably the weakest part of his game at the moment. He is a celebrated shooter, however, and could provide more immediate help as a threepoint marksman. “No question he can be a three-point threat,” Scout.com analyst Dave Telep said. “He’s got a quick release. He gets his shot off high. He’s confident. He will help from the minute he walks on campus. He’s another athlete. He’s part of their perimeter rotation, no doubt about it. You might as well look at him like any other freshman. There’s not going to be that much of a learning curve.” Dawkins was considered an early jewel to Duke’s 2010 recruiting class when he committed to the Blue Devils in the summer of 2008, about the same time as Virginia forward Josh Harrison and Washington, DC guard Tyler Thornton. The idea of arriving on campus a year early only surfaced this summer when Dawkins learned that Williams was unexpectedly leaving Duke. His father told Fayetteville Observer (NC) writer Dan Wiederer that he suddenly saw the opportunity that presented itself.


Big, Bad, and Ready to Rumble

Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

college basketball. But just knowing his mentality after being with him for three years, I think he’ll be ready to produce in any manner Duke needs him to.” With just three recruited guards on the roster, Duke is obviously vulnerable to injury or some other misfortune. But assuming reasonable health from the backcourt trio, it’s hard to understand all the concern about the Devils backcourt situation. Coach K will start with two of the most experienced guards in the league, backed up by one of the most talented newcomers. It’s certainly a better situation than in 2000, when he had one guard in the rotation or 1999 and 2001, when just two guards saw any significant action each season. And Coach K will have a hidden backcourt asset next season. Liberty transfer Seth Curry will be able to practice with the team, even though he won’t be eligible to play in games. In addition, graduate student Jordan Davidson, who redshirted last season for just this situation, will be back for a fifth season on the Duke bench. “He did graduate and will be in a graduate program,” Krzyzewski said of Davidson. “He had back surgery right after graduation that he’s back from. He should be okay. He can give us some minutes. He’s really a fifth-year player. That’s one of the reasons we kept him out... just in case. He’s a real positive guy for us. And he’s a good player.” Davidson is not likely to see significant action in games, but he’s a solid practice player. He and Curry, the nation’s leading freshman scorer last season and a star on last summer’s US Junior National Team, ought to give Scheyer, Smith, and Dawkins a superior day-to-day backcourt to practice against.

THE BIG MAN ON CAMPUS

It’s kind of ironic that Krzyzewski, who has endured a number of frontcourt recruiting misses in recent years, should suddenly find himself much deeper and more flexible up front than in the backcourt. And while it’s easy to project what Duke’s 2009–10 backcourt is going to look like, the frontcourt is a mystery. There’s just one given: 6'8" junior Kyle Singler is going to be on the floor for as many minutes as he can handle. A year ago, he handled 32.2 minutes a game, earning secondteam All-ACC honors as he scored 16.6 points and led the team with 7.7 rebounds per game. Although Singler was almost always one of Duke’s two “post” players on the floor, he displayed his perimeter skills on the offensive end, hitting 69-180 three-pointers. His 38.3% three-point percentage was almost as good as Scheyer’s team-leading 38.5% and was, in fact, better than any other returning player in the ACC who attempted at least 80 threepointers. Singler also averaged almost 2.5 assists a game as a sophomore. No wonder that Krzyzewski is hoping to use his best big man on the perimeter this season. “I was going to put Kyle on the perimeter solely, no matter what,” Coach K told reporters. “[Elliot Williams’s transfer] has nothing to do with it. How we were going to use Kyle was how we were going to use Kyle. Even at the end of the season, I made some statements that he was going to play on the perimeter and that means both offensively and defensively. He can do that. He’s a really good player. And that’s where his future will be. He’s going to make a living being on the perimeter. Hopefully, he makes a living for us.” While there’s little doubt that Singler will prosper as a wing forward on the offensive end, he’ll have to prove himself as a perimeter defender. Most of his experience in his first two seasons at Duke has come against bigger players in the post. However, last year’s defense—which featured extensive switching—provided Singler with plenty of experience defending smaller, quicker players. Singler will start the season as a prime contender for ACC Player of the Year honors. As one of the top Texas coach Rick Barnes always has physical teams, but Singler, and Duke, didn’t back down to Gary Johnson. returning players in the nation,

Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 13


his productivity will be the key to Duke’s chances of contending in the ACC and on the national level. Last season, when Coach K was asked about the talented Oregon product, he put Singler in a class with former standouts Shane Battier and Mike Dunleavy. “Tremendous versatility,” Krzyzewski said when asked to name Singler’s strengths. “And competitiveness, toughness... you own a dictionary? He can shoot, defend, pass, he’s a winner, he’s got it all. It’s just a matter of physical maturity.” Singler, who was just the second freshman to earn ACC Rookie of the Year honors in Coach K’s 30 years at Duke, put up sophomore numbers that compare very favorably with the best forwards in Blue Devil history. His 16.6 points a game average is better than Danny Ferry, Christian Laettner, Shane Battier, Mike Dunleavy, or Grant Hill averaged as sophomores. His 7.7 rebounds were better than Battier, Dunleavy, or Hill and just a touch behind Ferry (7.8). Ferry and Hill had a lot more assists, but Singler’s rate is right there with Laettner and Dunleavy and well ahead of Battier. He had five fewer blocked shots than Battier as a sophomore and three less than Laettner, but considerably

Nolan Smith and Dave McClure battle Boston College for the ball in one of the pivotal games of the season. 14 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

more than Hill, Ferry, or Dunleavy. Battier had eight more steals as a sophomore than Singler, but Hill, Ferry, and Dunleavy all had significantly fewer. It’s obvious that Singler is on a career path that would make him one of the great players in school history. If his Duke career lasts two more seasons and continues in the same trajectory, there’s no doubt that his #12 jersey will hang in the rafters of Cameron. And, equally obviously, Krzyzewski will construct his 2009–10 frontcourt around Singler. The question is, how does he fill the other two frontcourt spots? Krzyzewski has an experienced building block in senior Lance Thomas. The 6'8" New Jersey product has started 44 games in the last two seasons, averaging just under 19 minutes a game in each. Thomas is a unique combination of skills. He doesn’t have much of an offensive game (just 5.3 points a game last season) and his rebounding (3.6 a game) is disappointing for a player with his size and athleticism. But Thomas can be a very effective defender, especially in the open floor. His combination of length and quickness seems better suited to defending threats from the wing than the post players he’s battled so often over the last two seasons. For the most part, Thomas has held his own down low, though every once in a while he would be overpowered by a bigger, stronger center. Whenever that happened, Krzyzewski called on 7'1", 260-pound Brian Zoubek to counter. The shift clearly worked in the ACC title game, when Zoubek shut down Florida State’s talented seven-footer, Solomon Alabi, and in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, when Duke’s giant backup center halted a run by Texas big man Dexter Pittman. Zoubek has worked hard in his first three years at Duke to improve his mobility and stamina, although his efforts have been hampered by injuries. He appeared to be emerging as a dominant player in the summer of 2007 before he suffered a broken foot in an off-season pickup game. That injury hampered him throughout his sophomore season and required post-season surgery that kept him from working out in the summer of 2008. “Brian [Zoubek] hasn’t been hurt for a year, and that’s a big thing,” Krzyzewski told the Chronicle this summer. “I think Brian’s pretty good, but you can’t play with a shank in your shoe or break your foot every four months, so it’s been tough for him, but he’s doing great right now.” Despite his physical setbacks, Zoubek’s stats have improved every season at Duke. For the last two years, he’s led the Devils in rebounds per minute (his average of one rebound every 3.2 minutes is significantly better than Singler’s one every 4.2 minutes) and in blocked shots per minute (one

Photo: Elsa/Getty Images

Here Comes Duke!


Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Big, Bad, and Ready to Rumble every 14.7 minutes; Singler led the team in blocks, but averaged just one every 31.4 minutes). The Haddonfield, NJ product is never going to be a dominant big man, but he’s proved that he can be a very useful player in certain situations. It’s up to Krzyzewski to juggle Zoubek and Thomas in a way that maximizes their strengths and hides their weaknesses. That task is complicated by the arrival of two freshmen big men of note. Both forward Ryan Kelly and center Mason Plumlee will demand immediate playing time. “They’re both really good players,” Krzyzewski said. “They’re very mature. They’re skilled. They’re easy to play with. They can play multiple positions. The ball is friendly in their hands. I think they’re very good. A freshman could start for us... but both of those kids are going to play and they’ll play very big roles for us.” Plumlee, who grew up in Warsaw, IN before attending prep school in the mountains of North Carolina, has a good chance to start as a freshman. Last spring, during the dunk competition before the McDonald’s All-America Game, ESPN commentator (and former Duke star) Jason Williams told viewers that Coach K had compared Plumlee to former Blue Devil standout Christian Laettner. That’s a pretty high ceiling. “Mason is 6-foot-11 and he’s got a chance to be really, really good,” Krzyzewski said. “He has the skills of a guard and the body of a big man, and a great basketball mind. He’s very competitive, he likes the stage, and he’s comfortable with the ball.” The 6'9" Kelly, from Raleigh, NC, is as much a perimeter player as a post performer. He’s a deadly face-up shooter, excellent in transition, and a deft passer, but will need to get much stronger in order to battle down low. Last fall, when Kelly committed to the Blue Devils, he told reporters that Krzyzewski had compared his game to that of former standout Mike Dunleavy. “They aren’t traditional big men,” Krzyzewski said of his two frontcourt recruits. “I liken them, especially Ryan, to European big men, because he can really shoot and handle. It’s not like [Kelly is] a speed merchant or whatever, but he’s got decent speed, and [he is] real smart.” Krzyzewski thus has the ability to mix and match his two senior big men and his two freshman frontcourt candidates. But, wait, it’s even more complicated. Two more frontcourt candidates return after learning on the job as freshmen. Miles Plumlee, the older brother of Mason, started two games early last season and demonstrated a nice combination of physical ability and low-post skills. He ended up playing just 165 minutes on the season, averaging a negligible 1.8 points and 1.4 rebounds a game.

Classmates and close friends Jon Scheyer and Gerald Henderson celebrate a home win over Wake Forest. That was better than the 0.6 points and 0.9 rebounds that 6'7" Olek Czyz managed in his season total of 51 minutes. Still, the Polish native excited Duke fans during a summer league on the campus of North Carolina Central University, displaying an amazing combination of strength and leaping ability. If his game catches up with his physical skills, Czyz could still become a contributor. So that’s six candidates for two post positions (plus a few minutes a game backing up Singler): two seniors with sharply contrasting skills, two versatile freshmen with enormous potential, and two sophomores hoping to take a major step forward after limited freshman campaigns. “We are going to be real big... I mean real big,” Krzyzewski told the Chronicle. “Our style has to give us a chance to run, play defense, use bigness, and how do we do that? Well, we’re figuring it out. You won’t figure it out completely until you work with them out on the court, but they all want to be good. Obviously you would think you’d be able to rebound better, and there shouldn’t be as many inside shots against you. You’re probably not going to be a pressing team, but you can still run and they have to touch the ball. A thing we haven’t had in a few years is inside-outside action.” It will be up to Krzyzewski to juggle his frontcourt to extract the most from Singler, Thomas, and his other potential contributors. He certainly has options, and more depth and talent in the frontcourt than at any time in recent years.

Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 15


THE OVERALL OUTLOOK So does Duke have a chance to be better in 2009–10 than last year? If the Blue Devils can take just a small step forward, it would mean that the team is a legitimate contender for ACC and national title honors. The biggest obstacle to any prospective improvement would be the team’s lack of raw athleticism. The 2008–09 Blue Devils were not the most physically gifted team in the country and the two best overall athletes on that squad— Henderson and Williams—are gone. Dawkins will make up for some of that loss, but he’s not likely to change the character of a team that has good skills, but very little exceptional quickness. The physical nature of the team will, in some degree, dictate how the Devils play this season. For instance, Krzyzewski has already projected that he will dial his pressure defense back a notch. “You adjust to the people you have,” he said. “I don’t see us picking up full-court man and dogging somebody with Kyle on a 5-11 guy... we’re not going to do that. You just figure a little bit different way of playing your defense.” Duke is likely to try and make up for its reduced perimeter pressure with better interior defense, especially if Mason Plumlee develops into the shot-blocker that he’s projected to become. The Blue Devils will continue to run and shoot threepointers. On paper, Scheyer and Singler are the two best

Nolan Smith drives to the basket against Binghamton. 16 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

returning three-point shooters in the ACC, Dawkins should add a new long-range threat, Kelly won the three-point contest at the McDonald’s All-America Game, and Smith merely needs a slight improvement to step up from being an average three-point shooter (34.6% last season) to a superior one. At the same time, Duke has the potential to balance its three-point prowess with a more effective inside game, provided the freshmen or an improved Zoubek give Singler some offensive help. Krzyzewski would love to have a traditional point guard to run the show, but he’s content to go with the ScheyerSmith combination that worked so well late last season. “My feeling is that in the last 12 games of the season, we turned it over less than at any other time during the season... and those are the same people we have coming back,” he said. The Blue Devils will make it work. Krzyzewski will make it work. No coach in basketball history is better at adapting his style of play to suit his personnel than Coach K. He’s won with big teams. He’s won with small teams. He’s won with conventional teams. He’s won with unconventional teams. This year’s Duke team won’t look like the Blue Devil teams of the past few years. But that doesn’t mean it can’t compete at the highest level. There may not be a lot of guards on the roster, but the starting backcourt has a chance to be the best in the ACC. The frontcourt is loaded with skilled players. It’s just a matter of fitting them together. There’s plenty of experience with three seniors and two juniors who have combined for 233 starts over the past three seasons. Kyle Singler is a National Player of the Year candidate. Jon Scheyer won’t get the same accolades, but he’s as accomplished and experienced a guard as there is in the country. Sure, a lot has to break right to make Duke a better team in 2009–10. The backcourt (and Singler!) has to stay healthy. The two freshman big men have to develop quickly. But every team faces question marks heading into the season. Duke’s likely strengths appear to outweigh any concerns. At least they do to the guy who knows the most about the situation. “I’m excited about our team,” Krzyzewski said. “It’s going to be a different type of team, but I think it can be a really, really good basketball team. We have talent and we have experience and we have good players.” And with Coach K on the bench, that’s usually a formula for success. MSP

Al Featherston is a Duke graduate (Class of 1974), who covered Duke and ACC basketball for the Durham Sun and the Durham Herald-Sun for more than 30 years. He’s currently a freelance writer and a frequent contributor to DukeBasketballReport.com, GoDuke.com, Blue Devil Weekly, and the ACC Sports Journal.

Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Here Comes Duke!


2009 – 2010

BLUE DEVILS Ro s t e r No.

Name

Pos.

Height

Weight

Class

Hometown (High School)

3  

Seth Curry

G

6'1"

175

So.

Charlotte, NC  (Charlotte Christian)

13  

Olek Czyz

F

6'7"

240

So.

Gdynia, Poland  (Reno)

41   Jordan Davidson

G

6'1"

180

Gr.

Melbourne, AR  (Blair Academy, NJ)

20  

Andre Dawkins

G

6'4"

190

Fr.

Chesapeake, VA  (Atlantic Shores Christian)

51  

Steve Johnson

F

6'5"

210

Jr.

Colorado Springs, CO  (Cheyenne Mountain)

34  

Ryan Kelly

F

6'10"

220

Fr.

Raleigh, NC  (Ravenscroft)

53  

Casey Peters

G

6'4"

185

Jr.

Red Bank, NJ  (Red Bank Regional)

5  

Mason Plumlee

F

6'10"

230

Fr.

Warsaw, IN  (Christ School, NC)

21  

Miles Plumlee

F

6'10"

240

So.

Warsaw, IN  (Christ School, NC)

30  

Jon Scheyer

G

6'5"

190

Sr.

Northbrook, IL  (Glenbrook North)

12  

Kyle Singler

F

6'8"

230

Jr.

Medford, OR  (South Medford)

2  

Nolan Smith

G

6'2"

185

Jr.

Upper Marlboro, MD  (Oak Hill Academy, VA)

42  

Lance Thomas

F

6'8"

225

Sr.

Scotch Plains, NJ  (St. Benedict's Prep)

55  

Brian Zoubek

C

7'1"

260

Sr.

Haddonfield, NJ  (Haddonfield Memorial)


U

nlike most collegians, particularly in a time of economic uncertainty, Kyle Singler is virtually certain of his future: Barring serious injury, he will be chosen in the first round of the NBA Draft, either in 2010 or 2011, and quickly become a multimillionaire. Not a bad future. On the other hand, the present is pretty sweet, too. Singler, a 6'8" forward, could have gone by now, but has opted to stay with the Devils, a decision that's likely to make him even more popular than he has been, and he has been exceedingly well-loved by the Cameron partisans. And small wonder. After playing mostly inside as a freshman, people got a different glimpse of the young forward from Oregon as a sophomore as he frequently lingered behind the three-point line, content to take an open shot and show off a nearly perfect form on his jumper, but he was also more than happy to drive, where he showed a nice bag of tricks. Singler does a great job with ball fakes, and when he gets someone off balance he has a tremendous push on his first step. He’s strong enough to either dunk the ball in traffic or power it in over a defender. He’s also proven to be a solid passer, adding to his versatility. It doesn’t end with the ball in his hands. Singler doesn’t stand still much on offense. You don’t get a lot of statistical credit for that, but it’s an essential skill and one that a lot of players never master.

18

6' 8" | 230 | Forward | Medford, OR | Junior Singler has also emerged as an excellent rebounder. The muscle he added after his draining freshman season really helped as a sophomore, and not just statistically. He was stronger in the post, able to wrestle boards away from opponents. At Duke, however, you can do all that and still sit if you can’t defend. Singler has faced quicker opponents, but his fundamentals and a bit of occasional shading has helped him to be a superb defender. You rarely see someone just blow by him, and he defended from the perimeter on in. What makes Singler a particularly enticing player is his desire and his work ethic. He plays very, very hard, about as hard as anyone who’s been through the program lately. That said, his career may be about to take a major turn. After coach Mike Krzyzewski stationed him in the post as a freshman and moved him to power forward as a sophomore, he is mulling over the possibility of using Singler mainly on the perimeter as a junior. With Elliot Williams transferring to Memphis, there was even talk of Singler moving to guard, although the surprising early addition of Andre Dawkins may alleviate the need for a move that radical. With Miles and Mason Plumlee, Brian Zoubek, Lance Thomas, and Ryan Kelly, Duke is suddenly a bigger team than it’s been for awhile. Singler will certainly be able to showcase his versatility to a much greater extent.

12

#

statistical comparison Mike Kyle Dunleavy Singler Jr. Height 6-8 6-9 Weight 230 220 Position Forward Forward Home State Oregon Oregon Current Age 21 28 Playing Time Team Games 37 39 Games Played 37 39 Games Started 36 39 Minutes 1193 1137 Min Per Game 32.2 29.2 Minute Pct 80.3 72.6 Possessions 539.0 431.8 Possession Pct 26.0 19.7 Scoring Points 609 493 Pts Per Game 16.5 12.6 Points Per 40 20.4 17.3 Offensive Rating 111.5 113.2 Shooting FG Made 208 184 FG Att 472 388 FG Pct 44.1 47.4 FT Made 124 68 FT Att 174 98 FT Pct 71.3 69.4 Free Throw Rate 36.8 25.2 3pt FG Made 69 57 3pt FG Att 180 153 3pt FG Pct 38.3 37.3 Effective FG Pct 51.3 54.7 Floor Pct 52.3 51.9 Shot Pct 26.8 21.1 True Shooting Pct 54.8 56.7 Rebounds Rebounds 284 222 Reb Per Game 7.7 5.7 Off Rebs 112 68 Off Reb Pct 10.6 6.4 Off Rebs Per Game 3.0 1.7 Def Reb Pct 16.6 14 Def Rebs 172 154 Def Rebs Per Game 4.6 3.9 Assists, Steals, & Blocks Assists 89 103 Assists Per Game 2.4 2.6 A/T Ratio 1.0 1.3 Assist Pct 15.5 14.7 Steals 57 53 Steals Per Game 1.5 1.4 Steal Pct 2.7 2.4 Blocks 38 15 Blocks Per Game 1.0 0.4 Block Pct 3.0 1.1 Turnovers & Fouls Turnovers 92 80 TO Per Game 2.5 2.1 Turnover Pct 17.0 18.5 Fouls 99 81 Fouls Per Game 2.7 2.1 Stats courtesy statsheet.com

Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Kyle Singler


Kyle Singler 2008–09 GAME-BY-GAME STATISTICS Date

Field Goals

3-Point FGs

Free Throws

Rebounds

Opponent

GS 

Min 

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR 

PF 

Ast 

TO 

Blk 

Stl 

Pts 

11/10

PRESBYTERIAN

*

26

5-12

1-2

8-9

2-8

10

3

2

4

2

2

19

11/11

GEORGIA SOUTHERN

*

22

5-7

0-1

9-12

2-6

8

1

2

1

1

1

19

11/16

RHODE ISLAND

*

35

6-14

3-8

6-8

3-2

5

2

5

3

1

1

21

11/20

vs. Southern Illinois

*

23

3-11

1-3

6-6

0-5

5

4

3

3

1

1

13

11/21

vs. Michigan

*

35

5-8

2-4

3-6

3-5

8

3

4

2

0

1

15

11/23

MONTANA

*

25

5-9

1-4

2-5

2-3

5

1

3

0

0

3

13

11/28

DUQUESNE

*

23

6-12

2-6

3-4

2-5

7

1

4

1

0

3

17

12/2

at Purdue

*

36

7-17

2-7

4-4

6-6

12

2

0

3

1

0

20

12/6

at Michigan

*

36

6-17

1-9

2-6

2-8

10

4

7

3

0

2

15

12/17

UNC ASHEVILLE

22

6-8

2-2

0-0

3-5

8

2

5

5

1

4

14

12/20

vs. Xavier

*

32

4-10

1-3

0-0

1-7

8

4

4

3

3

3

9

12/31

LOYOLA

*

24

8-14

0-3

4-5

3-5

8

0

2

0

0

6

20

1/4

VIRGINIA TECH

*

37

7-11

2-2

3-3

5-3

8

2

7

6

1

2

19

1/7

DAVIDSON

*

36

8-18

3-8

3-4

4-2

6

1

3

4

1

1

22

1/10

at Florida State

*

34

5-10

2-4

3-6

2-3

5

4

0

3

1

0

15

1/14

at Georgia Tech

*

37

6-15

2-8

5-11

6-8

14

2

1

1

0

0

19

1/17

GEORGETOWN

*

36

7-19

1-6

0-0

6-10

16

4

1

3

1

0

15

1/20

N.C. STATE

*

29

6-10

3-4

2-2

2-2

4

4

1

0

0

3

17

1/24

MARYLAND

*

22

3-9

1-3

4-4

3-4

7

0

2

2

2

2

11

1/28

at Wake Forest

*

37

7-19

2-5

6-6

4-8

12

2

1

4

1

0

22

2/1

VIRGINIA

*

24

2-7

0-5

1-2

2-3

5

2

1

1

0

1

5

2/4

at Clemson

*

24

2-8

0-1

2-6

2-5

7

4

2

5

1

1

6

2/7

MIAMI

*

43

5-23

2-7

5-6

3-7

10

3

2

3

1

1

17

2/11

NORTH CAROLINA

*

33

9-15

3-5

1-3

3-3

6

3

3

1

0

2

22

2/15

at Boston College

*

37

8-17

3-6

6-8

7-1

8

4

1

0

2

2

25

2/19

at St. John's

*

30

5-6

4-5

1-4

0-3

3

5

4

5

0

1

15

2/22

WAKE FOREST

*

36

5-14

1-6

0-0

3-3

6

1

2

0

1

2

11

2/25

at Maryland

*

37

4-7

2-3

3-6

4-6

10

4

2

5

1

1

13

2/28

at Virginia Tech

*

32

6-14

1-2

8-10

1-3

4

3

3

0

1

1

21

3/3

FLORIDA STATE

*

35

7-14

2-5

4-4

2-5

7

3

2

0

1

1

20

3/8

at North Carolina

*

38

7-18

4-10

5-6

3-3

6

4

1

4

2

1

23

3/13

vs. Boston College

*

40

10-15

3-6

3-5

4-5

9

1

1

2

6

2

26

3/14

vs. Maryland

*

40

3-12

2-3

6-6

8-3

11

2

3

4

2

1

14

3/15

vs. Florida State

*

40

5-16

4-10

0-0

1-3

4

3

2

0

1

1

14

3/19

vs. Binghamton

*

28

4-11

2-3

0-0

3-6

9

3

1

5

1

0

10

3/21

vs. Texas

*

33

6-12

3-5

2-2

4-3

7

5

1

3

1

2

17

3/26

vs. Villanova

*

36

5-13

1-6

4-7

1-5

6

3

1

3

0

2

15

Totals

37 Games

36

1193

208-472

69-180

124-174

112-172

284

99

89

92

38

57

609

32.2

.441

.383

.713

7.7

2.7

2.4

1.0

1.0

1.5

16.5

Averages

19


Kyle Singler REGULAR SEASON STATISTICS SEASOn AND career TOTALS Field Goals

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

Season

GP

GS

Min

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF-DQ

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

2007-08

34

34

972

159-348

51-150

82-106

70-128

198

104-3

48

75

25

36

451

2008-09

37

36

1193

208-472

69-180

124-174

112-172

284

99-2

89

92

38

57

609

Totals

71

70

2165

367-820

120-330

206-280

182-300

482

203-5

137

167

63

93

1060

SEASON AND career AVERAGES Year

GP

GS

Min

Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

PPG

34

34

28.6

.457

.340

.774

5.8

1.4

0.7

1.1

13.3

37

36

32.2

.441

.383

.713

7.7

2.4

1.0

1.5

16.5

Totals/Averages

71

70

30.5

.448

.364

.736

6.8

1.9

0.9

1.3

14.9

Photo: Kevin Cox/Getty Images

2007-08 2008-09

Kyle Singler isn't afraid to do the little things.

20


Kyle Singler POSTSEASON STATISTICS Season and Career PostSeason Totals Field Goals

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

Season

GP

GS

Min

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

2007-08

4

4

100

9-25

2-10

4-6

1-13

14

12

5

6

3

5

24

2008-09

6

6

217

33-79

15-33

15-20

21-25

46

17

9

17

11

8

96

Totals

10

10

317

42-104

17-43

19-26

22-38

60

29

14

23

14

13

120

Season and Career PostSeason Averages Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Year

GP

GS

Min

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

2007-08

4

4

25.0

.360

.200

.667

3.5

1.3

0.8

1.3

6.0

2008-09

6

6

36.2

.418

.455

.750

7.7

1.5

1.8

1.3

16.0

Totals/Averages

10

10

31.7

.404

.395

.731

6.0

1.4

1.4

1.3

12.0

PPG

Season and Career ACC Tournament Totals Field Goals Min

FG-FGA

3-Point FGs Free Throws FG-FGA

FT-FTA

Rebounds

Season

GP

GS

OR-DR

TR

PF

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

2007-08

2

2

43

3-13

1-7

0-0

2008-09

3

3

120

18-43

9-19

9-11

Totals

5

5

163

21-56

10-26

9-11

13-17

Pts

0-6

6

4

4

3

2

2

7

13-11

24

6

6

6

9

4

54

30

10

10

9

11

6

61

Season and Career ACC Tournament Averages Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Year

GP

GS

Min

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

2007-08

2

2

21.5

.231

.143

–

3.0

2.0

1.0

1.0

3.5

2008-09

3

3

40.0

.419

.474

.818

8.0

2.0

3.0

1.3

18.0

Totals/Averages

5

5

32.6

.375

.385

.818

6.0

2.0

2.2

1.2

12.2

PPG

Season and Career NCAA Tournament Totals Field Goals Season

GP

GS

Min

FG-FGA

2007-08

2

2

57

2008-09

3

3

97

Totals

5

5

154

21-48

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF

Ast

6-12

1-3

4-6

1-7

15-36

6-14

6-9

8-14

7-17

10-15

9-21

30

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

8

8

22

11

1

3

1

3

17

3

11

2

4

19

42

4

14

3

7

59

Season and Career NCAA Tournament Averages Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Year

GP

GS

Min

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

2007-08

2

2

28.5

.500

.333

.667

4.0

0.5

0.5

1.5

8.5

2008-09

3

3

32.3

.417

.429

.667

7.3

1.0

0.7

1.3

14.0

Totals/Averages

5

5

30.8

.438

.412

.667

6.0

0.8

0.6

1.4

11.8

PPG

21


T

here was a remarkable story in the New York Times Magazine this summer about former Duke star Shane Battier and how the Rockets measured his contributions: “Battier’s game is a weird combination of obvious weaknesses and nearly invisible strengths. When he is on the court, his teammates get better, often a lot better, and his opponents get worse—often a lot worse… On defense, although he routinely guards the NBA’s most prolific scorers, he significantly reduces their shooting percentages. At the same time he somehow improves the defensive efficiency of his teammates.” Probably, the author surmised, by helping them out in all sorts of subtle ways. Getting the Rockets to grade Duke’s Jon Scheyer would be almost as interesting. All things considered, Scheyer had a pretty remarkable junior year. The 6'5" Illinois native struggled with his jump shot for part of the season, but the rest of his game was superb and, like Battier’s, often underappreciated. Scheyer’s talents are for the connoisseur. Scheyer is as fundamentally sound and smart as anyone who has been at Duke in years. Parts of his game are similar to Chris Carrawell’s, but Carrawell was much more of an inside player. At Duke, his role has consistently changed, and he’s good enough to handle whatever he’s been asked to do. As

6' 5" | 190 | Guard | Northbrook, IL | Senior a freshman, he started and led the team in three-point shots and free throws attempted, and shot an outstanding 84.6% from the line, at one point hitting 40 straight. He was also asked to be a backup point guard, a skill that would come in handy later. As a sophomore, he was asked to come off the bench, and with his versatility, Duke could plug him in a number of spots and scenarios. As a junior, Scheyer’s role changed again, and quite unexpectedly, in the last 12 games of the season, when both Nolan Smith (offense) and Greg Paulus (defense) struggled at point guard. Duke’s season turned around sharply when Scheyer moved to the point and Elliot Williams joined him in the backcourt. From then on, Duke went 10–2, with the losses to UNC, where Duke had no answer for speedster Ty Lawson, and Villanova, which also was simply more athletic than Duke and manhandled the Devils to eliminate them from the NCAA Tournament. By the end, Scheyer’s shortcomings as a point had also been laid bare: he’s not hugely athletic, he isn’t really a penetrator, and he wasn’t always the best distributor. Bear in mind, though, that these are criticisms of a guy who basically saved the season for Duke. As a senior, Scheyer’s role will be different, but there is one constant in his game: he’s a leader.

30

#

statistical comparison Jon Chris Scheyer Carrawell Height 6-5 6-6 Weight 190 215 Position Guard Forward Home State Illinois Missouri Current Age 21 31 Playing Time Team Games 37 39 Games Played 37 39 Games Started 35 38 Minutes 1214 1116 Min Per Game 32.8 28.6 Minute Pct 81.7 71.3 Possessions 433.0 401.6 Possession Pct 20.5 19.1 Scoring Points 550 386 Pts Per Game 14.9 9.9 Points Per 40 18.1 13.8 Offensive Rating 123.3 106.9 Shooting FG Made 146 144 FG Att 368 317 FG Pct 39.7 45.4 FT Made 179 79 FT Att 214 137 FT Pct 83.6 57.7 Free Throw Rate 58.1 43.2 3pt FG Made 79 19 3pt FG Att 205 55 3pt FG Pct 38.5 34.5 Effective FG Pct 50.4 48.4 Floor Pct 55.6 53.5 Shot Pct 20.5 18.3 True Shooting Pct 58.5 50.5 Rebounds Rebounds 134 188 Reb Per Game 3.6 4.8 Off Rebs 42 59 Off Reb Pct 3.9 6.2 Off Rebs Per Game 1.1 1.5 Def Reb Pct 8.7 11.1 Def Rebs 92 129 Def Rebs Per Game 2.5 3.3 Assists, Steals, & Blocks Assists 102 130 Assists Per Game 2.8 3.3 A/T Ratio 1.8 1.5 Assist Pct 15.7 17.4 Steals 58 30 Steals Per Game 1.6 0.8 Steal Pct 2.7 1.4 Blocks 6 34 Blocks Per Game 0.2 0.9 Block Pct 0.4 2.5 Turnovers & Fouls Turnovers 57 84 TO Per Game 1.5 2.2 Turnover Pct 13.1 20.9 Fouls 62 71 Fouls Per Game 1.7 1.8 Stats courtesy statsheet.com

22

Photo: Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Jon Scheyer


Jon Scheyer 2008–09 GAME-BY-GAME STATISTICS Date

Field Goals

3-Point FGs

Free Throws

Rebounds

Opponent

GS 

Min 

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR 

PF 

Ast 

TO 

Blk 

Stl 

Pts 

11/10

PRESBYTERIAN

*

26

5-9

0-1

2-2

0-3

3

3

3

0

0

2

12

11/11

GEORGIA SOUTHERN

*

22

3-11

1-5

1-3

2-2

4

1

7

1

1

3

8

11/16

RHODE ISLAND

*

33

5-12

0-2

13-13

0-3

3

3

1

1

1

0

23

11/20

vs. Southern Illinois

*

33

4-8

2-3

3-4

1-5

6

2

1

3

0

3

13

11/21

vs. Michigan

*

29

1-7

1-5

5-5

2-4

6

2

2

2

0

3

8

11/23

MONTANA

*

27

4-6

0-1

4-6

1-1

2

1

0

2

1

3

12

11/28

DUQUESNE

*

23

3-8

2-5

0-0

0-4

4

2

3

3

0

1

8

12/2

at Purdue

*

36

4-11

3-6

9-10

2-2

4

2

3

3

0

2

20

12/6

at Michigan

*

34

7-11

1-5

1-1

2-1

3

1

2

3

0

2

16

12/17

UNC ASHEVILLE

22

3-6

3-5

4-4

0-3

3

1

1

1

1

1

13

12/20

vs. Xavier

*

31

9-11

5-7

0-0

2-0

2

1

2

1

0

2

23

12/31

LOYOLA

*

27

3-7

0-2

6-8

0-4

4

1

6

3

1

0

12

1/4

VIRGINIA TECH

*

34

2-7

1-3

6-6

1-3

4

2

1

0

0

0

11

1/7

DAVIDSON

*

36

6-11

3-4

7-8

2-1

3

3

4

1

0

3

22

1/10

at Florida State

*

38

1-7

0-2

7-11

1-1

2

0

3

3

0

1

9

1/14

at Georgia Tech

*

34

3-13

2-7

6-8

2-3

5

1

5

0

0

1

14

1/17

GEORGETOWN

*

38

2-7

1-4

6-6

1-3

4

1

5

1

0

3

11

1/20

N.C. STATE

*

30

1-6

1-4

0-0

1-2

3

1

4

3

0

0

3

1/24

MARYLAND

*

24

4-13

4-8

0-0

1-4

5

1

3

1

0

1

12

1/28

at Wake Forest

*

34

2-10

1-7

8-8

2-1

3

4

2

1

0

1

13

2/1

VIRGINIA

*

25

4-9

3-5

0-0

5-2

7

4

2

1

0

1

11

2/4

at Clemson

*

29

1-8

1-2

0-0

1-2

3

0

3

2

0

1

3

2/7

MIAMI

*

42

5-13

4-11

8-10

0-4

4

2

3

2

0

0

22

2/11

NORTH CAROLINA

*

33

6-15

2-7

6-7

1-1

2

1

4

3

0

2

20

2/15

at Boston College

*

36

3-12

0-6

2-2

3-1

4

0

3

2

0

0

8

2/19

at St. John's

*

37

3-8

2-4

10-14

0-3

3

1

1

0

0

2

18

2/22

WAKE FOREST

*

37

8-16

5-10

9-11

4-0

4

2

3

1

0

2

30

2/25

at Maryland

*

37

3-10

1-7

5-6

1-2

3

1

5

1

0

0

12

2/28

at Virginia Tech

*

3/3

FLORIDA STATE

3/8

at North Carolina

3/13 3/14

39

5-13

4-8

2-2

0-4

4

2

1

2

0

3

16

35

3-9

3-9

8-11

0-5

5

0

1

1

0

2

17

*

39

7-7

3-3

7-8

0-3

3

4

5

0

0

4

24

vs. Boston College

*

39

4-9

4-9

2-3

1-5

6

4

2

2

0

1

14

vs. Maryland

*

37

6-12

4-10

6-7

0-2

2

1

1

1

1

0

22

3/15

vs. Florida State

*

38

6-10

4-6

13-15

0-4

4

3

2

2

0

1

29

3/19

vs. Binghamton

*

29

3-9

3-7

6-6

2-1

3

2

4

1

0

1

15

3/21

vs. Texas

*

34

4-9

3-5

2-2

0-2

2

2

2

2

0

3

13

3/26

vs. Villanova

*

36

3-18

2-10

5-7

1-1

2

0

2

1

0

3

13

Totals

37 Games

35

1214

146-368

79-205

179-214

42-92

134

62

102

57

6

58

550

32.8

.397

.385

.836

3.6

1.7

2.8

1.5

0.2

1.6

14.9

Averages

23


Jon Scheyer REGULAR SEASON STATISTICS SEASOn AND career TOTALS Field Goals

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

Season

GP

GS

Min

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF-DQ

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

2006-07

33

32

1112

113-284

61-167

115-136

40-70

110

57-1

61

52

5

39

402

2007-08

34

1

963

115-259

47-121

120-135

35-99

134

56-0

83

37

9

46

397

2008-09

37

35

1214

146-368

79-205

179-214

42-92

134

62-0

102

57

6

58

550

Totals

104

68

3289

374-911

187-493

414-485

117-261

378

175-1

246

146

20

143

1349

SEASON AND career AVERAGES Year

GP

GS

Min

Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

PPG

33

32

33.7

.398

.365

.846

3.3

1.8

0.2

1.2

12.2

34

1

28.3

.444

.388

.889

3.9

2.4

0.3

1.4

11.7

2008-09

37

35

32.8

.397

.385

.836

3.6

2.8

0.2

1.6

14.9

Totals/Averages

104

68

31.6

.411

.379

.854

3.6

2.4

0.2

1.4

13.0

Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

2006-07 2007-08

Jon Scheyer can fit many roles, even point guard.

24


Jon Scheyer POSTSEASON STATISTICS Season and Career PostSeason Totals Field Goals

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

Season

GP

GS

Min

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

2006-07

2

2

78

6-17

4-10

5-6

5-5

10

6

3

5

0

2

21

2007-08

4

0

116

13-32

3-13

30-32

2-9

11

8

10

6

0

7

59

2008-09

6

6

213

26-67

20-47

34-40

4-15

19

12

13

9

1

9

106

Totals

12

8

407

45-116

27-70

69-78

11-29

40

26

26

20

1

18

186

Season and Career PostSeason Averages Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Year

GP

GS

Min

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

PPG

2006-07

2

2

39.0

.353

.400

.833

5.0

1.5

0.0

1.0

10.5

2007-08

4

0

29.0

.406

.231

.938

2.8

2.5

0.0

1.8

14.8

2008-09

6

6

35.5

.388

.426

.850

3.2

2.2

0.2

1.5

17.7

Totals/Averages

12

8

33.9

.388

.386

.885

3.3

2.2

0.1

1.5

15.5

Season and Career ACC Tournament Totals Field Goals

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Season

GP

GS

Min

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

2006-07

1

1

43

4-10

2007-08

2

0

57

7-18

2008-09

3

3

114

Totals

6

4

214

Rebounds

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

4-7

2-2

2-1

3

3

2

3

0

1

14

2-9

15-16

1-4

5

3

6

4

0

3

31

16-31

12-25

21-25

1-11

12

8

5

5

1

2

65

27-59

18-41

38-43

4-16

20

14

13

12

1

6

110

Season and Career ACC Tournament Averages Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Year

GP

GS

Min

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

PPG

2006-07

1

1

43.0

.400

.571

1.000

3.0

2.0

0.0

1.0

14.0

2007-08

2

0

28.5

.389

.222

.938

2.5

3.0

0.0

1.5

15.5

2008-09

3

3

38.0

.516

.480

.840

4.0

1.7

0.3

0.7

21.7

Totals/Averages

6

4

35.7

.458

.439

.884

3.3

2.2

0.2

1.0

18.3

Season and Career NCAA Tournament Totals Field Goals Season

GP

GS

Min

2006-07

1

1

2007-08

2

0

3-Point FGs Free Throws

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

35

2-7

59

6-14

Rebounds

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

0-3

3-4

3-4

7

3

1

2

0

1

7

1-4

15-16

1-5

6

5

4

2

0

4

28

2008-09

3

3

99

10-36

8-22

13-15

3-4

7

4

8

4

0

7

41

Totals

6

4

193

18-57

9-29

31-35

7-13

20

12

13

8

0

12

76

Season and Career NCAA Tournament Averages Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Year

GP

GS

Min

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

2006-07

1

1

35.0

.286

.000

.750

7.0

1.0

0.0

1.0

7.0

2007-08

2

0

29.5

.429

.250

.938

3.0

2.0

0.0

2.0

14.0

PPG

2008-09

3

3

33.0

.278

.364

.867

2.3

2.7

0.0

2.3

13.7

Totals/Averages

6

4

32.2

.316

.310

.886

3.3

2.2

0.0

2.0

12.7

25


N

olan Smith’s season could be broken down into three parts: first, the start of the season where his defense was superb and his offensive contributions enough to keep other teams honest; second, when his offense went AWOL and teams could focus on Gerald Henderson, Jon Scheyer, and Kyle Singler; and third, after he came back from the concussion he received when he ran into Maryland’s Dave Neal. Smith worked hard over the summer after his freshman year, and at the beginning of the season it really showed. Smith was dynamic offensively and especially defensively, capable of putting immense pressure on the ball and really limited the point guards of the teams Duke came up against. When ACC play started, though, his shot and aggressiveness fell off. The nadir came at Clemson, as it did for the entire team. Smith shot 1-7, and finished with three points and four turnovers. After the Clemson disaster, Duke went to Greg Paulus against Miami in Cameron, and the senior responded with tremendous leadership, helping Duke to a much-needed win, in overtime. Smith got seven minutes. After that, Duke decided to move Jon Scheyer to the point and install Elliot Williams at the other guard spot, and things changed for the better for the team, if not for Smith.

6' 2" | 185 | Guard | Upper Marlboro, MD | Junior Smith continued to struggle offensively, not scoring against St. John’s, and netting only three against Wake Forest. He did have five points in four minutes against Maryland, a trip home to play in front of friends and family. In that game, the second part of his season took a sharp turn when he ran into a hard pick from Dave Neal, which left him on the floor of the Comcast Center with a concussion. Smith sat out the rest of the regular season before returning in the ACC Tournament against Boston College. You could argue that Smith is the single most critical player on this year’s team. If he stays healthy and can play up to his potential on both ends of the court, Duke is likely to be in great shape. If his offense falters again, the team may be back to the imbalance of last year, and Dawkins may be asked to pick up some of the role Williams played—although as a freshman, there are questions about his defensive toughness. A lot is riding on Smith’s ability to step up. Fortunately, he is capable of doing so, and showed last season, at the beginning and the end, that he was ready to do it. In an interview with ESPN.com, Coach K said this about his young guard: "He's not afraid ever, but he's trying to make sure he's doing the right things. When his instincts take over, he plays quicker."

2

#

statistical comparison Nolan Chris Smith Duhon Height 6-2 6-1 Weight 185 185 Position Guard Guard Home State Maryland Louisiana Current Age 21 26 Playing Time Team Games 37 35 Games Played 34 35 Games Started 21 34 Minutes 734 1228 Min Per Game 21.6 35.1 Minute Pct 49.4 87.4 Possessions 263.0 359.5 Possession Pct 20.6 15.2 Scoring Points 285 313 Pts Per Game 8.4 8.9 Points Per 40 15.5 10.2 Offensive Rating 105.1 109.1 Shooting FG Made 98 100 FG Att 230 244 FG Pct 42.6 41.0 FT Made 62 59 FT Att 73 83 FT Pct 84.9 71.1 Free Throw Rate 31.7 34.0 3pt FG Made 27 54 3pt FG Att 78 159 3pt FG Pct 34.6 34.0 Effective FG Pct 48.4 52.0 Floor Pct 48.6 48.2 Shot Pct 21.2 12.6 True Shooting Pct 53.8 55.2 Rebounds Rebounds 74 109 Reb Per Game 2.2 3.1 Off Rebs 23 18 Off Reb Pct 3.5 1.6 Off Rebs Per Game 0.7 0.5 Def Reb Pct 8.0 7.8 Def Rebs 51 91 Def Rebs Per Game 1.5 2.6 Assists, Steals, & Blocks Assists 58 208 Assists Per Game 1.7 5.9 A/T Ratio 1.1 2.3 Assist Pct 15.1 24.3 Steals 32 81 Steals Per Game 0.9 2.3 Steal Pct 2.5 3.4 Blocks 2 3 Blocks Per Game 0.1 0.1 Block Pct 0.2 0.2 Turnovers & Fouls Turnovers 55 92 TO Per Game 1.6 2.6 Turnover Pct 20.9 25.5 Fouls 70 68 Fouls Per Game 2.1 1.9

Stats courtesy statsheet.com

26

Photo: Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Nolan Smith


Nolan Smith 2008–09 GAME-BY-GAME STATISTICS Date

Field Goals

3-Point FGs

Free Throws

Rebounds

Opponent

GS 

Min 

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR 

PF 

Ast 

TO 

Blk 

Stl 

Pts 

11/10

PRESBYTERIAN

*

21

6-7

1-2

2-2

0-2

2

2

3

2

0

3

15

11/11

GEORGIA SOUTHERN

*

18

5-10

3-4

0-0

1-1

2

3

0

1

0

2

13

11/16

RHODE ISLAND

*

31

3-10

0-3

4-4

2-1

2

1

2

2

0

2

10

11/20

vs. Southern Illinois

*

22

1-5

0-3

6-6

2-3

5

3

2

5

0

0

8

11/21

vs. Michigan

*

26

6-8

0-2

4-5

1-4

5

0

4

2

0

0

16

11/23

MONTANA

*

25

5-10

2-3

2-2

0-1

1

1

1

3

0

3

14

11/28

DUQUESNE

*

16

4-7

2-4

1-1

0-0

0

1

3

0

0

0

11

12/2

at Purdue

*

20

5-9

1-3

1-2

1-2

3

4

2

1

0

1

12

12/6

at Michigan

*

31

5-9

2-5

0-0

0-4

4

2

2

3

0

0

12

12/17

UNC ASHEVILLE

20

4-9

2-3

2-2

1-1

1

0

3

1

0

0

12

12/20

vs. Xavier

*

16

1-6

0-1

2-2

1-4

5

2

3

2

0

3

4

12/31

LOYOLA

*

6

1-3

0-1

2-2

0-1

1

0

2

0

0

0

4

1/4

VIRGINIA TECH

*

28

4-12

1-4

4-4

1-1

2

2

3

2

0

2

13

1/7

DAVIDSON

*

32

2-8

0-3

0-1

0-3

3

4

2

2

0

1

4

1/10

at Florida State

*

29

3-6

0-1

6-6

1-3

4

2

1

7

0

2

12

1/14

at Georgia Tech

*

25

1-5

0-2

2-2

1-1

2

3

1

0

0

0

4

1/17

GEORGETOWN

*

31

3-6

1-1

2-2

0-2

2

1

0

1

0

1

9

1/20

N.C. STATE

*

29

4-10

2-4

3-5

1-1

1

2

0

2

0

1

13

1/24

MARYLAND

*

19

2-6

2-2

2-2

1-1

2

1

4

0

0

1

8

1/28

at Wake Forest

*

21

1-5

0-2

4-6

1-3

4

2

0

2

1

0

6

2/1

VIRGINIA

*

26

7-10

1-2

0-1

1-3

4

2

2

1

0

1

15

2/4

at Clemson

*

23

1-7

0-1

0-0

2-1

2

1

0

4

0

1

3

2/7

MIAMI

7

0-2

0-1

0-0

0-0

0

3

0

1

0

0

0

2/11

NORTH CAROLINA

22

5-9

0-2

1-1

1-4

5

4

2

3

0

2

11

2/15

at Boston College

19

0-6

0-2

1-2

0-1

1

2

0

0

0

0

1

2/19

at St. John's

21

0-2

0-1

0-0

0-1

1

2

2

3

0

0

0

2/22

WAKE FOREST

9

1-3

1-2

0-0

0-0

0

5

1

1

0

0

3

2/25

at Maryland

4

2-3

1-1

0-0

0-0

0

2

0

0

0

0

5

3/13

vs. Boston College

18

1-5

1-2

0-0

0-1

1

1

0

1

0

1

3

3/14

vs. Maryland

30

3-8

1-3

3-4

0-1

1

3

3

0

0

2

10

3/15

vs. Florida State

25

3-6

0-2

0-0

1-1

2

3

3

0

0

0

6

3/19

vs. Binghamton

21

4-6

1-2

4-5

1-1

2

1

3

2

1

1

13

3/21

vs. Texas

29

3-6

1-1

4-4

2-1

2

1

3

1

0

1

11

3/26

vs. Villanova

Totals

34 Games

Averages

21

16

2-6

0-3

0-0

0-2

2

4

1

0

0

1

4

734

98-230

27-78

62-73

23-51

74

70

58

55

2

32

285

21.6

.426

.346

.849

2.2

2.1

1.7

1.6

0.1

0.9

8.4

27


Nolan Smith REGULAR SEASON STATISTICS SEASOn AND career TOTALS Field Goals

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

Season

GP

GS

Min

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF-DQ

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

2007-08

34

1

500

70-150

22-57

40-52

12-40

52

58-0

45

49

5

18

202

2008-09

34

21

734

98-230

27-78

62-73

23-51

74

70-1

58

55

2

32

285

Totals

68

22

1234

168-380

49-135

102-125

35-91

126

128-1

103

104

7

50

487

SEASON AND career AVERAGES Year

GP

Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

GS

Min

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

PPG

34

1

14.7

.467

.386

.769

1.5

1.3

0.1

0.5

5.9

34

21

21.6

.426

.346

.849

2.2

1.7

0.1

0.9

8.4

Totals/Averages

68

22

18.1

.442

.363

.816

1.9

1.5

0.1

0.7

7.2

Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

2007-08 2008-09

Even after his concussion, Nolan Smith was not afraid to take it to the hoop.

28


Nolan Smith POSTSEASON STATISTICS Season and Career PostSeason Totals Field Goals

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

Season

GP

GS

Min

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

2007-08

4

0

48

4-10

3-7

4-5

0-3

3

6

0

3

1

1

Pts 15

2008-09

6

0

139

16-37

4-13

11-13

4-6

10

13

13

4

1

6

47

Totals

10

0

187

20-47

7-20

15-18

4-9

13

19

13

7

2

7

62

Season and Career PostSeason Averages Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Year

GP

GS

Min

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

2007-08

4

0

12.0

.400

.429

.800

0.8

0.0

0.3

0.3

3.8

2008-09

6

0

23.2

.432

.308

.846

1.7

2.2

0.2

1.0

7.8

Totals/Averages

10

0

18.7

.426

.350

.833

1.3

1.3

0.2

0.7

6.2

PPG

Season and Career ACC Tournament Totals Field Goals Season

GP

GS

Min

2007-08

2

0

2008-09

3

0

Totals

5

0

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

26

2-5

1-4

2-2

0-1

1

3

0

2

0

0

7

73

7-19

2-7

3-4

1-3

4

7

6

1

0

3

19

99

9-24

3-11

5-6

1-4

5

10

6

3

0

3

26

Season and Career ACC Tournament Averages Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Year

GP

GS

Min

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

2007-08

2

0

13.0

.400

.250

1.000

0.5

0.0

0.0

0.0

3.5

2008-09

3

0

24.3

.368

.286

.750

1.3

2.0

0.0

1.0

6.3

Totals/Averages

5

0

19.8

.375

.273

.833

1.0

1.2

0.0

0.6

5.2

PPG

Season and Career NCAA Tournament Totals Field Goals Season

GP

GS

Min

2007-08

2

0

2008-09

3

0

Totals

5

0

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

22

2-5

2-3

2-3

0-2

2

3

0

1

1

1

8

66

9-18

2-6

8-9

3-3

6

6

7

3

1

3

28

88

11-23

4-9

10-12

3-5

8

9

7

4

2

4

36

Season and Career NCAA Tournament Averages Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Year

GP

GS

Min

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

2007-08

2

0

11.0

.400

.667

.667

1.0

0.0

0.5

0.5

4.0

2008-09

3

0

22.0

.500

.333

.889

2.0

2.3

0.3

1.0

9.3

Totals/Averages

5

0

17.6

.478

.444

.833

1.6

1.4

0.4

0.8

7.2

PPG

29


W

hen Lance Thomas was deciding between Duke and Rutgers his senior year, and taking his time about it, Duke fans, who felt the need for a big man with the departure of Shelden Williams, perhaps built expectations too high. Thomas, as it turned out, was a talented but raw player, thin but promising, and much better on the defensive end than the offensive. When you look at Thomas’s career stats, there’s been considerable improvement since his freshman year. In his first season he scored 124 points, grabbed 76 boards, blocked three shots, coughed the ball up 43 times, and shot 54 free throws. Remarkably, he had only one assist the entire season. His performance improved, yet the upward tick of his statistical profile doesn’t explain what Thomas brings to a team. He’ll likely never be a great scorer or rebounder, but he does bring defense, energy, and leadership. None of these should be overlooked. Thomas has turned into an above-average defender, and he’s agile enough that Duke often uses him at the top of the press to pressure the ball coming inbounds after an opponent score. What’s truly impressive is how quickly he can move from the inbounds play to pressure the ball up court. Over the last two years it hasn’t been a surprise to see him defend the inbounds pass and then zip down court and join a teammate in a trap.

30

6' 8" | 225 | Forward | Scotch Plains, NJ | Senior It isn’t just about defense and energy, though, at least not anymore. Last season saw Thomas bring a new intensity to the team. It was first obvious at Clemson, where Duke had a nightmare outing, losing 74–47 to the Tigers. Only Gerald Henderson put significant points on the board, scoring 16 (though only shooting 5-13, with nearly half of those attempts coming from behind the threepoint line). The only other Dukie in double figures? Thomas, with 10 points on 3-3 shooting and 4-4 from the line. Not only that, but while many of his teammates seemed shell-shocked, Thomas was furiously exhorting them to get into the game. As has been the case for Thomas since he arrived at Duke, his role will change this season. With 7'1" Brian Zoubek, 6'10" Miles Plumlee and 6'10" brother Mason, and 6'10" Ryan Kelly in the fold, Thomas won’t have to spend nearly as much time in the post. And with Duke likely to move Singler to small forward and station him more on the perimeter, Thomas could conceivably be the odd man out. Yet that’s been said before, not least of all in this space last year, and it should be noted that Thomas proved the sentiment wrong. And if he keeps his position ahead of his very talented teammates, hard work is exactly what you can credit for his continued success.

42

#

statistical comparison Lance Thomas Height 6-8 Weight 225 Position Forward

Nate James 6-6 200 Guard/ Forward District Of Columbia 32

New Jersey Current Age 21 Playing Time Team Games 37 Games Played 37 Games Started 16 Minutes 689 Min Per Game 18.6 Minute Pct 46.4 Possessions 170.0 Possession Pct 14.2 Scoring Points 196 Pts Per Game 5.3 Points Per 40 11.4 Offensive Rating 117.2 Shooting FG Made 72 FG Att 115 FG Pct 62.6 FT Made 52 FT Att 94 FT Pct 55.3 Free Throw Rate 81.7 3pt FG Made 0 3pt FG Att 0 3pt FG Pct Effective FG Pct 62.6 Floor Pct 63.0 Shot Pct 11.3 True Shooting Pct 61.3 Rebounds Rebounds 133 Reb Per Game 3.6 Off Rebs 69 Off Reb Pct 11.3 Off Rebs Per Game 1.87 Def Reb Pct 10.7 Def Rebs 64 Def Rebs Per Game 1.73 Assists, Steals, & Blocks Assists 17 Assists Per Game 0.5 A/T Ratio 0.6 Assist Pct 4.4 Steals 17 Steals Per Game 0.5 Steal Pct 1.4 Blocks 10 Blocks Per Game 0.3 Block Pct 1.3 Turnovers & Fouls Turnovers 29 TO Per Game 0.8 Turnover Pct 17.0 Fouls 95 Fouls Per Game 2.6 Home State

Stats courtesy statsheet.com

39 39 1 573 14.7 36.6 198.4 18.3 196 5.0 13.7 101.0 69 152 45.4 43 65 66.2 42.7 15 52 28.8 50.3 49.5 17.1 53.5 102 2.6 39 8.0 1.00 10.5 63 1.60 34 0.9 0.6 8.7 26 0.7 2.4 6 0.2 0.8 53 1.4 26.7 52 1.3

Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Lance Thomas


Lance Thomas 2008–09 GAME-BY-GAME STATISTICS Date

Opponent

GS 

Field Goals

3-Point FGs

Free Throws

Rebounds

Min 

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR 

PF 

Ast 

TO 

Blk 

Stl 

Pts 

11/10

PRESBYTERIAN

18

5-6

0-0

2-3

2-3

5

2

2

1

0

1

12

11/11

GEORGIA SOUTHERN

13

2-3

0-0

1-8

3-1

4

3

1

0

0

0

5

11/16

RHODE ISLAND

28

5-7

0-0

0-2

2-0

2

3

0

2

0

2

10

11/20

vs. Southern Illinois

18

1-1

0-0

6-6

2-1

3

3

1

1

0

0

8

11/21

vs. Michigan

16

1-4

0-0

3-4

2-0

2

3

0

1

0

0

5

11/23

MONTANA

16

1-5

0-0

1-2

4-4

8

3

0

0

0

0

3

11/28

DUQUESNE

17

8-8

0-0

5-6

2-4

6

0

1

0

1

1

21

12/2

at Purdue

22

2-4

0-0

1-2

0-5

5

2

0

1

0

0

5

12/6

at Michigan

23

3-3

0-0

0-0

0-2

2

4

0

3

2

0

6

12/17

UNC ASHEVILLE

14

3-4

0-0

1-2

2-0

2

1

0

2

0

1

7

12/20

vs. Xavier

15

2-3

0-0

3-6

1-1

2

3

0

1

0

0

7

12/31

LOYOLA

14

3-4

0-0

0-6

2-2

4

3

1

1

1

0

6

1/4

VIRGINIA TECH

12

0-2

0-0

2-2

0-1

1

3

0

2

0

0

2

1/7

DAVIDSON

20

1-2

0-0

3-4

4-0

4

1

0

0

0

0

5

1/10

at Florida State

23

0-2

0-0

1-2

0-3

3

4

0

0

1

0

1

1/14

at Georgia Tech

10

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-2

2

4

0

2

0

0

0

1/17

GEORGETOWN

3

0-0

0-0

0-0

1-1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

1/20

N.C. STATE

15

1-1

0-0

0-0

2-0

2

0

0

1

0

0

2

1/24

MARYLAND

17

3-6

0-0

1-4

2-1

3

2

0

0

2

2

7

1/28

at Wake Forest

13

0-1

0-0

0-0

0-2

2

4

1

0

1

0

0

2/1

VIRGINIA

*

20

2-3

0-0

1-2

1-3

4

3

2

1

1

0

5

2/4

at Clemson

*

26

3-3

0-0

4-4

3-2

5

3

0

1

1

0

10

2/7

MIAMI

*

13

0-2

0-0

0-0

1-1

2

3

0

1

0

1

0

2/11

NORTH CAROLINA

*

20

2-4

0-0

1-3

4-2

6

2

0

1

0

0

5

2/15

at Boston College

*

26

6-6

0-0

0-0

3-2

5

5

1

2

0

1

12

2/19

at St. John's

*

26

4-6

0-0

1-2

3-1

4

2

1

1

0

2

9

2/22

WAKE FOREST

*

33

3-5

0-0

1-2

4-2

6

3

1

0

1

1

7

2/25

at Maryland

*

18

0-2

0-0

1-2

0-2

2

4

0

0

0

2

1

2/28

at Virginia Tech

*

22

1-1

0-0

0-0

1-2

3

2

0

0

0

1

2

3/3

FLORIDA STATE

0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3/8

at North Carolina

*

31

1-1

0-0

0-0

1-1

2

2

1

1

0

0

2

3/13

vs. Boston College

*

25

1-1

0-0

3-4

2-3

5

1

1

2

0

1

5

3/14

vs. Maryland

*

14

0-1

0-0

2-2

2-0

2

3

0

1

0

1

2

3/15

vs. Florida State

*

19

1-6

0-0

0-1

6-2

8

3

1

0

0

0

2

3/19

vs. Binghamton

*

23

5-5

0-0

4-6

3-2

5

2

1

0

0

0

14

3/21

vs. Texas

*

25

1-1

0-0

3-4

2-4

6

5

1

0

0

0

5

3/26

vs. Villanova

*

21

1-2

0-0

1-3

2-3

5

4

0

1

0

0

3

Totals

37 Games

16

689

72-115

0-0

52-94

67-64

133

95

17

29

10

17

196

18.6

.626

-

.553

3.6

2.6

0.5

0.8

0.3

0.5

5.3

Averages

31


Lance Thomas REGULAR SEASON STATISTICS SEASOn AND career TOTALS Field Goals

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

Season

GP

GS

Min

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF-DQ

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

2006-07

31

18

463

46-81

0-0

32-54

37-39

76

84-1

1

43

3

17

124

2007-08

32

28

593

49-97

0-0

38-73

57-48

105

97-5

10

33

12

19

136

2008-09

37

16

689

72-115

0-0

52-94

67-64

133

95-2

17

29

10

17

196

Totals

100

62

1745

167-293

0-0

122-221

161-151

314

276-8

28

105

25

53

456

SEASON AND career AVERAGES 3-Point FG

Free Throw

GP

GS

Min

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

PPG

2006-07

31

18

14.9

.568

-

.593

2.5

0.0

0.1

0.5

4.0

2007-08

32

28

18.5

.505

-

.521

3.3

0.3

0.4

0.6

4.3

2008-09

37

16

18.6

.626

-

.553

3.6

0.5

0.3

0.5

5.3

Totals/Averages

100

62

17.5

.570

-

.552

3.1

0.3

0.3

0.5

4.6

Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Field Goal Year

32


Lance Thomas POSTSEASON STATISTICS Season and Career PostSeason Totals Field Goals

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

Season

GP

GS

Min

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

2006-07

2

0

38

2-4

0-0

0-0

2-2

4

6

0

1

0

0

Pts 4

2007-08

4

4

78

6-10

0-0

2-3

11-1

12

9

2

5

0

0

14

2008-09

6

6

127

9-16

0-0

13-20

17-14

31

18

4

4

0

2

31

Totals

12

10

243

17-30

0-0

15-23

30-17

47

33

6

10

0

2

49

Season and Career PostSeason Averages Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Year

GP

GS

Min

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

2006-07

2

0

19.0

.500

-

-

2.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

2.0

2007-08

4

4

19.5

.600

-

.667

3.0

0.5

0.0

0.0

3.5

PPG

2008-09

6

6

21.2

.563

-

.650

5.2

0.7

0.0

0.3

5.2

Totals/Averages

12

10

20.3

.567

-

.652

3.9

0.5

0.0

0.2

4.1

Season and Career ACC Tournament Totals Field Goals

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

Season

GP

GS

Min

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

2006-07

1

0

20

0-1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

2007-08

2

2

37

4-5

0-0

2-2

5-0

5

4

0

2

0

0

10

2008-09

3

3

58

2-8

0-0

5-7

10-5

15

7

2

3

0

2

9

Totals

6

5

115

6-14

0-0

7-9

15-5

20

13

2

5

0

2

19

Season and Career ACC Tournament Averages Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Year

GP

GS

Min

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

2006-07

1

0

20.0

.000

-

-

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

2007-08

2

2

18.5

.800

-

1.000

2.5

0.0

0.0

0.0

5.0

PPG

.002008-09

3

3

19.3

.250

-

.714

5.0

0.7

0.0

0.7

3.0

Totals/Averages

6

5

19.2

.429

-

.778

3.3

0.3

0.0

0.3

3.2

Season and Career NCAA Tournament Totals Field Goals

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

Season

GP

GS

Min

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

2006-07

1

0

18

2-3

0-0

0-0

2-2

4

4

0

1

0

0

4

2007-08

2

2

41

2-5

0-0

0-1

6-1

7

5

2

3

0

0

4

2008-09

3

3

69

7-8

0-0

8-13

7-9

16

11

2

1

0

0

22

Totals

6

5

128

11-16

0-0

8-14

15-12

27

20

4

5

0

0

30

Season and Career NCAA Tournament Averages Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Year

GP

GS

Min

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

2006-07

1

0

18.0

.667

-

-

4.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

4.0

2007-08

2

2

20.5

.400

-

.000

3.5

1.0

0.0

0.0

2.0

PPG

2008-09

3

3

23.0

.875

-

.615

5.3

0.7

0.0

0.0

7.3

Totals/Averages

6

5

21.3

.688

-

.571

4.5

0.7

0.0

0.0

5.0

33


Brian Zoubek

7' 1" | 260 | Center | Haddonfield, NJ | Senior

55

B

rian Zoubek may be the most underrated player on Duke’s roster, and that could be either a kind or unkind thing to say. It would be unkind if one thought he was just awful and got himself to the point where he was minimally useful. Fortunately, he’s better than that. Zoubek, clearly, will never be a speedster. And foot injuries set him back his first two years. But he’s more than just a big body filling space. Although he can’t chase smaller, quicker big men around the perimeter, Zoubek has found a useful niche under the basket. Coach K said, “He gives us a big guy inside. He can pass the ball and have an effect on shots. He’s kind of a unique player for us. We haven’t really had a player like him in our program and I’m really pleased with his attitude and effort.” In the ACC title game, Zoubek might have had his finest moments at Duke. When he checked in, just before the first media timeout, he blocked a shot. Then, he made Solomon Alabi change another one. He also drew a foul on the big man. Alabi had two early buckets inside but had a limited impact on the game after Zoubek’s burst. Zoubek, who was asked by Coach K to keep his offensive game simple and straightforward—tip-ins, layups, put-backs—has emerged as a better basketball player than

Fouls Per Game

34

Stats courtesy statsheet.com

2.0

3.1

Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

#

many expected, particularly after the lower expectations caused by his injuries. This shows up on defense, as it did against Alabi, but statistical comparison also, somewhat unexpectedly, Brian Shavlik it reveals itself in his surprisZoubek Randolph Height 7-1 6-10 ing passing game. Zoubek at Weight 260 240 times flashed a nifty inside Position Center Forward New North passing game, periodically Home State Jersey Carolina delivering sharp passes for Current Age 21 25 Playing Time lay-ups. He had a reputaTeam Games 37 33 tion for that in high school, Games Played 36 29 Games Started 17 20 Princeton wanted him badly Minutes 427 548 to use in their famed offense, Min Per Game 11.9 18.9 but his injuries masked those Minute Pct 28.7 41.3 Possessions 129 156 skills in his first two years Possession Pct 17.4 16.1 at Duke. Scoring Points 146 127 So, somewhat like forPts Per Game 4.1 4.4 mer teammate Greg Paulus, Points Per 40 13.7 9.3 Offensive Rating 119.7 96.2 Zoubek hasn’t had a fully Shooting healthy season at Duke. That FG Made 61 46 FG Att 106 117 has something to do with his FG Pct 57.5 39.3 modest statistics: Last seaFT Made 24 32 FT Att 29 60 son he averaged 4.1 points, FT Pct 82.8 53.3 3.7 rebounds, and a shade Free Throw Rate 27.3 51.2 3pt FG Made 0 3 under a block per game. 3pt FG Att 0 13 Barring another summer 3pt FG Pct 23.1 setback, this is the first time Effective FG Pct 57.5 40.5 Floor Pct 59.8 49.7 that Zoubek has started a Shot Pct 16.8 14.7 season with two healthy feet. True Shooting Pct 60.9 43.6 Rebounds He’s become a highly useful Rebounds 133 125 tactical weapon for certain Reb Per Game 3.7 4.3 Off Rebs 63 55 situations. Although his feet Off Reb Pct 16.7 11.4 have limited his improvement Off Rebs Per Game 1.8 1.9 Def Reb Pct 18.9 12.9 and mobility, his hard work Def Rebs 70 70 and maturity have won him Def Rebs Per Game 1.9 2.4 Assists, Steals, & Blocks a place in the rotation. Assists 15 27 There will be a lot more Assists Per Game 0.4 0.9 A/T Ratio 0.6 0.9 competition for minutes this Assist Pct 6.8 8.8 year, but no one else brings Steals 15 30 the size and strength that Steals Per Game 0.4 1.0 Steal Pct 2.0 3.1 Zoubek does, nor is anyone Blocks 29 44 nearly as experienced. As Blocks Per Game 0.8 1.5 Block Pct 6.5 6.6 long as he stays healthy, the Turnovers & Fouls big guy will continue to get Turnovers 25 30 TO Per Game 0.7 1.0 his minutes, and will continue Turnover Pct 19.3 19.2 to improve. Fouls 71 89


Brian Zoubek 2008–09 GAME-BY-GAME STATISTICS Date

Opponent

GS 

Field Goals

3-Point FGs

Free Throws

Rebounds

Min 

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR 

PF 

Ast 

TO 

Blk 

Stl 

Pts 

7

1-2

0-0

0-0

1-0

1

5

1

3

0

0

2

11/10

PRESBYTERIAN

11/11

GEORGIA SOUTHERN

*

14

2-6

0-0

2-2

3-2

5

4

0

0

1

1

6

11/16

RHODE ISLAND

*

12

1-1

0-0

4-4

1-0

1

1

0

0

1

0

6

11/20

vs. Southern Illinois

*

18

2-2

0-0

6-8

0-6

6

3

1

2

1

0

10

11/21

vs. Michigan

*

12

3-4

0-0

0-0

0-1

1

1

0

1

1

0

6

11/23

MONTANA

*

18

4-8

0-0

0-0

3-4

7

1

0

1

2

1

8

11/28

DUQUESNE

*

13

3-5

0-0

0-0

2-3

5

2

0

1

2

2

6

12/2

at Purdue

*

11

2-4

0-0

0-0

4-4

8

4

1

1

0

0

4

12/6

at Michigan

*

14

4-6

0-0

0-0

1-4

5

2

1

0

0

0

8

12/17

UNC ASHEVILLE

17

5-6

0-0

2-3

4-2

6

1

1

0

0

1

12

12/20

vs. Xavier

*

18

4-4

0-0

1-1

2-3

5

4

1

2

4

0

9

12/31

LOYOLA

*

17

7-10

0-0

1-1

4-6

10

2

0

0

1

0

15

1/4

VIRGINIA TECH

*

15

3-6

0-0

0-0

3-1

4

3

0

2

1

3

6

1/7

DAVIDSON

*

17

2-4

0-0

3-4

3-6

9

4

1

0

1

1

7

1/10

at Florida State

*

14

0-1

0-0

2-2

2-1

3

1

1

1

1

0

2

1/14

at Georgia Tech

*

19

1-2

0-0

0-0

1-4

5

4

1

1

1

1

2

1/17

GEORGETOWN

5

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

1/20

N.C. STATE

*

16

2-6

0-0

0-0

0-4

4

1

1

0

0

0

4

1/24

MARYLAND

*

18

4-7

0-0

1-2

7-2

9

3

3

0

4

1

9

1/28

at Wake Forest

*

13

0-3

0-0

0-0

2-0

2

0

0

1

1

0

0

2/1

VIRGINIA

14

2-3

0-0

0-0

2-1

3

1

0

0

1

1

4

2/4

at Clemson

11

1-1

0-0

0-0

2-0

2

2

0

0

0

0

2

2/7

MIAMI

7

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

2/11

NORTH CAROLINA

9

1-3

0-0

0-0

3-1

4

2

1

0

1

0

2

2/15

at Boston College

8

2-3

0-0

0-0

3-0

3

0

0

1

0

0

4

2/19

at St. John's

4

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

2/25

at Maryland

8

1-3

0-0

2-2

2-2

4

1

0

0

1

0

4

2/28

at Virginia Tech

5

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-2

2

1

0

3

0

0

0

3/3

FLORIDA STATE

19

1-3

0-0

0-0

2-3

5

3

0

1

0

1

2

3/8

at North Carolina

7

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-1

1

3

0

0

1

1

0

3/13

vs. Boston College

5

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3/14

vs. Maryland

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

3/15

vs. Florida State

9

0-0

0-0

0-0

2-4

6

1

0

0

1

0

0

3/19

vs. Binghamton

4

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

3/21

vs. Texas

13

1-1

0-0

0-0

2-2

4

4

0

2

1

1

2

3/26

vs. Villanova

14

2-2

0-0

0-0

2-0

2

2

0

1

1

0

4

Totals

36 Games

427

61-106

0-0

24-29

63-70

133

71

15

25

29

15

146

11.9

.575

-

.828

3.7

2.0

0.4

0.7

0.8

0.4

4.1

Averages

17

35


Brian Zoubek REGULAR SEASON STATISTICS SEASOn AND career TOTALS Field Goals

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

Season

GP

GS

Min

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF-DQ

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

2006-07

32

2

235

33-63

0-0

32-48

31-40

71

37-0

6

37

9

4

98

2007-08

25

2

262

41-69

0-0

13-29

39-47

86

43-1

13

20

17

9

95

2008-09

36

17

427

61-106

0-0

24-29

63-70

133

71-1

15

25

29

15

146

Totals

93

21

924

135-238

0-0

69-106

133-157

290

151-2

34

82

55

28

339

SEASON AND career AVERAGES Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Percentage

Percentage

GP

GS

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

PPG

2006-07

32

2

7.3

.524

-

.667

2.2

0.2

0.3

0.1

3.1

2007-08

25

2

10.5

.594

-

.448

3.4

0.5

0.7

0.4

3.8

2008-09

36

17

11.9

.575

-

.828

3.7

0.4

0.8

0.4

4.1

Totals/Averages

93

21

9.9

.567

-

.651

3.1

0.4

0.6

0.3

3.6

Photo: Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Min

Percentage

Year

With his size, Brian Zoubek (55) can clog the lane defensively.

36


Brian Zoubek POSTSEASON STATISTICS Season and Career PostSeason Totals Field Goals

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

Season

GP

GS

Min

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

2006-07

1

0

4

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

1

0

1

0

0

Pts 0

2007-08

4

0

43

6-11

0-0

3-6

6-7

13

4

4

5

2

2

15

2008-09

6

0

46

3-3

0-0

0-0

6-7

13

8

0

4

3

1

6

Totals

11

0

93

9-14

0-0

3-6

12-14

26

13

4

10

5

3

21

Season and Career PostSeason Averages Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Year

GP

GS

Min

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

2006-07

1

0

4.0

-

-

-

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

2007-08

4

0

10.8

.545

-

.500

3.3

1.0

0.5

0.5

3.8

2008-09

6

0

7.7

1.000

-

-

2.2

0.0

0.5

0.2

1.0

Totals/Averages

11

0

8.5

.643

-

.500

2.4

0.4

0.5

0.3

1.9

PPG

Season and Career ACC Tournament Totals Field Goals Season

GP

GS

2006-07

1

2007-08

2

2008-09 Totals

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

Min

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

0

4

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

33

4-7

0-0

2-4

3-5

8

2

2

2

1

2

10

3

0

15

0-0

0-0

0-0

2-4

6

2

0

1

1

0

0

6

0

52

4-7

0-0

2-4

5-9

14

5

2

4

2

2

10

Season and Career ACC Tournament Averages Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Year

GP

GS

Min

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

2006-07

1

0

4.0

-

-

-

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

2007-08

2

0

16.5

.571

-

.500

4.0

1.0

0.5

1.0

5.0

2008-09

3

0

5.0

-

-

-

2.0

0.0

0.3

0.0

0.0

Totals/Averages

6

0

8.7

.571

-

.500

2.3

0.3

0.3

0.3

1.7

PPG

Season and Career NCAA Tournament Totals Field Goals

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

Season

GP

GS

Min

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

2007-08

2

0

10

2-4

0-0

1-2

3-2

5

2

2

3

1

0

5

2008-09

3

0

31

3-3

0-0

0-0

4-3

7

6

0

3

2

1

6

Totals

5

0

41

5-7

0-0

1-2

7-5

12

8

2

6

3

1

11

Season and Career NCAA Tournament Averages Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Year

GP

GS

Min

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

PPG

2007-08

2

0

5.0

.500

-

.500

2.5

1.0

0.5

0.0

2.5

2008-09

3

0

10.3

1.000

-

-

2.3

0.0

0.7

0.3

2.0

Totals/Averages

5

0

8.2

.714

-

.500

2.4

0.4

0.6

0.2

2.2

37


M

iles Plumlee found himself in the starting lineup when Duke began exhibition play in the 2008–09 season, and for a couple of games, it was easy to understand why. The young big man out of Indiana via Asheville’s Christ School has some abilities Duke hasn’t seen in awhile, especially on defense. On more than one occasion early in the season, Plumlee showed a knack for blocking shots, demonstrating an ability not only to block them, but come from a considerable distance to do so. He started against Virginia Union, Lenoir-Rhyne, and Presbyterian before Brian Zoubek took over. By then, it was pretty clear that while Plumlee was the more gifted player, he had a ways to go to live up to his potential. It’s worth remembering, though, that he has grown from a 5'10" freshman point guard in high school to a forward and, finally, a college-sized center at 6'10". Not a lot of people have traveled that route. On a couple of occasions last year, Plumlee received an inbounds pass and started to dribble upcourt, still seeing himself as a guard. If his growth spurt of 12 inches in four years wasn’t enough of a jolt, perhaps his move from Warsaw Indiana to Asheville’s Christ School, where he became a sought-after recruit, was. The Plumlee brothers left Warsaw after a falling out with the coaches at Warsaw High, as the Plumlees

38

6' 10" | 240 | Forward/Center | Warsaw, IN | Sophomore felt they didn’t understand how good a player Miles was, and his growth spurt also played into that. “I had a lot of catching up to do,” Plumlee told GoDuke.com’s Al Featherston. “It really wasn’t the best situation for me. Playing college ball was one of my dreams and I didn’t want to give that up. It looked like things weren’t going to work out for me there.” Things certainly worked out well at Christ School. Plumlee, who departed Warsaw along with his brother Mason, now himself a very promising Duke freshman, left Christ School with a record of 63–6 and a state championship. Plumlee didn’t play an enormous amount as a freshman, but his mother told the Times-Union, "Miles has always accepted challenges. He's always pushed himself and not paid attention to a lot of discouragement.” This year, though, he has one season under his belt, and he’ll be competing for minutes with not just Thomas and Zoubek, but also Kyle Singler, his brother, and Ryan Kelly, an incoming freshman from Raleigh. Plumlee’s all-around skills add enormously to what Duke can bring to the court. With both Plumlees, Singler, and Kelly, Duke has some of the most versatile big men in the nation. Watching how Coach K divvies things up should be very interesting indeed.

21

#

statistical comparison Miles Plumlee Height Weight

6-10 240

Position Forward

Josh McRoberts 6-10 240 Forward/ Center Indiana 22

Home State Indiana Current Age 20 Playing Time Team Games 37 Games Played 24 Games Started 2 Minutes 165 Min Per Game 6.9 Minute Pct 11.6 Possessions 54 Possession Pct 18.9 Scoring Points 42 Pts Per Game 1.8 Points Per 40 10.2 Offensive Rating 75.3 Shooting FG Made 18 FG Att 38 FG Pct 47.4 FT Made 6 FT Att 11 FT Pct 54.5 Free Throw Rate 28.9 3pt FG Made 0 3pt FG Att 0 3pt FG Pct 0 Effective FG Pct 47.3 Floor Pct 39.2 Shot Pct 15.7 True Shooting Pct 48.5 Rebounds Rebounds 34 Reb Per Game 1.4 Off Rebs 13 Off Reb Pct 9.0 Off Rebs Per Game 0.5 Def Reb Pct 14.8 Def Rebs 21 Def Rebs Per Game 0.9 Assists, Steals, & Blocks Assists 1 Assists Per Game 0.0 A/T Ratio 0.1 Assist Pct 1.1 Steals 4 Steals Per Game 0.2 Steal Pct 1.4 Blocks 12 Blocks Per Game 0.5 Block Pct 7 Turnovers & Fouls Turnovers 20 TO Per Game 0.8 Turnover Pct 37 Fouls 37 Fouls Per Game 1.5 Stats courtesy statsheet.com

33 33 32 1164 35.3 87.1 420 21.7 430 13.0 14.8 108.6 164 327 50.2 97 146 66.4 44.6 5 23 21.7 50.9 55.6 21.3 54.2 260 7.9 69 7.6 2.1 19.4 191 5.8 114 3.5 1.4 20.6 39 1.2 2.0 82 2.5 6.8 80 2.4 19 83 2.5

Photo: Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Miles Plumlee


Miles Plumlee 2008–09 GAME-BY-GAME STATISTICS Date

Field Goals

3-Point FGs

Free Throws

Rebounds

Opponent

GS 

Min 

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR 

PF 

Ast 

TO 

Blk 

Stl 

Pts 

11/10

PRESBYTERIAN

*

13

0-2

0-0

0-0

2-0

2

2

0

3

1

1

0

11/11

GEORGIA SOUTHERN

14

2-3

0-0

1-4

2-3

5

2

0

3

1

0

5

11/16

RHODE ISLAND

2

0-1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

11/20

vs. Southern Illinois

8

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-4

4

2

0

2

1

0

0

11/29

vs. Michigan

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

11/23

MONTANA

14

3-4

0-0

0-0

0-3

3

1

0

0

0

0

6

11/28

DUQUESNE

14

2-3

0-0

0-0

1-1

2

3

0

5

3

0

4

12/2

at Purdue

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

2

0

1

0

0

0

12/6

at Michigan

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

12/17

UNC ASHEVILLE

10

2-4

0-0

2-2

3-1

4

2

0

0

0

0

6

12/20

vs. Xavier

4

1-2

0-0

0-0

1-0

1

0

0

0

0

0

2

12/31

LOYOLA

10

1-3

0-0

0-1

0-2

2

3

1

3

0

0

2

*

1/4

VIRGINIA TECH

3

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1/17

GEORGETOWN

7

1-1

0-0

2-2

0-0

0

3

0

2

0

0

4

1/20

N.C. STATE

3

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1/24

MARYLAND

12

0-5

0-0

0-0

2-3

5

2

0

0

3

1

0

1/28

at Wake Forest

7

1-1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

2

0

0

0

1

2

2/1

VIRGINIA

8

2-2

0-0

0-0

0-1

1

2

0

0

0

0

4

2/4

at Clemson

12

1-3

0-0

0-0

1-0

1

1

0

0

1

0

2

2/19

at St. John's

8

2-2

0-0

0-0

1-2

3

4

0

0

2

0

4

2/22

WAKE FOREST

3

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2/25

at Maryland

3

0-0

0-0

1-2

0-0

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

3/3

FLORIDA STATE

2

0-2

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

3/19

vs. Binghamton

Totals

24 Games

Averages

2

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

165

18-38

0-0

6-11

13-21

34

37

1

20

12

4

42

6.9

.474

-

.545

1.4

1.5

0.0

0.8

0.5

0.2

1.8

One of Duke’s questions is about who can get rough in the paint... The two most likely candidates for banging in the post are Zoubek and Miles Plumlee. 39


Miles Plumlee REGULAR SEASON STATISTICS SEASOn AND career TOTALS Field Goals

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

Season

GP

GS

Min

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF-DQ

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

2008-09

24

2

165

18-38

0-0

6-11

13-21

34

37-0

1

20

12

4

42

Totals

24

2

165

18-38

0-0

6-11

13-21

34

37-0

1

20

12

4

42

SEASON AND career AVERAGES GP

GS

2008-09

24

2

Totals/Averages

24

2

Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

6.9

.474

-

.545

1.4

0.0

0.5

0.2

1.8

6.9

.474

-

.545

1.4

0.0

0.5

0.2

1.8

Min

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

PPG

Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Year

Miles Plumlee has solid defensive skills and good hands for a big man.

40


Miles Plumlee POSTSEASON STATISTICS Season and Career PostSeason Totals Field Goals

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

Season

GP

GS

Min

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

2008-09

1

0

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

Totals

1

0

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

Season and Career PostSeason Averages Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Year

GP

GS

Min

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

2008-09

1

0

2.0

-

-

-

0.0

0.0

0.0

1.0

0.0

Totals/Averages

1

0

2.0

-

-

-

0.0

0.0

0.0

1.0

0.0

PPG

Season and Career ACC Tournament Totals Field Goals

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

Season

GP

GS

Min

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

2008-09

0

0

0

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Totals

0

0

0

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Season and Career ACC Tournament Averages Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Year

GP

GS

Min

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

PPG

2008-09

0

0

0.0

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Totals/Averages

0

0

0.0

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Season and Career NCAA Tournament Totals Field Goals

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

Season

GP

GS

Min

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

2008-09

1

0

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

Totals

1

0

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

Season and Career NCAA Tournament Averages Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Year

GP

GS

Min

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

2008-09

1

0

2.0

-

-

-

0.0

0.0

0.0

1.0

0.0

Totals/Averages

1

0

2.0

-

-

-

0.0

0.0

0.0

1.0

0.0

PPG

41


O

lek Czyz is one of those guys who burst on the scene late in his high school career and created a bit of a sensation because he clearly had talent and was available after most players have committed. Players like that show ability but not necessarily refined skills, and Czyz falls in that category. At 6'7" and with some serious hops, Czyz has the potential to be a solid player. Yet it’s hard, at this juncture, to point to something he’s really good at. Admittedly that’s partly because he didn’t play much as a freshman, but it’s equally true that he didn’t play much because he hasn’t found a niche and because he has a lot of work to do. In his brief appearances as a freshman, Czyz showed an ability to move well, obviously a knack for leaping, and potential to become a much better player. The question now is how much he improved over the summer and what roles he might fill on this team, a process that might be somewhat slowed by arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to remove loose cartilage. The procedure was performed in early June and Czyz was expected to be out for a month or so. There’s plenty of time for rehab, but in his case, he needs time as much as anything. An injury might cost him more than, say, senior Jon Scheyer. On a Krzyzewski team, defense is always a requirement. And while Brian Zoubek can provide substantial

42

6' 7" | 240 | Forward | Reno, NV | Sophomore muscle inside, with the late departure of Elliot Williams, Kyle Singler and Lance Thomas will be asked to do a lot more on the perimeter. In Thomas’s case this will be primarily on defense, in Singler’s case it will likely be at both ends. Duke will have three quality young big men competing for time—Miles and Mason Plumlee, both 6'10", and 6'10" Ryan Kelly—but none of them offer the flexibility that Czyz could bring. Duke could really use a guy who can chase smaller forwards (or big guards) or bang inside, and once you get past Singler and Thomas, Czyz is about it. If he can define a spot for himself as a versatile defender, he’s got a natural role on this team. That allows Duke a lot of flexibility with how they exploit the talents of the other big men and could also take some pressure off of the guards. To paraphrase Churchill, that’s the theme of the Czyz pudding: How much can he improve? And where can he find a niche with Duke on which to build? With the team’s odd structure—few guards, four players over 6'9", and questions about how to maintain Duke’s trademark defense— there are a lot of ways Czyz can fit in, a lot of opportunities to exploit. If he’s ready, he can make a big difference for this team and be one of the surprises of the ACC season.

13

#

statistical comparison Olek Czyz Height 6-7 Weight 240 Position Forward Home State

Nevada

Lance Thomas 6-8 220 Forward New Jersey 21

Current Age 19 Playing Time Team Games 37 Games Played 13 Games Started 0 Minutes 51 Min Per Game 3.9 Minute Pct 3.4 Possessions 21 Possession Pct 23.7 Scoring Points 8 Pts Per Game 0.6 Points Per 40 6.3 Offensive Rating 55.3 Shooting FG Made 3 FG Att 13 FG Pct 23.1 FT Made 2 FT Att 6 FT Pct 33.3 Free Throw Rate 46.1 3pt FG Made 0 3pt FG Att 3 3pt FG Pct 0.0 Effective FG Pct 23.0 Floor Pct 29.4 Shot Pct 17.3 True Shooting Pct 25.2 Rebounds Rebounds 12 Reb Per Game 0.9 Off Rebs 6 Off Reb Pct 13.3 Off Rebs Per Game 0.5 Def Reb Pct 13.6 Def Rebs 6 Def Rebs Per Game 0.5 Assists, Steals, & Blocks Assists 3 Assists Per Game 0.2 A/T Ratio 0.4 Assist Pct 9.8 Steals 0 Steals Per Game 0.0 Steal Pct 0.0 Blocks 1 Blocks Per Game 0.1 Block Pct 1.8 Turnovers & Fouls Turnovers 8 TO Per Game 0.6 Turnover Pct 38 Fouls 2 Fouls Per Game 0.2 Stats courtesy statsheet.com

33 31 18 463 14.9 34.6 132 17.1 124 4.0 10.7 89.0 46 81 56.8 32 54 59.3 66.6 0 0 56.7 48.0 13.3 58.1 76 2.5 37 10.2 1.2 9.9 39 1.3 1 0.0 0 0.4 17 0.5 2.2 3 0.1 0.6 43 1.4 32.5 84 2.7

Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Olek Czyz


Olek Czyz 2008–09 GAME-BY-GAME STATISTICS Date

Opponent

3-Point FGs

Free Throws

Rebounds

Min 

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR 

PF 

Ast 

TO 

Blk 

Stl 

Pts 

11/10

PRESBYTERIAN

5

2-4

0-0

0-0

2-0

2

1

0

2

0

0

4

11/11

GEORGIA SOUTHERN

9

1-1

0-0

0-2

1-2

3

0

1

0

0

0

2

11/20

vs. Southern Illinois

2

0-0

0-0

0-2

0-1

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

11/21

vs. MIchigan

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

11/23

MONTANA

5

0-3

0-0

0-0

3-1

4

0

0

1

0

0

0

11/28

DUQUESNE

3

0-1

0-0

0-0

0-1

1

1

0

1

0

0

0

12/17

UNC ASHEVILLE

3

0-2

0-1

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

12/20

vs. Xavier

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

12/31

LOYOLA

5

0-0

0-0

2-2

0-0

0

0

0

1

0

0

2

1/24

MARYLAND

9

0-2

0-2

0-0

0-1

1

0

1

1

1

0

0

2/1

VIRGINIA

3

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

3/19

vs. Binghamton

2

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3/26

vs. Villanova

Totals

13 Games

Averages

GS 

Field Goals

0

1

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

51

3-13

0-3

2-6

6-6

12

2

3

8

1

0

8

3.9

.231

.000

.333

0.9

0.2

0.2

0.6

0.1

0.0

0.6

Czyz showed an ability to move well, a knack for leaping, and potential to become a much better player.

43


Olek Czyz REGULAR SEASON STATISTICS SEASOn AND career TOTALS Field Goals

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

Season

GP

GS

Min

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF-DQ

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

2008-09

13

0

51

3-13

0-3

2-6

6-6

12

2-0

3

8

1

0

8

Totals

13

0

51

3-13

0-3

2-6

6-6

12

2-0

3

8

1

0

8

SEASON AND career AVERAGES Min

Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

GP

GS

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

PPG

2008-09

13

0

3.9

.231

.000

.333

0.9

0.2

0.1

0.0

0.6

Totals/Averages

13

0

3.9

.231

.000

.333

0.9

0.2

0.1

0.0

0.6

Photo: Duke University Athletics

Year

Universally praised for his athleticism, Olek Czyz needs to polish his skills to excel.

44


Olek Czyz POSTSEASON STATISTICS Season and Career PostSeason Totals Field Goals

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

Season

GP

GS

Min

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

2008-09

2

0

3

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Totals

2

0

3

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Season and Career PostSeason Averages Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Year

GP

GS

Min

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

2008-09

2

0

1.5

-

-

-

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Totals/Averages

2

0

1.5

-

-

-

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

PPG

Season and Career ACC Tournament Totals Field Goals

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

Season

GP

GS

Min

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

2008-09

0

0

0

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Totals

0

0

0

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Season and Career ACC Tournament Averages Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Year

GP

GS

Min

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

PPG

2008-09

0

0

0.0

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Totals/Averages

0

0

0.0

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Season and Career NCAA Tournament Totals Field Goals

3-Point FGs Free Throws

Rebounds

Season

GP

GS

Min

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR

PF

Ast

TO

Blk

Stl

Pts

2008-09

2

0

3

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Totals

2

0

3

0-0

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

SEASOn AND CAREER NCAA TOURNAMENT TOTALS Field Goal

3-Point FG

Free Throw

Year

GP

GS

Min

Percentage

Percentage

Percentage

RPG

APG

BPG

SPG

2008-09

2

0

1.5

-

-

-

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Totals/Averages

2

0

1.5

-

-

-

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

PPG

45


W

hatever else you might say about Seth Curry, you have to admit he’s got a set. It’s one thing to try and match your legendary brother’s college career; it’s quite another to do it by transferring to Duke and dealing with the glare of a second, more enduring spotlight. Like big brother Stephen, Seth was lightly recruited and ended up at a smaller school. In Stephen’s case this meant Davidson; in Seth’s it meant Liberty, which plays in the Big South. Both brothers were small in high school and grew late, which limited interest. Then everyone got a second shot when the younger Curry, having proved himself to be a bigger player than the Big South could accommodate, decided to look for new worlds to conquer and announced his decision to transfer. Curry quickly cut his list to four schools—he wanted to play for an ACC school in his home state of North Carolina, and that meant Duke, UNC, Wake Forest or NC State. After visiting Duke, he was sold. His father told ESPN that “Coach K kept telling him the timing couldn't be better. There'll be plenty of opportunities to contribute." The opportunities actually start this fall: With only two guards returning (and the likely early arrival of Andre Dawkins, originally expected to arrive in 2010), Curry’s practice role will be unusually important. He’ll make it possible to practice with two full teams and is good enough to force

46

6' 1" | 175 | Guard | Charlotte, NC | Sophomore the other players to improve (and they him as well). So what does he bring to Duke? Like Stephen, he is still slight of build, though perhaps slightly bigger and taller than Stephan at the same age. He might not shoot quite as well, not that that’s a terrible thing to say since very can few shoot like Stephen Curry. But according to DraftExpress.com, which followed him at the U-19 Trials, “Seth doesn’t show the same quickness or playmaking ability, but has a similar ability to play at different speeds. His ability to move off the ball and get open is about as developed as you’ll find from a player this age, and he quickly established himself as the best shooter on the team, sometimes reeling off three or four three-pointers in a row in consecutive possessions for good measure.” There’s little doubt that the younger Curry is good enough to play at this level, but the competition is going to be fierce. Stephen never had to worry about his position at Davidson; he was the best player from day one. Like everyone at Duke, Seth will have to fight for everything. The guess here is that he will excel at Duke, but like everyone else, he’ll have to prove it, and on a daily basis.

3

#

statistical comparison Seth Stephen Curry Curry Height 6-1 6-3 Weight 175 185 Position Guard Guard North North Home State Carolina Carolina Current Age 19 21 Playing Time Team Games 35 34 Games Played 35 34 Games Started 34 33 Minutes 1277 1049 Min Per Game 36.5 30.9 Minute Pct 88.3 77.1 Possessions 586.0 543.5 Possession Pct 27.2 28.2 Scoring Points 707 730 Pts Per Game 20.2 21.5 Points Per 40 22.2 27.8 Offensive Rating 107.5 117.7 Shooting FG Made 243 242 FG Att 583 523 FG Pct 41.7 46.3 FT Made 119 124 FT Att 143 145 FT Pct 83.2 85.5 Free Throw Rate 24.4 27.7 3pt FG Made 102 122 3pt FG Att 294 299 3pt FG Pct 34.7 40.8 Effective FG Pct 50.5 57.9 Floor Pct 47.3 50.5 Shot Pct 32.9 31.4 True Shooting Pct 54.3 61.6 Rebounds Rebounds 153 157 Reb Per Game 4.4 4.6 Off Rebs 24 32 Off Reb Pct 2.2 3.2 Off Rebs Per Game 0.7 0.9 Def Reb Pct 10.9 12.9 Def Rebs 129 125 Def Rebs Per Game 3.7 3.7 Assists, Steals, & Blocks Assists 79 95 Assists Per Game 2.3 2.8 A/T Ratio 1.0 1.0 Assist Pct 14.0 18.7 Steals 48 62 Steals Per Game 1.4 1.8 Steal Pct 2.2 3.2 Blocks 9 6 Blocks Per Game 0.3 0.2 Block Pct 0.8 0.6 Turnovers & Fouls Turnovers 79 95 TO Per Game 2.3 2.8 Turnover Pct 13.4 17.4 Fouls 53 87 Fouls Per Game 1.5 2.6 Stats courtesy statsheet.com

Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Seth Curry


Seth Curry 2008–09 GAME-BY-GAME STATISTICS Field Goals

3-Point FGs

Free Throws

Rebounds

Date

Opponent

GS 

Min 

FG-FGA

FG-FGA

FT-FTA

OR-DR

TR 

PF 

Ast 

TO 

Blk 

Stl 

Pts 

11/14

MONTREAT

*

30

9-22

3-8

2-2

1-4

5

3

6

0

0

7

23

11/18

at UNC Asheville

*

32

6-17

1-5

5-7

2-4

6

1

0

1

0

0

18

11/25

at Virginia

*

38

9-17

4-8

4-6

1-2

3

1

1

3

0

1

26

11/28

COKER

*

30

9-16

4-9

0-0

1-7

8

0

2

2

0

1

22

11/29

WILLIAM&MARY

*

50

9-19

2-7

1-2

0-1

1

0

1

2

0

0

21

12/1

GEORGE MASON

*

44

8-19

3-9

3-4

0-6

6

0

3

1

0

1

22

12/6

GARDNER-WEBB

*

40

4-16

3-9

4-6

2-4

6

1

5

1

1

1

15

12/7

at Clemson

*

38

9-16

6-9

0-0

0-4

4

3

1

5

1

0

24

12/15

ANDERSON

*

19

8-13

4-8

2-2

0-1

1

3

0

0

1

0

22

12/17

at DePaul

*

37

4-14

4-11

4-5

0-4

4

2

1

3

0

2

16

12/19

at St. Louis

*

27

4-8

0-2

0-0

0-4

4

4

2

2

0

2

8

12/22

vs. Northern Colorado

*

40

12-21

4-8

2-5

0-1

1

2

1

0

1

1

30

12/23

vs. USC Upstate

*

34

6-13

5-7

1-3

1-2

3

0

2

2

0

2

18

12/28

Cincinatti Christian

*

30

7-13

5-9

2-2

0-3

3

0

2

1

0

1

21

1/3

at Winthrop

*

40

5-17

3-11

5-5

0-1

1

1

2

1

1

1

18

1/5

at Presbyterian

*

44

6-20

1-7

2-2

0-3

3

1

2

2

0

2

15

1/10

CHARLESTON SOUTHERN

*

34

11-18

3-9

2-2

1-2

3

0

1

3

0

0

27

1/12

Coastal Carolina

*

38

5-13

0-6

5-6

2-1

3

1

1

0

0

2

15

1/17

at Virginia Millitary

*

36

10-15

4-6

11-11

0-6

6

3

2

4

1

3

35

1/20

at High Point

*

36

4-17

1-8

0-0

1-1

2

1

3

2

0

1

9

1/24

Radford

*

48

11-25

6-15

2-3

0-6

6

2

3

2

0

2

30

1/27

High Point

*

34

7-17

4-11

0-0

0-10

10

2

4

2

0

0

18

1/31

UNC Asheville

*

35

5-20

1-9

6-6

3-2

5

3

3

1

0

1

17

2/4

at Gardner-Webb

43

6-18

1-9

8-8

1-6

7

1

4

4

0

2

21

2/7

Winthrop

*

38

5-14

2-7

4-4

0-6

6

0

2

5

0

0

16

2/9

Presbyterian

*

35

6-14

4-6

6-6

2-3

5

1

3

1

0

3

22

2/14

at Charleston Southern

*

33

9-20

2-9

8-8

0-1

1

2

5

1

0

1

28

2/16

at Coastal Carolina

*

37

8-22

4-13

2-2

2-6

8

0

4

2

0

0

22

2/21

at Old Dominion

*

36

9-21

4-12

2-2

2-4

6

2

1

3

1

1

24

2/24

Virginia Millitary

*

36

4-14

4-9

2-2

0-2

2

3

0

7

0

2

14

2/28

at Radford

*

40

6-16

3-9

10-14

0-1

1

3

4

3

0

3

25

3/3

GARDNER-WEBB

*

37

9-20

3-8

9-10

0-4

4

1

6

6

0

0

30

3/5

vs. Virginia Millitary

*

39

4-15

1-8

1-1

1-6

7

2

1

2

2

1

10

3/17

RIDER

*

31

6-13

3-8

4-5

0-5

5

2

1

1

0

0

19

3/23

JAMES MADISON

*

38

4-11

0-5

0-2

1-6

7

2

0

4

0

4

8

Totals

35 Games

34

1277

243-583

102-294

119-143

24-129

153

53

79

79

9

48

707

36.5

.417

.347

.832

4.4

1.5

2.3

2.3

0.3

1.4

20.3

Averages

47


Mason Plumlee

6' 10" | 230 | Forward | Warsaw, IN | Freshman

5

E

ven before he attended his first practice session, Mason Plumlee's impact on the Duke program had been felt for well over a year. After committing to the Blue Devils before the start of his junior season, the 6'10" McDonalds All-American's brother, rising sophomore Miles Plumlee, credited his brother's relationship and experience with the Duke coaching staff as a primary reason for opting to leave Stanford after former Cardinal coach Trent Johnson resigned to coach at LSU. Much like the elder Plumlee, who started the first handful of games as a true freshman a season ago, Mason enters Duke with a chance to not only crack the rotation, but to play a major role in the Blue Devils season. Such an accelerated role would mirror his recruitment which took a grand total of five weeks from initial Duke contact to commitment. During that timeframe last fall, the Blue Devils made up considerable ground on programs coast to coast (Georgetown, Notre Dame, Michigan, Iowa, and Stanford, among others) to land the second Plumlee. A few months later, Miles would make his decision. Now, 18 months later, Duke fans welcome the most athletic post player the

48

Photo: Duke University Athletic Department

#

program has seen since Josh McRoberts arrived in Durham. Those fans who follow recruiting will remember Mason for his impressive run in the McDonald's All-American Game slam dunk contest, where the near-seven-footer showed off the kind of leaping ability usually reserved for those players who make a living at shooting guard or small forward. Dunks have been a common occurrence for Plumlee over the course of his high school and AAU circuit careers. Much of it, according to Christ School head coach David Gaines, goes to the mindset with which he plays on the court both in practice and games. "I've never coached a more competitive kid than Mason," said Gaines at the commitment press conference. "He takes instruction very well. When he came back to school we talked about improving defense, becoming a better rebounder, and going back to last spring we talked about becoming more consistent with his jump shot." Over his final two seasons, that concentration paid off as Plumlee averaged 17 points and 12 rebounds per game for Coach Gaines's squad. Rebounding, in particular, will likely be Plumlee's ticket into the rotation for Coach Krzyzewski's program, and it's something that the newcomer does exceedingly well. In addition, the comparisons to McRoberts will no doubt surface frequently as Mason will instantly be the frontcourt player (aside from Kyle Singler, who will be playing exclusively on the wing this season) most likely to take the ball coast to coast and make a play. Around the basket he's explosive, and is not afraid of contact inside. In addition to his scoring and rebounding ability, Plumlee is a terrific passing big man and has shown the ability to excel in the high post because of that ability. As with any freshman post player, Plumlee will need to add whatever muscle he can in the preseason in hopes of being able to sur vive the wear and tear of the ACC and national schedules. A season ago, his brother used his athleticism and explosiveness around the rim to snag a spot in the starting five for the first few games before defensive mishaps and minor injuries reduced his role. Mason enters Duke with a more rounded and dynamic offensive game, but will need to earn his stripes on the boards and defensively before he becomes a fixture in the starting five.


Andre Dawkins

6' 4" | 190 | Guard | Chesapeake, VA | Freshman

20

#

Photo: Photo Courtesy of Scout.com

J

ust when it seemed as though head coach Mike Krzyzewski and his staff were going to field a team with just two recruited backcourt players, a fortunate set of circumstances allowed Coach K to add one more high-major guard. Having already completed all but one required class to meet NCAA eligibility standards, former recruiting class of 2010 scoring guard Andre Dawkins reclassified and will join the Blue Devils this fall. It's a much needed shot in the arm to the program after a family illness forced scoring guard Elliot Williams to transfer from the program. Much like Williams in 2008–09, Dawkins will arrive in Durham with immediate opportunities. Depending on the solution devised for the point guard position, Dawkins may very well challenge for a place as the starting off-guard at some point in 2010. At 6'4", Dawkins brings a skill set that will be unique amongst his teammates. A big-time athlete who loves to

play above the rim, Dawkins has developed quite a reputation as one of the better leapers on the AAU circuit. However, that's not what initially caught the attention of numerous major programs. While playing with the older age groups throughout the bulk of his AAU career, Dawkins was known as a lights-out long-range shooter. Schools such as Maryland, Georgetown, Wake Forest, Virginia, Clemson, and Connecticut were all involved, but as soon as the Duke staff pulled the trigger on an early scholarship offer, it was a done deal. “I’ve always liked Duke,” Dawkins said on the day of his commitment. “To play there was a goal of mine back when I was in eighth grade. My parents asked me and I said I want to go to Duke and I’ve just been working. It’s a dream come true to see all the hard work pay off.” In his first season in Durham, look for Dawkins to be called upon quickly to shore up the backcourt and wing rotations. Immediately, he'll be one of the team's top perimeter threats, able to use a terrific vertical to elevate on his jump shot. Like most top-shelf shooters, Dawkins has the ability to catch fire and put up a lot of points very fast. Given the lack of true perimeter threats on the roster, this ability alone could allow him to earn minutes early and often. Towards the end of his AAU career he showed off a blossoming midrange game similar to the development seen in former Blue Devil Gerald Henderson. And while Dawkins may not quite have Henderson's leaping ability, he certainly possesses a much more fluid and textbook form on his shot to go with a very quick release. Of course, the true litmus test for any freshman playing for head coach Mike Krzyzewski is how quickly the concept of "Duke" defense is learned and practiced. A year ago, it took Williams over half the season to learn the ropes. Out of necessity, Dawkins will likely have more chances early on, but the fact remains that he will have to put in extra time watching film if he's to be on the floor to show off his offensive repertoire.

49


Ryan Kelly

6' 10" | 220 | Forward | Raleigh, NC | Freshman

34

O

ne word has defined the power forward position for the Blue Devils over the last decade: versatility. Players such as Mike Dunleavy, Shane Battier, and Kyle Singler have showed the ability to not only get into the paint and battle for garbage baskets, but also to face up and knock down jumpers from the perimeter. The next player with a similar skill set may very well be Raleigh (NC) Ravenscroft combo forward Ryan Kelly. At 6'10", Kelly has the ability to knock down the outside jumper, shooting just under 40% from the perimeter during his high school career, while also possessing a vast array of post moves and all around scoring ability with both hands around the basket. When there's room, Kelly will finish with a strong dunk. When there's congestion in and around the hoop, Kelly will use his footwork and library of ball and head fakes to create space and drop the ball in the basket. Whichever way he chooses to attack his opponent, Kelly always has a level demeanor and poise that speaks to experience beyond his years.

50

Photo: Ned Dishman/Getty Images

#

Much like former Blue Devil Shavlik Randolph, Kelly comes to Duke with a reputation as a workaholic when it comes to his game. For the last two seasons—in which Kelly has gone from a virtual unknown to a McDonald's All-American—the local product could be found in the Ravenscroft gym by 6:30 a.m. five days a week. During those early workouts Kelly spent time refining his jump shot to the tune of 250 shots per day before moving on to ball-handling and pull-up moves. All the hard work translated into a signature performance at the 2009 McDonald's All-American Game where the rangy forward won the three-point shootout over a field full of guards and long-range specialists. At Duke, Kelly will need to diversify his game even further, and will be called upon early to earn his minutes by pulling his man away from the basket offensively and rebounding, mostly defensively. Before the addition of Andre Dawkins, an argument could have been made that Kelly was the best long-range shooter on the roster. Adding Kelly as a combo forward alongside Kyle Singer and another post player would allow Duke a frontline that not only towers above most opponents, but also opens up driving lanes as the bigs step out to the three-point line. Typical of most first-year players, Kelly enters Durham with a list of things that he needs to improve. Most notable is the need to add weight in order to combat the length and physical toll of the season. Over the last year Kelly has added 20 pounds of muscle to get up to around 220 pounds, but he still needs to get stronger. In addition, he will need to improve his rebounding in traffic as well as his ability to impact the game on the defensive side of the ball. Kelly will most likely begin the season as the second frontcourt reserve behind Lance Thomas. At times, look for him to join with fellow freshman Mason Plumlee and junior Kyle Singler to give the Blue Devils three players 6'8" and taller who can all extend the defense thanks to a high level of versatility. At other times Kelly will probably come off the bench to spell one of the guards and give the Blue Devils some extra long-range shooting.


Dawkins Shoots For Early Arrival Talented Freshman Expected to Shore up Duke’s Thin Backcourt by Brett Friedlander

I

t wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Andre Dawkins couldn’t wait to play basketball for Duke. He was so anxious that he’s on campus a year early, ready and willing to make a difference for a Blue Devils team many think has a chance to be the best in the ACC, if not the nation. Dawkins was expected to be one of the top prospects of the incoming freshman class of 2010 when he signed with Duke last spring. But because this year’s team suddenly found itself dangerously thin in the backcourt, he accelerated his timetable to help out right away. The 6'4", 190-pound shooting guard passed his final high school class and received his diploma on August 14. That same day, he signed an official offer of admission to college. Less than two weeks later, Dawkins’ whirlwind summer came to an exciting conclusion when he arrived on campus as the newest member of the Blue Devils.

“It’s kind of surreal,” Dawkins said. “College seemed so far off, because I had another year [of high school] to go. But it kind of came on real fast. For me to actually be getting ready for it to happen is just amazing.” Dawkins and his family had actually been considering his early college enrollment for more than a year, once they learned that the 17-year-old had already completed all the core courses needed for NCAA freshman eligibility. Instead, they decided it was better for him to wait and gain another year of maturity. The Dawkins’ original plan was for Andre to transfer from Atlantic Shores Christian School in Virginia Beach, where he had attended the past three years, to Hargrave Military Academy. But all that went out the window when Duke unexpectedly found itself shorthanded in the backcourt when rising sophomore star Elliot Williams announced his

Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 51


decision to transfer to Memphis to be closer to his ailing mother. Combined with Gerald Henderson’s early departure for the NBA Draft, where he was the 12th overall pick, Williams’ departure left the Blue Devils with Jon Scheyer, Nolan Smith, and former walk-on Jordan Davidson as the only players on the roster under 6'7". “The day Elliot transferred we just looked at each other and started throwing around, ‘What if? What if?’” Dawkins’ father, Andre Sr., recalled. “They only had two guards left, so I asked Andre straight out, ‘If you could go now, would you want to?’ He thought about it and said yes, so we put in a call to Duke to see what they thought.” It didn’t take long to get the answer. Within a few hours of Andre Sr.’s exploratory call to assistant coach Steve Wojciechowski, every member of the Blue Devils staff—including head coach Mike Krzyzewski—had called back expressing their interest in speeding up Andre’s college timetable. When it was determined that Dawkins’ academic status would allow such a move, the wheels were immediately set into motion for the youngster to enroll in summer school and receive his diploma early from Atlantic Shores.

When Elliot Williams transferred home to Memphis, Duke had a problem and Andre Dawkins an opportunity. 52 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

“We had looked at transferring to Hargrave just to give him more of a challenge athletically, but what more of a challenge could there be than to hop to Duke?” Dawkins’ father said. “We felt like he was ready to play at that level and Coach K thought it was a great opportunity. To hear that confirmed our thoughts.” That doesn’t mean the accelerated transition from high school student to high-profile college basketball recruit was easy. The one class Dawkins still needed to pass was senior English, which meant that while most of his contemporaries were out on the beach soaking up the summer sun, playing pickup games in the park, or working on getting stronger in the weight room, he was usually off by himself with his face in a book. And we’re not talking about light reading, either. His summer reading list included heavyweights such as Macbeth and Beowulf. “Some of the stuff he was reading, I couldn’t understand,” his father said. That’s nothing new, though. Dawkins has a strong academic foundation that is so advanced that he won a statewide Math Olympics when he was in the third grade. He took Algebra I when he was in the seventh grade, making him the youngest student in his class, and by the time he reached high school, his parents found it difficult to help him with his homework. There was little doubt that Dawkins would be able to complete the class and get into Duke. But just to be on the safe side, Krzyzewski kept in constant contact throughout the process. “He’d call and ask me how everything was going and how the English class was going,” Dawkins said. “They’re all very excited to have me come down this year. Seeing it happen and seeing everything go through smoothly has been exciting.” He’s not the only one who feels that way. “We are excited about Andre joining our program,” Krzyzewski said in a statement. “He is a very talented player and an excellent student. He worked hard throughout his high school career and this summer to put himself in this position. He will be an outstanding addition to the university and our basketball team.” From the sound of things, Krzyzewski may have been thinking along the same lines as Dawkins and his family in the aftermath of Williams’ transfer in early June. The coach hinted that he might pull a recruiting rabbit out of his hat during his annual summer press conference at the Emily Krzyzewski Family Life Center, when he was asked about the possibility of bringing in a player to replace his departed freshman star.

Photo on previous page: Courtesy of Scout.com  Photo this page: Elsa/Getty Images

Here Comes Duke!


Dawkins Shoots For Early Arrival

Bottom-left photo: Courtesy of Duke Athletics  Top-right photo: Ned Dishman/Getty Images

“For 09?” Krzyzewski asked. “I’ll tell you this, we never stop recruiting. Let’s put it that way. You’re always looking for every class. We’ll continue to do what we do.” At the time, it was generally assumed that Coach K was looking for help in Europe or from the junior college ranks. He ended up doing much better than that. Dawkins was ranked as the #2 shooting guard and the tenth prospect overall in the Class of 2010, according to ESPN.com. According to numerous recruiting experts, his game combines the athleticism of Henderson and Williams with the pure shooting ability of a J.J. Redick. Playing for Atlantic Shores last season, Dawkins averaged 20.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while leading his team to a 32–2 record and a spot in the Virginia Division II state private school championship game. He was named the Metro Conference Player of the Year and All-Tidewater area as a junior in leading Atlantic Shores to a 29–7 record. The previous season, he helped the Seahawks to a 21-game winning streak. Dawkins played his first season of prep ball at Deep Creek High School in Chesapeake, VA in 2005 before transferring to Atlantic Shores and repeating his freshman year. “There’s no doubt he can help them this year,” said Dave Telep, an analyst for Scout.com and the ACC Sports Journal. “He’s another athlete. He’s part of their perimeter rotation, no doubt about it. “It was going to take a unique situation for them to overcome the loss of Elliot Williams. This is the best-case scenario you could draw up. There’s little doubt about that. This is Christmas in July.”

Andre Dawkins, left, settles into his new routine with Duke teammate Nolan Smith, right.

Dawkins has been compared to J.J. Redick as a longdistance shooter—a high compliment and a lot to live up to. Although Dawkins possesses the potential to be a star, he won’t be under pressure to step in and put up big numbers right away. His greatest contribution will likely be the talented depth he gives the Blue Devils while Scheyer and Smith handle the bulk of the backcourt duties. That’s not to say Dawkins can’t or won’t make an impact as a freshman. He put on an impressive offensive performance this summer at the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, VA, where he also spent a considerable amount of time trying to convince other top prospects to join him at Duke next year. In addition to his shooting ability, his size and superior vertical leap will allow him to become a scoring threat off the offensive boards, much the same way Williams was last season. Dawkins, however, probably isn’t as polished defensively as Williams and his ball-handling skills are still in need of some work. That notwithstanding, his early arrival on campus has helped turn what was perceived as a major concern into an unexpected strength. The group of Scheyer, Smith, and Dawkins has the potential to become one of the ACC’s best backcourt trios by the end of the season. Not that Dawkins is looking that far ahead.

Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 53


Here Comes Duke!

“I’m not thinking about minutes or anything like that,” he said. “I’m just going down there trying to be the best basketball player that I can be. If they think I can play major minutes, then so be it. I just want to continue to improve my game.” Because he spent most of his summer taking English in Virginia and didn’t join his new teammates in Durham until just before the start of fall classes, Dawkins has some catching up to do in preparing for the rapidly approaching season. His father said he was put on a weight training program almost as soon as he enrolled and got settled in. It took even less time for Dawkins to start bonding with his new teammates. “He’s very excited,” Andre Dawkins Sr. said. “He’s anticipating it to be very tough in the beginning, because I think like any freshman, he’s not used to working as hard as you have to work to be successful on the college level. But I think he can do it. I think ultimately, he’ll thrive.” Dawkins is just one of three highly-regarded newcomers who are being counted on heavily to help the Blue Devils challenge for the ACC title and a return to national prominence this season. Joining him in the freshman class are 6'10" forwards Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee, whose older brother Miles is a sophomore with the Blue Devils. Duke also welcomed hot-shooting sophomore guard Seth Curry into

54 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

the program as a transfer from Liberty. Because of NCAA rules, the younger brother of former Davidson star Stephen Curry will only be able to practice with the team this season while he sits out as a redshirt. Even without Curry on the floor, Krzyzewski has high hopes for the Blue Devils influx of new talent. “A freshman could start for us,” the coach said. “But most of those kids are going to play and they’ll play really big roles for us.” That’s exactly what Dawkins is counting on. Because while he might look young and impressionable with braces on his teeth and the ink not yet dry on his high school diploma, inside the talented teenager there’s a hardened competitor who can’t wait to get thrown into the fire in the ACC. “He’s not one of those guys who is just happy to be there,” Dawkins’ father said. “He wants to contribute, do well, and reach his potential as quickly as possible.” Even if he had to arrive a year early to do it. MSP

Brett Friedlander has been covering ACC basketball for the past 25 years as a columnist for newspapers in Maryland and North Carolina. Among his credits are seven Final Fours, including Duke’s 2001 championship. He currently writes for the Star-News in Wilmington, NC.

Photo: Nick Laham/Getty Images

“What, you thought I couldn't work this out?”


The (Other) Son Also Rises Seth Curry Arrives at Duke by Dan Wiederer

T

here is a video on YouTube, three minutes and 56 seconds long, encapsulating the highlights from Seth Curry’s freshman season at Liberty University. With R. Kelly’s “The World’s Greatest” providing the soundtrack, there’s Curry on the perimeter bombing a 25-foot three-pointer, Curry rifling a no-look dime inside for a dunk, Curry knifing into the paint and lofting a soft floater right through the net. The montage is at once impressive and overdramatic, a showcase of the special skills Curry has as a basketball player with a glimpse into the hype that comes with having such a recognizable name. Curry understands the expectations. In fact, he’s the one who sought out a bigger challenge and brighter spotlight. After one season at Liberty that produced 102 three-pointers and 707 points (an average of 20.2 per game), Curry is now

at Duke sitting out the 2008–09 season and adapting to life on the bigger stage. Goodbye Big South. Hello ACC. At 19 years old, Curry is both excited and uncertain about what his future holds. Without question, the weight of expectations will be greater than ever as he tries to uphold the standards for both the name on the front of his jersey and the one on his back. Those ten Final Four trips Duke has made under Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski? Curry will be asked to help spark an 11th. Those 16 seasons Curry’s father, Dell, played in the NBA? That unforgettable 2008 NCAA tournament run and All-American junior campaign older brother Stephen put together at Davidson? Fans will be expecting similar accomplishments from the newest Curry to slide onto center stage.

Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 55


“Look, I’m used to being in the spotlight,” Seth Curry said. “Everyone knows my dad was a great player in the NBA. So since I was really little, there’s always been that expectation that I’ll be a great player too. And then when my brother made his leap into stardom, the expectations only grew. But for me, I look at it as a major positive. It’s great to have both of them by my side, to pick their brains. They can help me learn from the experiences that they’ve gone through before me. “The downside is that people will criticize you harder for any mistake you make, every error or bad decision. But that comes with the territory. And you look in the mirror and remember what it’s about. You have to bring it every day.” At Liberty, that wasn’t much of a problem for Curry. In just his third game with the Flames, he erupted for 26 points in an 86–82 upset of Virginia. Suddenly, the whole country was made aware that there was another Curry with a quick release and sweet stroke that was ready to be part of the national conversation. Ritchie McKay, Curry’s coach at Liberty and now an assistant under Tony Bennett at Virginia, was hardly stunned by the freshman’s immediate breakthrough, an emergence that made him the leading freshman scorer in all of Division I.

Seth Curry can do more than just shoot from outside. 56 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

McKay knew he was lucky to have landed Curry, fortunate that a hamstring injury had limited the quick guard’s play on the summer recruiting circuit in 2007. McKay’s first trip to watch Curry play at Charlotte Christian School left him with wide eyes. “He was such a good player, it literally took three shots on three possessions for me to be sold,” McKay said. “He hit a pull-up jumper off of a great crossover move. He hit what seemed like a 38-footer—kind of like old school Dad would do. Then he had a nice off-the-dribble move with a finger roll at the end of it. Needless to say, we knew we were going to offer him a scholarship right away.” When Curry arrived at Liberty, McKay was again wowed by his savvy and competitive fire. More than that, Curry had a cerebral approach to the game and a thirst to learn. “That’s the first thing you’ll notice,” McKay said. “You only need to tell Seth something one time and he really gets what you’re saying. As a coach, you know a kid like that is going to work and work and improve every day.” The big question now becomes whether Seth Curry’s college development can follow a similar arc to Stephen’s. Seth certainly hopes to match his older brother’s success. After all, he was in the stands at the RBC Center in Raleigh during the opening two rounds of the 2008 NCAA Tournament when Stephen morphed from an appreciated playmaker and the Southern Conference Player of the Year into a household name nationwide, the assassin of March Madness, and a true media darling. In Round One, Stephen dumped 40 points on Gonzaga, including 30 in the second half of an 82–76 Davidson win. Two days later, he led the Wildcats back from a 17-point second-half deficit by erupting for 21 of his 30 points in the final 9:21 as Davidson upset Georgetown 74–70. Seth Curry watched it all unfold and felt a surge of adrenaline. “That was wild,” he said. “I was there in the stands and there’s no question I was proud. But I think even more than that my biggest emotion was shock. I was shocked at the way by brother was taking the whole nation by surprise and willing his team to win. And not only driving them to win but doing it in that exciting fashion. You sit there and you’re in awe. That’s the NCAA Tournament. That’s the stage every player in college basketball lives for. I remember sitting in the stands just telling myself, ‘I’m going to be in the NCAA Tournament one day and doing that.’” Still, that’s not to say Seth is a carbon copy of Stephen. “They have two very different personalities,” McKay said. “Whereas Stephen is much more polished and outgoing and can stand up in front of big crowds with great confidence and assuredness, Seth is really, really shy and very much

Photo on previous page: Hannah Johnston/Getty Images  Photo this page: Hannah Johnston/Getty Images

Here Comes Duke!


Photo: Hannah Johnston/Getty Images

The (Other) Son Also Rises uncomfortable in some of those settings. He likes being on stage. But truthfully, he could care less about doing all the interviews and the extra things like that. He wants to be a great representative of his program and of his family. But if he didn’t have to do all those extra things, he’d be okay with that.” The extra things Curry prefers to take on revolve around sharpening his game. This summer, he spent a month with USA Basketball’s Under-19 squad. On a balanced team full of quiet playmakers, Curry fit in nicely. With five players averaging between 9.0 and 10.8 points per game, Curry sparked the Americans off the bench with 81 points in nine games, including four three-pointers in a quarterfinal win over Canada. “This was a unique team where there wasn’t a lot of separation as far as the caliber of players,” said Pitt’s Jamie Dixon, the coach of that team. “I think all our guys saw that there was a balance there and did a great job using it to our advantage. Seth figured that out early as well. You can tell he’s [a Curry] with that shooting stroke. The classic form and the consistency on the jump shot are just incredible. Some guys got it and some guys don’t.” Curry called the gold medal winning experience one of the most fulfilling accomplishments of his basketball career. “It’s a different experience to walk out on the court with USA written across your chest,” he said. “You can just tell there are people in the arena that want you to lose and want you to fail. And we sort of took that to heart.” It’s an experience that will certainly go a long way toward getting Curry used to life as a Duke Blue Devil. And while the slender guard knows he has to build strength, and condition himself to be ready for the rigors of the ACC, he’ll also have a full season to do so before he sees his first game action for Coach K. Curry hopes to use this season to sharpen his ball handling and his ability to deal with defensive pressure. He also knows he will immediately be an integral part of Duke basketball behind the scenes as a practice pawn, aiding a backcourt rotation that has only three scholarship guards—Jon Scheyer, Nolan Smith, and Andre Dawkins—eligible to play this winter. Yet Curry is also preparing for the restlessness he’ll inevitably feel as he remains fastened to the Duke bench. “The mental part of that is probably going to kill me,” he said. “I’m the type of guy who wants to help my team as much as possible, and having to just sit there will be very new to me. As frustrated as I might get, though, it’s going to be a huge benefit for me to have this transition. I’ll be able to see firsthand how the program runs, firsthand how game nights are, firsthand the exposure that comes with all this.” When Curry arrived on campus in July, he admits he had to pinch himself as he absorbed his new surroundings and realized that he was now playing for Mike Krzyzewski.

In the ACC, Curry (left) will have to mix it up more defensively. “It’s crazy to be around all this tradition,” he said. “You walk around Cameron and you look at all the things on the walls and in the rafters. I’m kind of in awe that I’m actually here. So many great players have come through this program. And you look at the national championships. That’s what every team in college basketball wants to accomplish every year. As a player that’s the dream. Coach K has done that three times here. That’s a big thing.” Krzyzewski has no doubts Curry will be able to hold his own as a Blue Devil. The Hall of Fame coach gushes over his new guard’s shooting stroke and admires the swagger Curry brings to the floor. “He believes he’s a good player and he is one,” Krzyzewski said. “Sometimes guys are good players and they don’t believe it. Seth believes it.” McKay can attest to that. In one season at Liberty, he saw Curry torch opponents with his quick release. He saw Curry loosen up defenses with his ability to stop on a dime. He saw Curry lead wins with his knowledge, his feel for the game, and his unflappable confidence. McKay laughs because he knows how valuable Curry is. And yet the ironic part is that now, with Seth at Duke and McKay at Virginia, the Cavaliers assistant coach will have to come up with ways to try and slow him down. McKay knows that will be a sizable challenge, especially given Curry’s hunger to succeed in the ACC. “The level doesn’t matter to Seth Curry,” McKay said. “He can play with anyone.” MSP Dan Wiederer is an award-winning ACC basketball reporter for The Fayetteville Observer in North Carolina.

Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 57


THE POTENTIAL OF SE T H C URR Y Seth Curry’s stats from Liberty 2008–09 STAT Team Games Games Played Games Started Min Per Game Minute Pct Possession Pct

Value 35 35 34 36.5 88.3 27.2 SCORING Offensive Rating 107.5 Floor Pct 47.3 Shot Pct 32.9 Effective FG Pct 50.5 True Shooting Pct 54.3 FG Made 243 FG Att 583 FG Pct 41.7 3pt FG Made 102 3pt FG Att 294 3pt FG Pct 34.7 FT Made 119 FT Att 143 FT Pct 83.2 Free Throw Rate 24.4 Points 707 Pts Per Game 20.2 2pt FG Point Pct 39.9 3pt FG Point Pct 43.3 FT Point Pct 16.8 REBOUNDING Rebounds 153 Reb Per Game 4.4 Off Rebs 24 Off Rebs Per Game 0.7 Off Reb Pct 2.2 Def Rebs 129 Def Rebs Per Game 3.7 Def Reb Pct 10.9 OTHER Assists 79 Assists Per Game 2.3 Assist Pct 14.0 Steals 48 Steals Per Game 1.4 Steal Pct 2.2 Turnovers 79 TO Per Game 2.3 Turnover Pct 13.4 A/T Ratio 1.0 Blocks 9 Blocks Per Game 0.3 Block Pct 0.8 Fouls 53 Fouls Per Game 1.5 Foul Outs 0 NR = National Rank CR = Conference Rank

NR 87 130 323

CR 1 2 2

986 166 947 911 20 8 19 11 390 172 276 327 17 55 474 985

17 29 1 22 20 1 1 23 2 2 12 5 9 2 30 1 2 18 13 25

601 309 758 -

21 28 44 52 55 11 14 39

476 877 216 618 305 882 -

17 26 28 9 16 27 9 19 63 29 27 35 48 59 -

STATISTICAL IMPACT

The table below shows the impact Seth Curry had from a statistics perspective over the course of the season. The “Pct” column shows Seth’s contribution as a percentage of the team total for that stat. STAT

Curry

LIB

Pct

Games Played

35

35

100

Games Started

34

35

97.1

Minutes

1277

7225

17.6

FG Made

243

911

26.7

FG Att

583

2003

29.1

FT Made

119

501

23.7

FT Att

143

706

20.2

3pt FG Made

102

321

31.7

3pt FG Att

294

893

32.9

Points

707

2644

26.7

Rebounds

153

1362

11.2

Off Rebs

24

370

6.4

Def Rebs

129

877

14.7

Assists

79

530

14.9

Steals

48

243

19.7

Turnovers

79

460

17.1

Blocks

9

57

15.7

Fouls

53

589

8.9

Foul Outs

0

10

0

31%+ of team total 16-30% of team total 5-15% of team total 0-4% of team total

2008–2009 CURRY-SChEYER statistical comparison Seth Jon Cury Scheyer Height 6-1 6-5 Weight 175 190 Position Guard Guard North Home State Illinois Carolina Current Age 19 21 Playing Time Team Games 35 37 Games Played 35 37 Games Started 34 35 Minutes 1277 1214 Min Per Game 36.5 32.8 Minute Pct 88.3 81.7 Possessions 586 433 Possession Pct 27.2 20.5 Scoring Points 707 550 Pts Per Game 20.2 14.9 Points Per 40 22.2 18.1 Offensive Rating 107.5 123.3 Shooting FG Made 243 146 FG Att 583 368 FG Pct 41.7 39.7 FT Made 119 179 FT Att 143 214 FT Pct 83.2 83.6 Free Throw Rate 24.4 58.1 3pt FG Made 102 79 3pt FG Att 294 205 3pt FG Pct 34.7 38.5 Effective FG Pct 50.5 50.4 Floor Pct 47.3 55.6 Shot Pct 32.9 20.5 True Shooting Pct 54.3 58.5 Rebounds Rebounds 153 134 Reb Per Game 4.4 3.6 Off Rebs 24 42 Off Reb Pct 2.2 3.9 Off Rebs Per Game 0.7 1.1 Def Rebs 129 92 Def Rebs Per 3.7 2.5 Game Def Reb Pct 10.9 8.7 Assists, Steals, & Blocks Assists 79 102 Assists Per Game 2.3 2.8 A/T Ratio 1.0 1.8 Assist Pct 14.0 15.7 Steals 48 58 Steals Per Game 1.4 1.6 Steal Pct 2.2 2.7 Blocks 9 6 Blocks Per Game 0.3 0.2 Block Pct 0.8 0.4 Turnovers & Fouls Turnovers 79 57 TO Per Game 2.3 1.5 Turnover Pct 13.4 13.1 Fouls 53 62 Fouls Per Game 1.5 1.7


Ready Rudy? Jordan Davidson’s Time may Finally Come this Season by Brett Friedlander

I

t was a move that didn’t seem to make much sense at the time. Despite being a walk-on who had played in just 34 career games over three seasons, and never more than four minutes in any single appearance, senior guard Jordan Davidson was redshirted for the 2008–09 season because of a nagging back injury. As it turned out, Davidson needed surgery to correct the problem. But even he was surprised by the idea of sitting out the season to save a year of eligibility. Then, assistant coach Chris Collins explained the reasoning behind the decision and it all came into focus. Davidson, a popular Arkansas native whose older brother also walked on with the Blue Devils, was about to become a 6'1", 180-pound insurance policy. “Coach Collins talked about the possibility of Marty [Pocius] not coming back, and Gerald [Henderson] leaving early, and a couple of other things that actually happened, but

at the time we didn’t know were going to happen,” Davidson recalled. “At that point, I got really excited, because to have the opportunity to come back and contribute is just amazing.” Of course, there was no guarantee that a scholarship would be available or that his services would even been needed. In fact, Davidson’s return was so contingent on other factors that a senior tribute video was made for him and shown at last spring’s post-season basketball banquet. Then all the pieces started falling into place. First, Pocius decided to end his injury-plagued career and head home to Lithuania after getting his degree, rather than returning to use the fifth year he had available. A few months later, Henderson chose to enter the NBA Draft, where he was selected by the Charlotte Bobcats with the 12th overall pick. Then, the biggest shocker came in June when emerging freshman star Elliot Williams, Henderson’s heir

Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 59


apparent, announced his intention to transfer to Memphis so he could play closer to his hometown and his ailing mother. When Raleigh native John Wall, the nation’s top point guard prospect, committed to Kentucky rather than Duke, the Blue Devils suddenly found themselves with only two scholarship players on the roster under 6'8". That’s when coach Mike Krzyzewski and his staff cashed in their insurance policy and brought back some backcourt help for starters Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith. Even though highly-rated guard Andre Dawkins subsequently bolstered the position by joining the program a year earlier than expected, Davidson’s role will still be far more substantial than ever before. “Obviously, we will need Jordan to be in the position to be a ball-handler to give us some minutes off the bench,” Collins said. “We feel one of the reasons that we did redshirt him is that we feel he is talented enough to be a backup and give us some minutes.” To this point, Davidson’s most meaningful contribution has been running Duke’s scout team at practice and serving

When Gerald Henderson left for the draft and Elliot Williams transferred, Duke was left with large holes to fill in the backcourt. 60 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

as a sounding board for higher-profile teammates such as Henderson. “I have found that [the walk-ons] are the best guys to talk to about our team and myself, because they don’t really have to worry about how they’re playing,” Henderson wrote in a blog last season. “They see the team from a different perspective. [They] really don’t get as much credit as they deserve.” That doesn’t mean Davidson will feel out of place once he finally gets the chance to get out on the court against a hostile opponent. The athletic 23-year-old was a three-time All-District selection and a two-time All-State team member at Melbourne High School in Arkansas, where he averaged 18 points, five rebounds, and three assists per game as a senior. Following his graduation, he spent a year in prep school at Blair Academy in New Jersey and again, he was recognized for his accomplishments with selection to his all-league team. Davidson was also a two-time All-State golfer who was accomplished enough to place second in the Arkansas high school state tournament as sophomore. After spending the better part of the last four years sitting on the sidelines watching from the bench, Davidson is looking forward to revving up the old competitive juices and becoming part of the action again. “I’ve always felt I could compete at this level and contribute to our team, but this year it’s like I have to do it for my team,” he said. “I love that situation. As a competitor, it’s something I want, and I know I can do it, and I feel like my teammates have confidence in me stepping in there. It’s more of an opportunity for me, rather than pressure, and I’m more excited than I’ve ever been in a Duke uniform.” It’s an opportunity Davidson always believed would come, even though he knew the odds were stacked against him because of the stage on which the Blue Devils play: Walk-ons usually have a better chance at winning PowerBall than earning a spot in the regular rotation at an ACC school. “I knew I could play the game,” he said. “I felt if I could get in here, I knew the system, and I knew Coach K and the way he gives chances where chances are deserved, that anything was possible. You never know, though. That’s why I just kept working hard and doing whatever I could to help keep the Duke legacy going. The big thing for me is that we win games this year. It doesn’t matter how we get it done or how much I get to play.” Doing whatever it takes to help the Blue Devils win has become something of a family tradition in the Davidson house. Back in 2005, older brother Patrick made national headlines for his unorthodox contribution to Duke’s 102–95 victory against Wake Forest in a battle of teams ranked among the nation’s top ten.

Photo on previous page: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images  Photo this page: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Here Comes Duke!


Ready Rudy? I want to be, but I’m definitely on track. And it’s a totally different ballgame whenever you’re running up and down the court with game pressure on you.” Once that actually happens, Davidson projects to be a backup at both guard positions, though in Krzyzewski’s offensive system, the roles are much less defined than they are in most other programs. Either way, the former walk-on is keenly aware of both his strengths and limitations, and he’s mature enough to not try to do anything he knows he can’t do. “I’m not going to be a guy who creates shots for myself or for other people, for that matter,” he said. “I’ll have to knock down the open shot when it’s there, but for the most part my role will probably be more of running the team, taking care of the ball, and getting it into the hands of the guys who can do some work with it.” Davidson has scored nine points for the Blue Devils, including his only career three-pointer against Miami in 2006, while picking up four rebounds, three assists, and two steals. He’s also committed five turnovers. Despite such a small

Top-left photo: Craig Jones/Getty Images  Bottom-right photo: JD King

Jordan Davidson's older brother, Patrick, had a famous role against Chris Paul and Wake Forest. Patrick Davidson made his one and only career start that night and was assigned to guard the Deacons All-America point guard Chris Paul. Coach K benched his starters, and Davidson followed Paul everywhere he went on the game’s opening possession, pushing and bumping him wildly until a foul was finally called. When he came out of the game after about two minutes, the Cameron Crazies serenaded Patrick with a standing ovation and, in an indication of just how important the game was, Krzyzewski rewarded him with an emotional hug. “It’s something I’ll never forget,” Patrick said afterwards. Because Jordan is hoping his unforgettable performances this season are more of the traditional kind—the kind that involve making baskets, handing out assists, and defending opposing players without fouling—he’s gone to great lengths to step up his off-season conditioning. The process started in May, after he underwent surgery to repair a ruptured disk that had been bothering him since injuring his back early in his sophomore season. “We have a core conditioning test we do called ‘Ten Ladders’ and it’s pretty difficult,” Davidson said. “I started doing that throughout the summer just to gauge myself and see if I could make all the times. I’m still not in peak shape where

Walk-ons like Davidson rarely get the glory, but they can play a key role in getting their team ready to be at a championship level. Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 61


Here Comes Duke!

ALL IN THE FAMILY Patrick and Jordan Davidson aren’t the first brothers to play at Duke. Justin and Ryan Caldbeck were also walk-ons during the Carrawell-Battier era and played together during the 1999 season. Justin played from 1997–99 and Ryan from 1998–01, when he was part of Duke’s most recent national championship team. Currently, of course, Miles and Mason Plumlee are on the roster. The brothers, both 6'10", hail originally from Warsaw, IN, but played high school ball at Asheville’s Christ School. And there’s one more brother, Marshall, listed at 7'0", who is drawing interest from Duke as well. Junior Casey Peters, who like Jordan Davidson is currently a walk-on, doesn’t have a brother on the roster, but his sister, Haley, is a highly-regarded high school player who will join the women’s team next year. And, in a slightly different twist, Jay Buckley, one of Vic Bubas’s better big men in the ’60s, sent his son, Clay, to play for Mike Krzyzewski where he won a national title with the Laettner-Hurley-Hill team in 1991. Buckley’s brother, Bruce, elected to play his college ball for UNC, blazing a trail that Jeff Capel’s younger brother, Jason, later followed, as he went to UNC a few years after Jeff finished at Duke. Around the conference, Clemson had the Grant twins in the ’70s, and the five Mahaffey brothers in the ’60s, and currently Trevor and Devin Booker. Mar yland had Derrick and Cedric Lewis, and UNC currently has David and Travis Wear, 6'10" twins out of California.

body of work, both Krzyzewski and his Duke teammates are confident Davidson is capable of getting the job done. “The relationships I’ve built up with these guys for the last three and a half years is going to come in handy for me when I’m put in a situation where I need to contribute,” Davidson said. “He should be okay,” Krzyzewski added. “He’s really a fifth-year player. That’s one of the reasons we kept him out [last season]. He’s a really positive guy for us and a good player. He’s a really good player.” As much of a contribution as he’s made to the basketball program athletically, at least in practice, Davidson has excelled even more away from the court. He is a regular participant in Duke’s award-winning “Verizon Read with the Blue Devils,” a community outreach reading program in the Durham school district. He is also active in the school’s Junior Blue Devil Club Day for children. Working with kids is nothing new for Davidson. Two summers ago, he conducted a series of youth clinics in Oregon as part of the internship he served with the Portland Trail Blazers, giving him some NBA experience even before his college career is over. At some point, working in the front office of a team such as the Trail Blazers could be in Davidson’s future. For now he’s undecided about what he wants to do once he leaves Duke. An excellent student who graduated last spring with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, he’ll have plenty of options. The extra year of basketball will give him a chance to further his education in the newly created Master of Management Studies: Foundations of Business program offered by Duke’s prestigious Fuqua School of Business. He began the nine-month curriculum on September 1. “I’m super excited about it,” Davidson said. “Initially, I was just going to get a second major. But this is a pilot program in its first year and when it came up, it was such a good opportunity. I sat down and talked with Coach K and Kenny King, our academic guy, and things just kind of fell my way.” With any luck, Davidson and the Blue Devils will be able to say the same thing about their 2009–10 basketball season. But even if the fifth-year guard doesn’t do anything more than run the scout team at practice, mop up at the end of blowout victories, and pat the regulars on the back as they come off the floor, it’s comforting to know that he’s a valuable insurance policy waiting down at the end of the bench. Just in case. MSP

Brett Friedlander has been covering ACC basketball for the past 25 years as a columnist for newspapers in Maryland and North Carolina. Among his credits are seven Final Fours, including Duke’s 2001 championship. He currently writes for the Star-News in Wilmington, NC.

62 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010


PATRIOT GAMES, THE SEQUEL A Passionate Coach K Re-ups with the Olympic team by Brett Friedlander

M

ike Krzyzewski has always believed that the journey is just as important as reaching the destination. Even when there’s Olympic gold at the end of the rainbow. Maybe that’s why, only hours after adding the crowning achievement to his Hall of Fame resume last summer in China, the always-driven Duke basketball coach was already looking ahead to the “next thing” and the possibility of starting a new four-year journey as the man in charge of the US national team. “I thought about it on the way back from Beijing,” Krzyzewski said. “The players were saying ‘Let’s do it again.’” Despite all that enthusiasm, Krzyzewski was urged by his friend and USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo to wait before officially committing himself to another Olympic cycle. Colangelo wanted the decision to be “intellectual,” not “emotional.” So Coach K waited and thought about it. He

even went so far as to tout New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni—one of his assistants from Beijing—for the job. But in the end, the lure of working with the likes of Kobe, LeBron, and Dwight Howard, and having more gold medals draped triumphantly around his neck, remained just as strong as ever. So, on July 21 at the USA Basketball mini-camp in Las Vegas, he and his entire staff were formally introduced for their second term as national team coaches. Krzyzewski, D’Antoni, Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan, and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim will lead the squad of NBA superstars through next summer’s World Championships in Turkey and the 2012 Olympics in London. It was an announcement that was immediately hailed as a victory for American basketball on the international stage, where the US had struggled in recent years before Krzyzewski took over.

Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 63


Or as Utah Jazz point guard Deron Williams put it, “This is the best possible news for USA Basketball. I am sure those outside the United States are disappointed [because] Coach K is King.” While Williams will get no argument on that from the folks at Duke, most of whom encouraged Coach K to continue coaching the national team, there are critics—and even a few Blue Devils fans—who believe that Krzyzewski’s continued involvement will hurt the college program he has spent the past three decades turning into one of the nation’s best. Even noted author John Feinstein, a Duke graduate, joined the chorus under the headline “Coach K and the 2012 Olympics—Great for USA Basketball, Not So for Duke, Himself” on his website Feinstein on the Brink. But Krzyzewski is quick to counter such talk, even though since he started with the national team in 2005, he has not led the Blue Devils to a Final Four and recruiting has fallen off slightly. The 62-year-old coach insists that he’s just as energized and motivated as ever, if not more so, because of his experience in Beijing last summer. “I think the main thing is that it made me a better coach,” Krzyzewski said. “It did not fatigue me. It did not

Former Georgia Tech star Thaddeus Young leaves O.J. Mayo behind as he glides in for a basket in the 2009 USA Basketball Showcase in Las Vegas. 64 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

lessen the shelf life of how long I will coach at Duke. It probably lengthened it.” It’s a belief Coach K emphasized again this summer after his name began surfacing in national news reports as a possible replacement for Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson. Though the point became moot when Jackson decided to return to the Lakers rather than retire, Krzyzewski put the subject to rest once and for all by saying he had no interest in coaching the Lakers—or any other team besides the Blue Devils—between now and the time he retires. Whenever that might be. “I’m not leaving Duke,” he said. “Whatever you hear about anything like that… I will never leave Duke until I leave coaching. Anything else that’s being said would be just somebody saying stuff. “I’m getting ready to start my 30th year at Duke and I don’t see the finish line yet. I know the finish line will be there sometime, but it’s not my vision right now. I’m really enthusiastic and I’m going to be coaching at Duke. I love where I’m at.” Perhaps one reason he’s so content in his current job is that his USA Basketball duties allow him to scratch the NBA itch he’s always had without leaving any indelible marks on either himself or his Blue Devils. By coaching the national team each summer, Krzyzewski is able to surround himself with the best players in the world while challenging himself to mold those high-priced pros into a cohesive unit and get them to buy into his system. To no one’s surprise, he has built strong and lasting relationships with some of the best players in the world. While Krzyzewski has made his name in the college game, the pros—even those who bypassed college to go straight to the NBA—seem to have even more fun playing for him than the kids. That means Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Dwayne Wade, and most of the others from the 2008 team have already stated publicly their intention to jump at the chance to play for the man again in London in 2012. “Coach K has made such a big impact on my life and the 2008 Olympics was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had,” said Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets. “Coach K and the assistant coaches were a perfect fit for the USA Senior National team in 2006–08 and I’m confident they will be a great fit for 2010–12,” added the Cleveland Cavaliers’ James. “We worked together for three summers and we all developed a great respect and chemistry that was important in the success we achieved.” That cohesiveness has always been a hit-or-miss thing for a USA Basketball program that has traditionally changed coaches, personnel, and playing styles every four years. Krzyzewski will be the first coach since Hank Iba in 1964,

Photo on previous page: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images  Photo this page: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Here Comes Duke!


Patriot Games, The Sequel ’68, and ’72 to lead an American team into consecutive Olympiads. Back in Iba’s days, American teams could win gold medals by overwhelming their opponents with sheer talent. That’s no longer the case now that the rest of the world has caught up and is producing an abundance of NBA-level talent. After winning the gold medal at the 2000 Olympics with the last of the so-called Dream Teams, the US finished an embarrassing sixth at the 2002 World Championships and was lucky to come home with a bronze medal two years later at the Athens Olympics. The bickering, dysfunctional performances inspired USA Basketball to begin a program to better prepare its teams for international competition. Among the first steps was to hire Krzyzewski, who Colangelo called “the right man at the right time,” to coach the team. Now that Krzyzewski has proven him right by going 36–1 in international competition— including an unbeaten mark on the way to that gold medal in Beijing—Colangelo sees no reason to change course again. “Part of the game plan was to keep the infrastructure in place, and that starts at the top,” the USA Basketball chairman said on a conference call when the 2012 staff was announced. “There is nothing bigger in the equation than to have Coach Krzyzewski by me... It [would have been] very easy to walk away, but I just don’t think people who are accustomed to competing or high achievers walk away. You just keep competing.” It also doesn’t hurt that Krzyzewski, a graduate of West Point and a former Army officer, has such a high regard for ideals such as country and commitment. In fact, among his most cherished Olympic memories took place before he and his team ever left for China, when they were honored in an emotional ceremony at the Statue of Liberty in New York before getting on a boat and touring Ellis Island, where Krzyzewski’s grandfather entered the country two generations earlier. Because of the inspiration he got from coaching the national team, Coach K said he had planned to remain with USA Basketball in some capacity even if he hadn’t been named as head coach again. “I’ve invested too much to give it up,” is how he described it. “In my coaching career, I don’t really have any regrets,” Krzyzewski said. “Obviously you’d like to have won a certain game or two, but as far as decisions of where I coach and what I’m doing, I’ve led a very charmed life. And I think if I didn’t do this, I would have regretted it.”

Now that he and his staff have succeeded in getting the US back on top with a gold medal performance in Beijing, they seem just as intent on staying there. That means scouting the talent pool for future national team contributions, since there will inevitably be at least some roster turnover between now and 2012 because of injuries, age, and other considerations. Among the players they saw this summer at a previously scheduled USA Basketball minicamp were up-and-coming stars Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, O.J. Mayo, Kevin Love, and last season’s college Player of the Year Blake Griffin, the first pick in this summer’s NBA Draft. “Our goal this time is to make it even better,” he said. Better, however, doesn’t necessary mean the same. That difference is what Krzyzewski believes will be the most exciting aspect of returning for the next year’s World Championships and the 2012 London Games. “It’s not going to be the same experience, which is good,” he said. “You couldn’t recreate that experience. So what would the new experience be like? Whether you’re a player or a coach, it’s going to be different, so each of the guys that are making decisions as far as whether they’re going to play have to look at it that way.” The one thing he hopes will never change is the camaraderie that existed among his staff and the members of the 2008 team. It’s a togetherness best illustrated after the championship-clinching victory against Spain, when each team member approached Krzyzewski and draped their gold medal triumphantly around his neck. That scene has became one of the lasting images of the entire Olympics and serves as the cover photo for the best-selling book, The Gold Standard, that Krzyzewski wrote about the experience. And, as great as that moment was, it’s only one of the many rewards the coach said he has received during the past four years. “You know what?” he said. “I got paid off every day I was working with our national team. There was not one negative thing for me, my program, my family. That was a great, great experience. And the fact that we won made it even better.” Because, while the journey is just as important as arriving at the destination, there’s still something to be said for finding a pot of Olympic gold waiting for you there at the end of the rainbow. MSP

“I am sure those outside the

United States are disappointed [because] Coach K is King.

Brett Friedlander has been covering ACC basketball for the past 25 years as a columnist for newspapers in Maryland and North Carolina. Among his credits ate seven Final Fours, including Duke’s 2001 championship. He currently writes for the Star-News in Wilmington, NC.

Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 65


D UKE 2008 – 2009 T ea m Highs & Lo w s Most Points Scored Rk 1.  2.  3.  4.  5. 

Most Three-Point Field Goals

Date  2/22  12/17  11/11  11/28  12/31

 Opponent  WAKE FOREST  UNC ASHEVILLE  GEORGIA SOUTHERN  DUQUESNE  LOYOLA

Score  101-91 99-56 97-54 95-72 92-51

 Opponent  at Clemson  vs. Villanova  at Florida State  vs. Boston College  vs. Maryland

Score  47-74 54-77 66-58 66-65 67-61

Fewest Points Scored Rk 1.  2.  3.    5. 

Date  2/4  3/26  1/10  3/13  3/14

Highest Point Differential Rk 1.    3.    5. 

Date  11/11  12/17  12/31  1/24  11/10

 Opponent  GEORGIA SOUTHERN  UNC ASHEVILLE  LOYOLA  MARYLAND  PRESBYTERIAN

Score 97-54 99-56 92-51 85-44 80-49

Diff. 43 43 41 41 31

Score 47-74 54-77 87-101 73-81 71-79

Diff. -27 -23 -14 -8 -8

Lowest Point Differential Rk 1.  2.  3.  4.   

Date  2/4  3/26  2/11  12/6  3/8

 Opponent  at Clemson  vs. Villanova  NORTH CAROLINA  at Michigan  at North Carolina

Most Field Goals Rk 1.    3.  4.  5. 

Date  12/17  12/31  11/28  2/11  2/22

 Opponent  UNC ASHEVILLE  LOYOLA  DUQUESNE  NORTH CAROLINA  WAKE FOREST

FG-A  36-69 36-66 35-64 34-70 33-61

 Opponent  at Clemson  vs. Villanova  vs. Southern Illinois  at Florida State  vs. Maryland

FG-A  16-52 16-60 18-42 18-42 20-55

Fewest Field Goals Rk 1.    3.    5. 

Date  2/4  3/26  11/20  1/10  3/14

Highest Field Goal Attempts Rk 1.  2.  3.  4.  5. 

Date  2/7  1/24  2/11  12/17  2/15

 Opponent  MIAMI  MARYLAND  NORTH CAROLINA  UNC ASHEVILLE  at Boston College

FG-A  25-76 31-73 34-70 36-69 29-68

 Opponent  vs. Southern Illinois  at Florida State  at St. John's  vs. Boston College  vs. Michigan  at North Carolina

FG-A  18-42 18-42 23-43 22-47 24-50 22-50

LOWEST Field Goal Attempts Rk 1.    3.  4.  5.   

Date  11/20  1/10  2/19  3/13  11/21  3/8

Highest Field Goal Percentage Rk 1.  2.  3.  4.  5. 

Date 11/28 12/31 02/22 02/19 12/20

 Opponent  DUQUESNE  LOYOLA  WAKE FOREST  at St. John's  vs. Xavier

FG-A 35-64 36-66 33-61 23-43 31-59

Percent  .547  .545  .541  .535  .525

FG-A 16-60 16-52 25-76 22-66 20-55

Percent  .267  .308  .329  .333  .364

LOWEST Field Goal Percentage Rk Date 1.  03/26 2.  02/04 3.  02/07 4.  01/18 5.  03/14 CAP – Home Games vs. – Neutral Site Games at – Away Games

 Opponent  vs. Villanova  at Clemson  MIAMI  at Wake Forest  vs. Maryland

Rk 1.      4.  5.   

Date  1/24  2/7  3/15  12/17  11/28  3/3

 Opponent  MARYLAND  MIAMI  vs. Florida State  UNC ASHEVILLE  DUQUESNE  FLORIDA STATE

FG-A  12-25 12-39 12-25 11-27 10-27 10-30

Fewest Three-Point Field Goals Rk 1.  2.      5.       

Date  12/31  11/10  2/4  2/15  11/16  11/21  11/23  1/18

 Opponent  LOYOLA  PRESBYTERIAN  at Clemson  at Boston College  RHODE ISLAND  vs. Michigan  vs. Montana  at Wake Forest

FG-A  1-12 3-11 3-13 3-16 4-17 4-19 4-15 4-22

Most Three-Point FG Attempts Rk 1.  2.  3.  4.       

Date  2/7  12/6  3/3  11/28  12/17  2/1  3/26

 Opponent  MIAMI  at Michigan  FLORIDA STATE  DUQUESNE  UNC ASHEVILLE  VIRGINIA  vs. Villanova

FG-A  12-39 7-33 10-30 10-27 11-27 9-27 5-27

Fewest Three-Point FG Attempts Rk 1.  2.    4.  5.   

Date  11/10  12/31  1/10  2/4  1/20  3/21

 Opponent  PRESBYTERIAN  LOYOLA  at Florida State  at Clemson  N.C. STATE  vs. Texas

FG-A  3-11 1-12 5-12 3-13 7-14 7-14

Highest Three-Point FG Pct. Rk 1.    3.    5. 

Date  1/20  3/21  1/24  3/15  12/20

 Opponent  N.C. STATE  vs. Texas  MARYLAND  vs. Florida State  vs. Xavier

FG-A 7-14 7-14 12-25 12-25 9-19

Percent  .500  .500  .480  .480  .474

FG-A 1-12 4-22 5-27 3-16 4-19

Percent  .083  .182  .185  .188  .211

Lowest Three-Point FG Pct. Rk 1.  2.  3.  4.  5. 

Date  12/31  1/18  3/26  2/15  11/21

 Opponent  LOYOLA  at Wake Forest  vs. Villanova  at Boston College  vs. Michigan

Most Free Throws Rk 1.  2.  3.  4.   

Date  11/20  11/16  2/22  11/11  1/10

 Opponent  vs. Southern Illinois  RHODE ISLAND  WAKE FOREST  GEORGIA SOUTHERN  at Florida State

FT-A  40-47 28-32 27-36 25-49 25-39

 Opponent  at Michigan  N.C. STATE  VIRGINIA  vs. Xavier  MARYLAND  NORTH CAROLINA

FT-A  4-6 8-12 8-14 11-14 11-19 11-18

 Opponent  GEORGIA SOUTHERN  vs. Southern Illinois  at Florida State  WAKE FOREST  LOYOLA  at St. John's

FT-A  25-49 40-47 25-39 27-36 19-33 23-33

Fewest Free Throws Rk 1.  2.    4.     

Date  12/6  1/20  2/1  12/20  1/24  2/11

Most Free Throw Attempts Rk 1.  2.  3.  4.  5.   

Date  11/11  11/20  1/10  2/22  12/31  2/19

Fewest Free Throw Attempts Rk 1.  2.  3.  4.   

Date  12/6  1/20  1/17  12/20  2/1

 Opponent  at Michigan  N.C. STATE  GEORGETOWN  vs. Xavier  VIRGINIA

FT-A  4-6 8-12 12-13 11-14 8-14


Highest Free Throw Percentage Rk 1.  2.  3.  4.  5. 

Date  1/4  1/17  11/16  11/20  12/17

 Opponent  VIRGINIA TECH  GEORGETOWN  RHODE ISLAND  vs. Southern Illinois  UNC ASHEVILLE

Most Turnovers FT-A 19-20 12-13 28-32 40-47 16-19

Percent  .950  .923  .875  .851  .842

FT-A 25-49 8-14 19-33 11-19 18-31

Percent  .510  .571  .576  .579  .581

Lowest Free Throw PercentagE Rk 1.  2.  3.  4.  5. 

Date  11/11  2/1  12/31  1/24  3/14

 Opponent  GEORGIA SOUTHERN  VIRGINIA  LOYOLA  MARYLAND  vs. Maryland

Most Rebounds Rk 1.  2.  3.  4.  5. 

Date  11/11  1/24  12/2  12/31  1/18

 Opponent  GEORGIA SOUTHERN  MARYLAND  at Purdue  LOYOLA  at Wake Forest

OR-DR–TR 23-35–58 21-35–56 16-33–49 18-30–48 15-32–47

 Opponent  at North Carolina  WAKE FOREST  at St. John's  N.C. STATE  at Virginia Tech

OR-DR–TR 6-16–22 11-12–23 6-18–24 10-15–25 9-19–28

 Opponent  GEORGIA SOUTHERN  MARYLAND  LOYOLA  MIAMI  at Boston College

OR-DR–TR 23-35–58 21-35–56 18-30–48 18-23–41 18-14–32

Fewest Rebounds Rk 1.  2.  3.  4.  5. 

Date  3/8  2/22  2/19  1/20  2/28

Most Offensive Rebounds Rk 1.  2.  3.     

Date  11/11  1/24  12/31  2/7  2/15

Fewest Offensive Rebounds Rk 1.    3.    5.     

Date  2/19  3/8  11/20  3/26  12/20  1/10  2/28

 Opponent  at St. John's  at North Carolina  vs. Southern Illinois  vs. Villanova  vs. Xavier  at Florida State  at Virginia Tech

OR-DR–TR 6-18–24 6-16–22 8-34–42 8-26–34 9-23–32 9-25–34 9-19–28

Most Defensive Rebounds Rk 1.    3.  4.  5. 

Date  11/11  1/24  11/20  12/2  1/18

 Opponent  GEORGIA SOUTHERN  MARYLAND  vs. Southern Illinois  at Purdue  at Wake Forest

OR-DR–TR 23-35–58 21-35–56 8-34–42 16-33–49 15-32–47

Fewest Defensive Rebounds Rk 1.  2.  3.    5.   

Date  2/22  2/15  1/20  2/4  11/16  3/8

Date  1/24  12/17  11/28  3/19  12/6  12/31

OR-DR–TR 11-12–23 18-14–32 10-15–25 15-15–30 13-16–29 6-16–22

 Opponent  MARYLAND  UNC ASHEVILLE  DUQUESNE  vs. Binghamton  at Michigan  LOYOLA

Assists 23 22 21 21 20 20

 Opponent  at Florida State  at Clemson  vs. Villanova  at Wake Forest  vs. Boston College

Assists 6 7 7 8 8

Fewest Assists Rk 1.  2.    4.   

Date  1/10  2/4  3/26  1/18  3/13

Date  11/10  11/20  11/21  11/28  12/31  1/4  1/10

 Opponent  PRESBYTERIAN  vs. Southern Illinois  vs. Michigan  DUQUESNE  LOYOLA  VIRGINIA TECH  at Florida State

Turnovers 21 19 17 17 17 17 17

 Opponent  vs. Florida State  WAKE FOREST  FLORIDA STATE  N.C. STATE  at Georgia Tech  VIRGINIA  MIAMI  at Maryland  at Virginia Tech  vs. Texas

Turnovers 4 6 7 8 9 9 9 9 9 9

Fewest Turnovers Rk 1.  2.  3.  4.  5.           

Date  3/15  2/22  3/3  1/20  1/14  2/1  2/7  2/25  2/28  3/21

Highest Assist-to-Turnover Ratio Rk 1.  2.  3.  4.  5. 

Date  3/15  1/24  3/3  2/22  1/20

 Opponent  vs. Florida State  MARYLAND  FLORIDA STATE  WAKE FOREST  N.C. STATE

Ast:TO 12:4 23:10 13:7 11:6 14:8

Ratio 3.00 2.30 1.86 1.83 1.75

Ast:TO 6:17 7:16 8:15 13:21 7:11

Ratio 0.35 0.44 0.53 0.62 0.64

LOWEST Assist-to-Turnover Ratio Rk 1.  2.  3.  4.  5. 

Date  1/10  2/4  1/18  11/10  3/26

 Opponent  at Florida State  at Clemson  at Wake Forest  PRESBYTERIAN  vs. Villanova

Most Steals Rk 1.  2.  3.    5.   

Date  11/10  12/31  11/23  11/28  1/20  2/11

 Opponent  PRESBYTERIAN  LOYOLA  vs. Montana  DUQUESNE  N.C. STATE  NORTH CAROLINA

Steals 17 16 14 14 12 12

 Opponent  at Purdue  at Georgia Tech  at Clemson  at St. John's  at Maryland  vs. Maryland  vs. Florida State

Steals 4 4 5 5 5 5 5

 Opponent  MARYLAND  DUQUESNE  vs. Boston College  GEORGIA SOUTHERN  vs. Xavier

Blocks 12 8 8 7 7

 Opponent  MIAMI  at Virginia Tech  N.C. STATE  at St. John's  WAKE FOREST  vs. Texas  vs. Villanova

Blocks 1 1 2 2 2 2 2

 Opponent  vs. Villanova  GEORGIA SOUTHERN  NORTH CAROLINA  at Maryland  at North Carolina

Fouls 24 23 23 22 22

 Opponent  N.C. STATE  vs. Maryland  vs. Michigan  vs. Montana  UNC ASHEVILLE  at Florida State  vs. Binghamton

Fouls 13 13 14 14 14 14 14

Fewest Steals Rk 1.    3.         

Date  12/2  1/14  2/4  2/19  2/25  3/14  3/15

Most Blocks  Opponent  WAKE FOREST  at Boston College  N.C. STATE  at Clemson  RHODE ISLAND  at North Carolina

Most Assists Rk 1.  2.  3.    5.   

Rk 1.  2.  3.         

Rk 1.  2.    4.   

Date  1/24  11/28  3/13  11/11  12/20

Fewest Blocks Rk 1.    3.         

Date  2/7  2/28  1/20  2/19  2/22  3/21  3/26

Most Fouls Rk 1.  2.    4.   

Date  3/26  11/11  2/11  2/25  3/8

Fewest Fouls Rk 1.    3.         

Date  1/20  3/14  11/21  11/23  12/17  1/10  3/19


The Opp


The Kids Are Alright A Radically Younger ACC Takes On the World— and Each Other by Barry Jacobs

M

ike Krzyzewski was explaining how graduation, early departures, transfers, and injuries—changes planned and unexpected—constantly recast the game. “In college basketball you’re creative out of necessity in some respects,” said Krzyzewski, entering his 35th year as a college head coach. “That’s not a downer, that’s an upper. It’s a good thing.” Gary Williams made much the same point while describing the rise of new programs within the past decade, reflected in the improved caliber of early-round competition in the NCAA Tournament. “What people don’t understand is, college basketball changes,” said Williams, in his 21st year at Maryland. That is a longer tenure than all but two coaches in ACC history, North Carolina’s Dean Smith (36) and Duke’s Krzyzewski (30). Certainly change is the order of things in the ACC this season. One immediate switch is the absence of a clear-cut favorite. “No team to me that’s like Carolina last year,” Gary Williams said. There are few obvious laggards, either. “We don’t have any easy way out regardless of who you play once and who you play twice,” Williams said. “Unless you’re really good, you’re going to have to really fight.” There’s also been quite a drain of premier talent. Five of the ACC’s seven first-round NBA draft picks in 2009 left with eligibility remaining. No player returns from the 2009 All-ACC first team or among the conference’s top five scorers, an evacuation unmatched since 2002. Gone are a wealth of superior, veteran guards, among them first-team All-ACC selections Toney Douglas of Florida State, Miami’s Jack McClinton, and UNC’s Ty Lawson. “When you lose McClinton and Toney Douglas, those kind of guys, I don’t care which league you are, everybody’s going to notice that part of it,” UNC coach Roy Williams said.

onents


Williams’s Tar Heels, the defending NCAA champs, lost their top four scorers and their leaders in rebounds, assists, and steals. Only Maryland and Virginia return their best scorer. UVA faces a transition in style and temperament under newcomer Tony Bennett, with Krzyzewski the only non-Easterner among the league’s coaches. Yet there’s ample reason to believe the ACC will be just fine. “You lose talent,” conceded Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt, “but by mid-year, by the time you hit February, I think the league will be as good as last year.” Hewitt’s team, the ’09 cellar-dweller, is among a majority of ACC teams that can compete for first-division status, and therefore national recognition. “I think we’ll compete in the league,” said Al Skinner, whose BC teams have reached the NCAAs in three of their four ACC seasons. “If we compete in the league, then I think we’re an NCAA team.” Guards may be in shorter supply, but the bulk of the league’s best rebounders and shot blockers return. Most of the top prospects entering the ACC are also frontcourt players—Clemson’s Milton Jennings, Duke’s Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee, Georgia Tech’s Derrick Favors, UNC’s John

Ed Davis, a potential first-round draft pick after his freshman season, decided instead to return to UNC for his sophomore year. 70 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

Henson. “Because of the guards leaving,” said NC State coach Sidney Lowe, “where teams were used to shooting the threes with their two guards or their point guard running the show and creating for them, now you’re looking at the post players.” Not that league backcourts were stripped bare. Only Miami and UNC lack an experienced playmaker. In fact, the perimeter corps includes some of the most versatile, sizable guards in recent memory, from Duke’s Jon Scheyer and Georgia Tech’s Iman Shumpert, to Maryland’s Greivis Vasquez and Virginia Tech’s Malcolm Delaney. “It’s just a matter of which guards in our conference now will take that extra step the way the ones that just left did,” Lowe said. Other changes, more gradual than immediate, likewise command attention. For instance, last year the NCAA mandated a deeper three-point arc, and long-distance accuracy declined. It will take a few years to conclusively measure the effect; meanwhile players, coaches, and strategies will adjust. ACC teams outside Chapel Hill haven’t gotten very far in recent NCAA tournaments, either, as critics note with some asperity. Coincidentally, perhaps, the slide accompanied the league’s growth to a dozen members. And there’s a more subtle, fundamental, and overlooked trend to be considered: Difficult as it may be to believe, lately Duke and North Carolina have dominated the ACC’s high ground more than at any time in history. The ACC is already popularly defined by the Tar Heels and Blue Devils and their respective Hall of Fame coaches. With good reason. Last season was the 49th in a row in which one or both teams was nationally ranked each time they met. Their matches are routinely among TV’s highest-rated sports broadcasts. North Carolina won the 2009 regular season race, Duke the ’09 ACC Tournament. The neighbors were the only league members to reach the Sweet 16, with UNC taking its second NCAA championship in five years. “They played great basketball,” Krzyzewski said of the Heels’ title run. “They were a cut above everyone.” Good as North Carolina and Duke have been over the decades, lately they’ve been better, a fact obscured by routine excellence and talk of top-to-bottom ACC competitiveness. Every ACC Tournament championship game since 1996 has included either Duke or UNC or both. The Devils or Heels won 12 of the last 13 ACC titles. Duke was the victor eight times in that span, most recently in 2009. The Blue Devils’ ACC Tournament dominance, including five straight championships from 1999 through 2003, is unrivaled, as is the two-team run. Duke (10) or UNC (7) earned at least a share of first place in 16 of the past 19 ACC regular seasons (counting their tie in 2001). Duke (6) or UNC (3) finished atop nearly half of the Associated Press national polls over the past two decades. Prior to that, the pair was top-ranked just four times in 36

Photo on previous page: Steve Dykes/Getty Images  Photo this page: Gregor y Shamus/Getty Images

The Opponents


Photo: J.D. King

The Kids Are Alright years. Among all other ACC programs, only NC State in 1974 ever finished atop the polls. Since 1990, three-quarters of the ACC’s top-ten finishes in the AP poll (28 of 38) were secured along the US 15-501 axis. Over the past ten years it’s 15 of 19 (79%). Last season was the second straight in which the ACC’s sole representatives in the final AP top ten were UNC (second) and Duke (sixth). Lately, North Carolina and Duke have become nearly ubiquitous at the Final Four, with one or both reaching the national semifinals in 16 of the past 20 years. That’s 80% efficiency. Six of their championships came over that span— Duke has plenty of competition if they’re going to add another banner. three in the 1990s and three in the 2000s. Since 1990, no entire league matched that performance on another decision made Duke the team to beat in the ACC. college basketball’s biggest weekend. Except the ACC, which Andre Dawkins, a 6'4" guard, completed high school requiredoes include Duke and UNC, after all. ments that made him immediately eligible to attend college Of course, lofty standards spawn lofty expectations, instead of waiting until 2010–11. The freshman, a superior which in turn make coaches squirm. A high-performance shooter and athlete, filled a crucial gap in the Devils lineup program doesn’t have to slip much to attract criticism. created by the loss of wings Gerald Henderson (NBA Draft) Certainly that’s been true for the Blue Devils since last and Elliot Williams (transfer). reaching the Final Four in 2004. He’ll join a backcourt anchored by heady senior Jon Duke was the only ACC school besides UNC to win at Scheyer, moved to the point from off-guard for the final least 22 games and make the NCAAs in each of the past five third of the ’09 season. Scheyer steadied the offense and, years. But while the Tar Heels advanced to four Sweet 16s, while controlling the ball, enjoyed his three highest-scoring three Final Fours, and two national titles, the Devils got no efforts of the year. He and forward Kyle Singler, Duke’s most farther than the Sweet 16 in 2005, 2006, and 2009. When the prolific three-point shooters last season, combined for 38.4% Dukies started strong in the regular season, but were bounced accuracy on Krzyzewski’s least-accurate bonusphere squad in the NCAA first round in 2007 and in the 2008 second (34.9%) since the three-pointer was instituted in 1987. round, questions arose about the program’s direction. Scheyer and Dawkins (no relation to ’80s Duke great Intensifying the scrutiny and second-guessing, Duke’s Johnny Dawkins, now the Stanford coach) will share backdecline occurred while Krzyzewski devoted time and effort court duties with Nolan Smith. The athletic junior struggled to coaching the US national squad to a gold medal in the to overcome injuries and wavering confidence in 2009. Smith 2008 Beijing Olympics. Critics cited recruiting failures—the can play either guard spot, and is a good defender and foul Dukies had a 5–2 edge in first-round NBA draft choices from shooter (84.9%). 2000–2004, but UNC has led 8–3 since—as the Heels became Singler, an All-ACC performer, was the team’s leading the dominant program, winning seven of the last ten head-torebounder (7.7 per game) and is the top returning scorer head meetings. (16.5). He’ll spend more time on the perimeter this year, Krzyzewski insisted none of this resulted from his broadening a versatile game. Dawkins’ addition reduces the Olympian efforts. “It’s off-the-charts good experience,” he pressure to move Singler away from the basket, but there’s said before re-enlisting for the 2012 Games in London. “I less room inside with a quartet of players standing 6'10" or think it’s just added to my shelf life, not taken away. I feel I’m taller. “We’ve never had a team this tall,” Krzyzewski said. a better coach. I’m even more enthusiastic, not that I wasn’t The frontline has senior experience with 7'1" Brian enthusiastic. It’s only been positive.” Zoubek, more tactical weapon than everyday force, and Lance Around the time Krzyzewski announced his coaching Thomas, a complementary 6'8" senior challenged to become plans, including a vow to stay at Duke until retirement, a top defender. They’ll share time with highly-regarded Ryan

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BC’s Joe Trapani, a transfer from Vermont, turned out to be a great find for Coach Al Skinner. Kelly and Mason Plumlee, the younger and more acclaimed brother of sophomore Miles Plumlee. The slender Kelly is considered the better shooter, Mason Plumlee quicker off his feet and the more likely low-post presence. Both are highly skilled, can play multiple positions, and should see time this year, according to Coach Krzyzewski. Freshmen will similarly be a major factor at North Carolina as the Heels cope with a talent drain similar to 2005–06. That year, as this one, UNC was coming off an NCAA title run and regrouping after four key players were drafted. Dire predictions proved unfounded; in what Roy Williams often calls perhaps his most enjoyable coaching experience ever, the youthful 2005–06 squad, with four freshmen among the top seven, finished a surprising second in the league and reached the NCAAs. “This year we’re losing a great deal again, but not quite as bad as it was in ’05,” Williams said. Key to success in 2005– 06 was senior David Noel, a career role player of whom the coach said, “May be the best leader I’ve ever been around.” Williams hopes redshirt senior Marcus Ginyard—comparable to Noel in size, skills, seasoning, and attitude—likewise seizes the floor leader’s reins. Ginyard can move to small forward in a frontcourt anchored by smooth senior Deon Thompson, a starter all but

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twice over the past two seasons, and Ed Davis. “Easy Ed” was fourth in the ACC in blocks and virtually as quick to grab a rebound last year as star Tyler Hansbrough. “He’s going to be a great player,” Williams said of the NBA-caliber sophomore. “Defensively and rebounding, he is a big-time player right now and hopefully with a little more work in the offseason on his offensive game and his touch, he’ll be able to do that.” The Heels also return Ty Zeller, a gifted seven-footer injured much of last year, and add three highly-sought big men, Henson and the Ware twins, David and Travis. All are listed at 6'10". “They have the top class in the league and, until Kentucky with John Calipari, the top class in the country,” said Bob Gibbons of All Star Sports Report. Henson, listed at a spindly 185 pounds prior to the season, should get immediate court time. Active, mobile, and quick, he can play any frontcourt spot and may appear first at small forward. Ginyard can also play big guard in a backcourt that otherwise returns only spot players Larry Drew II and Will Graves. “This is the least experience and least depth I’ve ever had on the perimeter, and so it’s a huge area of concern for us,” Williams told the media in June. “Last year all you guys were talking about, ‘You’ve got too many players, isn’t that a concern?’ And I said no. And I think it was the correct answer. This year, if you ask if I’m concerned about our lack of experience and depth on the perimeter, I’ll say, ‘You’re darn right I am.’” Drew was a competent playmaker in intermittent action last season, and is the only real point guard on the squad. A pair of good-sized freshman guards join the mix: Leslie McDonald, who has played lead guard, and Dexter Strickland, who is already a good defender. Graves is strictly a shooter, and sat out the second half of last year while suspended. None of these options supplies the strength or speed to match some of Williams’s previous options, like Raymond Felton or Ty Lawson. The coach, who loves to run to pressure opponents offensively, vows to maintain a breathless tempo. But without a dominating point guard at the controls, team speed and aggressive outlet passing may become the order of the day. Clearly, given their retooling, neither UNC nor Duke is apt to be a juggernaut. That leaves plenty of room for a crowd of challengers likely to include the majority of the league. “I think it will be highly competitive, obviously,” said Clemson coach Oliver Purnell. “It may be as entertaining as it’s been the last five or six years.” Experience tells us that Al Skinner’s veteran Eagles are likely to be in the mix. “Don’t ever try to figure out those guys,” Georgia Tech’s Hewitt said admiringly. “They’re going to be there.” BC returns four starters and eight upperclassmen from a 22-victory team. Joe Trapani and Corey Raji are keys up

Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Opponents


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The Kids Are Alright front, as are Reggie Jackson and Biko Paris in the backcourt. Paris, the understudy point guard for the past two years, won’t replace Tyrese Rice’s 16.9 points per game, not with a career 31% three-point accuracy. But Paris may be his match as a playmaker, with almost two assists for every turnover in ’09. Even without Rice, a four-year starter, the squad’s overall seasoning should help BC execute its distinctive, tightlypacked flex offense. “I don’t think we’ll have a problem scoring points,” Skinner said. “The question is if we’ll defend well enough.” This year’s Eagles include no freshmen, an absence Skinner, a selective and low-key recruiter, insisted was by design, not happenstance. Like Virginia Tech’s Seth Greenberg and Maryland’s Gary Williams, he usually finds players at the edges of the recruiting turf dominated by higher-profile programs. But unlike Greenberg, who laments having to compete in the ACC without McDonald’s All-Americans, or Williams, who insists his recruits are underrated, Skinner merely shrugs and moves on. “That’s high school reputation, that’s not a college reputation,” he said of recruiting accolades. “Once you get to college, that’s history. College is a different game.” Playing that game differently has become a sore point lately for Clemson, despite the first run of three straight 20-win seasons in school history. The Tigers tend to start strong—12–1 in 2007–08 and 16–0 in 2008–09—only to subside at year’s end, including consecutive first-round NCAA exits. Critics suggest Purnell’s full-court pressure defense drains the team’s energy, an assertion he emphatically rejects. “There’s just a lot of people that don’t like the press,” he said. “It’s an easy argument to present.” He doesn’t plan to change his approach. Easing the task is what the coach called “the best recruiting class in the history of the school.” The prize catch is rangy, 6'9" Milton Jennings, Clemson’s first McDonald’s AllAmerican since Sharone Wright in 1991 and a highly-skilled offensive performer. The freshman from South Carolina is athletically suited to play at the top of Purnell’s zone press, and can score inside and out. “He shoots the living crap out of it,” said an ACC assistant coach. Also in the class are defensive-minded guard Donte Hill and a pair of promising frontcourt players, wing forward Noel Johnson and post presence Devin Booker, a younger version of Trevor, his burly brother. (For those counting, that’s three brother combos in the league: the Bookers, Duke’s Plumlees, and UNC’s Ware twins.) The elder Booker, an All-ACC performer, paced the league last year in rebounding (9.7) and is the conference’s number five returning scorer (15.3). “He arguably is the preseason Player of the Year,” Purnell suggested.

Clemson lost considerable perimeter punch with the departure of guards K.C. Rivers, its second-best scorer, and bombardier Terrence Oglesby, gone to play pro ball in Europe. Fortunately, among six returning regulars are point guard Demontez Stitt, 5'9" playmaker Andre Young, and wings David Potter and Tanner Smith. The trio of Young, Potter, and Smith combined to hit 37.4% of their threepointers last year. “Every year we’ve gotten better,” said Purnell, offering a first-place ACC finish as a “realistic” aim in 2010. “That’s one of my major goals, to be better this year. That would be six years in a row.” Florida State likewise has high hopes despite losing two of its top three scorers, including All-ACC guard Toney Douglas. Last season raised the bar in Leonard Hamilton’s seventh year running the program. FSU reached the ACC Tournament finals, a first since joining the league in 1992. The team enjoyed a fourth-place finish during the ACC regular season, its best since 1993, handed UNC its final defeat of the season in the ACC Tournament semifinals, and made the school’s first NCAA visit since 1998. The breakout season, long predicted but rarely approached, won Hamilton recognition as ACC Coach of the Year. This season the offense is in the able hands of point guard Derwin Kitchen, a 23-year-old junior. The backcourt

Trevor Booker has become a powerful inside force for Clemson. Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 73


possesses depth and experience but lacks shooting acumen and steady ballhandling. (Last year FSU averaged almost four more turnovers than assists per game, although that improved in ACC play.) Obviously, the team’s strength lies elsewhere. “I think Florida State has a real nice frontline,” said BC’s Skinner, surveying a pair of explosive wings, Chris Singleton and freshman Michael Snaer, arrayed alongside Solomon Alabi, a revelation at center. Alabi took up basketball around age 16 at an NBAsponsored camp in Nigeria. Last season, his first playing college ball, the agile redshirt improved steadily, emerging as that most precious commodity, a quality 7'1" player with a low-post focus. Despite playing only 22.3 minutes per game, Alabi led the ACC in blocked shots (2.1 per game). The elegant big man also led FSU in rebound average (5.6) and field goal accuracy (54.0%). His offense improved as the year progressed—five double-figure scoring efforts in his first 18 games, nine in the final 17—and will continue to advance as he adds muscle. There’s a good chance Alabi and UNC’s Davis will head to the pros after this season, so enjoy them while you can. A similar watch will be posted at Georgia Tech, the rare ACC program outside the state of North Carolina with three

Florida State’s Solomon Alabi (32) is widely considered one of the nation’s most promising big men and a potential future NBA lottery pick. 74 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

potential first-round picks, all McDonald’s All-Americans. Junior forward Gani Lawal led the ACC last year in offensive rebounding (3.6 per game), and was second in total rebounding (9.5) and official field-goal accuracy (55.6%). The Yellow Jackets’ best returning scorer (15.1) flirted with the 2009 NBA Draft but returned to anchor a big, aggressive, athletic frontcourt. The newest addition to that array is forward Derrick Favors, widely considered the best freshman entering college. “He’s very talented,” Hewitt said of the 6'10" force. “He keeps it very simple. He rebounds, he runs the floor.” Then there’s sophomore guard Iman Shumpert, the team’s number two returning scorer. He shot poorly and struggled to play point, yet still ranked among league leaders in steals and assists. Injuries, academic woes, inexperienced leadership, bad foul shooting (a league-worst 63.0% as a team), more turnovers than assists, and repeated failures in the clutch doomed the Jackets to a 12–19 record, the most losses at the school since 1981. “Anything I can say is just an excuse,” offered the much maligned Hewitt, third in ACC coaching tenure with ten years in Atlanta. Georgia Tech’s 2010 roster—all Hewitt recruits, incidentally—brims with talented options. The best of the returning regulars are forward Gani Lawal, point Mo Miller, and ace defender D’Andre Bell, who missed last year recovering from neck surgery. There are six freshmen; besides Favors, perhaps the most important are fierce playmaker Mfon Udofia and guards Glen Rice Jr. and Brian Oliver. Surveying that contingent, BC’s Skinner conceded easily, “Georgia Tech’s got a chance to be pretty good.” The same could be said for Maryland, where Gary Williams’s recruiting is subject to regular criticism despite 13 NCAA appearances in the last 16 years and 13 consecutive seasons with at least 19 wins. Dissatisfaction was palpable when the Terrapins struggled last year, especially in ACC play, and barely secured an NCAA bid. Typically, Williams reacted by embracing a put-upon posture to rally his club. “The players had my back and I had their back,” he said. Circling the wagons may be unnecessary (if inevitable) this season. There is uncommon strength on the perimeter, where every starter returns. For balance, freshman forwards James Padgett, a strong rebounder, and Jordan Williams, an offensive presence with good hands, add needed bulk and skill inside. The Terps perennially stress the pass as a weapon. With Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes, Adrian Bowie, and Sean Mosley, the 2009–10 unit should be able to attack with the ball and extend its defense. The occasionally intemperate Vasquez remains the star of the show: last year he ranked among league leaders in scoring (17.5 points per game), free throw percentage (86.7%), assists (5.0), and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8:1).

Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Opponents


The Kids Are Alright

Photo: G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images

Maryland’s Greivis Vasquez lets his finger do the talking in the NCAA Tournament. “Greivis’s strength is as a five-on-five player,” observed a protective Williams. “It’s not one-on-one. It’s playing the game of basketball.” Playing the game well, and without the high-profile recruits common in other programs, is par for the course at Virginia Tech too. Last year was the third straight in which the Hokies won at least 19 games, their best run since the mid-’90s. A late fade scuttled any NCAA hopes. “I think we’ve got pieces,” coach Seth Greenberg said. “They’re going to have to fit together.” Gone is A.D. Vassallo, last season’s leading scorer and a constant offensive threat. But the Hokies return six regulars, augmented by the usual low-profile recruiting class. The newcomers are forwards Manny Atkins and Cadarian Raines, shooter Ben Boggs, and Erick Green, a capable point guard. Virginia Tech is one of the few ACC clubs that enters the season with a veteran pair of potential All-ACC players, one inside and one out. Forward Jeff Allen can score and rebound against anyone, but needs to be more consistent. Malcolm Delaney is the ACC’s top returning scorer (18.1) and free-throw shooter (86.9%). He led the league in minutes per game in 2009 (36.9). Like Jamon Gordon and Zabian Dowdell before him, he is what Greenberg calls a “ball guard” more than a pure point. “We’ve got a chance to be a good basketball team,” Greenberg said. “We’ve got to find two [more] scorers. We’ve got to get back our defensive mindset.”

A distracted mindset proved deadly last season for Wake Forest. The ’09 Demon Deacons boasted three budding stars, exquisite riches in Winston-Salem: guard Jeff Teague, and forwards Al-Farouq Aminu and James Johnson. The squad was athletic, aggressive at both ends, focused, and entertaining. The Deacs got to #1 in the polls for a week, a rarity at the school, only to sputter and stumble in the face of a “huge, huge distraction” caused by NBA suitors, according to coach Dino Gaudio. “If I told you some of the stories, you would shudder,” Gaudio said. “I really believe it distracted our team at a critical time.” Wake lost its openers in both the ACC and NCAA tournaments, then saw its chance for redemption vanish as Johnson and Teague turned pro. Now the Deacs are regrouping, led by Aminu, the squad’s best returning scorer (12.9) and rebounder (8.2), and senior playmaker Ish Smith, mercurial in movement and method. Three other regulars are back, none models of consistent performance. Acclaimed big man Ty Walker may finally show what he can do at the low post. He declined to be redshirted and played just 42 minutes as a freshman. He’ll compete with Chas McFarland, defensive ace David Weaver, and classmate Tony Woods for time inside. Freshman forward Ari Stewart should leaven the frontcourt mix, replacing some of Johnson’s athleticism and scoring. A key concern remains outside shooting; Wake hit 32% of its threes last year, its second consecutive below-break even effort. Junior college guard Konner Tucker and senior L.D. Williams are expected to address that deficiency. A lingering sense of opportunity squandered might be tougher to overcome. The same could be said for Miami, which faltered badly in the ACC Tournament on the threshold of securing a second consecutive NCAA berth. Now the Hurricanes replace four seniors, three of them starters. Easily the biggest loss was guard Jack McClinton, who paced the Canes in scoring and made All-ACC the past two years. Lance Hurdle virtually matched McClinton for team leadership in assists in each of those seasons. He’s gone too. Accomplished players remain, from ace rebounder Dwane Collins (a team-high 7.3 per game) to all-purpose guard James Dews, both seniors, to unpolished wing forward DeQuan Jones. None has previously shouldered a leadership role, however, a concern on a squad dominated by underclassmen. The Canes brought in five new players, including their likely point guard, Malcolm Grant. He sat out last season after transferring from Villanova. “He could easily be McClinton’s replacement as a scoring-oriented combo guard,” said Brick Oettinger of ACC Sports Journal. The freshmen boast Miami’s signature athleticism, with the most

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John Scheyer, Kyle Singler, and company have some losses to overcome in 2009–10. immediately promising being 6'3" Durand Scott, a versatile New Yorker known as an all-court competitor. NC State’s comparably large recruiting class is unfortunately heavier on frontcourt players than intended. Wing guard Lorenzo Brown, the Wolfpack’s top prospect and a likely contributor at both backcourt spots, failed to qualify at the last minute and went to prep school instead. Still, any help is welcome when trying to escape the league’s nether regions, where the Pack parked during Sidney Lowe’s first three seasons as head coach. “My fourth year is kind of like a lot of times coaches get in their second year, where you’re able to bring in a big class,” Lowe said. “It seems now we’re starting to get some of the top players, and it’s going to continue to be that way.” Replacing big men Brandon Costner and Ben McCauley, and wing Courtney Fells, who combined for nearly half of the team’s points and rebounds last season, won’t be easy. On the other hand, Lowe now has a roster that’s comprised almost exclusively of players he recruited, and he’s excited about a new, improved attitude and more talent. Tracy Smith, a 6'8" junior, will doubtless be the go-to guy in the low post. A powerful presence and adept scorer, he must learn to handle double-teams and make better use of his numerous free-throw opportunities (career 59.7% free-throw shooter) if he’s to be the All-ACC caliber player his coach envisions. He and senior Dennis Horner will be joined up front by a pair of well-regarded freshmen, 6'9" DeShawn Painter and hard-charging, physical 6'7" Richard Howell. Wings Johnny Thomas and C.J. Williams showed promise in their 2009 debuts, and Scott Wood, a 6'6" freshman from Indiana, should augment the perimeter scoring. There are three point guards with experience, a rarity in the ACC.

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The returning starter, Javier Gonzalez, has gone through hell to become a serviceable playmaker, but will battle for time with Julius Mays and often-injured Farnold Degand. “We are a young team,” Lowe said of a squad thick with underclassmen. “You’ve got to look—obviously winning is the most important thing—but you’ve got to look for progress. You’ve got to look for development. And you know, sometimes that can translate into wins.” The elusive nature of victory, and the need for patience, won’t be news at Virginia, where the tenure of intimidator Dave Leitao unraveled in a desultory, ten-win effort in his fourth and final season. The new coach, genial Tony Bennett, prospered for the past three years at Washington State. The Cougars won 26 games in each of his first two seasons, and in 2007 Bennett was National Coach of the Year. His teams were known for hardnosed, position defense, which augmented a low-risk offense. “You watch the NBA and college basketball, the good teams, you just don’t advance if you aren’t really rock solid defensively and bordering on special,” Bennett said, echoing most traditional coaches. The approach used to be standard operating procedure at UVA; over nearly a quarter-century a similar philosophy yielded 14 NCAA appearances and two Final Four visits, along with two NIT championships, between 1975 and 1998. There have been two NCAA trips and three ACC Tournament wins in the 11 years since. “They’ve had success here, Virginia has, under Terry Holland and Jeff Jones being very solid in the half-court defensively and sound offensively,” Bennett said. But the former shooting guard at Wisconsin-Green Bay and with the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets (1992–95) knows the style might not seem attractive to youngsters and media types. So he hastens to add that up-tempo offense suits him when appropriate to situation and personnel. But the squad Bennett inherited, while returning eight of its top nine scorers, has but a single first-order ACC talent. Sylven Landesberg led all league freshmen in scoring last season (16.6) and was 2009 ACC Rookie of the Year. Freshman wing forward Tristan Spurlock may be a player of comparable caliber. Whatever the roster’s limitations, Bennett has proven he can adjust. “Where I’ve been, we’ve always had to do more with less,” he said. “We haven’t been able to have the top, top talent in our league, so we had to figure out ways to get it going.” MSP

Barry Jacobs has covered the ACC since 1976 for a wide variety of national and regional publications, as well as a number of web sites. Currently, his work appears on wral.com, DukeBasketballReport.com, and TarHeelDaily.com. He lives near Hillsborough, NC, with his wife Robin, five cats, and two dogs.

Photo: Steve Dykes/Getty Images

The Opponents


I Got Next! Duke’s Non-conference Opponents by Carl Heimel

D

uke’s out-of-conference schedule takes on a familiar look this season with a number of mid-major schools sandwiching some bigger names. The highlights are a potential NIT Season Tip-off game against Connecticut and road games against Wisconsin and Georgetown. But there are other interesting games, including a contest with a St. John’s team that should be ready for their best season under Norm Roberts, a Garden rumble with a rebuilding Gonzaga, and a contest with Tulsa as they attempt to replace Memphis as the face of Conference USA. (All times subject to change.)

Season Opener UNC Greensboro Last Season: 5–25 (4–16 Southern Conference) Friday, November 13, 7:00 p.m., @ Durham The good news for UNCG coach Mike Dement is that he returns everyone from last year’s squad. But last year’s squad posted the most losses in the school’s basketball history. If Dement is going to turn things around this year he’s going to need more offense out of a team that shot just 40% and averaged a paltry 63 points per game. The Spartans have a number of veterans to build around including seniors Mikko Koivisto and Ben Stywall, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, respectively, last year. The 6'4" Koivisto is the team’s most dangerous outside threat, while Stywall is a 6'5" forward who has improved each year and has a nice midrange game. Stywall will be joined in the frontcourt by 6'7" Damian Eargle, who is coming off a solid freshman season where he averaged 9.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. He was also the team’s leading shot-blocker. Help in the pivot may come from freshman Brian Cole, a 6'9" big man out of Georgia who has a nice inside game and can shoot from the outside as

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Clemson and Auburn, now finds himself coaching basketball at Coastal Carolina with two losing seasons thus far. The best news in the offseason was that big man Joseph Harris returned for a redshirt senior season. The big challenge for Ellis will be replacing point Mario Sisinni. The team dropped six of their last seven games after he suffered a season-ending injury. Ellis will look to a freshman—Danny Nieman, Tre Lee, or Kierre Greenwood—to help fill that spot. Coastal Carolina was also hurt when Anthony Breeze transferred. Redshirt freshman Sam McLaurin and true freshman Chris Evans will compete for minutes. Center Jon Pack moved into the lineup after Sisinni’s injury but didn’t perform very well. He’ll be pushed by redshirt freshman Marcus Macellari. Outlook: Coastal Carolina will give Duke their first tall challenge, surrounding Harris with a number of larger players. But outside of Harris, the rest of the frontcourt is

All-time UNC-G great Kyle Hines departed in 2008 after a remarkable career and Greensboro fell to 5–25 without him. well. He’ll battle for minutes with senior Pete Brown, who is just 6'6" but physical. The backcourt minutes will be split between 5'10" junior Daniel Oliver and 6'3" senior Kendall Toney. Oliver is a distributor with questionable judgment while Toney is a scorer. They’ll be pushed by freshman Kyle Randall. Outlook: Dement should see improvement thanks to more experience and a recruiting class that fills some of the holes on the team, but not enough to be competitive against Duke.

Probable NIT Season Tip-off Opponents (* indicates opponent could change based on tournament results)

Coastal Carolina Last Season: 11–20 (5–13 Big South) Monday, November 16, 7:00 p.m., @ Durham There must be moments when Cliff Ellis wakes up and asks himself, “Where am I?” Ellis, who had significant success at

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Like former ACC colleague Bobby Cremins, Cliff Ellis still had an itch for the game and returned to the Big South.

Photo on previous page: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images Sport  Top-left photo this page: Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images  Bottom-right photo this page: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images Sport

The Opponents


I Got Next! unproven and uncertain. Harris could play at a lot of schools but it’s unlikely he’ll be able to keep his team in the game.

University of Charlotte* Last Season: 11–20 (5–11 Atlantic 10) Tuesday, November 17, 6:00 p.m., @ Durham Charlotte struggled through a frustrating season in 2009. The 49ers had some talent and played well in spurts but ended up with a disappointing record. Along the way Charlotte nearly upset Clemson, and did defeat Mississippi State and a ranked Xavier squad. Things should be better this season despite losing both their leading scorer and rebounder. Bobby Lutz has brought in some quality recruits and a talented transfer who should be familiar to Duke fans. Junior Shamari Spears transferred to Charlotte after spending his first two seasons in the ACC with Boston College. The burly, 6'6" forward averaged almost 10 points per game for BC in his sophomore season and scored 12 points against Duke as a freshman. At 240 pounds he’s a load for most small forwards and is more agile than most power forwards. Senior center Phil Jones (6'10", 260 pounds) will be pushed by freshman big man Chris Braswell. There’s more optimism with the frontcourt recruits as Turk Gokhan Sirin is a smooth-shooting big man and K.J. Sherrill brings athleticism. Add 6'6" sophomore An’Juan Wilderness into the mix and you have a frontline with real potential. The backcourt is anchored by senior DiJuan Harris, a speedy point guard who led the A-10 in assists last year. The other backcourt starter should be 6'4" senior Ian Anderson, a solid outside shooter. Outlook: The 49ers will offer up the strongest frontline Duke will have faced to that point in the season. The game has the potential to make Duke fans uncomfortable a la Rhode Island.

Harden leaves the greater void and won’t be easily replaced. Sendek will start Derek Glasser and Rihards Kuksiks. A 6'1" senior, Glasser is unlikely to beat many defenders off the dribble but he’s a steady point guard. Without Harden around, ASU hopes he’ll get the ball to forward Kuksiks. The team’s third returning starter is Ty Abbot, a 6'3" junior shooting guard, but he’ll have some serious competition from the new guys. Trent Lockett is a gifted athlete who would have been more highly rated were he not slowed by a knee injury in high school. He’s primarily a shooting guard and could fit in well with Glasser and Kuksiks. Fellow freshman Victor Rudd brings some athleticism. Replacing Pendergraph won’t be easy. Senior Eric Boateng, a Duke transfer, has failed to improve much in two seasons with ASU. He’ll be pushed by freshman Ruslan Pateev. Outlook: Of all the top seeds in the regional brackets, ASU may be the most upset-prone. Without a proven scorer on the team, Sendek may adopt the slower paced offense that

Arizona State*

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Last Season: 25–10 (11–7 Pac-10) Wednesday, November 25, 7:00 or 9:00 p.m., @ New York, NY If the Blue Devils make it to Manhattan for the NIT Season Tip-off semifinals, they’ll likely run up against a team with another familiar face… or two. The Sun Devils are coached Herb Sendek, formerly of NC State. Further down the bench you’ll find former Blue Devil Eric Boateng. If Sendek looks more troubled than last season, it’s because he no longer has James Harden and Jeff Pendergraph. While Pendergraph capped a solid four-year career in Tempe,

UConn senior Stanley Robinson has the potential to be a dominant player but he hasn’t gotten there yet. Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 79


The Opponents

UConn* Last Season: 31–5 (15–3 Big East) Friday, November 27, 5:00 p.m., @ New York, NY Duke and UConn have played some great games in recent years, with the last three contests being settled by just nine points. This year could be similar if UConn can find some scoring. The Huskies will build around guards Jerome Dyson and Kemba Walker. Both are adept combo guards and share responsibility at the point guard spot manned last year by A.J. Price. The 6'1" sophomore Walker is quick and tough while Dyson, a 6'4" senior, is the better shooter. Dyson had surgery last February and may not be ready. Without him, Calhoun will rely on freshmen Jamal CoombsMcDaniel and Darius Smith. Coombs-McDaniel should get the starting nod at small forward. Stanley Robinson, a talented senior who has had an up-and-down career for the Huskies, should also start.

Calhoun has always had quality big men to anchor his squad and this year it will be freshman Alex Oriakhi, who has a game somewhat like that of former Blue Devil Elton Brand. Outlook: The Huskies will be much different in March, when forward Ater Majok is eligible, than they will be in December. Without Majok, Calhoun will likely use Oriakhi at center and Robinson at power forward. Several guys will battle for the final position, but the Huskies will have to rely on their inside game since only Dyson is a consistent outside threat. UConn’s quick backcourt could be tough for Duke, but overall the Devils are more experienced and balanced.

Regular Season Radford Last Season: 21–12 (15–3 Big South) Saturday, November 21, 7:00 p.m., @ Durham After a 10–20 mark in his first season, Brad Greenberg guided the Highlanders to an impressive 21–12 record and an NCAA Tournament appearance last season. Success should continue

Herb Sendek’s NC State teams were usually very competitive with Duke’s. Now at Arizona State, he could get another crack at the Devils, this time in Madison Square Garden. 80 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

Photo: Harr y How/Staff Getty Images

so frustrated State fans. If they make it to the Garden they should provide a favorable matchup for Duke.


I Got Next! as the team returns its most productive player as well as some other top performers. Artsiom Parakhouski (6'11", 260) was an unstoppable force on most nights in Big South play. He’s joined up front by 6'8", 221-pound senior Joey Lynch-Flohr and 6'8", 225-pound junior Lazar Trifunovic, a Binghamton transfer. The backcourt looks steady with 5'9" senior Amir Johnson returning at the point. Greenburg will have to replace guard Kenny Thomas, and it looks like 6'5" Chris McEachin should get the nod. Outlook: Radford is huge, but the Highlanders struggled against better competition. They will have a great season in the Big South but a rough night in Cameron.

Wisconsin Last Season: 20–13 (10–8 Big Ten) Wednesday, December 2, 9:15 p.m., @ Madison, WI

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Duke’s opponent in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge this year will be Wisconsin, a team the Blue Devils pounded in the same event back in 2007–08. Coach Bo Ryan has turned Wisconsin into a consistent winner in the Big Ten but this season might be a bit tougher. He can build around Trévon Hughes, a quick, 6'0" senior who has started at the point for the last two seasons. Helping him will be another senior, Jason Bohannon, the team’s best outside threat. Backcourt depth will be a concern as the Badgers will have to rely on freshmen. Look for redshirt rookie Ryan Evans to see playing time. Up front is where Wisconsin basketball forms its bruising personality and it’s no different this year with junior Jon Leuer coming in at 6'10" and 230 pounds. He’ll be joined by 6'8", 245-pound junior Keaton Nankivil. The experience of Nankivil and Leuer gives Ryan plenty of options in the frontcourt. He can go with an enormous team and combine those two players with redshirt freshman Jared Berggren, or a more traditional sized team with 6'6" swingman Tim Jarmusz. Much of that decision will depend on Berggren’s development. Outlook: Duke faces its first road game of the season when the Devils travel to Madison to face the Ryan formula: one fast point guard with a number of big, strong post players who like to shoot from the outside. Add in an athletic wing and demand they all play tremendous defense. Duke will need to contain Hughes if they want to pull out a tough road win.

St. John’s Last Season: 16–18 (6–12 Big East) Saturday, December 5, 3:30 p.m., @ Durham Give St. John’s credit for patience. Coach Norm Roberts heads into his sixth season with just one winning campaign

Wisconsin has become a consistent power in the Big Ten thanks to players such as Trevon Hughes. on the books—a 16–15 record in 2005–06. That patience may be about to pay off as the Red Storm returns just about everybody from last year’s team. Even better was the news from the NCAA that Anthony Mason, Jr. would be granted an additional year of eligibility after a foot injury shelved him for all but three games last year. With Mason, Jr.’s return, the Johnnies have six players with extensive starting experience. Mason, Jr.’s injury opened the door for Paris Horne to start and he responded by leading the team in scoring. Combining Horne with the 6'7" Mason, Jr. gives St. John’s a pair of athletic wings who are solid outside shooters but much more comfortable attacking the basket. Diminutive, 5'9" point guard Malik Boothe did a nice job in his first year running the team, although he could cut down on turnovers. The starting lineup will be rounded out by Justin Burrell (6'8", 235) and Sean Evans (6'8", 256). Burrell

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The Opponents attacks the rim at every opportunity and is an intimidating defender. The Johnnies will have impressive depth at just about every position. D.J. Kennedy was the second leading scorer on the team last year but may go to a sixth-man role with the return of Mason, Jr. Sophomore Quincy Roberts (6'5"), who saw nearly 20 minutes a game last season, and 6'6" Rob Thomas give the team another pair of experienced and athletic wing players. Outlook: St. John’s roster is filled with guys who are great athletes but questionable outside shooters. Roberts may elect to go up tempo to take advantage of his depth and athleticism, and to hide those shooting woes. In any event, look for this game to be more competitive than the last several in the series.

Gardner-Webb Last Season: 13–17 (9–9 Big South) Tuesday, December 15, 7:00 p.m., @ Durham

Gonzaga Last Season: 28–6 (14–0 West Coast Conference) Saturday, December 19, 4:00 p.m., @ New York, NY Gonzaga has gone from everybody’s underdog darling to settling into what they actually are: a very solid program built

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St. John’s Paris Horne is a rugged defender, which suits coach Norm Roberts just fine. by two great coaches. Dan Monson took the base that Dan Fitzgerald built and guided the team into the limelight that seemed like it would be hard to sustain when he left. Instead, Mark Few has taken the program to even higher levels, but he has a tough job ahead of him if he wants to keep this year’s team there. The Bulldogs return just one out of their top five players, leaving just Matt Bouldin and Steven Gray with any real experience. The 6'5" senior Bouldin was the team’s second leading scorer last season and is a dangerous outside shooter from the guard position. Gray (6'5") may be asked to take over the point after Jeremy Pargo’s graduation last year. The other candidate is freshman G.J. Vilarino who originally committed to Kentucky under Billy Gillispie. While the backcourt appears set, the frontcourt positions are less defined. Robert Sacre, a 7'0", 250-pound center missed most of last year with a stress fracture in his foot. If he’s healthy he’ll compete with incoming freshman Sam

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Two years ago, few fans knew about Gardner-Webb. But after one night in November many fans around the country knew, most people in Kentucky sure knew, and Billy Gillespie knew he was in trouble. Last year didn’t produce any stunning upsets but the Runnin’ Bulldogs kept coming. They lost by three to Virginia Tech and four to Oklahoma. Coach Rick Scruggs has some rebuilding to do but he has the point guard and center positions filled with a pair of seniors. Grayson Flittner led last year’s team in scoring and assists and 6'8" Auryn MacMillan was second on the squad in rebounding. They’ll team with fellow returning starter Jonathan Moore (6'4", junior) to challenge Radford in the Big South. The question for the Bulldogs is who else starts. Joshua Henley (6'4") started a number of games last year as a freshman and averaged almost seven points a game while leading the team in rebounds. C.J. Hailey (6'0", senior) and Anton Silver (6'2", senior) both saw extensive minutes last year and either could start. Outlook: It’s not 2007, the game won’t be in Kentucky, and Coach K is no Billy Gillespie. All that is bad news for Gardner-Webb when they travel to Cameron. But then again, the folks in Oklahoma and Virginia Tech likely thought the same thing last year and it almost cost them.


I Got Next!

Photo: Brian Bahr/Getty Imagesa

Dower, and the enormous Will Foster, who at 7'5" and 275 pounds may have his own gravitational field. One of the biggest losses for the Zags was when sophomore Austin Daye decided to enter the NBA Draft. Daye was a versatile big man with perimeter skills and the ability to score inside despite his lean frame. To make up for that loss, Few has turned to Canada where he found Kelly Olynyk, who possesses many of the same skills and may end up starting at the power forward spot from his first day on campus. He’ll end up competing with Andy Poling, a redshirt freshman who missed last year as doctors struggled to diagnose a food intolerance which caused him to lose weight and strength. Mangisto Arop could be the best player in the recruiting class and may end up starting at one of the wing spots. He’s an athlete who will complement the shooting from Bouldin and Gray by attacking the basket. Outlook: The Zags may take a few lumps early on as there will be a lot of new guys learning new roles, but eventually this will be a solid team that can play with everyone. Fortunately, Duke catches them early in the season and in one of the most famous arenas in the country—neither of which is going to be helpful to Few’s young squad.

Long Beach State Last Season: 15–15 (10–6 Big West) Tuesday, December 29, 7:00 p.m., @ Durham Dan Monson enters his third season at Long Beach, and has a stellar group he brought in last year. T.J. Robinson, Casper Ware, and Larry Anderson helped Monson build on a losing season in his first year at Long Beach with last year’s .500 record. Anderson (6'6") is aggressive with the ball and has developed into a respectable shooter. His selection as Big West Freshman of the Year may have seemed curious to his teammate Robinson, who actually averaged better numbers in fewer minutes playing mainly down low. The one area where the picture isn’t as clear is at center where Monson must replace 6'10" Brian Freeman. At 7'0" and 255 pounds, Andrew Fleming has the size but he didn’t produce much last year. He’ll compete with Mike Vantrimpont, a 7'0", 225-pound freshman who redshirted last season to gain strength and weight. Point guard Casper Ware, a 5'9" speedster, makes up for his inconsistent outside shot by getting into the lane and creating. The fourth returning starter for Monson is senior Stephan Gilling, a 6'2" guard who brings an outside scoring

Dan Monson, here arguing a call in 2006 when he coached at Minnesota, has a much tougher job at Long Beach State. Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 83


The Opponents

punch. Eugene Phelps (6'6") should provide depth at the wing after playing 14 minutes a game last year. Outlook: Clearly Monson has this team going in the right direction and his sophomores should form a core that will turn Long Beach into a tournament team soon. But the 49ers still have big questions inside. As their 24-point loss at Syracuse last year shows, they may still be not be ready to take a road game from a top-tier program.

Pennsylvania Last Season: 10–18 (6–8 Ivy League) Thursday, December 31, 6:00 p.m., @ Durham Coach Glen Miller swings into his fourth year at Penn after posting the best first-year record of any Quaker coach since former Duke assistant Chuck Daly’s first season at the school. Unfortunately for Miller, the music has hit a sour note since, as the team has gone from 22 wins in his first year to 13 the next to just 10 wins last year.

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The Quakers may not have been as bad as their record indicated in 2008–09, however. They stayed within 15 of National Champion UNC. They lost to NIT Champion Penn State by 12. And they played Villanova closer than Duke did, “only” losing by 22 points. Penn offers Tyler Bernardini, a 6'6" wing player who led the team in scoring and was second in assists behind fellow returning starter Zack Rosen, a 6'1" guard who averaged five dimes a game. Beyond Rosen there are no clear favorites to earn the other backcourt spot. Penn desperately needs senior Darren Smith to get back to his freshman form after missing the last two years with a fractured kneecap. The other returning starter is Jack Eggleston, a 6'8" junior who may have to play the post. Sophomore Rob Belcore (6'6") will push for playing time, as will incoming freshman Brian Fitzpatrick who has size and a nice shooting touch. Outlook: Penn could see marginal improvement this year with three out of their top four players returning. Lots of

Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images Sport

Get it! Iowa State’s Keiton Page can’t catch this ball, but the Cyclones are hoping to catch Duke when they play this season.


I Got Next! strange things could happen, but the Blue Devils would have to start their celebration very early in order to lose this New Year’s Eve game.

Iowa State Last Season: 15–17 (4–12 Big 12) Wednesday, January 6, 10 p.m., @ Chicago, IL It’s probably mere coincidence that Duke is playing Iowa State in a year where the top high school recruit in the nation hails from Ames, IA. Either way, when Duke faces off against Iowa State in Chicago’s United Center there’s a pretty good chance that top recruiting target Harrison Barnes will be somewhere in the crowd, and if he is he may see a pretty good game. That’s because the Cyclones return just about every significant player from last year’s squad, including 6'10" junior forward Craig Brackins. Brackins will be counted on to lead Greg McDermott’s squad back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time

since 2005. He is as comfortable shooting the ball from the outside as he is working with his back to the basket. The first-team All-Big 12 performer will be joined up front by Justin Hamilton, a 6'11" sophomore who started frequently last year. Hamilton will be pushed for playing time by 6'11" senior Jamie Vanderbeken. The Cyclones will likely use a three-guard lineup, starting with returning point guard Diante Garrett who was third in the Big 12 in assists last year. Garrett can be a little loose with the ball and isn’t a particularly adept outside shooter. Iowa State can get some points from the perimeter from 6'5" junior Lucca Staiger who shot 38.5% from behind the arc last year. He’s a spot up shooter who doesn’t handle the ball terribly well. The final spot in the starting lineup is up for grabs with several players, including Carlos Boozer’s little brother Charles, in the running for the position. Unlike his 6'9" brother, Charles is 6'3" and averaged a modest 2.5 points per game last season. He’ll have to beat out JuCo transfer Marquis Gilstrap, who comes to Ames after leading Gulf Coast Community College in points, rebounds, and threepoint percentage. Outlook: Craig Brackins may be the most talented frontcourt player that Duke faces all season. Brackins and Garrett give the Cyclones a nice base, and Iowa State’s season will hinge on how well the other players can support those two. The Blue Devils should have the depth and balance to overcome Iowa State but Brackins is the kind of player who can get on a roll and make things tense.

Georgetown

Photo: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images Sport

Last Season: 16–15 (7–11 Big East) Saturday, January 30, 1:00 p.m., @ Washington, DC

Georgetown’s Greg Monroe, who was heavily recruited by Duke, has the potential to be an NBA All-Star.

Last season was a tough one for John Thompson III and his Hoya squad. After leading Georgetown back to three straight NCAA Tournament berths, including a return to the Final Four, Thompson’s squad struggled to a 16–15 mark with a losing record in the rugged Big East. Georgetown should fare better this season thanks to Big East Rookie of the Year Greg Monroe’s decision to return for his sophomore campaign. Monroe can score and rebound, but he’s also an adept passer who signed with Georgetown hoping to fill the same type of role as former Hoya Jeff Green. The Hoyas can also count on point guard Chris Wright who more than doubled his scoring as a sophomore. Wright is quick with a nice touch from outside. Starting alongside Wright will be 6'4" junior Austin Freeman who makes up for his modest shooting by working well within Thompson’s deliberate offense. Jason Clark who had a solid freshman season

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The Opponents and the 6'2" guard will provide depth at both backcourt spots. The forward spots appear to be up for grabs with freshman Hollis Thompson among the favorites to earning playing time. Thompson is a streaky outside shooter who plays an unselfish game that will mesh well with Thompson’s system. Nikita Mescheriakov, a 6'8" junior and reputedly a good shot despite shooting 26.2% from behind the line, started several games for the Hoyas last year. Thompson would like it if Henry Sims or Julian Vaughn could contribute in the frontcourt after both saw limited action last year. Sims is a 6'10" sophomore whose defense is more advanced than his offense, while the rap on Vaughn has always been that he should play more inside than out. Outlook: With a solid core, the Hoyas should fare better in a weaker Big East. The departure of DaJuan Summers makes Monroe the focus of the offense. Georgetown will be improved and the home court could be enough to tip the balance to the Hoyas.

Tulsa Last Season: 25–11 (12–4 Conference USA) Thursday, February 25, 7:00 p.m., @ Durham

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Tulsa’s Jerome Jordan is a massive and talented presence in the post. Wheatley (6'6", 220), sophomore Stephen Idlet (6'10", 240), and sophomore Joe Richard (6'7", 235) all of whom saw ample time last year but didn’t produce much. Tulsa needs one of those guys to step up and provide rebounding and defense as Wojcik will likely use a three-guard lineup to take advantage of Tulsa’s depth in the backcourt. That starts with senior Ben Uzoh who was Tulsa’s leading scorer the last two seasons. The 6'3" point guard will be joined by juniors Justin Hurtt (6'4") and Glenn Andrews (6'2"). Hurtt is the team’s primary outside threat and Andrews had his moments last year, notably against Memphis and UAB in the C-USA Tournament. Outlook: Tulsa’s late-February trip to Cameron could be a marquee game, since by then the Golden Hurricane should have rolled through much of their Conference USA schedule and posted a great record. The question for Wojcik and his squad is if that level of success will translate better against non-conference foes this season. MSP Carl Heimel is a freelance writer and a contributor to DukeBasketballReport.com.

Photo: Joe Murphy/Getty Images Sport

Conference USA has lately become known—fairly or unfairly—as the group of schools that everyone points to when talking about Memphis’s easy schedule as they pile up gaudy records every season. Tulsa fans may disagree with that assessment, but out-of-conference losses by 18 to Oklahoma State, 12 to Ohio, 25 to Oklahoma, and 19 to Auburn don’t help. The good news for Tulsa is that this year they may be the team putting up the great record in C-USA. With John Calipari leaving Memphis and taking most of their incoming class with him, and a group of talented players returning to Tulsa, the Golden Hurricanes are poised to become the first regular season conference champion other than Memphis since 2005. Those kinds of expectations could put a lot of pressure on a coach but former Matt Doherty assistant and Annapolis grad Doug Wojcik is used to working in stressful environments. Wojcik will build around center Jerome Jordan. At 7'0" and 250 pounds Jordan would be big by anyone’s standard. But in C-USA he’s bigger than Facebook and Twitter combined. The Jamaica native led the league in blocked shots and could be a first-round draft pick next year. He needs to improve his skills, but his physical gifts are exceptional. Wojcik’s biggest challenge will be finding frontcourt help for Jordan. The most likely candidates are senior Bishop


Is Bigger Better? Evaluating the Expanded ACC by Barry Jacobs

F

ive seasons have come and gone since Miami and Virginia Tech began competing in the ACC, four since Boston College extended the league’s reach from the Back Bay to Biscayne Bay. Yet it’s unclear whether we’ve put to rest the original qualms and questions raised by the most significant, and controversial, of the four expansions in ACC history. It’s too late to do anything to challenge what happened, or why, when ACC leaders raided the Big East, throwing that league and several others into a reactive frenzy. Even a oncevociferous critic like Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski no longer decries the changes wrought to increase league revenues and to improve the profile of ACC football. Well, he tries not to, anyway. “I think you have to be a team player,” Krzyzewski said. “My sentiments were aired much more before the expansion because I wasn’t a proponent of it and our school was

not. Once it was done, that’s part of being on the ACC team.” While passions have cooled and revamped leagues coalesced, the impact of ACC expansion is still unfolding. The shuffle of schools precipitated by the ACC’s raid had a domino effect on leagues throughout the country and caused the financial decline of at least one, the Atlantic 10. And many of the promised benefits for the ACC have not materialized. There is also evidence that men’s basketball, the ACC’s flagship sport, was diminished in the process. “I don’t think it’s proven to be what it was predicted to be,” Krzyzewski said of expansion, or “realignment” as some prefer to call it. “In saying that, the schools that entered are good guys, good schools. In a perfect world I’d still like the round robin in basketball. Basketball probably wasn’t looked at very closely in that whole scheme of things because it was going so well. I think it is now.”

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with South Florida and traditional basketball powers Cincinnati, Louisville, and Marquette. In the half decade since ACC expansion, the Big East leads the ACC in NCAA entrants (33 versus 27), NCAA winning percentage (.643 vs. .615), and Sweet 16 teams (15 to 9). Final Four participation has been even over the same period, although the Big East had three representatives from three different schools while the ACC’s sole rep was North Carolina. The ACC’s only advantage has been in national titles, with the Tar Heels winning in 2005 and 2009. UNC’s success reveals another unsettling trend: a decline in ACC penetration deep into the NCAA Tournament. The conference’s unparalleled streak of sending at least two teams to the Sweet 16 or beyond, a run that began in 1980, ended in 2007. A pair of ACC squads survived until the third round only three times in the past five years. And seven of the nine ACC teams getting that far since 2005 came from Duke or North Carolina. Declining fortunes in the NCAAs can’t be directly related to expansion. Indirectly, however, there may be a correlation due to a reduction in bids. “I do think that you reduce the number of teams, and you have less teams that have a chance to get in a Sweet 16,” Krzyzewski said with obvious logic. Miami and Virginia Tech, justifiably considered basketball lightweights when expansion occurred, have finished in the ACC’s upper echelon in half of their ten combined seasons in the league. Based on reputation, Virginia Tech has helped ACC football, but has it hurt hoops? that very success in turn suggested a weakened ACC. “When we win games, it makes the league look not as The abolition of the round robin, a home-and-home rogood,” Miami coach Frank Haith said, an interpretation he tation intended to ensure competitive balance, drained some called misguided. “Surely Miami and Virginia Tech were not intrigue from the regular season and undercut traditional quite up to the standards of those teams; those teams were rivalries such as Duke and NC State and Wake Forest and getting down to our level.” North Carolina. The unbalanced schedule arguably also made That impression was perhaps reflected in disappointing the ACC Tournament more meaningful by providing the NCAA representation, including only four entrants in 2006 only level playing field of the season, a Southern Conference and 2008, years in which either the Canes or Hokies or both feature the ACC’s founders sought to ameliorate. (’08) finished in the upper third of the ACC. Wishing to remain anonymous, another ACC head “I think it’s a good thing to think about these things,” basketball coach criticized the motivation to move to a dozen said Dick Baddour, athletics director at UNC. “I think it’s a members. “Expansion had nothing to do with basketball,” helpful exercise if it’s constructive about things you can do to he said. “We had it. We were considered the best basketball improve the situation. Don’t look back on expansion in terms conference, so there was no reason to expand.” of should we have or shouldn’t we? That call was made. We That reputation has changed, particularly compared with are who we are. We added the schools that we added, so let’s the Big East. If anything, the loss of the Eagles, Hokies, and go about it. But, if ACC teams have not done as well in the Hurricanes may have had the unintended consequence of NCAAs as they’ve always done, then you should know that enhancing the Big East’s hard-court stature. and you should respond.” Stunned and angered by what they regarded as a sneak Despite its recent NCAA record, the ACC retains a attack, Big East leaders in 2006 replaced the ACC converts reputation as a premier basketball league, something that

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Photo on previous page: G Fiume/Getty Images  Photo this page: Rex Brown/Getty Images

The Opponents


Is Bigger Better?

Photo: Elsa/Getty Images

can’t be said about football. In fact, the ACC boosted membership as part of a long-term vision to improve its football fortunes, stave off defections, and better position itself in the marketplace. “From the standpoint of enhancing total revenue and from the standpoint of enhancing their football reputation, I still think the jury is out on both of those,” said Dr. Dallas Branch Jr., an associate professor in the sports management program at West Virginia University. Branch and colleague Brian Crow of Slippery Rock recently gave an academic presentation entitled, “Conference Realignment: Boon or Boondoggle?” at a collegiate sports symposium. Twelve members became a magic number for ACC expansion because a league that large is NCAA-sanctioned to stage a championship game in football. The title contest generates around $5 million annually for the ACC but has fallen far short of success, particularly with fans. And the addition of Miami, once a feared national power, didn’t yield a gain in conference prestige. ACC football remains entertainingly mediocre; no league club has played for the national title since 2000 and only Virginia Tech and Boston College have cracked the AP final top ten since 2005.

BC beating Duke is not necessarily good for the ACC come tournament time.

“The ACC is down there with the Big East,” Lee Corso, the TV football analyst, Florida State grad, and former Maryland assistant coach said after the 2008 bowl season concluded. “The ACC and the Big East are battling for last place.” ACC football commands so little respect, Clemson was the only league school that cracked the AP top ten during the ’08 season. The Tigers’ lofty standing evaporated as soon as they played a game. The ACC did boast a record ten teams in bowls in 2008. But those clubs were a middling 4–6, running the conference bowl record to 18–22 since expansion. Still, if football’s expected competitive boost hasn’t materialized, at least the ACC cashed in on its “financial merger of convenience,” as Branch called it. Well, sort of. Funds have not flowed evenly within the conference, or copiously overall. “The new members have made out much more significantly than the existing members from a revenue standpoint,” Branch said. “It was not the financial bonanza that people thought it would be.” Virginia Tech’s league-derived revenues nearly doubled from 2003–04, its last academic year in the Big East, to 2006–07. Football income also nearly doubled thanks to ticket sales and luxury-suite revenues. Hokies athletics director Jim Weaver told the Sports Business Journal that travel expenses decreased because “we basically went from an airplane league in the Big East to a bus league in the ACC.” Miami saw a 30% increase in league-generated payouts. BC, which brought with it the nation’s eighth-largest media market, enjoyed a quick 24% jump in income as a partial member of the ACC through ’07. Traditional members saw a 7.5% increase in revenues over the same period. ACC income rose 44.5% from 2003–04, a year prior to expansion, through 2006–07. But the increase was nearly offset by a 41% bump in expenses, and by sharing with three more members. “You can see that the travel expenses went up pretty much on par with the additional revenue that was generated,” Branch said. “Or, one can make the argument that they’re more of an airplane league now than they were. I mean, you’ve got to go from Boston to Miami.” Certainly that’s been the effect for UNC, which has a $62 million budget for athletics and 28 teams. “We didn’t see any impact from expansion except what we predicted with the travel; that’s clearly had an impact on us,” Baddour said. North Carolina joined Duke in opposing expanded membership, losing the vote 7–2. Significant additional income may now depend upon the resurrection of the FSU and Miami football programs, the enhanced popularity of the football title game, and on the ACC’s latest TV contract negotiations for basketball and football. “That’s a pretty accurate assessment,” Baddour said.

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The Opponents Immediately following expansion, the conference signed a seven-year TV deal for football, increasing revenues by 60%. That pact has two years left, as does the basketball contract. Combined, those contracts pay about $73 million annually. The league is exploring a variety of broadcasting options: packaging basketball and football together for the first time; a conference network; teaming with the Pac-10 or Big 12 to craft a broader package; more direct subscriber-supported services; and sticking with a status quo that includes Raycom, a longtime partner. “We do spend a fair amount of time simply looking at models, what might be worth looking at and what might not be,” ACC commissioner John Swofford said. No choice is likely to yield a bonanza close to what the Southeastern Conference, the ACC’s perpetual regional rival, secured before the economy tanked. Last summer the SEC, with far stronger football to sell, signed 15-year TV deals with ESPN and CBS that will collectively provide $205 million annually for basketball and football broadcast rights. There is one consolation for the ACC in comparison with the SEC: It remains a better basketball league. MSP Barry Jacobs has covered the ACC since 1976 for a wide variety of national and regional publications, as well as a number of websites. Currently his work appears on WRAL.com, DukeBasketballReport.com, and TarHeelDaily.com. He lives near Hillsborough, N.C., with his wife Robin, five cats, and two dogs.

Jon Scheyer has put up the rock against a lot more opponents than his predecessors.

Travel In The New ACC The ACC has gone from a “bus league” to one that stretches up and down the entire East Coast. This has increased travel costs for Duke, and fans looking to follow the team. Northbound School

Arena

Distance From Cameron

Virginia

John Paul Jones Arena

180 miles/3 hours 40 minutes

Roundtrip Airfare Bus trip

Maryland

Comcast Center

273 miles/4 hours 41 minutes

$192-218

Virginia Tech

Cassell Coliseum

203 miles/3 hours 23 minutes

Bus trip

Boston College

Silvio O. Conte Forum

697 miles/11 hours 50 mins

$168-188

School

Arena

Distance From Cameron

UNC

Dean Smith Center

8.8 miles/15 minutes

Bus trip

NC State

RBC Center

23.0 miles/29 minutes

Bus trip

Wake Forest

Lawrence Joel Coliseum

80.9 miles/1 hour 26 minutes

Bus trip

School

Arena

Distance From Cameron

Roundtrip Airfare

Clemson

Littlejohn Coliseum

275 miles/4 hours 33 minutes

Bus trip

Georgia Tech

Alexander Memorial Coliseum

379 miles/6 hours

$158-211

Florida State

Leon County Civic Center

643 miles/9 hours 47 minutes

$268-288

Miami

BankUnited Center

834 miles/12 hours 40 minutes

$158-218

North Carolina Roundtrip Airfare

90 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

Photo: Elsa/Getty Images

Southbound


The Best of The Guests Ten Amazing Performances By Opponents In Cameron by Jim Sumner

C

ameron Indoor Stadium. From one perspective, the home of Duke basketball evokes reverence and affection. From another, it evokes anxiety, trepidation, even fear. That second perspective comes from visiting players, forced to endure a ceaseless din of noise, up-close-andpersonal taunting from the Cameron Crazies, and the ghosts of countless meltdowns from overmatched opponents. But not everybody melts down. The ACC hasn’t maintained its status as the nation’s top basketball conference for almost six decades without more than its share of players willing and able to accept Cameron’s challenge and come out on top. But who put up the absolute best visiting performances in Cameron history? Before we get to the list, let’s take care of some housekeeping: • I’ve consulted with some knowledgeable people but this is my list. • It only covers the period beginning with the establishment of the ACC. • Context is important, especially the quality of the Duke team being opposed. Beating Duke is important but not a deal-killer. • Even though Cameron Indoor Stadium didn’t take its present name until 1972, that name is used throughout for sake of consistency. Who’s not here? Surprisingly few non-ACC players made the cut. Omissions include some of the best players in college history: LSU’s Shaquille O’Neal had a miserable game in 1991, being thoroughly outplayed by Christian Laettner; West Virginia’s Jerry West, Michigan’s Cazzie Russell, and Michigan’s Chris Webber had good games in Cameron but not exceptional ones.

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The Opponents Before we get to the top ten, there are some high honorable mentions that couldn’t be overlooked, so in chronological order:

and 13 rebounds led second-ranked North Carolina to an 89–80 win over Duke.

January 5, 1965—Future NBA coach Bob Weiss scored in 1953–54 with 41.7 points per game, including 40 against Duke. But Furman was way out of its league, as witnessed by the 110–76 final.

January 8, 1955—Junior guard Vic Molodet scored 33 points to lead one of Everett Case’s better N.C. State clubs over Duke 96–91. Shavlik Randolph’s grandfather Ronnie Shavlik added 28 points for the Wolfpack. February 5, 1955—One of the great college guards of the 1950s, West Virginia’s Hot Rod Hundley riddled the Duke defense for 35 points. But Duke won 115–75, so nobody was playing too much defense. February 23, 1957—South Carolina wasn’t very good in 1957 and Grady Wallace had the green light to shoot whenever and wherever. In fact, he averaged 31 points per game that year and remains the only ACC player to ever lead the NCAA in scoring for a season. Wallace shot 11-32 from the field, 21-23 from the line. His 43 points remains the most points ever scored by a visitor in Cameron. No word on whether they had to ice down his right arm following the game, but his onslaught wasn’t enough to keep Duke from a 94–81 victory.

38 points as Duke beat Penn State 121–88. Weiss was 17-31 from the field.

February 21, 1973—North Carolina State’s David Thompson is the greatest player in ACC history and went 6–0 against Duke teams that ranged from mediocre to bad. This 31-point, 10-rebound performance led State to a 74–50 romp. Only Duke’s lack of competitiveness dooms Thompson to honorable mention.

January 23, 1980, December 12, 1980, December 8, 1982—Virginia’s Ralph Sampson went 9–0 against Duke. His 30-point, 17-rebound effort in December 1980 and 36-point, 14-rebound performance two years later were his best games statistically. But considering the competition, more impressive was his freshman performance against senior Mike Gminski. Sampson had 23 points and 13 rebounds to lead Virginia to a 90–84 win over third-ranked Duke. Gminski had 20 and 10.

March 5, 1983—Michael Jordan’s 32 points leads North Carolina over Duke 105–81. But Duke wasn’t very good in 1983 and that context keeps Jordan out of the top ten.

March 1, 1957—North Carolina was undefeated but riding a six-game losing streak in Cameron when they came to town for the regular season finale. UNC’s Lennie Rosenbluth hit 16-22 from the line, with a dozen field goals, on his way to 40 points, as UNC ended one streak and kept another alive, winning 86–72.

February 6, 1959—Doug Moe was a tough, physical, skilled forward, who loved throwing his weight around against Duke. His 32 points

92 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

Though Michael Jordan had some great games in Cameron, none were great enough to make the top ten.

Photo on previous page: Grant Halverson/Getty Images  Photo this page: Focus on Sport/Getty Images

December 2, 1953—Furman’s Frank Selvy led the NCAA


The Best of The Guests January 17, 1985—12 points, 7 assists, and 4 steals was an ordinary night for Wake Forest’s Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues. But his defensive job on Duke’s Johnny Dawkins was the eye-opener. Giving up almost a foot in height, Bogues hounded Dawkins to a 4-16 shooting nightmare and 8 points. Wake won 91–89 in overtime.

February 20, 1985—North Carolina State’s Lorenzo Charles was a 6'7", 240-pound load. Duke did a pretty good job on Charles and State early, leading by 18 in the second half. But Charles took over down the stretch. He scored 25 and State beat Duke 70–66.

March 8, 1992—North Carolina’s Hubert Davis tried his best to ruin Christian Laettner’s senior day. Davis hit 6-8 three-pointers and scored 35 points. But it wasn’t enough, as Laettner and Duke prevailed 89–77.

January 22, 1994—Bob Sura’s 35 points aren’t enough to keep Duke from beating Florida State 106–79.

January 11, 1997—Duke didn’t have much luck with Wake Forest during the Tim Duncan era, losing four straight at Cameron; Duke did win once on the road. The 1997 National Player of the Year solidified his credentials with this 26-point, 14-rebound, 4-block performance. Duncan was 9-12 from the field, as Wake defeated Duke 81–69.

February 26, 2000—Duke’s loaded 1999 team barely escaped St. John’s in Madison Square Garden, winning in overtime despite 40 points from SJU’s Bootsy Thornton. A year later, St. John’s got their revenge, handing Duke a rare non-conference defeat. Thornton scored 22, including the game-winner, but the hero was point guard Eric Barkley, with 14 points, 8 assists, and 3 steals. Barkley was under fire from the NCAA because of questions concerning his prep school tuition. Mike Krzyzewski declared him off-limits and the Crazies complied, chanting “fight the power” when Barkley was introduced. St. John’s 83, Duke 82.

Photo: Craig Jones/Getty Images

December 30, 2000—Periodically, a complete unknown wows Duke in a blowout game. What better example than James Miller and his 34 points in Duke’s 108–73 rout of North Carolina A&T?

February 7, 2009—Miami had never come close to winning at Cameron until Jack McClinton’s stunning 34-point game that sent this contest into overtime. McClinton hit

Jason Williams and Juan Dixon had some classic duels, but Dixon’s 31-point eruption in 2000 may have been the best performance of the rivalry. 12-18 from the field, including 5-6 threes, almost all of which kept the game close. Duke prevailed 78–75. With the honorable mentions out of the way, let’s get to the top ten.

10. February 10, 1979 Bill Foster’s resurrection of the Duke program reached fruition from 1978–80, a period in which Duke only suffered a single non-conference home loss. It was a surprising setback at the hands of the unranked Pittsburgh Panthers. The game was dominated by Pitt’s Sam Clancy, a 6'7", 240-pound forward, who would go on to play 11 seasons in the NFL. The game was tied at 69, with Duke holding the ball for the final shot. Clancy intercepted a pass and drove for his basket. He missed a contested shot but followed his miss for the game winner. The final was 71–69 and Clancy ended the game with 23 points and 11 rebounds.

9. January 13, 1994 Wake Forest’s Randolph Childress approached end-of-game situations with the swagger and confidence of a gun fighter.

Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 93


The Opponents Duke was on the short end of his heroics more than once. Second-ranked Duke actually did a decent job on Childress for much of this game, but he scored over none other than Grant Hill to give the unranked Deacons a 69–68 win. Childress ended the game with 24 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. A year later, Childress hit another buzzer-beater to beat a lesser Duke team 62–61.

8. January 28, 1990

Rodney Rogers torched the Devils for 35 in an upset win.

7. March 4, 2006 By the time North Carolina freshman Tyler Hansbrough arrived in Cameron, it was apparent the Tar Heels had nabbed a keeper. But #1 Duke already owned a win in Chapel Hill, it was senior night for J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams, and Williams was one of the best post defenders in college ball. But Hansbrough’s 27-point, 10-rebound game ruined that special night and changed the relative status of the programs for the duration of Hansbrough’s college career. UNC 83, Duke 76.

6. February 8, 1969

Al Thornton helped Florida State finally get over the top at Cameron. 94 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

John Roche and Tom Owens were teammates at New York’s LaSalle Academy before going to South Carolina. As sophomores, the 6'2" Roche and the 6'10" Owens gave Duke a clinic in two-man basketball, pick-and-rolling the Devils to death. Roche hit 10-16 from the field, and 17-21 from the line. His 37 points led South Carolina to an 82–72 win over Vic Bubas’s last team. Owens added 26.

Bottom-left photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images  Top-right photo: David L. Johnson/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

One of the most entertaining shootouts ever seen in Cameron was this Duke-Georgia Tech game between two teams heading for the Final Four. Tech’s 6'8" Dennis Scott wasn’t a great athlete and didn’t bother to exert himself that much on the defensive end of the floor. But, he could shoot as well as anyone who’s ever played in the league. Had he not sat out a good bit of this game with foul trouble, it might have ended differently. Still, Scott torched Duke with 36 points, shooting 15-21 from the field and 5-8 on threes. Duke 88, Georgia Tech 86.


The Best of The Guests

5. February 9, 2000 Duke was on a roll when Maryland came to town. The thirdranked Blue Devils were riding an 18-game winning streak, a 31-game ACC regular season winning streak, and a 46-game home winning streak. None survived Juan Dixon’s 31-point performance. Dixon’s 14-19 shooting from the field propelled him into the national spotlight and led Maryland to the 98–87 shocker.

4. February 4, 2006 Florida State came into town 0–14 at Cameron. They left 0–15. But not through any lack of effort by Al Thornton. The 6'8" forward was too big for Duke’s quick guys, too quick for Duke’s big guys. Not even stalwart defender Shelden Williams could slow down Thornton. He scored 37 points, making 17-32 from the field, and added 15 rebounds. There were 26 ties, 17 lead changes, and the controversial ejection of FSU’s Alexander Johnson in this memorable game that Duke held on to win in overtime 97–96. A year later, Thornton scored 21, as FSU got that maiden win in Cameron, 68-67.

But the previous season’s game against the top-ranked Devils gets the nod.

3. March 1, 1995 Duke was still trying to redeem its lost 1995 season when the sixth-ranked Maryland Terrapins showed up. Duke played an inspired game, leading most of the way. But even with big men Cherokee Parks and Eric Meek, the Devils had no answer for National Player of the Year Joe Smith. The 6'9" sophomore nailed 15-25 from the field and 10-11 from the line for 40 points. Smith converted the last of his 18 rebounds into the game-winning basket at the buzzer. Maryland 94, Duke 92.

2. February 13, 1993 Rodney Rogers was a football tight end at Durham’s Hillside High School before focusing on basketball at Wake Forest. A stunning blend of power and speed, Rogers simply overpowered Duke on this Saturday afternoon. Rogers missed only two of his 16 field-goal attempts and one of eight foul shots, for 35 points to go along with 8 rebounds. Although completely accidental, Rogers also stepped on Grant Hill’s big toe, a painful injury that bothered Hill the remainder of the season. Rogers’ heroics keyed ninth-ranked Wake over #3 Duke 98–86.

Photo: Focus on Sport/Getty Images

1. January 25, 1986 The 1986 Duke team fueled its 37–3 run to the NCAA title game with talent, experience, and a suffocating defense. Duke allowed opponents a mere 67 points per game and forced almost 20 turnovers per game. Forward Mark Alarie was a superb defender, but he never faced a tougher task than he did on this night. Maryland boasted marvelous forward Len Bias but not much else. Mike Krzyzewski told Alarie he had Bias, all alone, without any help. Krzyzewski was right. Maryland didn’t have the horses to beat Duke and fell 80–68. But even Coach K couldn’t have imagined the havoc that Bias would wreak. The 6'8" senior scored inside, outside, in transition, at the line. By the time he was finished, he had shredded the proud Duke defense with 41 points and 8 rebounds. Bias converted 14-20 from the field and 13-13 from the line, astonishing efficiency for a game played before the advent of the three-point shot. In case math’s not your thing, Bias scored just over 60% of his team’s points. MSP

A phenomenal talent, the late Len Bias put on a legendary performance in Durham in 1986.

Jim Sumner is the author of three books on Southern sport history, including Tales From the Duke Blue Devils Hardwood. He is a columnist for TheACC.com, Blue Devil Weekly magazine, and Inside Carolina magazine, and contributes to many others. A resident of Raleigh, Sumner has degrees in history from Duke and North Carolina State University.

Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 95


True


Meet the Press A Peek at Life on Press Row by Jim Young

T

he heat can be unbearable. The crowd incredibly distracting. But the adrenaline surges are unmatched. Yes, covering a basketball game at Cameron Indoor Stadium can be quite an experience. It’s a unique challenge, to say the least. But that’s why professionals like me are paid the big bucks. (Fingers crossed that President Obama raises the minimum wage again!) The journey begins when you enter the press parking lot. That is, if you can get in. When I first started covering Duke games, I wondered why so many of my fellow media members showed up at Cameron nearly two hours before game time. I figured it was the usual: escaping nagging spouses and gossiping about other media members. Turns out you usually have to show up that early if you want to get a spot in the press lot, in which some Duke fans— I’ve never figured out who, exactly—are also allowed to park. Fortunately, on the occasions when the lot has filled up before my arrival, I’ve been allowed to do some blatantly illegal parking. Once the car is parked, it’s time to wander into Cameron, down the hallway that runs down the west side of the building, and into the press room. That’s when you discover the second reason for arriving early: limited seating. The press room is a cozy little place when it’s not crowded. It’s a sweat lodge when a big game brings a horde of national media into town. Fortunately, when I was on the Duke beat, the media relations folks put out place cards for the regulars. Equally fortunate is the fact that everyone uses wireless these days. I still get the shakes remembering the time some guy from the Washington Post—no, it wasn’t John Feinstein—tripped over my phone cord and yanked my modem out of my computer as I was in mid-send, on a tight deadline. Ah yes, deadlines. Thanks to the national prominence of Duke basketball, covering the Blue Devils at Cameron usually means you’re covering a 9 p.m. game. Combine that with newspaper deadlines that are getting earlier and earlier with each passing year and you get… stress, lots of it.

Blue


True Blue

98 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

Space may get tight on press row, but it’s still one of the best seats in the house. the snarkiness it once had to go along with the frenetic energy it’s always had. If you’ve read this far, you might think I’m too much of the stereotypical cynical, jaded journalist to give Cameron its due. Not so. The quirks of the arena can be exasperating, but also charming. You’ll never hear me really complain about the tight squeeze on press row, not when it still affords journalists one of the few true courtside seats left in the ACC. At Cameron you still catch the little moments—the glare from a coach at one of his players, a little trash talk at the free throw line, perhaps a curse word from a coach (not naming any names)— that add much-needed flavor to your story. And sometimes, even for the journalist who’s been trained to keep an emotional distance and observe with a critical eye, it’s nice to be able to absorb the energy of an arena and its crowd and be reminded why you got into sports journalism in the first place. Cameron’s always been good for that. MSP Jim Young is the editor of ACCSports.com, the companion website to the ACC Sports Journal. Prior to that he spent nine years at the Greensboro News & Record (NC), where he covered all three of the Triangle schools. Young is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Journalism. He currently lives in Durham with his wife, Vivian, two children, and faithful black lab, Murray. It is widely believed, though not confirmed, that the “World’s Most Interesting Man” commercials are based on Young’s life.

Photo on previous page: Duke University Athletics  Photo this page: Duke University Athletics

That’s one of the main reasons why you see journalists darting over press row during a media timeout and racing—or at least moving as fast as we can—into the tunnel that leads to the press room. Even if five minutes are still left in the game, even if it’s still in doubt, many of us have to start writing something so that we’ll have a coherent story by the time deadline rolls around. So yeah, I’ve watched the end of some pretty tight games in Cameron on TV, in the media room. Sad, isn’t it? Some of my colleagues will actually attempt to write their stories from courtside, on their laptops. I’ve never been able to pull that off, given the cramped conditions and the performance anxiety that comes up when you realize a bunch of highly critical, very intelligent 19-year-olds are looking over your shoulder while you try to craft a pithy lead. The student-media relationship at Cameron, like many aspects of the experience there, is shaped by proximity. And by proximity, I mean a closeness that ranges between uncomfortable and claustrophobic. There are other arenas—NC State’s comes to mind— where the student section is behind press row, but all have some sort of a buffer. In Cameron the quarters are so tight that you are forced to crawl over press row and somehow shimmy your way into your seat. It’s kind of like getting into a car through the window and it’s pretty much impossible to do while also keeping your dignity intact. You interact more with the Crazies than you do with fans at other arenas. Sometimes they’ll give you unsolicited commentary about the game, sometimes they’ll ask to see the halftime stats, sometimes they’ll just ask you to bring back a cookie from the press room. (A quick aside about cookies. One of the high points of covering a game at Cameron are the cookies they put out in the press room at halftime. I’m a huge fan of the white chocolate chip ones. I know, a journalist grabbing free food. How cliché.) When you’re covering a basketball game, you understand what players are talking about when they say they don’t really notice the crowd. It becomes sort of a white noise. There are only so many times you can hear, “(Insert player name here) you suck!” or, “Ref, you’re horrible!” before it all begins to blend together. Cameron is different. When fans are so close that their saliva sometimes moistens your notepad (gross, but true) it’s unavoidable that they’ll commandeer at least a portion of your attention. The Crazies’ originality also plays a factor, but I’ll risk sounding like a curmudgeon by saying that there’s been a significant dip in that department in recent years. Singing “Coach K” to the tune of the soccer song “Ole” just doesn’t compare to chanting “In-Hale, Ex-Hale” for Steve Hale and his collapsed lung or even “Please don’t eat me!” to Nigel “Big Jelly” Dixon and his 400+ pounds. But I think these things go in cycles. Get a few creative ringleaders among the Crazies and the place can again have


You Can Go Home Again Greg Paulus: Starting Quarterback by Brett Friedlander

G

reg Paulus is the kind of young man who truly believes there’s nothing he can’t do. That’s why four years ago, he decided to give up football—a sport in which he was named Gatorade National High School Player of the Year—for the chance to play college basketball at Duke. Even though basketball wasn’t his best sport, Paulus was still good enough to start at point guard for the Blue Devils as a freshman, score 1,193 career points and almost single-handedly beat North Carolina at the Dean Dome by firing in six three-pointers. And he was a good enough student to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science from one of the finest universities in the country. All that would have been good enough for most players in his situation. But not Paulus. Whether it was the disappointing way his senior season ended or the fact that he’d

never completely gotten football out of his system, the cocky kid from Syracuse decided that he still wanted more. So last summer, with one season of college football eligibility remaining, he dusted off his helmet and pads and began shopping himself around as a quarterback. He went to Duke’s David Cutcliffe, who suggested that Paulus try out as a wide receiver since he already had a second-team All-ACC quarterback in Thaddeus Lewis. He then went to Michigan, where he auditioned for Rich Rodriguez, then Nebraska and several other major college programs. He was contacted by about two dozen schools in all. Paulus even managed a workout with the Green Bay Packers, figuring he could simply skip graduate school and go straight to the pro game. In the end, though, Paulus did what most people looking to recapture their roots do. He returned home, enrolling at Syracuse’s prestigious S.I. Newhouse School of Public

Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 99


Communications and becoming a member of new coach Doug Marrone’s rebuilding football team. “I have two passions when it comes to playing sports, and having the opportunity to do those at the highest level, in the ACC and the Big East is very unique,” Paulus said. “I understand that. I made a well-informed and educated decision after gathering information, and my heart and my passion was to play football and get my master’s degree. To have all of those things and hopefully accomplish some of my goals was something that was very appealing, along with the challenge of it.” Ah, the challenge. It’s something that has always seemed to drive Paulus, whether it was trying to silence some unruly fans in a hostile arena or winning a backyard pickup game with his six equally competitive brothers. This challenge figures to be his biggest yet, though. No matter how good he once was, the fact is that when Paulus started practicing with Syracuse he hadn’t played a single snap of football in more than four years. He was also barging his way onto a team of Orangemen who, last season’s 3–9 record notwithstanding, already had a promising young quarterback in sophomore Ryan Nassib. Paulus was listed as third on

Greg Paulus wasn’t the best defender, but he was one of the gutsiest Duke had, always willing to put his body on the line. 100 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

the depth chart when Syracuse began its fall practice on August 10. At that point, his chances of getting any playing time, let alone starting, seemed so remote that some suggested his presence on the team was nothing more than a publicity stunt designed to sell tickets and build interest in the program. But those who did buy their tickets based on Paulus’s arrival weren’t disappointed. The 6'1", 180-pound bundle of passion, confidence and energy was so impressive in his return to the football field that after just ten days of practice, he was named by Marrone as the starter for the Orange’s season-opener in the Carrier Dome against Minnesota, where he threw for 167 yards and a score in an overtime loss. His teammates later voted him co-captain, and he completed 24 of 35 passes for 346 yards and two touchdowns in rallying Syracuse past Northwestern in the third week of the season. “From all the information we’ve gathered, and considering the player we’re talking about, I don’t think there’s anything Greg can’t do,” Marrone said. “He knows how to look people off, take control of a game, change plays. Those things are hard to teach. I can’t explain in words how much of a competitor he is. If you met Greg Paulus, you’d understand.” Anyone who’s ever seen Paulus play basketball for Duke already knows how driven he can be. He’s the kind of player who would stand in the way of a runaway freight train—or in more tangible terms, a hard-charging Danny Green—in order to prevent an opponent from scoring a basket. Even if it meant that his picture, in an incredibly unflattering pose, might end up on a poster marketed and sold to UNC fans if he failed. At least now, on the football field, he’s fully padded to help absorb such blows. And when he tucks the ball away to run with it, he doesn’t have to worry about getting called for charging should he initiate a little physical contact along the way. So, as point guards go, Paulus turned out to be a pretty good football player. That, as it turns out, is exactly what Marrone and his offensive coordinator Rob Spence were looking for in a quarterback for their first season with the Orangemen. “Coach Spence always described the position to me as point guard,” Marrone told the Syracuse Post-Standard. “Then all of a sudden, here comes Greg. He’s a point guard who can throw.” More important, he’s a mature 23-year-old who has already played a college sport at its highest level under the most intense media spotlight imaginable. Combine that with the benefit of having learned from a coach with the stature of Mike Krzyzewski, and the experience is something Paulus said far outweighs the rust he still admittedly feels after being away from the gridiron for so long. His poise and ability to handle adversity were best illustrated midway through last season, when shortly after a game-saving 18-point, five-rebound performance in an

Photo on previous page: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images  Photo this page: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

True Blue


You Can Go Home Again

Top-left photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images  Bottom-right photo: Marc Squire/Getty Images

Aside from leadership, Paulus brought first-rate three-point shooting to the Devils for four years.

rang up the ACC’s best assist-to-turnover ratio (in conference games), and was named to both the All-ACC third team and the league’s All-Academic team as a junior. “I wouldn’t trade my experience at Duke for anything,” Paulus said. “Having the opportunity to play for Coach K and Duke, it prepared me for everything. Playing in a lot of big games in that type of atmosphere has allowed me to learn from that culture, to build on some of the things I had in high school, and I’m trying to bring some of that here to Syracuse.” Krzyzewski, like Marrone, had no doubt in Paulus’s ability to succeed. “I’m not going to be surprised if he does really well in this,” Coach K said this summer, even before his former player earned the starting job. “I think [in] football, some of the things he does really well fits right in there. Greg is a great organizer. If we were running a practice here today, anything I would say to the team, he would have our guys doing it there. He has great vision, being a quarterback [that gives him] a chance to set up a play. And I think he has talent.” The statistics certainly bear that out. As a four-year starter at Christian Brothers Academy in suburban Syracuse, Paulus earned All-State honors in each of his varsity seasons and was invited to play in the US Army All-America Game. He set six New York state passing records by throwing for 11,763 yards and 152 touchdowns in 45 career games. The most impressive statistic of all, however, is that his team lost just three times while he was under center. His ability and his ability to win attracted the attention of nearly every top coach in the country. Michigan’s Lloyd Carr wanted Paulus so badly that he tried to send an assistant

overtime win against Miami, he was relegated to the bench. Paulus played fewer than 10 minutes in seven of Duke’s final 12 games, including just two insignificant minutes in the Blue Devils’ victory against Florida State in the ACC Tournament championship game at the Georgia Dome. But instead of moping or being upset, Paulus reveled in the victory. He even walked across the court and shook hands with ESPN analyst Dick Vitale, thanking him for his coverage during the past four years. Despite its less-than-memorable ending and the fact that he never lived up to his advance billing as “the next Bobby Hurley,” Paulus’s basketball career at Duke still had more ups than downs. He set a school record for freshmen with 15 assists in a game against Valparaiso on his way to leading the ACC in the category for the season. A year later, after overcoming a pre-season foot injury, he scored a career-high 25 points in a victory against Paulus was a decorated and heavily recruited high school quarterback who is getting his shot on the gridiron this season with the Orangemen. Virginia Commonwealth. Then in 2007–08 he

Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 101


Harrison, and Dwight Freeney, the Orangemen haven’t had a winning season since 2005. That includes a 1–10 record that was the worst in school history four years ago. Last winter, Syracuse turned to one of its own to help turn the program around by hiring Marrone, who had been serving as an assistant coach with the NFL’s New Orleans Saints. Among his first big decisions was the bold move of naming a former Duke point guard with just one remaining season of eligibility as his leader on the field. It’s a vote Greg Paulus in action against Minnesota in Syracuse’s season opener. of a confidence Paulus is intent on rewarding. to New York a week before National Signing Day to convince “To have an opportunity to help build this program and him to change his mind and play football in Ann Arbor rather point it in the right direction is something I want to be a part than basketball at Duke. But he was told by Paulus’s high of,” Paulus said. school coach not to bother, the youngster’s mind was made up That’s not to say his motives for going to Syracuse were and he wasn’t going to change it. completely altruistic. Just as Marrone hopes Paulus’s return and, “People ask me all the time, ‘Why aren’t you playing with any luck, success might help convince other young local football?’” he said at the time. “It’s kind of a mystery to players to stay close to home and play for the Orange, Paulus everyone.” specifically chose Syracuse because it is a building program that Four years later, Marrone finally got the prize everyone offered him an immediate chance to battle for the starting job. else missed out on, even though the new Orange coach swears That’s why the only thing that surprised Paulus’s younger he’d never seen his new quarterback throw a pass—in person brother Mike about Greg accomplishing his goal is that it or on tape—before he enrolled at Syracuse this summer. happened so fast. After taking one look at Paulus’s quick release and strong “I think we all kind of expected it to happen, given arm, Marrone was more convinced than ever that he’d found the state of Syracuse football,” said Mike, himself a college his man. Paulus beat out Nassib and true freshman Charley quarterback who started this season as the backup to T.J. Loeb. Yates at North Carolina. “I think that’s a big reason he chose “There’s a lot more going on with him than just throwit, because he could go in there and play right away.” ing a football,” Marrone said of the intangibles Paulus brings Winning the starting job is only half the battle, though. to the huddle. “Greg is a tremendous person. He attacks Paulus didn’t go to back Syracuse simply to have a little fun, things with a full commitment. If there’s something to be throw a few passes for old time’s sake, get his master’s degree, accomplished, he can do it.” and move on to a future career as a sports broadcaster. He did Syracuse can use as many winners as it can find for a proit to compete, to win, and if all goes right, to earn a shot with gram that has dropped off the college football map since its an NFL team and prove to everyone else what he’s believed strong run in the 1990s. That probably explains why members all along: When he puts his mind to something, there’s nothof the Carrier Dome’s student section have already begun ing he can’t do. MSP hyping their new quarterback by selling orange t-shirts hailing the season as “Pauluspalooza Homecoming Tour 2009” Brett Friedlander has been covering ACC basketball for the past 25 years with the team’s schedule printed on the back. as a columnist for newspapers in Maryland and North Carolina. Among After going to 11 bowl games in 14 years and produchis credits ate seven Final Fours, including Duke’s 2001 championship. He currently writes for the Star-News in Wilmington, NC. ing future NFL stars such as Donovan McNabb, Marvin

102 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

Photo: Syracuse University Athletics

True Blue


Dapper Daly Daly Became an NBA Legend, But He Got His Big Break at Duke by Jim Sumner

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hen Chuck Daly passed away in May 2009, he was justifiably praised as one of the NBA’s coaching giants. After all, when he took over as head coach of the Detroit Pistons in 1983, the team had never posted consecutive winning seasons. Daly was able to turn a group of individualists into a defensive-oriented team of mad dogs who captured the 1989 and 1990 NBA titles, ending with a 638–437 record in 14 seasons as an NBA head coach. Then there was that marvelous summer of 1992, when Daly steered the greatest assemblage of talent ever on one team to the Olympic gold medal. Not only did his Dream Team return the United States to the top of the competitive heap but they also helped fuel an international explosion of interest in professional basketball. Not a bad resume. Daly was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1994. Daly’s biography

on the Hall’s website runs 13 lines, all but one of them reference his NBA and Olympic careers. ESPN’s obituary was much longer but included only a single sentence concerning his non-NBA career. The AP obituary likewise gave the impression that Chuck Daly had barely set foot on a college campus, let alone accomplish anything of consequence prior to joining the NBA. But Daly cashed checks from three institutions of higher learning and all were honorably earned. Chuck Daly was born in St. Mary’s, PA in 1930. Like many top coaches, Daly was not an elite player. After one year at St. Bonaventure, he transferred to and graduated from Pennsylvania’s Bloomsburg University. He spent two years in the military before becoming head coach at Punxsutawney High School in 1955. Yes, that’s the home of the world’s most famous groundhog.

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Daly stayed at PHS until the spring of 1963. Duke assistant coach Fred Shabel left for the head job at Connecticut. Bucky Waters was moved up to the top assistant job and Duke went looking for an entry-level coach, someone to take over the reins of the freshman team and spend lots of time on the road recruiting. Enter David Long, the student manager of the Duke basketball team and a native of Punxsutawney. Long suggested that Duke take a look at the coach at his high school. Vic Bubas didn’t exactly jump at the suggestion, reasoning that if this Daly guy was any good, he wouldn’t be stuck in Punxsutawney. But Long wouldn’t let it go. He informed Bubas that his father owned a private plane and would be glad to fly Daly down for an interview. Nothing to lose except an afternoon. Waters tells what happened next. “He impressed Vic. We needed a recruiter and Chuck was a handsome guy, bright, engaging, and energetic. We weren’t that interested in Xs and Os at that point but we thought this guy could communicate and we were interested in that. Hiring a guy from Punxsutawney High School wasn’t the logical thing to do, but it worked.” It was a stunning transition. Waters recalls Daly buying his own ticket to the 1963 Final Four and sitting in the top row of Louisville’s Freedom Hall. A year later, Daly was on the Duke bench at the 1964 Final Four.

From the beginning, Chuck Daly, son of a salesman, put a high emphasis on dressing well. 104 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

From the beginning, Daly made an impression with his sartorial eye. Waters said, “I can still remember the first time I saw his closet. He must have had 40 sports coats, 15 suits, fine shoes, the whole works.” Daly coached freshman ball for two seasons. Mike Lewis was on the second of those two teams, then played three seasons for a varsity team coached by Bubas and assisted by Daly. “Chuck had a closet full of shoes,” Lewis recalled. “He found a clothing store in Danville, owned by a Duke fan, and he was always taking us up there on shopping trips. We were a bunch of guys who wore jeans, t-shirts, and Converse high tops. We couldn’t believe this stuff. He could have been a fashion consultant instead of a basketball coach. Of course, they weren’t giving this stuff away and we couldn’t afford it. So we left as empty handed as we came. But it was an eye opener.” Tony Barone also was a member of Duke’s 1965 freshman team. He saw method to the madness. “Chuck was an extremely organized guy. That translated into clothing, into style. That was a part of his personality that carried over to coaching. In practices, everything was timed, everything was set to a rhythm. We came from such diverse backgrounds. I was a city guy from Chicago, Joe Kennedy was from the DC suburbs, Mike Lewis was from Montana. But he brought us together. He was approachable. He never attempted to be one of the guys but you always knew you could talk to him.” Lewis agreed. “I just liked him from the very beginning. He and his wife Terry were always inviting us over and that meant a lot to teenagers a long way from home. He was a great motivator, a wonderful speaker.” It also became apparent that Daly knew his basketball. Bubas had five assistant coaches in his Duke decade and all eventually became head coaches. This was no accident. Bubas wanted ambitious young coaches who were looking to learn and move up. “Vic empowered those guys,” Lewis said. “They didn’t just carry clipboards. They contributed. They were in charge of certain things, in practice, during games. It was obvious that Daly had head coaching in his future.” Barone said, “Chuck has always been underrated as an X-and-O guy. He knew how the game worked and how to achieve his objectives. His philosophy was clear from the beginning. He was comfortable with the star system. His perspective was that it was the player’s game. He was never bigger than the players.” Lewis added, “I don’t think of Chuck as a strategy guy because his personality was so overwhelming. But he made it work.” Daly spent six years at Duke, four as Bubas’s top assistant. When Bubas left coaching following the 1969 season, it’s not

Photo on previous page: Andy Hayt/NBAE/Getty Images  Photo this page: Courtesy Duke Athletics

True Blue


Top-left photo: Courtesy Duke Athletics  Bottom-right photo: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Imagesv

Dapper Daly for talent and a knack for getting the best out of that talent.” Alan Cotler was a senior on that team, a heady, 6'5" guard. Cotler noted that Harter was “a disciplinarian, a former Marine. We thought all coaches were like that. Then Daly came in. He was friendly and open, very relaxed and calm, self-effacing. He told us right away that if we lost a game or two, he wasn’t jumping off any bridges. Some coaches require everyone to come to where they are but Chuck understood individuals and was willing to meet us.” Daly coached the 1972 Penn team to a 25–3 mark and a spot in the East Regional finals against a loaded UNC team that included Bob McAdoo and Dennis Wuycik. Cotler Duke coach Vic Bubas had a phenomenal staff in the late ’60s, with future NBA legends Hubie Brown (left) and Daly (center). recently watched a film of that game and said his club’s body language at the beginning of clear how much consideration Daly got as his replacement. the game was terrible. “We didn’t think we could win. We fell Bucky Waters got the job. It should be noted that Waters had way behind early, then played them even the rest of the game. a successful, four-year tenure as head coach at West Virginia, If we had only believed from the outset.” an accomplishment that Daly couldn’t match. Penn lost 73–59. This would be the closest Daly would Daly did get a head-coaching job, at Boston College, come to making the Final Four as a head coach. replacing the legendary Bob Cousy. BC was a hockey school Daly offered Cotler a spot on his staff after he graduated, that wasn’t sure if it wanted to take basketball seriously, and but Cotler declined, preferring to begin a career that has Daly never really felt comfortable there. He went a desultory made him one of Pennsylvania’s top trial lawyers. 26–24 in two seasons. He still wonders. “I didn’t take the offer as seriously as He then went job hunting. Ironically, Shabel was athletic I should have. I didn’t realize then how influential a coach director at Pennsylvania, a school that Dick Harter had could be. I’ve spent the last 30 years of my life learning how turned into a national power. Harter left for Oregon followpeople work. Chuck had the gift. He knew how to listen to ing the 1971 season and Daly got the nod to replace him. Daly inherited some talent, including current Virginia AD Craig Littlepage, who had been recruited by Duke when Daly was an assistant there. “He was coming off two nondescript years at Boston College. There was a collective, ‘Who’s Chuck Daly?’ reaction. But he came into a very good situation and was smart enough to realize it. He didn’t try to overhaul things, institute a lot of changes, but he was able to subtly put his footprint on the program. Chuck was very good at assessing an environment, adapting to that environment, hiring good people, and letting those Chuck Daly was widely considered the best choice for the coach people do the best work they could do of the original Olympic Dream Team. Balancing a wide variety of egos was one of Daly’s great talents. in supporting him. He had a great eye

Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 105


True Blue

Daly with Duke alum Shane Battier (and Pau Gasol) during the 2002 NBA All-Star Weekend. 106 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

Team, including Christian Laettner and Mike Krzyzewski. That assistant spot led to the Pistons, the Dream Team, and the Hall of Fame. Waters laughingly recalled a conversation in which Daly summarized the secret to his NBA success: “Don’t hear too much, don’t see too much.” But that’s just the self-effacing Daly. It’s clear that he carried his ability to communicate from college to the NBA. Tony Barone’s relationship with Daly changed from coach-player to peer-peer, as Barone worked his way through the ranks as a college and NBA coach and administrator. Barone said, “Chuck was very consistent in his approach to players. He continued to put the player first and still was a master communicator. But there’s a fine line between players running the show and coaches running the show. Chuck always ran the show.” Barone also had a warning. Dapper and articulate as Daly might have been, Barone said, “People overlook that he was a helluva competitor. He hated to lose. His teams reflected that. They were physical and aggressive.” Cotler and Littlepage were the recipients of the same mind-boggling, clothes-closet tours given by Daly the previous decade to his Duke players. Cotler agreed with Barone’s take on the clothes but thinks there was more to it. “He laughed about it,” Cotler said. “He didn’t take it too seriously. It made him feel good and didn’t hurt anybody. I don’t think this was a conscious thing, but by letting us see that part of his life, he was telling us, ‘Don’t be afraid to let me know who you are. Don’t be afraid to be human.’ He allowed us in. And that was his gift.” MSP Jim Sumner is a Duke graduate and a freelance writer who contributes to TheACC.com and DukeBasketballReport.com, among many other websites and publications.

Bottom-left photo: Andy Hayt/NBAE/Getty Images  Top-right thoto: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

somebody, understand them, and use that information in a positive way to help them succeed. He was always accepting of the arbitrariness of life. He got excited to see other people succeed.” Littlepage agreed. “Some coaches in that era had a more armslength relationship, but Chuck would have significant conversations with all his players, whether it was the starting point guard or the 15th player on the team; talking about one’s family, one’s goals, what one had to do in the future. He did not always have the most talented teams but his teams were always bigger than the sum of Daly and the Dream their parts.” Daly stayed at Penn six seasons, winning four Ivy League titles, with a pair of runner-up finishes. He was 125–38 at Penn, 74–10 in the Ivy League, and 151–62 overall in his college coaching career. He developed a friendship with Philadelphia 76ers head coach Billy Cunningham and accepted an offer to become an assistant with that team. Littlepage thinks Daly “liked being on the big stage,” while Cotler wonders if Daly figured he had taken Penn as far as he could take them.


“Forever Duke... In My Case it’s True” Catching up with Terry Chili by J.D. King

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erry Chili was one of the more popular backup big men in Duke basketball history, and his 1976 game-winning free throws against a then-dominant Maryland team earned him a place in Duke lore. Blue Devil Tip-Off caught up with him recently for an exclusive interview.

Blue Devil Tip-Off: What was the recruiting process like for you? Who else did you consider besides Duke? What made you decide on Duke?

Terry Chili: The recruiting process was very different in the early ’70s compared to today, especially the recruiting calendar. I really didn’t get recruited hard until the summer of my senior year. Part of that was that I grew five inches from sophomore to senior year. There were no AAU teams and New York didn’t even have a state tournament then, so

coming from sleepy western New York, I had a low profile. But I was heavily recruited my senior year. There were no restrictions on coaches watching high school games so there were often coaches at the games, in contrast to now with the NCAA open period restrictions. I have to admit I was offered an inducement by Duke. The mayor of Jamestown was a Duke alum and he offered to plow our street first if I went to Duke. Given the amount of snow in Jamestown each winter that was a big deal. I visited Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Duke, and St. Bonaventure, which was actually a basketball power with Bob Lanier back in those days. Even though Duke was down from the [Vic] Bubas days, it had a great tradition and the best combination of athletics and academics, so it was an easy choice. Also, I visited Duke in April and it was beautiful. Bucky Waters was a very good recruiter

Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 107


True Blue

BDTO: You were at Duke during some of the toughest times and also during the start of the renaissance. By the time Bucky Waters resigned, he had pretty much lost the student body. Yet he has always seemed like a pretty straight up guy and he was well-regarded as an assistant and when he was at West Virginia. How did he deal with that? How did the team deal with it?

TC: I was only a freshman and I tried to ignore the firestorm as much as possible. Some of the upper classmen were more involved and I suspect a few were fanning the flames. But in practices and in games it is just basketball so it didn’t matter. Even if the coach isn’t going to be there next year he can still run your butt off in practice, so the team was focused on working hard to win games. There was some pretty amazing talent in the ACC then so that was challenging enough. Bucky was a great guy. It had to be hard to withstand the pressure and the uprising from the Duke fans and especially the students who were calling for his head. His hot-seat status lasted more than one season. He handled it with class and I think the Duke administration did as well. They are few places where the basketball coach was fired for not winning and then got a highprofile job in another department in the university. Can you imagine that happening at Kentucky? He thrived in his fundraising position and Duke benefited as well. And Bucky stayed involved in basketball via broadcasting for many years so it is hard to imagine a better ending to such a tenuous situation.

of the ’70s. With Dean [Smith] building his powerhouse, Norm Sloan having the best teams in the country, and Lefty [Driesell] cranking up the “UCLA of the East,” Duke was fighting to stay in the middle of the ACC pack. Neil was a good guy and was the freshman coach the last year freshmen were not eligible to play varsity. So he was naturally very close to those players. He seemed to have his favorites, especially those who played on his freshman team, which divided the team somewhat. And of course, after losing the famous 1974 UNC game after leading by eight with 17 seconds remaining, his fate was pretty much determined. Coach Foster was and is a tremendous guy. He was funny and put his heart into coaching. He took the losses very hard and everyone wanted to play their best for him because after any loss he was basically suicidal. Despite the way he internalized any loss, he managed to maintain a tremendous sense of humor. He would kick things—garbage cans or chairs—in the locker room when he was mad at how we were playing. I remember one game he threw his watch against the wall and it smashed into pieces. One other time he was conducting his halftime talk at the blackboard, this was before we had marker boards, and was so mad he threw the chalk against the floor. It bounced up right into the tray beneath the blackboard. Everyone paused and didn’t know what to do since he was riled up but he cracked everyone up by saying, “Wanna see me do it again?”

BDTO: The ’74 game with UNC

BDTO: You played for Waters, Neil

became iconic for UNC fans, something less than that for Duke fans. What do you recall about that game and how did the team deal with it when it became inevitable.

McGeachy, and then Bill Foster. What was it like with each guy?

TC: Well one of my “most

TC: I had the hat trick of coaches with three in three years. It is rare to have three different coaches in three years in the pros, so it is even rarer in college. I always liked Bucky but he got caught up in the changes between his oldschool approach and the freedom

Terry Chili poses as a young Duke player with the vintage ’60s era Blue Devil on the floor. The Devil would soon become leaner and hungrier.

108 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

embarrassing moments” was that I was in that game for the last three seconds, my total playing time that game. I was inserted to make it hard for Mitch Kupchak to make the pass on the opposite baseline. A good strategic move by McGeachy, but one that didn’t work out since Mitch

Photo on previous page: Duke University Athletics  Photo this page: Duke University Athletics

and talker, as evinced by his long broadcast career after his Duke tenure.


“Forever Duke... In My Case it’s True” managed to find Walter Davis. At least I am not known for dribbling the ball off my foot or missing a key one-and-one at the end of that game. Of course you can’t do that when you are on the bench. The most amazing thing about that comeback is that it was before the three-point shot. It is really more like a 10 point comeback in 17 seconds if you factor in inflation.

BDTO: When Foster came, there was a sense of fresh air. What did you guys think when you met him, and did the team buy in quickly?

Willie Hodge: 6'9" and could sky, still has the Duke record for most foul outs in a season—14. Thank goodness or I would have never played.

Tate Armstrong: Incredible talent and worker. Would have averaged 30 points per game with the three-point line. A good friend, now trying to survive his family of seven kids who are almost all out of the house now. Kevin Billerman: Scrappy player hated by all other teams, and could tick his own teammates off in practice as well. Got as much out of his talent as any player.

TC: I think he got the team on board very quickly. He was great and had an aggressive and knowledgeable staff with Lou Goetz and George Moses: Savvy, Inspector Bob Wenzel. He had a definite Gadget-type rebounder with a philosophy—run all the time—and nose for the ball. Elder statesknew how to teach that in practice Chili was briefly an assistant coach in 1979–80 man for the team. City guy who and make it work in the games. for Bill Foster before moving on to other interests. couldn’t live without it and unforHe loved the underdog role. That tunately didn’t survive within it. is why he was successful at turning the program around and, of course, also why he left once he became the over-dog. The BDTO: He wasn’t a player, but former trainer Max Crowder ’78 team set the bar so high I don’t think he wanted to stay. was, for a very long time, I think, the thread of continuity He was a builder or rebuilder. It takes a different psyche to for a lot of people. What was it that made him such a special maintain a good program and that had zero appeal to him. person to so many people? BDTO: I want to ask about a few of your teammates and get

TC: He was hard on the outside, soft on the inside. Old

your reactions to them...

Mark Crow: Always had a European attitude in life and no

school guy who after you survived his abuse during freshman year he would be your friend. He always told us he “was there when we came and would be there after we left.”

surprises that he ended up living there. He and Tate missed out the most from not having a three-point shot.

BDTO: And, how about your impressions of some opponents...

Bill Suk: Played one-on-one, full-court basketball in bare

Tom Burleson: Fiery, hardworking seven-footer.

Photo: Duke University Athletics

feet outside for hours. Very nice guy but a strange combination of by the book and on the edge mentality.

Dave O’Connell: Former roommate with a great sense of humor and personality enough for two or three people. Lots of injuries including knee surgeries in the days when you got the eight-inch zipper scars.

Jim Spanarkel: Great player, incredible passer—one of the keys to the Duke resurgence.

David Thompson: The best I ever played against— was lucky to play with him a bunch at Gardner-Webb summer camp where the ACC counselors played against the others. Walter Davis: Sweet D. Was even better in summer pickup games. His team almost never lost. He was lucky to have banked in that shot against us [to win in 1974], but he could probably make 35% from that range. Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 109


True Blue Bobby Jones: Incredible defender. Took that pass in stride to beat us in Cameron. Ouch!

Comcast contractor since 2001. I am with their business development team. I negotiate with developers and owners of apartments to develop agreements to serve their properties.

Phil Ford: Not fair to have his speed with no 30-second clock—so they changed the rules. It’s interesting that the three NC superstars all battled drug issues (David, Walter, and Phil). I suspect some of the city kids faced the issues earlier in life whereas the North Carolina guys were more naïve early on.

Tree Rollins: One of many great Clemson rebounders. BDTO: You had one of the more interesting nicknames in

BDTO: How would you describe yourself as a player? TC: I was not a talented player so I had to work hard. I was 6'10" and strong but was not a good shooter. When I was learning the game they told me to go inside and not to shoot outside. I might have shot three or four jump shots at Duke even though I was always open. As I tell the players, the non-shooters anyway, I have coached over the years in AAU: There is a reason you are open!

Duke history: “Herm the Sperm.” Where did it come from?

BDTO: What was your most memorable game at Duke? TC: Well, the Herm part undoubtedly came from my resemblance to Herman Munster... Of course, a very good looking Herman Munster. Let’s just say for now that Sperm just happens to rhyme with Herm.

BDTO: Can you catch people up on what you’ve been doing since you left Duke?

TC: I wanted to shift away from basketball—you know when you are 6'10" everyone expects you to be in basketball, so I wanted to move away from that stereotype—when I left Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and started to work with HBO in 1982. That was a fantastic place to work in the ’80s and still is a great company. I learned the cable TV business there and then tried to be an entrepreneur. I was one of the founders of Hoop-It-Up, the three-on-three tournament marketing organization. That didn’t work out as I had hoped, but that job brought me back to sports and for the next ten years or so I worked with regional sports networks. I started with Home Sports Entertainment (HSE) which was the regional network in Texas and ended up with Home Team Sports in DC. One of the things I worked on at HTS was the ACC Sunday Night Basketball package. That series is still on Fox Sports Net. We worked hard to show our legitimacy with the ACC in the ’90s to bring that programming to the regional networks and keep it out of the hands of ESPN. I worked closely with the great Tom Mickle and Rick Chryst who both had Duke ties and were supporters of the idea. When ESPN wants something they usually get it. Luckily at the time they didn’t have ESPN the “Ocho” so they were not able to get distribution on ESPN or ESPN2. When Comcast bought HTS, I shifted over to the Comcast cable side. I have been working there or for a 110 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

TC: I would have to say the Maryland game, my senior year of 1975–76, was the most memorable moment at Duke. For a 50% foul shooter to make [the winning foul] shots at the end of the game was clearly serendipity. Given that I live in Maryland now it makes it even sweeter. There are still a few geriatric types who remember that game. In an era [1970s] where most Duke players were known for how we lost big games—infamous passes to opponents in stride, missing key foul shots, or dribbling the ball off their foot—it is nice to be known for something good.

BDTO: Your daughter has developed a reputation of her own as a basketball player.

TC: Ironically, Alexandra is a great shooter and ball-handler, two things I could not do, and led Division III as a freshman in three pointers with 96 last year. Clearly she did not inherit my shooting ability. My younger daughter Madeline [plays] as well. Her game is more like mine, she is a hustler and rebounder and likes to run. BDTO: What did you take away from your Duke experience? TC: I have taken a lot of the lessons from Duke and basketball and tried to pass them on as an AAU coach and with our high school’s summer league teams. I am still proud of my Duke connections and active with the Duke Club of Washington as well. They talk about Forever Duke and in my case that is really true. MSP J.D. King is a lifelong Duke fan who grew up in and around Cameron Indoor Stadium. His family has held the same seats for over 50 years. He is also the editor of DukeBasketballReport.com, the oldest and most popular Duke site on the web.


Top High School playe r s to attend Du k e since 1 9 9 8 Year

Player

RSCI

Height

Weight

Pos.

City

State

High School

2009

Mason Plumlee

29

6' 10"

230

PF

Arden

NC

Christ School

2008

Elliot Williams

15

6' 4"

180

WG

Collierville

TN

St. George's

2008

Olek Czyz

66

6' 7"

240

PF

Reno

NV

Reno

2007

Kyle Singler

5

6' 8"

220

WF

Medford

OR

South Medford

2007

Nolan Smith

19

6' 2"

180

WG

Mouth of Wilson

VA

Oak Hill Academy

2007

Taylor King

24

6' 6"

230

WF

Santa Ana

CA

Mater Dei

2006

Jon Scheyer

28

6' 5"

180

WG

Northbrook

IL

Glenbrook North

2006

Gerald Henderson

10

6' 4"

215

WF

Merion

PA

The Episcopal Academy

2006

Lance Thomas

20

6' 8"

215

WF

Scotch Plains

NJ

St. Benedict Prep

2006

Brian Zoubek

25

7' 1"

250

C

Haddonfield

NJ

Haddonfield Memorial

2005

Josh McRoberts

1

6' 10"

230

PF

Carmel

IN

Carmel

2005

Greg Paulus

13

6' 1"

185

PG

Syracuse

NY

Christian Brothers Academy

2005

Eric Boateng

39

6' 10"

255

C

Middletown

DE

St. Andrew's School

2005

Martynas Pocius

53

6' 4"

185

WG-WF

Plymouth

NH

Holderness School

2005

Jamal Boykin

60

6' 7"

230

PF

Los Angeles

CA

Fairfax Senior

2004

DeMarcus Nelson

18

6' 3"

195

WG

Elk Grove

CA

Sheldon

2004

David McClure

71

6' 6"

205

WF

Stamford

CT

Trinity Catholic

2003

Luol Deng

2

6' 8"

220

WF

Blairstown

NJ

Blair Academy

2002

Shelden Williams

8

6' 9"

235

PF

Midwest City

OK

Midwest City

2002

J.J. Redick

11

6' 4"

205

WG

Roanoke

VA

Cave Spring

2002

Shavlik Randolph

14

6' 10"

225

PF

Raleigh

NC

Needham Broughton

2002

Sean Dockery

21

6' 1"

185

PG

Chicago

IL

Julian

2002

Michael Thompson

30

6' 10"

250

C

New Lenox

IL

Providence Catholic

2002

Lee Melchionni

6' 6"

205

WF-PF

Ft. Washington

PA

Germantown

2001

Daniel Ewing

29

6' 3"

180

WG

Sugarland

TX

Willowridge

2000

Chris Duhon

6

6' 1"

190

PG

Slidell

LA

Salmen

2000

Andre Sweet

6' 6"

205

PF

New York

NY

Brother Rice

1999

Jason Williams

3

6' 2"

195

PG

Metchum

NJ

St. Joseph's

1999

Carlos Boozer

8

6' 9"

280

PF

Juneau

AK

Douglas

1999

Casey Sanders

16

6' 11"

235

C

Tampa

FL

Tampa Prep

1999

Mike Dunleavy Jr.

26

6' 9"

220

WF

Portland

OR

Portland Jesuit

1999

Nick Horvath

6' 10"

250

C-PF

Arden Hills

MN

Mounds View

1998

Corey Maggette

16

6' 6"

215

WF

Oak Park

IL

Fenwick


Duke N B A D raft Pic k s Since 1 9 5 8 2007 NBA Draft     Round 2

1985 NBA Draft Pick 7

Josh McRoberts

Portland Trail Blazers

2006 NBA Draft

    Round 6

Pick 10

Dan Meagher

Chicago Bulls

Pick 4

Tom Emma

Chicago Bulls

Pick 11

Vince Taylor

New York Knicks

1983 NBA Draft

    Round 1

Pick 5

Shelden Williams

Atlanta Hawks

    Round 10

    Round 1

Pick 11

J.J. Redick

Orlando Magic

1982 NBA Draft

Pick 2

Daniel Ewing

Los Angeles Clippers

1981 NBA Draft     Round 2

Pick 5

Gene Banks

San Antonio Spurs

    Round 1

Pick 7

Luol Deng

Phoenix Suns

    Round 4

Pick 9

Kenny Dennard

Kansas City Kings

    Round 2

Pick 9

Chris Duhon

Chicago Bulls

1980 NBA Draft Pick 7

Mike Gminski

New Jersey Nets

Pick 20

Dahntay Jones

Boston Celtics

1979 NBA Draft     Round 1

Pick 16

Jim Spanarkel

Philadelphia 76ers

Pick 2

Jason Williams

Chicago Bulls

    Round 6

Pick 11

Bob Bender

San Diego Clippers

    Round 1

Pick 3

Mike Dunleavy Jr.

Golden State Warriors

1977 NBA Draft

    Round 2

Pick 6

Carlos Boozer

Cleveland Cavaliers

    Round 1

Pick 13

Tate Armstrong

Chicago Bulls

    Round 6

Pick 1

Mark Crow

New York Nets

Pick 3

Willie Hodge

Kansas City Kings

Pick 16

Bob Fleischer

Buffalo Braves

Pick 15

Gary Melchionni

Phoenix Suns

    Round 2

2005 NBA Draft     Round 2 2004 NBA Draft

    Round 1

2003 NBA Draft     Round 1 2002 NBA Draft     Round 1

2001 NBA Draft     Round 1

Pick 6

Shane Battier

Vancouver Grizzlies

1976 NBA Draft

Pick 12

Chris Carrawell

San Antonio Spurs

1975 NBA Draft

    Round 1

Pick 1

Elton Brand

Chicago Bulls

1973 NBA Draft

    Round 1

Pick 11

Trajan Langdon

Cleveland Cavaliers

    Round 2

    Round 1

Pick 13

Corey Maggette

Seattle SuperSonics

1971 NBA Draft

    Round 1

Pick 14

William Avery

Minnesota Timberwolves

    Round 5

2000 NBA Draft     Round 2

    Round 4

1999 NBA Draft

1998 NBA Draft     Round 1

Pick 20

Roshown McLeod

Atlanta Hawks

1995 NBA Draft

    Round 5

Pick 10

Randy Denton

Boston Celtics

    Round 8

Pick 7

Rich Katherman

San Diego Rockets

    Round 10

Pick 9

Larry Saunders

Detroit Pistons

1969 NBA Draft

    Round 1

Pick 12

Cherokee Parks

Dallas Mavericks

    Round 7

Pick 4

Steve Vandenberg

Detroit Pistons

    Round 2

Pick 12

Erik Meek

Houston Rockets

    Round 11

Pick 1

Fred Lind

Phoenix Suns

1994 NBA Draft

1968 NBA Draft

    Round 1

Pick 3

Grant Hill

Detroit Pistons

    Round 7

Pick 10

Mike Lewis

Boston Celtics

    Round 2

Pick 2

Antonio Lang

Phoenix Suns

    Round 10

Pick 2

Joe Kennedy

Seattle SuperSonics

    Round 1

Pick 7

Bobby Hurley

Sacramento Kings

    Round 3

Pick 6

Bob Verga

St. Louis Hawks

    Round 2

Pick 12

Thomas Hill

Indiana Pacers

    Round 6

Pick 1

Bob Reidy

Baltimore Bullets

    Round 1

Pick 3

Christian Laettner

Minnesota Timberwolves

    Round 1

Pick 5

Jack Marin

Baltimore Bullets

    Round 2

Pick 21

Brian Davis

Phoenix Suns

    Round 4

Pick 3

Steve Vacendak

San Francisco Warriors

    Round 1

Pick 25

Alaa Abdelnaby

Portland Trail Blazers

    Round 6

Pick 9

Haskell Tison

Boston Celtics

    Round 2

Pick 22

Phil Henderson

Dallas Mavericks

1964 NBA Draft

Pick 2

Danny Ferry

Los Angeles Clippers

    Round 3

Pick 9

Tommy Amaker

Seattle SuperSonics

    Round 1

    Round 6

Pick 2

Martin Nessley

Los Angeles Clippers

1961 NBA Draft     Round 3

Pick 3

Doug Kistler

Detroit Pistons

    Round 1

Pick 10

Johnny Dawkins

San Antonio Spurs

    Round 11

Pick 4

Howard Hunt

Los Angeles Lakers

    Round 1

Pick 18

Mark Alarie

Denver Nuggets

1958 NBA Draft

    Round 3

Pick 11

David Henderson

Washington Bullets

    Round 6

Pick 5

Bucky Allen

Philadelphia Warriors

    Round 5

Pick 15

Jay Bilas

Dallas Mavericks

    Round 14

Pick 1

Jim Newcomb

Cincinnati Royals

1993 NBA Draft

1967 NBA Draft

1992 NBA Draft

1966 NBA Draft

1990 NBA Draft

1965 NBA Draft

1989 NBA Draft     Round 1 1987 NBA Draft

    Round 1

Pick 5

Jeff Mullins

St. Louis Hawks

    Round 8

Pick 5

Jay Buckley

Los Angeles Lakers

Pick 1

Art Heyman

New York Knicks

1963 NBA Draft

1986 NBA Draft


The Message Is The Medium Duke’s Bid to Get Closer With Fans and Recruits by J.D. King

D

uke basketball has been innovative in many ways, on and off the court. On the court speaks for itself, but off the court, Duke has done a lot of things that have been ahead of the curve. One of the more striking examples is DukeBluePlanet.com, a website set up specifically for the basketball program after the staff decided it would be better to take some control over how Duke is portrayed in the media. Blue Devil Tip-Off sat down with Dave Bradley, who runs the site, and got the word from the man himself.

Blue Devil Tip-Off: What led to the development of Blue Planet? What were the strategic goals? Who was involved and how does it dovetail with GoDuke.com?

Dave Bradley: Over the past five years, Duke basketball has had 28 more regular season national TV games than any college program and 14 more than even the Lakers. That type of

exposure has certainly been a huge positive for our program and university over time, but it also creates an environment in which media and fans have a significant influence on the Duke basketball story, brand, and image. After the 2006–07 season where we went 22–11, a portion of that group of media and fans took a particularly harsh stance towards a team that had represented Duke at a high level and worked extremely hard all year. At that point in time, Coach K called a meeting and asked our staff to discuss things we could do to create a more supportive environment for our players. Coach K’s thought wasn’t to control the voices out there; one of his questions was what we could do to have a stronger voice. I was already putting together Blue Planet magazine every month and we decided that bringing Blue Planet to the web would give our team our own platform to tell our story, connect with our

Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 113


True Blue site because it provides a direct voice from the coaches, staff, and program. Also, while all of the programs at a specific school carry similar identities, they also have unique aspects of their brand that are important, whether it involves their head coach, their home venue, their style of play, their former players, their traditions, etc. The team website then allows a greater emphasis on those types of program-specific brand elements than a site covering 20-plus sports, and also allows the program to target a different age demographic if it chooses. A personal highlight for me in working on the project has been the ownership that our players have taken in it. From the outset, one of the primary goals was to humanize the guys and capture them in natural settings they enjoy. We want to show they are not only great representatives of Duke and talented players, but and also college kids enjoying their teammates, their school, the resources available to them, and their overall Duke experience. To do this, we’ve tried to keep them away from the traditional “interview mode” and find situations where they feel comfortable interacting as they do when the bright lights aren’t on them. On top of selectively choosing content and video, it helps that I’ve been able to get to know our players and develop a trust within the program, while having daily access. Nolan Smith commented at one point that on Blue Planet he and his teammates are able to be more open, real, and loose than when working with traditional media.

BDTO: How have the players reacted to it? What about the alums who are in from time to time?

DB: Regarding alums, I hear the most feedback from them on the magazine. All of the former players receive it and seem to appreciate the updates. It is another way for the Duke family to stay connected. BDTO: How active is the coaching staff with the site? What NCAA limitations have you run into?

The offices for Duke Blue Planet overlook Krzyzewskiville, pictured here on a quiet fall day 114 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

DB: The coaches have been big advocates of the site and magazine, and have contributed with blog updates, articles, and interviews. I also consult with them regularly and exchange ideas. Others on the staff have ownership too. For example, Kenny King has his own blog and magazine section, Kevin Cullen edits some of the video, and [basketball office administrative assistant] Laura Ann Howard has her own magazine feature.

Photo on previous page: Courtesy Duke University Athletics  Photo this page: JD King

fans, alumni, “Crazies” on campus, and recruits, humanize our program, promote our players at a higher level, generate even more excitement about Duke basketball, help define and strengthen our brand, and publicize the types of relationships and values that have made the program so successful in the Coach K era. We felt fans and recruits would enjoy and appreciate hearing a true “insider’s” account of Duke basketball and we also knew a website would create a number of opportunities to humanize and support our guys. On a personal level, I had developed a positive perception of the program as an undergrad and Crazie, but once I began working for the team after I graduated in 2004 all of my expectations of what the players were like, what the coaches were like, and what the program was like were far exceeded. As a result, I had a personal interest and passion to help “open our doors” a little bit more to help people see our players as multi-talented, great people, not hoops machines they see a couple times each week when ESPN rolls into their living rooms. From the outset, I have been the point person behind the Blue Planet website and continue to produce the magazine. We worked with a design firm called UnCommon Thinking to build the site and we consulted with our whole staff during that process. Jon Scheyer sat in on our design meetings, too, because it was important to get a player’s perspective. All along, I’ve worked under the guidance of [senior associate AD] Mike Cragg and consult with our assistant coaches frequently. We were the first college basketball program to launch our own site. Since then, several hoops programs have set up sites and it has become especially popular in college football. Programs are deciding that the sport-specific site makes sense as a recruiting tool and as a supplement to the main athletics


The Message Is The Medium say, “Nolan loves the camera and the camera loves me.” Nolan has made my job easier with his enthusiasm and sense of humor. Some of the guys who are more reserved when doing typical media interviews appear more comfortable when we are filming on the fly with a handheld type of camera or when a guy like Nolan is standing right there joking around.

Photo: Courtesy Duke University Athletics

BDTO: Former player Chris Carrawell is a fairly unique figure at Duke not just because he comes from such a different background, being from inner city St. Louis, but also because his personality Duke tradition didn’t start with Coach K, but it sure did accelerate under his leadership: Of the 15 greats pictured here, 11 played for Krzyzewski. cannot be bound by the normal constraints of a program Now that the site has been out there for a while, we (any program). Any plans to use him more extensively? have a good idea about what works, what we want to do more of, and what we want to do less of. I am really excited DB: C-Well is among the most interesting and engaging going forward because I have learned so much and had great people I’ve met at Duke. We’ve been talking this summer interaction with fans about Blue Planet. I am confident some about getting him even more involved, perhaps with his own of the changes and new concepts we have in store will be blog. We are still talking about it and I’d like to get him well-received and fun to execute. on video so people can see his personality. He is a genuine In basic terms, the NCAA doesn’t allow personalized sites person who has come to love Duke as much as anyone. or content explicitly designed for recruits. This means you can’t put a password up and have a recruit log in for personal BDTO: Can you quantify the effect Blue Planet has had on information/messages or have blatant recruiting content. We recruits? Has anyone specifically mentioned the site as a fachaven’t had any issues on this end as our goal was more to contor? For instance, has Player X said it really impressed him? nect with an age demographic that includes our recruits, not design a “recruiting site.” Instead of using Blue Planet just for DB: I can’t comment on any specific recruits... I can say that recruiting, we’ve tried to spread the word and set up a presence recruiting in college basketball is a big business and every on Twitter, iTunes, YouTube, Facebook, and Smugmug (a photo recruitment is different. Coaches across the country have to site). It is exciting to hone in on the places our younger fans find the right fits for their program, do their best to learn and recruits spend their time online and hang out there too. about each situation, and build a relationship within the confines of NCAA rules that can be limiting. As it relates to BDTO: To follow up on your comment about the players feel- communication, I don’t think there is a set way you can say ing comfortable in the environment BP provides, personalities “kids these days” communicate. So, part of the process for are obviously different. Who is really extroverted when it our coaches is identifying the ways that are best to connect comes to the site and doing features? Who is more reserved? and build a relationship with a recruit, his parents and/or the important people in his life. You have home phones, cell DB: Definitely some of the guys have taken a special liking to phones, email, Facebook, Twitter, snail mail, coaches phone, the camera and no one more than Nolan Smith. As he likes to MySpace, and so on.

Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 115


In the case of Blue Planet and the Internet, you have some recruits who don’t get on the web much and some who are on there often. And then, once they are on the Internet, where do they go? We’ve set up the Facebook page, YouTube channel, iTunes podcast, and Twitter page because those are some of the primary places our recruits and that age demographic live. These kids lead busy lives spent in front of screens all day—their TV screen, their iPhone screen, their laptop screen—and part of the process is David Bradley, who runs Duke Blue Planet, finding ways to get their in his office in Duke’s Schwartz-Butters building. attention and a small share of their screens. Parents and the influential people in the lives There are so many competing interests with UNC and of recruits are significant in the recruiting process too, so we NCSU right around the corner and to me Duke doesn’t feel hope that group checks out our website, videos, and magazine like the home team even in Durham. As such, I’ve never as well. felt we get the “home team” coverage that I saw UConn get In some respects, the success of the site on a micro level growing up in Connecticut, for example. Certainly a nice is more important than the aggregate hits or video views. If piece from an ESPN.com writer or an informative article from a big-time recruit or his parent checks our site regularly and the News & Observer is a plus, but those groups are writing to Blue Planet helps us connect with them, that alone makes the an audience that hopes we lose most nights. site a worthwhile investment. I say that because one recruit As a result, I maintain that we are our own best storytellcertainly can be the difference between an ACC title or a ers and promoters. The “we” includes all of our fans, alumni, Final Four, and not winning a championship. Some of these Duke staff, and our student-athletes. DukeBasketballReport. recruitments are cut and dried, and you get the sense the com [J.D. King is the publisher of DukeBasketballReport.com] recruit knows where he is going all along. However, somewas years ahead of its time in creating almost a blog-like open times it is not so obvious, and in these cases, the process gets model where I feel more like I am hanging at a sports bar extremely competitive. I am proud that as a program we’ve with fellow Duke fans than reading the standard press releases dedicated resources and time to telling our story and keeping and predictable quotes that dominate newspapers. Nowadays, it real, as opposed to engaging in the negative recruiting and there are so many ways to have a personal voice. If you use mudslinging you hear about sometimes. Facebook, blogs, Twitter, and YouTube in a certain fashion, you can really assert some personality and connect with fans. In BDTO: One of the things that is really interesting now is the case of Duke basketball, new media can help reshape some the struggles of traditional media (i.e. newspapers) and the of the perceptions and stereotypes that are out there, create vacuum that presents locally. It also changes the way teams a stronger bond between team and fan, and even slightly are covered. Has that affected your thinking on how to presbroaden the brand. MSP ent Duke basketball?

DB: At least in the years I’ve been around, I am not sure Duke basketball or athletics has been in a position to fully rely on the traditional newspaper for exposure and coverage.

116 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

J.D. King is a lifelong Duke fan who grew up in and around Cameron Indoor Stadium. His family has held the same seats for over 50 years. He is also the editor of DukeBasketballReport.com, the oldest and most popular Duke site on the web.

Photo: Courtesy Duke University Athletics

True Blue


Passing the Torch Who Will Replace Coach K? by the Editorial Staff of Blue Devil Tip-Off

W

hile most Duke fans find it hard to imagine Duke basketball without Mike Krzyzewski, the fact is that at some point he’ll retire and a golden age will end. Fortunately that time still appears to be a good ways away, as Coach K is re-energized and excited about his job and Duke basketball. Even with legends like Krzyzewski, there’s a bit of folk wisdom in the college sports world that athletic directors always have a short list of candidates ready for when their coaches depart. Duke’s Kevin White surely has his own list, but here are a few names that we’re sure he has already thought of, and some that we can hope will be there as well.

Jeff Capel, Oklahoma His startling rise to the Virginia Commonwealth job, where he was only the third assistant, was just a prelude to his success at Oklahoma. His age was thought to be a negative, but his players (and recruits) find it to be a positive.

Johnny Dawkins, Stanford Long believed to be Krzyzewski’s choice to succeed him, Dawkins is just starting his second season at Stanford, and it’s too early to tell how successful he’ll be, although most Duke people expect great things from him. Certainly he’s proven throughout his career that underestimating him is a big mistake.

Duke Guys There will be a strong sentiment to “keep it in the family.” Fortunately there are some good candidates in the family who can carry on Duke’s traditions.

Steve Wojciechowski, Duke (assistant) No head coaching experience, but in many ways he’s the Duke player who most resembles his famous mentor: ferociously

Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 117


True Blue competitive, smart, tough as nails. The lack of experience is a concern, but no one would bring more heart to the job.

Chris Collins, Duke (assistant) The son of long-time NBA coach Doug Collins, Chris is an appealing candidate. He has vast, lifelong experience in the sport, is very personable, and is also very aware of the new realities in recruiting, from texting to Twitter.

Mike Brey, Notre Dame Brey would rev up Duke’s recruiting in Northern Virginia and DC, talent beds that the former DeMatha High assistant mined very successfully in his time at Duke, but he has already said following Krzyzewski would be difficult and he might not be interested.

Tommy Amaker, Harvard Once considered the heir apparent, Amaker had a tough end at Seton Hall and had trouble getting Michigan going in the right direction, although the program was coming off of probation. Currently he’s at Harvard, where he’s shaking up the Ivy League with a higher level of recruiting than they’re used to.

Major National Candidates If you scan the big shot coaches nationally, these are the guys who come to mind who could maintain tradition and also handle Duke’s unique combination of academic and athletic excellence.

Johnny Dawkins, Coach K’s first great player, has long been considered a favorite to replace his mentor when the day comes. country, however, and stepping into a very different situation, especially in terms of recruiting.

Dixon has quickly proven to be a superb coach, and particularly a superb defensive coach. When Ben Howland left Pitt for UCLA, he said that his former assistant would do a better job. He wasn’t just being gracious; he was right, Dixon is tremendous. He’s also proven adept at finding players who aren’t necessarily top-drawer recruits and using them brilliantly in his system.

Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt We’ve watched him for years. He’s a smart guy with an appreciation for a good academic school. A departure from the K era in many respects, but we think he’d be able to adapt. Could also get a deal with Rogaine, thus reducing Duke’s overall compensation package.

Mark Few, Gonzaga Few has been approached by everyone to leave Gonzaga, but has held out. Could Duke tempt him? Academics at a Catholic school are also demanding, so that shouldn’t fluster him. He would be coming from a different corner of the

118 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

Izzo has been approached just about every spring with job offers. He hasn’t budged. He clearly loves Michigan State and the Midwest, and it would take a lot to get him out of there. That said, he has always expressed great admiration for Duke. Who knows? Like Coach K said for years, Izzo says he’ll always listen.

Ben Howland, UCLA Perhaps the best head man at UCLA since John Wooden himself, Howland is a West Coast guy who appears very happy with the Bruins. He coaches defense with a great passion, and has succeeded everywhere he’s been. Getting him out of Westwood, which is apparently his dream job, would be tough.

Scott Drew, Baylor Drew is doing a great job at Baylor, a job that looked hopeless after Dave Bliss. He’s been an aggressive recruiter, occasionally causing a bit of controversy, which is somewhat daring considering what Bliss put Baylor through. (You may recall that former Baylor player Patrick Dennehy was murdered by a teammate, and that Bliss had urged a cover-up story which falsely painted Dennehy as a drug dealer). Drew has

Photo on previous page: Ned Dishman/Getty Images  Photo this page: Harr y How/Getty Images

Tom Izzo, Michigan State Jamie Dixon, Pitt


Passing the Torch done a remarkable job under unimaginable circumstances. A very attractive candidate to ADs across the country.

Smaller School Candidates ACC schools have traditionally hired from smaller schools or picked off keen, rising assistants. Roy Williams and Frank McGuire are the great exceptions to the rule; Bobby Cremins, Jim Valvano, Lefty Driesell, Skip Prosser, and Coach K tend to support it. All these coaches are young, Bob McKillop aside, and ready for the next level.

Doug Wojcik, Tulsa

Bottom-left photo: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images  Top-right photo: Joe Murphy/Getty Images

Like Krzyzewski, Wojcik is a military school Jeff Capel took over VCU in 2002 at the tender age of 27. He moved to grad, in his case the Naval Academy. He’s also Oklahoma in 2006, and had the Sooners in the Final Four three years later. proven to be a superb coach and recruiter. Yes, he was a Matt Doherty assistant, but Vic Bubas was an assisnow, Wojcik. There were a couple of mistakes along the tant at State before he came to Duke, and everyone got over way: J.D. Barnett followed Richardson, and though he won it. Well, except for State fans who could have had a Bubas era consistently, he was fired basically because his style was seen themselves. as more boring than Richardson’s 40 Minutes of Hell. The For whatever reason, Tulsa has proven particularly adept, only real failure was Wojcik’s predecessor, John Phillips, who for nearly 30 years, at hiring rising young coaches. They flamed out. The ability to keep hiring excellent coaches is found Nolan Richardson in 1980, and he was eventually remarkable, not least of all because they haven’t all been hired followed by Tubby Smith, Steve Robinson, Bill Self, and by the same AD. Perhaps only Xavier can claim similar success in this regard. And please note: Richardson, Smith, and Self all went on to win national titles. Whatever Tulsa does, they should bottle it.

Darrin Horn, South Carolina Horn went from Western Kentucky to South Carolina, and he’s made a big impression on a lot of people very quickly. He’s disciplined, smart, and crafty, and looks like a solid recruiter. It’s a bit early, really, but he appears to have some things in common with Coach K. As a bonus, it would pay South Carolina back for pursuing then-Duke coach Bill Foster, although things worked out reasonably well for Duke after he left and some other guy took the job.

Brian Gregory, Dayton Although many ACC fans are unaware of it, Dayton has a wonderful basketball tradition and Gregory has done a great job for the Flyers. A lot of ADs have his name in their Rolodex. He’ll be moving up soon.

Steve Wojciechowski, shown here as a coach for the Olympic team, has no head coaching experience, but has parlayed minimal athletic ability into a career as a player and Duke assistant.

Chris Lowery, Southern Illinois Lowery has done a brilliant job at SIU, and is a ferocious defensive coach. He’s also recruited above his level, if you will. A former Saluki himself, he may be content to stay at his

Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 119


True Blue alma mater for as long as they’ll have him, and Carbondale is a seductive place to live.

Bob McKillop, Davidson It boggles the mind that McKillop doesn’t come up in more searches. Yes, he’s an older coach, but how many are better? His players graduate and he runs a clean, smart program. He could be a transitional candidate if nothing else.

Guys who might seek the job Whenever an ACC job opens up, there are two lists reported: the one the school has and the guys who want to be on it. Here are some guys who might ask to be considered

Rick Barnes, Texas Barnes is a guy who grew up in Hickory, NC, and so caught the ACC bug at a young age. He sort of lost it at Clemson, which he found profoundly challenging, and left for Texas, where he’s very well paid, and if the team has an off-season, no one’s going to get bent out of shape as long as fellow ACC refugee Mack Brown keeps football rolling along. It would take a lot to lure him back, and he would be an odd fit at Duke in many respects.

Josh Pastner, Memphis

Jimmy Patsos, Loyola Yes, Patsos is a Maryland guy, but winning at Loyola speaks very well of him. Of course there was that bizarre game against Davidson where he ran a triangle-and-two and “shut Stephen Curry out.” That’s what Patsos said afterwards, that he’d be the only coach to shut him out. For his part, Curry just shut up, stood in the corner with two defenders, and let his teammates play four on three. It’d be a shame if Patsos is saddled with that forever. He’s a smart coach. Anyone who can win at Loyola is gifted.

Craig Robinson, Oregon State Robinson’s career arc is amazing. First he gets a nice Ivy League job. Then he goes to the dregs of the Pac-10, Oregon State, and pulls off an impressive one-year turnaround. In the middle of all this, his brother-in-law, Barack Obama, gets elected to the Senate then has a mercurial rise to the presidency. If you know him, could you give him a few bucks to buy some lottery tickets for the staff?

120 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

Someday, he'll slow down... maybe.

Guys You Should Hope Don’t Seek the Job Please, please. Your lives are great where they are. No need to consider Duke. Move along! Rick Majerus: A gifted coach but overly harsh. Some of the stories that came out of his tenure at Utah were frankly disturbing. And also his health is always questionable. Billy Donovan: Billy the Kid plays it as close to the line as he can. It wouldn’t cut it at Duke. Billy Gillispie: Our original thought was that he’d want to redeem himself on the court, but then he got another DWI and the perception of an alcohol problem is likely to derail his career for awhile if not permanently. No chance at Duke. Any other grown man named Billy: Billy Packer. See the point? Just stay away from Billys. Rick Pitino: Already a poor fit, but after the Karen Sypher fiasco, he’d never fly in Durham. Pete Gillen: He can stick to Leave It To Beaver re-runs. Herb Sendek: Having had his fill of chasing Duke, it might be briefly tempting for him to think of sticking it to State in a very big way. It’s the humor of a man hopelessly trapped in a day-tight compartment, but that’s Sendekian to the core. MSP

Photo: Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Pastner has a great perch at Memphis, but Duke’s is better. He’s young, exciting, and already a legendary recruiter. His association with John Calipari, whose recruiting has been controversial in some quarters, might work against him, but his youth and his relentless pursuit of talent are intriguing qualities.


Duke in the NCAA To urnament Under Coach Mike Krzyzewski Appearances: 25 Not Invited: 4 Wins: 71 Losses: 22 Sweet Sixteen Round 2 Round 1

2008-2009 #3 Villanova 77, #2 Duke 54 #7 Texas 69, #2 Duke 74 #15 Binghamton 62, #2 Duke 86

Round 2 Round 1

2007-2008 #7 West Virginia 73, #2 Duke 67 #15 Belmont 70, #2 Duke 71

Round 1

2006-2007 #11 Virginia Commonwealth 79, #6 Duke 77

Sweet Sixteen Round 2 Round 1

2005-2006 #4 LSU 62, #1 Duke 54 #8 George Washington 61, #1 Duke 74 #16 Southern University 54, #1 Duke 70

Sweet Sixteen Round 2 Round 1

2004-2005 #5 Michigan State 78, #1 Duke 68 #9 Mississippi State 55, #1 Duke 63 #16 Delaware State 46, #1 Duke 57

Final Four Elite Eight Sweet Sixteen Round 2 Round 1

2003-2004 #2 Connecticut 79, #1 Duke 78 #7 Xavier 63, #1 Duke 66 #5 Illinois 62, #1 Duke 72 #8 Seton Hall 62, #1 Duke 90 #16 Alabama State 61, #1 Duke 96

Sweet Sixteen Round 2 Round 1

2002-2003 #3 Duke 65, #2 Kansas 69 #11 Central Michigan 60, #3 Duke 86 #14 Colorado State 57, #3 Duke 67

Sweet Sixteen Round 2 Round 1

2001-2002 #5 Indiana 74, #1 Duke 73 #8 Notre Dame 77, #1 Duke 84 #16 Winthrop 37, #1 Duke 84

Championship Final Four Elite Eight Sweet Sixteen Round 2 Round 1

2000-2001 #2 Arizona 72, #1 Duke 82 #3 Maryland 84, #1 Duke 95 #6 USC 69, #1 Duke 79 #4 UCLA 63, #1 Duke 76 #9 Missouri 81, #1 Duke 94 #16 Monmouth 52, #1 Duke 95

Winning Pct: 76.3% Final Four: 10 Championships: 3

Sweet Sixteen Round 2 Round 1

1999-2000 #5 Florida 87, #1 Duke 78 #8 Kansas 64, #1 Duke 69 #16 Lamar 55, #1 Duke 82

Championship Final Four Elite Eight Sweet Sixteen Round 2 Round 1

1998-1999 #1 Connecticut 77, #1 Duke 74 #1 Duke 68, #1 Michigan State 62 #6 Temple 64, #1 Duke 85 #12 Missouri State 61, #1 Duke 78 #9 Tulsa 56, #1 Duke 97 #16 Florida A&M 58, #1 Duke 99

Elite Eight Sweet Sixteen Round 2 Round 1

1997-1998 #2 Kentucky 86, #1 Duke 84 #5 Syracuse 67, #1 Duke 80 #8 Oklahoma State 73, #1 Duke 79 #16 Radford 63, #1 Duke 99

Round 2 Round 1

1996-1997 #10 Providence 98, #2 Duke 87 #15 Murray State 68, #2 Duke 71

Round 1

1995-1996 #9 Eastern Michigan 75, #8 Duke 60

Championship Final Four Elite Eight Sweet Sixteen Round 2 Round 1

1993-1994 #2 Duke 72, #1 Arkansas 76 #3 Florida 65, #2 Duke 70 #2 Duke 69, #1 Purdue 60 #6 Marquette 49, #2 Duke 59 #7 Michigan State 74, #2 Duke 85 #15 Texas Southern 70, #2 Duke 82

Round 2 Round 1

1992-1993 #6 California 82, #3 Duke 77 #14 Southern Illinois 70, #3 Duke 105

Championship Final Four Elite Eight Sweet Sixteen Round 2 Round 1

1991-1992 #6 Michigan 51, #1 Duke 71 #2 Indiana 78, #1 Duke 81 #2 Kentucky 103, #1 Duke 104 (OT) #4 Seton Hall 69, #1 Duke 81 #9 Iowa 62, #1 Duke 75 #16 Campbell 56, #1 Duke 82


Championship Final Four Elite Eight Sweet Sixteen Round 2 Round 1

1990-1991 #3 Kansas 65, #2 Duke 72 #2 Duke 79, #1 UNLV 77 #4 St. John’s 61, #2 Duke 78 #11 Connecticut 67, #2 Duke 81 #7 Iowa 70, #2 Duke 85 #15 N.E. Louisiana 73, #2 Duke 102

Championship Final Four Elite Eight Sweet Sixteen Round 2 Round 1

1989-1990 #3 Duke 73, #1 UNLV 103 #4 Arkansas 83, #3 Duke 97 #3 Duke 79, #1 Connecticut 78 (OT) #7 UCLA 81, #3 Duke 90 #6 St. John’s 72, #3 Duke 76 #14 Richmond 46, #3 Duke 81

Final Four Elite Eight Sweet Sixteen Round 2 Round 1

1988-1989 #3 Seton Hall 95, #2 Duke 78 #2 Duke 85, #1 Georgetown 77 #11 Minnesota 70, #2 Duke 87 #7 West Virginia 63, #2 Duke 70 #15 South Carolina State 69, #2 Duke 90

Final Four Elite Eight Sweet Sixteen Round 2 Round 1

1987-1988 #6 Kansas 66, #2 Duke 59 #2 Duke 63, #1 Temple 53 #11 Rhode Island 72, #2 Duke 73 #7 Southern Methodist 79, #2 Duke 94 #15 Boston University 69, #2 Duke 85

Sweet Sixteen Round 2 Round 1

1986-1987 #5 Duke 82, #1 Indiana 88 #13 Xavier 60, #5 Duke 65 #12 Texas A&M 51, #5 Duke 58

Championship Final Four Elite Eight Sweet Sixteen Round 2 Round 1

1985-1986 #2 Louisville 72, #1 Duke 69 #1 Kansas 67, #1 Duke 71 #7 Navy 50, #1 Duke 71 #12 DePaul 67, #1 Duke 74 #8 Old Dominion 61, #1 Duke 89 #16 Mississippi Valley State 78, #1 Duke 85

Round 2 Round 1

1984-1985 #11 Boston College 74, #3 Duke 73 #14 Pepperdine 62, #3 Duke 75

Round 1

1983-1984 #6 Washington 80, #3 Duke 78

Won-Loss Records of Duke Head Coaches Name Mike Krzyzewski *Pete Gaudet Bill E. Foster Neill McGeachy Bucky Waters Vic A. Bubas Harold Bradley Gerry Gerard Eddie M. Cameron George C. Buckheit J.S. Burbage James M. Baldwin Floyd J. Egan W.J. Rothensies H.P. Cole Chick Doak Bob Doak Noble L. Clay J.E. Brinn Cap Card

Years 19801994-1995 1974-1980 1973-1974 1969-1973 1959-1969 1950-1959 1942-1950 1928-1942 1924-1928 1922-1924 1921-1922 1920-1921 1919-1920 1918-1919 1916-1918 1915-1916 1913-1915 1912-1913 1905-1912

* Coached the final 19 games when Mike Krzyzewski left the team after back surgery.

Seasons 29 1 6 1 4 10 9 8 14 4 2 1 1 1 1 3 1 2 1 7

Wins 760 4 113 10 63 213 167 131 226 25 34 6 9 10 6 30 9 22 11 30

Losses 215 15 64 16 45 67 78 78 99 36 13 12 6 4 5 9 11 18 8 17

Percentage .780 .211 .638 .385 .583 .761 .682 .627 .695 .410 .723 .333 .600 .714 .545 .769 .450 .550 .579 .638


Wow, Did You See That?! The Ten Most Memorable Plays From 2008–09 by J.D. King 10. Dave Neal’s Concussion-inducing Screen of Nolan Smith

9. Gerald Henderson’s Massive, Angry Dunk Following Neal’s Screen

Nolan Smith had been struggling for several games when Duke and Maryland tangled in the College Park rematch. Still, no one could have predicted what would happen when he ran into Dave Neal’s bone-rattling pick. Smith had just scored a layup to put Duke up 43–42 and was defending the inbounds pass when, failing to sense Neal behind him, he ran into the self-described “YMCA player.” Smith bounced off Neal, his head whipped back, and he fell to the floor, glassy-eyed. It wasn’t that his head hit the floor; it actually didn’t. It was that it rocked so violently when he ran into Neal. It was easily Duke’s scariest play of the year and one of the most frightening in recent years.

Immediately after Dave Neal’s devastating screen of Nolan Smith, Gerald Henderson, clearly angered, had the ball on the top left corner of Maryland’s defense. Duke cleared out for Henderson, who faked left, then turned right past his defender who couldn’t keep up. Meanwhile, Greg Paulus ran his defender around Brian Zoubek, leaving the middle wide open. Henderson roared in, launched from about a step and a half inside the ACC logo in the lane, and threw down a vicious dunk over two Maryland defenders who were left flat-footed. Then, as if to make clear just how angry he was, he turned, pumped his arms towards the inbounds man, and roared. For most of his career at Duke, it might have been legitimate to criticize Henderson for not playing with an attitude.

Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 123


True Blue Not after the hit on Smith, though. It was one of the great highlights of his Duke career.

With the clock winding down against Texas in the NCAA Tournament and Duke clinging to a 72–69 lead after a missed Henderson free throw, Texas could have tied the game. They had one of the more feared three-point shooters in recent years in A.J. Abrams. Abrams drove towards the basket on the left and took about a ten-foot runner, which rimmed out. After a rebounding scrum, the ball shot Gerald Henderson appears to awe the Longhorn defenders towards the Texas bench with Scheyer on this drive against Texas in the NCAA Tournament. in pursuit. He caught the ball, tossed it—left-handed—behind his back down court while falling In the post-game press conference, Coach K somewhat into the Texas bench with 15.6 seconds left to play. The pass jokingly compared the play to something Magic Johnson went all the way to the three point line on the other end, might have done. By any reasonable standard it was a where Elliot Williams caught up to it and was fouled. He brilliant play. missed his shots, but Henderson nailed a pair after that to make the final score 74–69. 7. Kyle Singler’s Clutch Tip-in at the

End of the Texas Game In the same game, with Duke and Texas tied 69–69, Kyle Singler made a critical play: When Henderson missed a shot, Singler came charging in from the top of the key, soared over 7'1" Brian Zoubek, and tapped the ball in to give Duke a lead it would not relinquish. For people who question Singler’s athleticism, go watch that play again. Wow.

6. The Scheyer-to-Hendersonto-Singler Fast Break Against Maryland, in Cameron Duke was utterly dominating Maryland in this game, leading 56– 20. It was one of those games where everything was going right for Duke and they couldn’t be stopped. It happens sometimes in basketball, but rarely to the degree it happened in this game. After Maryland missed yet another shot, Scheyer took down the rebound and passed the ball to Henderson, who caught it outside the three point line, dribbled once, and threw an alley-oop to Singler for a dunk. Red Auerbach would have been proud.

5. The Next Play Nolan Smith getting ready to throw down the dunk of his career to date over two Southern Illinois defenders. 124 | Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010

On the very next play of the previously mentioned game, Maryland brought the ball down on the left side of the court

Photo on previous page: G Fiume/Getty Images  Bottom-left photo this page: Nick Laham/Getty Images  Top-right photo this page: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

8. Jon Scheyer’s Brilliant Pass at the End of the Texas Game


Wow, Did You See That?! where Duke knocked it loose. Before falling out of bounds, Singler threw the ball across the court, where Scheyer was streaking towards the key. He caught it and passed it to Nolan Smith, who in turn gave it up to Henderson for a huge dunk and a three-point opportunity. Maybe the two best back-toback plays in Cameron, ever.

4. Smith’s Dunk Against Southern Illinois Duke seemed a bit taken aback by Southern Illinois’s aggressiveness when they played the Salukis in the semifinals of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer. SIU really hung around in the first half, but Nolan Smith’s massive slam over two Saluki defenders was a turning point. Smith knew when he crossed half court that he was taking it all the way, though he had Henderson for a possible alley-oop on his right. Henderson, in fact, was sure he was going to get the ball until the last second when Smith rose up over one defender, who tried to draw a charge, and another, who came in from behind and on the right but too late to contest the shot. It was an electric moment and really gave Duke a much-needed spark.

3. Zoubek’s One-man Fast Break Brian Zoubek is not very fast, but every dog has his day, and Zoubek’s came with Duquesne visiting Cameron. With 11:42 left, Zoubek was playing high in the defense, well out of his comfort zone in the lane. He saw a pass coming, managed to knock it loose, and took off down court. The Dukes gave chase, but Zoubek had a good head start, and he went straight for the basket. With his teammates cheering as he rambled past the bench, some doubled over with laughter, Zoubek finger-rolled the ball in the basket. Henderson said later, “[It] was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.” A big surprise from Zoubek, but a great testament to his desire to be a complete basketball player.

Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

2. Henderson’s Massive Block Against Purdue’s Moore In the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, Purdue’s E’Twaun Moore had the ball on the left side of the court, out past the key, and was being guarded by Duke’s Dave McClure. He twitched right, went left, and headed for home. Lance Thomas tried to help out but was screened by Purdue’s Nemanja Calasan, and Moore appeared headed for an easy layup. Not so fast! As he started to go up, Henderson shot into the picture and launched in pursuit. When he caught up to the ball, Henderson’s hand was in the middle of the square. Perhaps Duke’s most deflating blocked shot of the season.

Jon Scheyer blows past Maryland’s Dino Gregory and Sean Mosley on an afternoon when everything was going Duke’s way.

1. Henderson’s Clutch Shot Against BC to put Duke up 65–64 It would be tempting to pick Henderson’s drive past Rakim Sanders for a huge power dunk, but as nice as it was, you can’t beat a clutch shot, especially in a tournament. With 34.5 seconds left and Duke down one to BC in the ACC Tournament, Henderson caught the ball on the right side of the lane. Boston College really failed to defend the lane—an inexcusable error—and Henderson turned into the paint and finger-rolled the winning basket in. Bonus play: offensive plays usually get more attention, but Duke’s defense was clutch. With a one-point lead and 5.5 seconds left, Henderson defended the inbounder and Duke collectively forced BC’s Joe Trapani to come out to the half-court circle to get the ball. He passed it to Sanders, who launched an awkward three-point shot that clanged away. MSP

J.D. King is a lifelong Duke fan who grew up in and around Cameron Indoor Stadium. His family has held the same seats for over 50 years. He is also the editor of DukeBasketballReport.com, the oldest and most popular Duke site on the web.

Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009–2010 | 125


BLUE DEVILS 2008 – 2009 Sch e d u l e & R e s u lt s

Date 10-Nov 11-Nov

*

Opponent  Presbyterian

Duke Rank 8

 Location  Durham, NC

Result W  80-49

Att. 9,314  

*

 Georgia Southern

8

 Durham, NC

W  97-54

9,314  

9 p.m.

 Rhode Island

8

 Durham, NC

W  82-79

9,314  

4:30 p.m.

16-Nov

Tip Time 7 p.m.

20-Nov

*

 vs. Southern Illinois

10

 New York, NY 

W  83-58

9,440  

7 p.m.

21-Nov

*

 vs. Michigan

10

 New York, NY 

W  71-56

12,543  

7 p.m.

23-Nov

 Montana

10

 Durham, NC

W  78-58

9,314  

1 p.m.

28-Nov

 Duquesne

7

 Durham, NC

W  95-72

9,314  

3 p.m.

 at [9] Purdue

4

 West Lafayette, IN 

W  76-60

14,123  

9 p.m.

2-Dec

**

6-Dec

 at Michigan

4

 Ann Arbor, MI

L   73-81

13,751  

3:30 p.m.

17-Dec

 UNC Asheville

6

 Durham, NC

W  99-56

9,314  

7:30 p.m.

20-Dec

 vs. [7] Xavier

6

 East Rutherford, NJ

W  82-64

14,818  

2 p.m.

31-Dec

 Loyola, MD

5

 Durham, NC

W  92-51

9,314  

4 p.m. 7:45 p.m

4-Jan

***

7-Jan 10-Jan

***

14-Jan

***

17-Jan

 Virginia Tech

5

 Durham, NC

W  69-44

9,314  

 Davidson

2

 Durham, NC

W  79-67

9,314  

7 p.m.

 at Florida State

2

 Tallahassee, FL 

W  66-58

12,100  

2 p.m.

 at Georgia Tech

2

 Atlanta, GA 

W  70-56

9,035  

7 p.m.

 [13] Georgetown

3

 Durham, NC

W  76-67

9,314  

1:30 p.m.

20-Jan

***

 NC State

2

 Durham, NC

W  73-56

9,314  

8 p.m.

24-Jan

***

 Maryland

2

 Durham, NC

W  85-44

9,314  

12 p.m.

28-Jan

***

 at [6] Wake Forest

1

 Winston-Salem, NC

L   68-70

14,665  

7 p.m.

1-Feb

***

 Virginia

1

 Durham, NC

W  70-54

9,314  

2 p.m.

4-Feb

***

 at [10] Clemson

4

 Clemson, SC 

L   47-74

10,000  

9 p.m.

7-Feb

***

 Miami

4

 Durham, NC

W  78-75

9,314  

1:30 p.m.

11-Feb

***

 [3] North Carolina

6

 Durham, NC

L   87-101

9,314  

9 p.m.

15-Feb

***

 at Boston College

6

 Chestnut Hill, MA

L   74-80

8,606  

5:30 p.m.

 at St. John's

9

 New York, NY 

W  76-69

13,800  

7 p.m.

 [8] Wake Forest

9

 Durham, NC

W  101-91

9,314  

7:45 p.m.

19-Feb 22-Feb

***

25-Feb

***

 at Maryland

7

 College Park, MD

W  78-67

17,950  

9 p.m.

28-Feb

***

 at Virginia Tech

7

 Blacksburg, VA

W  72-65

9,847  

3:30 p.m.

3-Mar

***

 [24] Florida State

7

 Durham, NC

W  84-81

9,314  

8 p.m.

8-Mar

***

 at [2] North Carolina

7

 Chapel Hill, NC

L   71-79

21,750  

4 p.m.

13-Mar

 vs. Boston College

9

 Atlanta, GA 

W  66-65

26,352  

9:30 p.m.

14-Mar

 vs. Maryland

9

 Atlanta, GA 

W  67-61

26,352  

3:30 p.m.

15-Mar

 vs. [22] Florida State

9

 Atlanta, GA 

W  79-69

26,352  

1 p.m.

19-Mar

 vs. Binghamton

6

 Greensboro, NC

W  86-62

20,001  

9:40 p.m.

21-Mar

 vs. Texas

6

 Greensboro, NC 

W  74-69

22,479  

8:15 p.m.

26-Mar

 vs. [11] Villanova

6

 Boston, MA

L   54-77

18,831  

9:57 p.m.

* 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer

** ACC/Big Ten Challenge *** Conference Games

† ACC Tournament ‡ NCAA Tournament


BASKETBALL 2009 – 2010 R e g u l A r S e a s on Sch e d u l e Date Fri, Oct 16   Sat, Oct 24   Tue, Nov 03   Fri, Nov 13   Mon, Nov 16   Tue, Nov 17   Sat, Nov 21   Wed, Nov 25   Fri, Nov 27   Wed, Dec 02   Sat, Dec 05   Tue, Dec 15   Sat, Dec 19   Tue, Dec 29   Thu, Dec 31   Sun, Jan 03   Wed, Jan 06   Sat, Jan 09   Wed, Jan 13   Sun, Jan 17   Wed, Jan 20   Sat, Jan 23   Wed, Jan 27   Sat, Jan 30   Thu, Feb 04   Sat, Feb 06   Wed, Feb 10 Sat, Feb 13 Wed, Feb 17 Sun, Feb 21 Thu, Feb 25 Sun, Feb 28 Wed, Mar 03 Sat, Mar 06 Thu, Mar 11 - Sat, Mar 14 * Conference Game

Opponent  Countdown to Craziness  Pfeiffer (Exhibition)  Findlay (Exhibition)  UNC-Greensboro

Location Durham, NC Durham, NC Durham, NC Durham, NC NIT SEASON TIP-OFF  Coastal Carolina Durham, NC  Charlotte/Elon Durham, NC  Radford Durham, NC NIT SEASON TIP-OFF  Semifinals at New York, NY  Championship Game at New York, NY BIG TEN/ACC CHALLENGE  Wisconsin at Madison, WI  St. John's Durham, NC  Gardner-Webb Durham, NC  Gonzaga at New York, NY  Long Beach State Durham, NC  Pennsylvania Durham, NC  Clemson * Durham, NC  Iowa State at Chicago, IL  Georgia Tech * at Atlanta, GA  Boston College * Durham, NC  Wake Forest * Durham, NC  NC State * at Raleigh, NC  Clemson * at Clemson, SC  Florida State * Durham NC  Georgetown at Washington, DC  Georgia Tech * Durham, NC  Boston College * at Chestnut Hill, MA  North Carolina * at Chapel Hill, NC  Maryland * Durham NC  Miami * at Coral Gables, FL  Virginia Tech * Durham, NC  Tulsa Durham, NC  Virginia * at Charlottesville, VA  Maryland * at College Park, MD  North Carolina * Durham, NC ACC TOURNAMENT  TBA at Greensboro, NC

Time (EST)   7:30 p.m.   TBA   7:00 p.m.   7:00 p.m.

TV

FSS

  7:00 p.m.   6:00 p.m.   7:00 p.m.

ESPNU ESPN

  7 or 9 p.m.   5:00 p.m.

ESPN2 ESPN

  9:15 p.m.   3:30 p.m.   7:00 p.m.   4:00 p.m.   7:00 p.m.   6:00 p.m.   7:45 p.m.   10:00 p.m.   2:00 p.m.   7:00 p.m.   8:00 p.m.   9:00 p.m.   9:00 p.m.   9:00 p.m.   1:00 p.m.   7:00 p.m.   2:00 p.m.   9:00 p.m.   1:00 p.m.   7:00 p.m.   7:45 p.m.   7:00 p.m.   7:45 p.m.   9:00 p.m.   9:00 p.m.

ESPN ESPN2 ESPN2 CBS FSS ESPN2 FSN ESPN ESPN ESPN FSN Raycom ESPN ESPN CBS ESPN2 ESPN Raycom/ESPN CBS ESPN FSN ESPN2 FSN ESPN ESPN

  TBA

Raycom/ESPN


The LAST WORD

by Carl Heimel

T

he spring and summer of 2009 were filled with wild sports stories. Baseball legends exposed by what was supposed to be an anonymous steroid test. Tiger didn’t win a major. Rick Pitino lost a top recruit when Jeremy Tyler decided to skip his senior prom to play for pay in Israel, and then lost something more precious when allegations about his personal life made it to the sports page. Duke had a wild ride too. Start with losing high-powered scorer Gerald Henderson to the NBA. Then add a rare transfer into the program when Liberty’s Seth Curry decamped for Durham. Then Elliot Williams transferred, leaving Duke with just two scholarship guards. The rollercoaster continued when Andre Dawkins, one of Duke’s top recruits in the 2010 class, graduated over the summer and joined the team early. Things didn’t stop there. There were rumors that Phil Jackson might retire and the Lakers would make another run at Mike Krzyzewski. And then it was announced that Coach K would return to Team USA for another shot at Olympic gold. So why, after all that change, are the questions around this year’s Blue Devil team eerily similar to those that Duke faced last year? Specifically, Duke heads into the season wondering once again about point guard and center.

What’s the Point? Last season’s big question was whether Nolan Smith could take the point from Greg Paulus and for much of the season he did. But in an unconventional move after the loss to BC, Duke switched Scheyer to the point. Scheyer performed admirably and Duke went on to win the ACC Tournament and also make a Sweet 16 appearance. But, while Scheyer’s scoring improved dramatically, his assist totals dropped by a nearly identical margin. All this means there’s going to be a Smith vs. Scheyer battle for the point guard spot this season, right? No, and here’s why: Smith and Scheyer are the only experienced guards Duke has, both will play a lot; and Duke was running their offense through Scheyer long before Smith’s struggles began. So whatever label they have, you can expect Scheyer to end up directing the offense, even if Smith brings the ball up.

Another “Big” Question Last year’s big question was who would help Kyle Singler on the inside. This year, the big question is who will help Singler on the inside. Last year there were high hopes for a freshman named Plumlee. This year too. Everything seems the same except that, unlike his first two seasons where he was forced to play inside, this year Singler will be forced to play outside. That leaves Brian Zoubek, Lance Thomas, the Plumlees, and Ryan Kelly fighting for two spots. Expect Thomas to earn a lot of those minutes simply because he is the best perimeter defender. That gives Krzyzewski flexibility with Thomas chasing the quicker forwards and affords Singler better match-ups. But Duke is still looking for someone to give them a post presence. The hope is that Mason Plumlee can do the job and he brings the most potential to the spot since Josh McRoberts sojourned in Durham.

How Big Was Andre Dawkins’ Arrival? Huge. Enormous. Big. Sean May at a buffet big. Dawkins’ arrival means more than just adding another talented player. Without Dawkins, the Blue Devils were a twisted ankle away from disaster. So the question isn’t if Dawkins can make up for the absence of Williams and Henderson. The real question is how much better Duke will be playing a top-tier recruit as the third guard rather than a walk-on, and the answer is obvious.

Okay, So What Should We Expect? On one hand you can look back at Duke’s 2008–09 season and see progress over recent years. On the other you can look back and see a team that lost two games by 20-plus points in the same season for the first time in over 20 years. The last of those big losses—to Villanova in the Sweet 16—laid bare the shortcomings in Duke’s defense. The 2009–10 season will see the biggest Duke squad since the 2001 title team. The easy assumption is that a bigger Duke will zone more. But, despite what appears to be a slower perimeter game over last year, the Blue Devils could actually be a better defensive team if either Plumlee can give Duke a shot-blocker and if Thomas can shut down small forwards. The focus may be less about zone and more about switching to a containing man defense. On the offensive end, Duke needs someone to complement Singler and Scheyer as a third option. The most likely candidate for that should be Smith although Kelly and Dawkins both know how to score. Where does all that leave Duke? Well, if all goes right, don’t be surprised if you see them in Indianapolis the first weekend in April. MSP


DUKE 2009 full  

MSP Blue Devil Tip-Off 2009-2010

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