Thursday, March 26, 2009

Our Monster Mash: Duke's “Just Win Baby” Attitude (Part 3)

Editor's Note: We're back again, with all most of the teams we've talked about (Missouri, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Arizona, Gonzaga, Morgan State) still holding serve in the NCAA Tournament. (Yeah, our guest writers are kinda good at what they do.) However, the team that some of us thought would bite the dust is still hanging around, trying to ruin our fun. Yes, the Duke Blue Devils are still in position to make some noise. Unfortunately.

Since I can't talk about the Blue Devils without being disappointed in Candace Parker's husband selection (ugh, why marry a Dukie?), and wishing for Coach K to retire already, I've invited fellow Howardite DeMario Greene to talk about the "team everyone loves to hate." J.J. Redick is thrilled. Make sure to check out DeMario's commentary on politics and social issues over at his blog, A Requiem For Truth. Hey DeMario, you're on the mic, partner...

It's a bird…It's a plane…No, it's those damn Dukies again…lol…If there was ever a team to embrace the concept of "just win baby", it's Duke. This year has been an interesting one for the Dukies who came into this season somewhat certain of who they were and how they had to win and having to prove that each and every single night. The outside shooting, the ability to push the tempo, and the fluidity of the offense are the things that make Duke a potent threat. But we are all left to ask, "Got anything else?" While true Big Men appear to be on hiatus throughout the sport, it appears as though the post has been officially abandoned in Cameron.

They have to be one of the most unbalanced "big name" teams. However, Duke has a knack for winning. Just based on experience and craftiness alone, I have them headed to the Elite 8. I know it's wrong to look past the other teams on the schedule; but, Binghamton, Texas and Villanova don't have the kind of defense to stop a turned-on Duke team. I look forward to seeing Duke use its buzzsaw of a backcourt and marksman sharp shooting to clear that cluttered forest known as Pitt. If they can beat their almost complete antithesis, the championship is theirs.
Gerald Henderson is the kind of player who simply makes things happen with no excuses and that, in and of itself, is refreshing. He's everything you want- intense, intelligent, and athletic. Duke will only go as far as he takes them and from here, it doesn't look like his shoulders are anything close to tired. And Scheyer, while definitely no Gerald Henderson, is a Magician, and as consistent a scoring threat as there is in the NCAA. Duke is loaded with athleticism this year which makes it easier to carry the dead weight of some of the stiffies (ahem Paulus).
Coach K, love him or hate him, is the coach of the past 30 years in college basketball. He gets his guys ready. He's done a good job of managing his tendency toward rigidity and allowing for natural explosiveness of some of his players this year. His decision to bring Freshman Elliot Williams in has paid huge dividends this season because it allowed him to move Scheyer to the point. Duke is a team without pressure this year, able to truly define itself, which is what makes Duke so dangerous. A light heart lets wings soar. Soon we may be saying, "It's a bird…It's a plane…No, it's the national champs!" Suck on that Duke haters…!!! lol.
LOL, indeed. We'll see who's laughing last once Duke loses tonight.
Thanks for the post, DeMario.

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