*Certified by an actual Duke in Shropshire, England.
Here's a list of Nick's greatest hits on SCSD!
-Duke is the best team in the NBA
-The Roy Williams take-down
-The 'Zombie Singler' Theorem
-Duke-WVU Final Four Preview
They've all been awesome, and so is this. Enjoy!
THE DUKE OFFSEASON REPORT
When you think of May, what’s the first thing that pops into your head? College basketball, of course! Let’s see how the Blue Devils’ offseason is going.
With all the draft speculation cleared up and the final recruit rankings in, now might be a good time to check out how our roster stacks up next year. The Duke literati currently project the following starting lineup:
Holding the point will be the highest rated PG recruit in the nation and the best PG Duke has had since Jason Williams. Kyrie Irving comes in holding MVP co-honors from the Jordan Classic game and a sick baseline to baseline game. Watching him and thinking about our lineups makes me believe he’ll finally be able to lead us back to the promised land of fast-tempo dunkdom. Witness the 28-second mark (or the entire video):
The 2 and 3 spots will almost certainly be the core from last year’s team, Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler. No surprises here, just established awesomeness and a solid chance of at least one of these guys pulling down NPOY honors.
Holding down the 4 and 5 will be the Brothers Plumtree. The younger Plumlee will be especially fun to watch this year. He got hurt in the offseason last year, which is devastating for a freshman trying to get acclimated to NCAA play. I really look forward to seeing his progress, especially considering he has the talent to be a projected 2011 lottery pick.
Our Savior Seth Curry will be coming off the bench for heavy minutes at the 1 and 2. Some have suggested playing a three-guard lineup with him, but that means someone 6’ 2” would have to guard our oppositions SF, which is why a lot of people think Miles Plumlee will start ahead of Curry. What I don’t doubt is that he will get his time.
(Editor's Note: the opinions of Nick do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Seth Curry Saves Duke! organization.)
Other incoming guys:
Carrick Felix is a monster athlete (dunk from the foul line, anyone?) and JuCo transfer. He has a really great story here. Clearly a high character guy and will be a good practice matchup/backup for Singler at the 3. With an older, more developed body we’ll probably see him sooner rather than later.
Joshua Hairston is our other recruit, a solid scoring face-up 4 out of Montrose Christian. He’ll probably have to bulk up a bit, but his stock has been rising all through his senior year. He should be good enough to grab a solid 10-15 minutes in the big man rotation, along with Ryan Kelly.
Our last recruit is a Man for Others hailing from the greatest place in the world (and my own Alma Mater), Gonzaga College High School. Tyler Thornton is a top-caliber defender with great quickness and floor vision, if a bit of an unpolished handle. With so much talent at the 1 and 2 above him, he probably won’t see too many minutes as a freshman but should be a solid role player in the years to come (think Sean Dockery).
On the recruiting trail, K has already locked up two solid players in the 2011 class. Micheal Gbinije is a silky smooth 6’ 6” swingman. The other guy we’ve already snagged is a 6’9”, 255 lb bruising badass out of Mississippi. This is the first time we’ve had a real mean banger down low since...Elton Brand? An awesome pickup.
We still have two remaining targets in 2011. One is Quincy Miller, a 6'8'' 180 lb SG/SF that is one of the jewels of the class. My favorite thing about him is a post on his form spring, where strangers and douchebags can ask him questions:
UK fan: I'm a UK fan and I would rather have Rakeem Christmas than u.
Qmiller: thats fine..and i would rather have a Duke fan than u
Pwn’d, as the kids would say. He’s a legit funny kid (I believe on facebook he committed to ITT Tech) and should be really fun to watch. The other kid we’re hot on is Austin Rivers, a combo guard who some believe is #1 in the class. He committed to Florida as a sophomore in high school, but backed down from that commitment last year. He’s Celtics coach Doc Rivers’ son and is really fun to watch. Recruiting is always a funny business, but I believe we’ve got a solid chance of nabbing both these guys. Hopefully we’re coming back to the days when Coach K doesn’t recruit, he just selects.
In NBA news, Grant Hill pulled down the NBA Sportsmanship award. Say, what do the last 5 of 6 winners of this award have in common?
2004-5 Grant Hill
2005-6 Elton Brand
2006-7 Luol Deng
2007-8 Grant Hill
2008-9 Chauncey Billups
2009-10 Grant Hill
Scholars and gentlemen, those Duke grads.
Outside of Duke there’s been some news as well. Rumors are going around that Kentucky’s Calipari might be a one-and-done himself with a job opening up as the coach of the Bulls. He’d get to coach his former player Derrick Rose, as well as whoever Chicago can bring in with their max-deal cap space (Lebron, Bosh, and Wade are all possibilities). He told ESPN’s Andy Katz that he’s not leaving, but that’s standard fare in the college game when even whispers of leaving can devastate a recruiting class. It’s interesting to note that his prize PG Brandon Knight committed but was smart enough not to sign a letter of intent, leaving his options open if Cal bolts. I mean really, considering how slimy Calipari is does anyone think he wouldn’t go to Chicago if he got the chance?
8 miles down the road there’s some news as well, as half of UNC’s frontcourt has opted to transfer. This leaves only Tyler Zeller, who hasn’t played a full season due to injuries and John Henson, who can’t play more than 20 minutes without getting winded. Now checking into the game at center, 6’ 6” Will Graves everyone! No really. He’s their next tallest player from last year.
Really makes you wonder about Harrison Barnes. In his only year in the NCAA, UNC’s star recruit will to have to play out of position at the 4 instead of lighting it up from the perimeter. Sorry bro!