Feel free to move if this is more appropriate somewhere else.
I think the team will be really exciting--a good set of veterans and rookies--with a slasher, shooters and a strong inside game. Our guards from last year will have another year under their belts. Coach K will have had another Olympic experience (he seems energized after these things). We will have come off a really bad NCAA tournament and though each team is different this team will have a chip on its shoulder. By the way, I don't consider losing to Arizona as we did a couple of years ago nearly as bad as losing to Lehigh in the first round in Greensboro this year. I also think the student body will be more behind the team this coming year because they will realize that they aren't guaranteed anything and that they should get behind the team. I can't wait. Heck it makes me want to get a graduate degree in some not so hard discipline so I can try out as a student manager and be there up close and personal for the glory. Then again, I think I want to stay home and my Labrador would miss me too much.
No you are absolutely not the only one.
Last edited by blazindw; 04-17-2012 at 03:52 PM. Reason: Removed Needless/DN quoted post
Phew, now that we've gotten that out of the way, I'm also excited about next season. One of the main reasons is the four seniors. Once I separate myself from the immediate, unrealistic desire to win a National Championship every single year and instead see myself as a college basketball fan who enjoys watching players and teams develop, there's a lot of satisfaction in seeing guys complete their four-year journey. The team also has a lot of really good pieces to work with and I'll enjoy seeing how Coach K uses them together. They remind me of a mid-major team who might not have the most talent but benefits from having guys who have played together for a number of years. Of course, we also have a lot of talent. I think there's a really good camaraderie among the players, and as you said expectations should be tempered, at least until we start out the season 15-0 and climb to #3 in the rankings. Then everyone will be back to expecting a Final Four .
I am also very excited. I think Murphy replacing Rivers is an upgrade in itself. Not that I expect Murphy to match Rivers talent wise, but just what it means for team dynamics. With Rivers we were forced to play small on the perimeter, while Murphy playing the SF role will bring us back to a more traditional lineup. It helps with team rebounding and team defense having a true SF. Then you add in the fact that everyone else has another year of experience and growth to add to their games. And then Sulaimon is added to the mix as well. We will have a very dynamic offense with a good post scorer in Mason, great shooters on the perimter, and a couple mid range guys in Kelly and Murphy. I am looking forward to another great season.
I'm an optomist, so I always think that Duke is going to live up to its potential. That explains my bewildered dissappointment when Duke sometimes falls short of what I automatically assume it is capable of each year. (i.e. a Final Four) Maybe we get the best case scenario (2010 - totally playing to potential and exceeding expectations) or worst case (2012 and 2007 - not always playing with confidence and no real leadership; failing to figure out the character of the team).
I hope Rasheed will be as good as I think he will be. Alex, too.
Regardless, as long as Duke plays hard, together (no attitude, no bickering), gives it their all on defense and has confidence in themselves, then I will cheer like a crazy man. I think they will, so yes, I guess I'm excited. But it's some seriously cautious optomism.
....and just beat UNC twice. That's all I really want...
As for next year, there is certainly a lot to look forward to--finding out what Alex Murphy and Marshall Plumlee can bring to the mix, seeing how well Quinn Cook can develop over the summer, seeing whether the long years our four seniors have spent together will translate into stronger leadership, better teamwork and good anticipation of each other's moves on the court, finding out whether Rasheed Sulaimon is ready to contribute significantly as a freshman, and I'm sure I could think of more.
But I'm still feeling a little bruised after this season, so I think I will try to keep my excitement under control until at least August.
Count me in the camp of still being too bruised and embarassed to get excited.
Having said that, I sincerely hope that the team and coaching staff don't feel the way I do. I recognize that if they can get off the floor and get in the ring again, then we fans need to do so as well. So I will get there at some point.
Part of my malaise is this whole recruiting thing. It doesn't mean that we won't be good next year -- only that I feel like we are being painted (by our competitors, the press and sometimes ourselves -- and sometimes with real merit) as being on the defensive in recruiting. And that tempers any excitement I have.
I am also wondering whether/how/when we will send the assistant coach chicks out of the next into the coaching world. I recognize we will miss them initially, but for the long term health of the program I think it is good. And there seems to be no movement there at all....
All twenty of you are true optimists. I say after next year, sadly, I feel we will no longer feel entitled. We will be elitists with bruised egos. I hope the staff gets the same feeling and brings us another Grant, Elton, JJ, "Whose your Daddy" and JWill types in a class so we can see how Kentucky fans felt this year and how we felt in three of our four banner years.
I'm looking forward next year to a number of things:
We'll get to Duke in a moment.
The ACC should be a better conference next year and not just Duke, UNC, and everyone else (not intended as an insult to FSU, which was a good team this year). State being stronger will make the ACC Tournament more enjoyable to watch. And it is doubtful UNC is winning any championships so we won't have to hear that drivel.
Getting to a new season will stop the talk about this past season. Really, aren't we tired of talking about Lehigh (with McCollom returning, will they be immune to "The Curse?")
Now for Duke:
Alex Murphy has been billed here as a Kyle Singler type of player. Tough act to follow, and I hope Alex has his own identity, but Singler always gave you a sense that you were in every game.
We see Marshall Plumlee with a year of strength building.
We see Rashad Sulaiman. Based on what we've heard, nuff said.
Mason stayed here rather than go pro, because presumably he did not feel ready. Maybe Duke will get better at getting him the ball and he will get better at finishing.
Ryan Kelly has improved every year and has proven to be a smart player and leader on the court. Is he a model Euro forward - stretch forward, whatever - we'll see. Dirk Nowitzki has a championship now that he learned how to maximize his talents.
Will our other guards continue to improve? Seth Curry was a better player last year than the year before; Quinn Cook was good at times, not good at others, but should be better with another year of health; Tyler Thornton has heart and comparisons have been drawn to Wojo, who made a big jump in his Junior year.
Josh Hairston would come in at times and pick the team up. Other times he was ineffective. When he was recruited, several on these boards said he was someone who would start to show his potential by Junior year.
Andre Dawkins has been at times exhilarating and at other times frustrating. This was the guy that boosted us towards the 2010 championship with two key shots. This was the guy who came up big against Michigan State. This has also been a guy who has done little at times. No matter what, this is a guy who with one shot can bring Cameron to a higher level of roar.
If you're a fan, why wouldn't you look forward to next year?
I personally see a lot of similarities between this year and the 2010 championship team—not that we'll be that good by any stretch, just that we can have a great year. Think about it—in 2009 we had a team that started off hot but faltered at the end. We had a lot of role players that were adjusting to their new roles as starters/stars (Nolan, Scheyer, the bigs) while a dominant scoring force that didn't quite fit in with the rest of the offense (G) dominated. Then that dominant offensive force left in a move that should've decimated us, but left us with a veteran returning team that coalesced into a winner. I could very easily see that happening this year, with Austin being G, Seth stepping up into a Scheyer-like role, and Ryan and Mason finally adapting to being "the" guys (much like Nolan and Kyle did).
I've been thinking this for a while. While we may not be explosive, I think we don't lose as much with Austin as people think, and it might actually be addition by subtraction. We'll have a team most likely starting at least 3 seniors with another coming off the bench, two more juniors in the rotation, and a guy in Murphy who could change the shape of the team. I'm optimistic.
Trinity 2012, University of Michigan (PhD) 2017
Duke Chronicle, Sports Online Editor: 2010-2012
K-Ville Blue Tenting 2009
K-Ville Blue Tenting 2010
K-Ville Blue Tenting 2011
K-Ville Blue Tenting 2012
I'm excited. For 3-4 years, I've been waiting and speculating on what type of college players Mason, Ryan, Andre, and Curry will eventually develop into. This is it - their final year! We're finally going to know!
I don't think you reflect the basic understanding of being a Duke fan. But I'm not certain if you understand the entire process. After over 50 years at this, even with four championships, I doubt many of us oldtimers feel entitled. Nor are we elitists--lucky maybe. Bruised egos? Not so much, even if losses are painful and disappoint; but we understand that's the usual ending. Superstar required? Most of us would agree that would be nice. More likely we would prefer a 4-year star like Singler. But not so we can be ecstatic. Most of us enjoy the process even if the end doesn't always turn out well; ecstasy is not the goal. Success is.
I hope you rethink who Duke fans and alums are and what our actual values consist of. Twenty optimists? I'd say we are all optimists, always. (Even those who say they have their doubts.)
Cameron Crazies Do Not Storm The Court
I 2nd that notion I am PUMPED!!!!! I think with this year of experience and some good depth the sky is the limit for this team. The big improvement will need to come defensivly of course, but I think we have a few guys ready to have potentially monster years. GO DUKE!!!!
I'm among those who believe that next year will be a better Duke year than 2011-12. Austin will be an incredible talent. He had a good year for us. But, without "the shot," I don't believe he would be heading off to the NBA. Already it doesn't seem that he will be a high first round pick. But without "the shot" (wonderful as it may have been), not too many people would have been talking about him nationally. As I said, he is a great talent... but more often than not, our offense turned into one-on-one basketball, with Austin setting up our big men (including Mason) to set picks for him. And often, after coming off of those picks he stumbled into the lane and lost the ball. I truly have no doubt that Duke team basketball, using all players - to dribble, shoot, and (mainly) pass to others who have better, easier shots - is ultimately better than whatever we want to call the basketball we played this year. I'm a realist, not a super optimist... And that's how I see it...
I'm a johnny-come-lately to the Blue Devil basketball cheering section but I am very much looking forward to the games next year's squad will throw down. More so even than the past two years as it is no secret that I shared no entusiasm for Duke's flirtation with one and done phenoms.
Interseting story - I live about four blocks from the UofLouisville campus. The night of the final four match up between UofK and the Cards, some friends from Detroit traveling to Nashville were coming through town and needed a meal, some beer and respite. We met at a local pub. I wore my Duke hat. The owner noticed and said, "Well, they didn't do much this year."
"Yeah," I said, "just graduated most of their atheletes with meaningful degrees."
My friends, being fans of education and application, applauded greatly.
If being a fan were logical, we'd all be Duke fans but some of us were born to a different blue.