While I will admit I did not think this year would be as rocky as it has been, I have enjoyed the season to date as much or more than in other years.
I think it is important to celebrate the achievements of this team and the individuals on it.
While I don't know that I have something for everyone on the team, I'll start this thread and let others chime in on highlights.
1- Greg Paulus. How many of us in our professional careers could take as much criticism as this young man did and refuse to bend to the pressure? Greg has had his ups and downs from game to game, but my hat is off to him for a *spectacular* season. Greg has a lot to be proud of both on and off the court this season.
2- Demarcus Nelson. Congratulations on (so far) his first healthy season. I like Demarcus' toughness and perseverance. Some of the plays against NC State last night were sheer willing the ball into the basket.
3- Dave McClure. What a basketball player! Dave just has a nose for the ball and 'special' plays. He may not be the most polished offensive player, but he really reminds me in some ways of Chris Carawell (my all time favorite Duke player) in that Dave's defense is stellar and he can guard big and small. Dave always seems to be in the middle of game changing/game defining plays.
4- Jon Scheyer. I had no idea coming in how much fun it would be to watch Jon play, and Jon's play has been the difference between winning and losing quite a few games this year. I am looking forward to seeing his game continue to develop.
5- Lance Thomas. I wish the refs would give him a break on his defense, as it is positively swarming. I hope Lance keeps his head up- the missed tip-in could have been a game changer last night. I love the energy and passion that Lance brings to the team.
6- Gerald Henderson. The tale of the second half of the season. With Gerald and Demarcus both on the floor, we present a look that is difficult for most teams to guard. I love Gerald's confidence with his mid-range jumper.
7- Marty Pocius. I, too, have been one wishing Marty would play more. If there was any doubt before, I expect we'll be seeing more of Marty in the tournament and next year. His much maligned defense is not as bad as everyone seems to be concerned about, and like Demarcus and Gerald, Marty can certainly fill it up.
8- Josh Mc Roberts. I wish I had half the talent Josh has in his pinky finger to play basketball. Like Greg, Josh has been under tremendous pressure to perform. I hope the reappearance of 'McNasty' for the last part of the State game is what Josh brings to the rest of the season.
Looking forward to the tournament, I am excited about this year's team. Its been a tough year but tough years can also bear good fruit at tournament time.
Let' Go Duke!
Class of 1994