I just decided to start posting on this board after reading forever. I guess it's kinda appropriate since I attended Duke from 1972 to 1976 when a season like we just witnessed would have been considered a success.
While we all wanted to advance to the sweet 16, we knew we weren't going much further. Instead of focusing on the negative, I thought I might start a more positive thread.
Know we have done this before but I have never commented. The Duke Maryland game at Cameron in '72 was the greatest game I saw. In 1972 one only had to stand in line for about 4 to 5 hours to get a front row seat. My buddies and I got to Cameron about 4:00pm for an 8:00pm game. We were first in line and thus walked to our center court front row "on the floor with no press in the way" seats.
Duke had Gary Melchionni, as Senior with Randy Denton, Chris Redding, Alan Shaw and that other little guard, can't remember his name. Funniest warmup I ever saw. All season long Shaw and this guard would warmup by throwing full length passes to each other.
Anyway, we weren't any good. A breakeven season with a few upsets was all that was expected. But let me tell you, Melchionni was the smoothest player Duke has ever had. He had the most beautiful left handed shot he could get off from anywhere. Maryland was rated 1 or 2 in the country at the time; they may been undefeated at the time. John Lucas, "Bozo" Jim Obrien, Tom MacMillen and the TV announcer (whatshisname) were their stars. Lefty was their coach.
Well nobody on Maryland's team could stop Mel that night. I think he was 17 of 21 from the floor; scored like 41 points. In my opinion, the greatest single performance in Cameron by anyone; certainly top 5. The other 4 Duke players would spread the court and Gary would take whomever was trying to guard him one on one and he would beat them down the lane or hit the most beautiful turn around jumpers you ever saw. I guarantee you it has never been as loud in Cameron as it was that night. Tears were in my eyes it was so loud. A real "out of body" experience and the greatest moment of my wonderful Duke life.
Last night may have been disappointing but the thrills Duke has giving us over the years, well no one can take that away from us and dwarf these few disappointments. We'll be back.
It was definitely a classic. Melc. was unstoppable, but I recall his point total was in the mid 30's. Legendary performances grow over time.
The best game, of course, was the 61-59 NC of 2010.
OK, just broke down and looked up the stats. GM was 17/25 FG and 5/6 FT with 2 A and 5 TO in 39 minutes for 39 points. The other guard was Kevin Billerman, who is now coach at Ravenscroft HS here in Raleigh and was Ryan Kelly's HS coach. And, as a sidebar, Len Elmoron was a terp starter that day and set CIS ablaze with a stunning 3 points on identical 1/4 FG and FT with a team leading 4 TO in 33 illustrious minutes24.gif. Hen, Len, we still don't like you!
Okay, first let's straighten something out -- Gary Melchionni and Alan Shaw were seniors that day (Feb. 3, 1973) ... but Randy Denton was long gone. Six players played at least 24 minutes in the game -- Melchionni and Kevin Billerman played 39 minutes each in the backcourt, while Shaw, Chris Redding, Bob Fleischer and Pete Kramer split time up front. Willie Hodge played nine minutes and Jeff Burdette got two minutes off the bench.
Duke upset No. 3 Maryland 85-81 with Melchionni scoring a career high 39 points. Duke ran the Mongoose for the final 110-15 minites ... for those of you wondering, the Mongoose was basically the Four Corners delay game (no shot clock in those days). Bucky didn't steal it from Dean Smith. Instead, he got it from Chuck Noe (who probably would have gotten the Duke job in 1959 if Bubas had turned it down) ... to be fair, Dean acknowledged that he also got the Four Corners from Noe. Bucky called it the Mongoose because he didn't want to call it the Four Corners. Norm Sloan ran the same delay game at State, but he called it the Tease.
That was a great Maryland team -- Tom McMillen and Len Elmore were juniors. John Lucas was a freshman. Senior Jim O'Brien, Lefty's first big-time recruit, was also starting.
That was a great period for the Crazies, especially when Lefty came to town. Several students always dressed up in grey three-piece suits and wore bald caps to mimic Lefty (one of them had a gas gauge with the needle pointing on empty on his foreheard). I think that was the year when Lefty broke his foot and had to wear a cast. All the Lefty mimics wore fake casts too.
O'Brien was another particular favorite of the Crazies. O'Brien had a stock of bright red hair -- thick on the sides and already thinning at the top. It made him look like Bozo the clown, which became his Cameron nickname. Students wore bozo the clown heads, sometimes with Maryland jersies.
I was there at the '73 game and while it was a great game and a great atmosphere (although before the game, the big theme seemed to the "Fire Bucky" movement), I can't t rank it among my top 10. Just me, but nowhere near as dramatic as the '67 Freddie Ling game with UNC or the '81 Gene Banks game vs. UNC.
And while we remember Melchionni for his 39 points ... don't forget Bob Fleischer for his 12 points and 15 rebounds against Elmore (3 points, 8 rebounds). Shaw had something to do wih that too.
I swear Chris Redding when he played for Duke looked a lot like Ryan Kelly does now with the beard. Bob Fleisher was an excellent ball player and Gary M was first team ACC that year (72-73).
I thought the game was played in the afternoon on a Saturday or Sunday and was televised regionally. John Lucas was a brash freshman with a quick shot, almost a set shot like Magic Johnson back in the day. Elmore was a defensive force inside, less a scorer. A short digression: At the beginning of the 73-74 season Maryland and UCLA played an out of conference game, I think in St Louis at the Checkerdome. Before the game Lefty asked the team who wanted to guard UCLA junior Bill Walton. Elmore and Lucas were the only two on the terps to rise their hands.
Back to the 72-73 Devil win over the turtles. I vividly recall Gary M gliding down the lane late in the 2nd half having beaten someone on the perimeter, Elmore coming up to contest, and as Len rose up to challenge the shot, Mel puts up a running left handed hook just over the outstretched fingers of ole sourpuss and into the hoop. As sweet a shot as I've seen in Cameron. And the win was probably the biggest(sadly) at the Indoor Stadium the 4 years I attended Duke, 72-76.
I also remember a crazy dressed like Bozo joining the Maryland layup line pregame behind Jim O'Brien and dribbling in for a shot. Or did I imagine that? Anyone else remember? Ozzie?
I have enjoyed this thread. I was in attendance at this game. It was one of the most exciting I had ever seen. I lost my voice from the cheering - sometimes to the dismay of others upstairs in Section 14 where my seats were located.
Billerman and Melchioni were outstanding and I thought Redding played a great game. The whole team was on – playing defense and clearing out for Melchioni. The Mongoose was most effective that day. A great memory in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Was there myself; one of the most thrilling games I've ever seen.
Duke 85 -- Maryland 81 boxscore
Duke shot over 70% in the second half...thanks, Mel.
Here are the team stats for the 1972-73 season
A few observations:
12-14 overall but 8-2 at home; sorry, Len, Duke has had a very good home court atmosphere and advantage for years
Leading scorer was Chris Redding; would have lost a bet on that
Striped warm-up pants...ugh
I didn't realize I had so many Class of '76 classmates posting here! devildeac I knew of, but you others - did we know each other as undergrads?
As has already been pointed out, Melch had 39 and Kevin Billerman was the other guard. That '73 game is still one of the loudest times I have experienced in Cameron! Also in the top 5 is the '76 victory over those same Terps - the Terry Chili game, and the next big victory for the team after 3 VERY FRUSTRATING YEARS of loss after close loss, including the ... NO! I'm not going to bring up that game, which was away.
The skullcap and leg cast game was probably in '75.
Starting in the '72-'73 season, I sat with the Phi Psi's in the first row behind the visiting bench buffer, the 4th row of benches. And I sat there with my air horn, blasting it in the ears of the players and coaches, sometimes when play was going on (legal at the time!) and certainly during the timeouts! THAT is when teams started having their huddle out on the court instead of sitting on the bench; it was to get farther away from the horn's blast, but it wasn't very effective! Boy, did Clemson coach Tates Locke give me a dirty look one year - he stood 15 feet away from me on the court GLARING at me with his face as red as a NC State uniform, and I swear steam was coming out of his ears, for the entire timeout. He never talked to his team, and I stood there blasting the air horn at him with a big S.E.G. (Sh.. Eating Grin) looking right back into his beady little eyes. I thought he was going to stroke out.
About fours years ago at the Iron Duke football tailgate party, I introduced myself to Lefty and told him I was the guy with the air horn. He was very gracious and said, yes, he remembered it, as he smiled and shook his head no.
The 1972 - 1976 teams were definitely the nadir of the last 60 years for Duke basketball - Bucky Waters' last year, Neill McGeachy's only year and Bill Foster's first two years as coach. NC State won a national championship and carolina and Maryland were all top 5 teams, while Duke struggled to win 10+ games each year. But it's when I learned to hate carolina with such a passion!
Note to devildeac - that 109-122 Wake game was an away game, played in Winston-Salem. It was intramural bowling night and I listened to it on the radio at Fairway Lanes. If you saw it, you must have traveled to see it!
Last edited by OZZIE4DUKE; 01-01-2012 at 01:34 AM.
The Maryland-UCLA in 1973-74 was Maryland's opener and it was in Pauley -- where UCLA had never lost up to that point. Not only that, it was on a Saturday night and the night before Wooden scheduled a patsy to be a warmup game.
Yet, even with all those advantages, No. 1 UCLA had its hands full against the Terps. The Bruins led by one when John Lucas tried to set up a game-inning shot with under 10 seconds left. But as he looked inside, Dave Meyers reached out and knocked the ball away from him. Crushing loss, but the Teps were convinced they would win a rematch. That Maryland team lost just five games that season -- at UCLA, at UNC and three times to NC State. Duke did play them a tight game in Cameron, losing 64-61.
I think the reason you remembered the game in St. Louis is because that's where UCLA and NC State met a few weeks later. It was in the sdame Checkerdome that hosted the 1978 Final Four, where Duke lost to Kentucky in the title game. That was also the site of the 1973 national title game (the one where Walton hit all those shots in a row to beat Memphis State). It was billed as the "real" 73 title game (undefeated State was on probation and unable to play in the 73 NCAAs).
State was up one at the half and it was dead even with just under 10 minutes to go, then UCLA got on a roll and ended up winning by double figures. That turned out to be the only loss of the year for the Pack -- in fact, the only loss in two seasons.
Lucas, of course, was the kid from Durham's Hillside High (where his father was principal). John had great grades, but few coaches recognized his talent. Wooden came East (as he rarely did) to watch him, but took one look and decided not to recruit him. Dean Smith half-heartedlly pursued him, but didn't like his brash attitude. Bucky saw him several times, but wasn't enamored of the kid.
Big mistake -- Lucas became the second North Carolina high school product to ever be a concensus first-team All-American (David Thompson was the first). When he got to Maryland, he was battling Philadelphia superstar Mo Howard for a starting point guard spot. He suggested that they decide the issue by playing ping pong. Of course, the kicker is the Lucas was a world-class tennis player -- an All-American and ACC champion in that sport too. A lot of tennis guys thought he could have been the next Arthur Ashe had he gone that route.
In addition to winning the ACC singles men's tennis championship over Duke's Mark Meyers on the Duke home courts, Lucas was the first pick of the 1976 NBA draft by the Rockets, if I recall correctly.
I ran into John in the late 80's in Atlanta while seeing a patient at a local hospital that treated psychiatric and addiction problems. He was still playing in the NBA and as part of his rehab from cocaine and alcohol issues he would stop by a local hospital in the NBA city he was visiting and speak to the patients in treatment for the same. We had a 5 minute chat about Durham, hoops and treatment. He could not have been more gracious. I left work that day smiling.
Bowling on Wednesday nights, I know we must have known each other. I lived in Brown all four years was a Beta Phi Zeta. Know college is great now but nothing could beat those years. Even though we had mediocre
years in basketball I don't think we missed a game on the front row or under the basket as we walked in. From Mel and his crew, Billerman, David O'Connell, Tate Armstrong and his gang, just the best.
Also, there was a Sunday sports front page photo of us I think in the Wash Post or a NC paper. I'll give a dollar to whoever can find it. I think it is '75 and it would be the Sunday following a Saturday UMDvsDuke Cameron game. Maybe some nice current student could check the Library for me.
As long as you guys are recalling the mid-70s and the Duke-Maryland games and the pre-game interaction between the Crazies and a Maryland guard named Brian Magid?
Magid played in 1976 and 1977 (he transferred out after that). For those who don't remember, Magid was a man before his time. He was a pure shooter with unlimited range ... unfortunately, he was playing before the 3-point era. He couldn't run, couldn't defend, couldn't rebound and couldn't put the ball on the floor, but, man, could he shoot. He also had a very slow release.
I think it was before the 1977 Duke-Maryland game (the one that Steve Gray lost with his cross-court pass that hit the basket), but it might have been 1976. Magid came out early to shoot -- this is long before the team's pregame warmups. As he drilled 20-plus footers, he gabbed with the Crazies. After a while, one Duke student came down and put down a one-dollar bill at about 25-feet. Magid promply went over, made the shot from that spot and stuffed the bill in his pants. Other students started coming out, placing dollar bills on the court. Magid would make the shot and claim the bill.
Somebody came down and put a $5 bill at about 40 feet. Magid ignored it for awhile, but as he got ready to leave and join the team in the locker room, he finally floated over and launched a shot from atop the bill. The shot swished, Magid grabbed the money and ran off the floor to the loudest cheers I've every heard in Cameron for a visiting player.
Not sure how much Magid played in the game, but I know he had little or no impact.
Anybody else remember that night?
Terry Chili's career FT percentage was 45.3, which is below Mason's 45.5 (as of this moment). Miles is at 63.1 -- far better than either.
I do admit that as a senior, Terry improved to 51.8 percent from the line, which is almost halfway between Mason's current 42.2 for this year and Miles' current 62.2 (but slightly closer to Mason than Miles).