Have you guys ever wondered about how special some Duke players were, and then realized though you knew how great they were, you never truly understood how SPECIAL they were to DUKE?
Elton Brand, Shane Battier, Shelden Williams, Jason Williams, JJ Reddick, etc.
Do you ever think to yourself..........these guys were simply amazing and I've give anything to see them back in a DUKE uniform?
When I saw Shelden at the Duke game to get his jersey retired, I just thought "man, I'd love to see him dressed out again", yet I never thought much other than just winning when he was there.
I think the guy I think most of is Jason Williams. Though he had great stats, even more special was just how he scored. I've never seen ANY player able to drive to the basket like he could as a guard. He was unstopable and he'd take on 3 guys down low and still score.
BEfore I sound too lame, do you guys ever think about this stuff or am I just a complete freak?
This is a bit of an odd post a day before a big game. You make it sound as if we should be nostalgic for days gone by as if this season is the beginning of some decline. Duke has had some great players -sure - but in a year or two you may be saying the same thing about Paulus or McBob or Scheyer- and you are watching them now.
I was thinking the same thing when I was in town for the Fla St and Unc games. I miss Redick. I miss watching him on TV, also. My favorite was standing next to Dennard in a sports bar in Houston when he dropped that 40 on Texas. I didn't miss Kenny's cigar smoke, however.
I gotta tell you that I have also missed watching Verga pop for 2 for about 40 years, now. Back then, forget about a TV feed.
I don't take it that way
If I could choose who to see again, in order, it would be:
#3 - J.J. dropping 42, COMPLETELY unstoppable from ANY range, on someone whose fans talk trash to him.
#2 - Jason Williams playing like a MAN, cutting through any defense, unstoppable, hitting killer 3s and amazing layups and even a strong dunk
#1 - Has to be Shane... doing what he does... you know, leading a team to a National Title? Hitting 3s, laying the ball back up with the back of his hand, making incredible from-behind blocks, and taking that all important charge.
I absolutely miss those guys, and I don't in ANY way think it has to do with this year's team not being as good as might hope; instead, I would hope this years guys will ALWAYS remember that THEY are those Duke players of today, and will be the Duke STARS of tomorrow. Hell, it might sound crazy right NOW, but we might be watching a Duke player right now who ends up in that same rare stratosphere.
Not to move too far off topic, but only I still sit in amazement as some of the shots JJ would make on a consistent basis. The number of shots he would hit coming off a screen with his body twisting in the air was amazing.
Paulus and Scheyer are good shooters when they're open. JJ had to work his butt off to get open looks and even then they weren't looks anyone else would think about taking. He was something special.
Crap, how about when we went to the Final Four every year.
You must spread some comments around before flaming the Moderators again.
I'm not sure how civileng68 meant it but I'd actually read his post as an invitation to appreciate the players we have now as well, before they're gone.
If that wasn't an intended part of the post, that's how I'll choose to take it anyways. As Duke fans we are blessed with hundreds of special moments and players worthy of reminiscing about, and I'd hate not to be present for the next special moment because I was stuck looking back.
civileng68, all those players you mentioned (and quite a few more) truly were special. Thanks for the reminder to appreciate all the joy and wonderment Duke Basketball has provided to us fans. And it has and will continue to do so.
Bob Verga one of my all time favorites at Duke. If he hadn't come down with mono there might not have been a Texas Western championship.Did Redick break his season scoring average record?
Yes. Please know that's how I meant it.
Now, I am a very opinionated person and as you guys get to know me, Im' sure you'll disagree with me allot but, hey, that's what's fun. I love Duke and you love Duke so that's all that matters.
HOwever, this post was meant just as an appreciation to past players.
Here's one that few, if any will mention.
Mike Dunleavy's awesome pass fake to shot that he had in the last NCAA Championship. He came down the court, set up at the 3 point line at the sideline. The ball goes to him and a defender comes rushing on. He makes a super hard pass fake to the top of the key, the defender completely goes for it and Dunleavy gets an open 3 shot. It was beautiful!
Speaking of Dunleavy, how about that first half against NC State at State? My memory is a little shaky, but I'm pretty sure he had 20 or more points by halftime. He was just unstoppable that day.
Performances like that are few and far between... most recently accomplished by our oft-maligned PG phenom Greg Paulus, as he led St. John's by a point at halftime this past weekend at the Garden.
Anyone recall other "individual Duke player leads opponent at half" performances?
A Jason memory of mine was when my buddy and I were at the ACC/Big 10 Challenge in Greensboro for Duke and Illinois. It was a super tough game that went to overtime.
However, at one point, Jason got a steal and ran down the court (if you saw him play, he just played short and seeing him dunk was impressive) and we just thought we would see a layup but instead we got a thunderous dunk. It almost brought the house down considering it was such a tough game.
I think in relation to Jason, the current Duke player who dunks alot like Jason in terms of just overall look is Nelson.
by the way: We got to go to the court before the game and talk to Dickie V and Jay Bilas. Dick is just as cool in person as on TV. He signed our magazine and thew in the word "Baby". However Bilas wanted nothing to do with anyone and didn't want to sign autographs. I'm not judging him, just stating the facts of it.
Whoa! We've got a baby on the way!
I'm right there with you. I miss seeing Redick in that Duke jersey. Honestly, I think I would miss him less if he were playing his game in Orlando. I went to watch him play in Atlanta in January and it was depressing. I miss him and I miss his competitive attitude.
Man, I'd LOVE and I mean I'd absolutely LOVE to see Shane Battier back in uniform. This guy is the complete model Duke player. Aaahh, its such a dream.
Whoa! We've got a baby on the way!
You can chalk me up as another guy who would love to see JJ playing again. I keep thinking this year that we have good ball movement sometimes and Greg and Jon are taking lots of open 3's. I'd love to see what JJ's shooting percentage was on "open" 3's (as opposed to his overall numbers which included contested shots). It had to be just nasty. I also miss Shane and the big 3 from the 2x NC team: Hurley, Hill, Laettner. Hurley had a shooting percentage that wasn't that great but he always seemed to be the guy that hit the shot that mattered. When a team was making a comeback, Hurley would stick a 3 and kill their momentum. Duke starts looking good, Hurley would hit a shot to put us over the top. He just seemed to have a knack for being the guy that stuck it too the other team at the right time. Hill was just the best all around player, he could play D, score, lead by example, etc. And Christian, was a great college basketball player. He was just the man at the time and that Ky game was the best.
The guys on this team that I could see us posting about in a few years: McRoberts (passing), Jon (all around game and poise), Henderson (will be unreal)
We are having a pretty good and very interesting season but I see next year being even better. What a fun time to be a Duke fan!