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Classof06
07-22-2008, 06:00 PM
On Friday, Luke Winn of CNNsi.com made his 25 fearless predictions for next season. Prediction #21 was:

"Duke will look, statistically, like a national-title contender ... and yet fall short of the Final Four once again."

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/luke_winn/07/08/2008-2009-fearless-basketball-predictions/index.html?eref=T1&eref=T1

I've been on record as saying that while I feel we will be a very good team in 2008, 2009 is the year I'd as much as expect Duke go as deep as a Final Four. Does some of my 2008 timidness have to do with the fact that last year's team got my hopes up a little bit? Probably. But it also has to do with other things. There are currently a lot of question marks concerning our frontcourt; if the answers to those question marks are positive, then Duke can do serious damage. But I'll be expecting big things in '09 before the season even starts; this year, I have to take a "wait and see" approach. My heart can't take a repeat of last season ;).

On paper and in July, I'll predict that this 2008 team can legitimately get to an Elite Eight. I wouldn't put my money on them going farther but I do believe it's certainly possible.

I'm sure each of you has probably answered this question already, but in the name of passing time in the offseason, how far do you reasonably expect Duke to go this season?


Speaking of Duke in the tournament. CBS College Sports (DirecTV, Channel 613) is replaying the Duke-Belmont game tonight at 10pm and again at 4am.

wilko
07-22-2008, 06:06 PM
eh... so what..

Im not gonna let him ruin my fun.
I expect us to win it all every year.. not just win but shock and awe our opponents into submission.

bah...

I bet he'll be wrong at least once this year and this is a good time to prove it!

sagegrouse
07-22-2008, 06:12 PM
While not a cheap shot Luke Winn is suffering from a "recency problem." I.e., "Duke fell off at the end of the season the last two years; therefore, it will happen again this year."

Hey, you gotta fill the space, and this is a harmless way for a columnist to do it.

OTOH, I think Duke will pace itself better this year and roll into the Final Four. Way more depth and a team commitment to succeed. That, plus an Olympic gold medal will inspire the team and the staff.

sagegrouse

ForeverBlowingBubbles
07-22-2008, 06:13 PM
we will get some media consideration for the final four when we get at least 1 big man who can do something again. No one will take us for contenders until we do. None of our big men are close to proving they can compete on that level. Heres to hoping they do early next year at the latest.

rockymtn devil
07-22-2008, 06:17 PM
While not a cheap shot Luke Winn is suffering from a "recency problem." I.e., "Duke fell off at the end of the season the last two years; therefore, it will happen again this year."

Hey, you gotta fill the space, and this is a harmless way for a columnist to do it.

OTOH, I think Duke will pace itself better this year and roll into the Final Four. Way more depth and a team commitment to succeed. That, plus an Olympic gold medal will inspire the team and the staff.

sagegrouse

I agree. In the grand scheme of things, Winn's prediction isn't all that outrageous or "fearless" (to use his/his editor's words). He's picked one team to not make the Final Four. Well, in the end, all but four teams will fail to make the Final Four and a handful of teams with FF talent will also fail to make it. There are more than four top-notch teams in any given season. It's just more dramatic for Winn to single out Duke because a) more often than not Duke has FF talent and b) calling out Duke sells.

Harmless.

mo.st.dukie
07-23-2008, 12:48 AM
I'm taking the wait and see approach as well. While I don't like seeing things like this written about Duke it's understandable why someone would think this considering people had Duke pegged as a 1 seed/possible FF team this year only to see them crumble at the end of the season, which was also done in 06 with JJ and Sheldon, plus it's popular to trash the Blue Devils. This season, Duke was sensational during the early ACC play. All the way up to the UNC loss at Cameron people thought Duke could be a number 1 seed even with the two losses to Wake and Miami but something happened when March rolled around.

As it's been stated, we won't be taken seriously as a Final Four contender until one of our big men step up. Of course the added bulk of Singler is going to help the post play tremendously but still need one of Zoubek, Thomas, Czyz, Plumlee to average at least 8 ppg and 6 rpg if not more. I'm hesitant to make a prediction now simply because I'm not watching the guys everyday during their workouts/pick up games to see who's improving, for all we know Zoubek could be make an Aaron Gray-like transformation or Olek Czyz could be like Trevor Booker (who is also 6'7 240, was ranked lower than Olek and averaged 10 and 6 his freshman year).