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View Full Version : This team has some of my favorite Duke players ever on it



trinity92
12-01-2009, 12:06 PM
Just had to post a quick one and get this off my chest. Regardless of how we fare this season, I'm considering myself lucky to be a Duke fan/alum this year. In over 20 years of watching the team, Scheyer, Smith and Singler are among my favorite Duke players ever. I get a smile from watching them, on and off the court.

FWIW, Will Avery, Billy McCaffrey, Thomas Hill and Robert Brickey are also among my favorites ever, so this really isn't a matter of loving our top three productive guys and the media face of our team. I am truly thankful to have these guys on our team.

Now a 4th ring would be nice too . . .

Jumbo
12-01-2009, 12:54 PM
Just had to post a quick one and get this off my chest. Regardless of how we fare this season, I'm considering myself lucky to be a Duke fan/alum this year. In over 20 years of watching the team, Scheyer, Smith and Singler are among my favorite Duke players ever. I get a smile from watching them, on and off the court.

FWIW, Will Avery, Billy McCaffrey, Thomas Hill and Robert Brickey are also among my favorites ever, so this really isn't a matter of loving our top three productive guys and the media face of our team. I am truly thankful to have these guys on our team.

Now a 4th ring would be nice too . . .


Agreed, this team is extremely likeable. Granted, if you're a Duke fan, you're going to like every team, but we can probably agree there were some players in the past who weren't as, uh, endearing as others.

The three guys you singled out all have different reason to be appreciated, too. Scheyer just plays such a beautiful game, it's going to be a shame that some people won't realize how much they miss him until he's gone. Combine that with an attitude that has been incredibly poised since his freshman year, great leadership and a deep appreciation and commitment to what he's doing and there's just so much to like.

Smith, meanwhile, just exudes so much personality -- and it's all positive. The kid is just constantly smiling, cracking jokes, etc. And he has some flare to his game that is great to see.

And Singler has a dose of Scheyer's poise, but a bit more of an edge to him. And he just plays so damn hard. Add in his considerable skill and that's quite a package.

And that's not meant to shortchange the other guys on the team, too. Think about all the foot problems Zoubs has pushed through, Lance's energy and willingness to battle when out of position, Dawkins' infectious enthusiasm for the opportunity to play at Duke, etc. Miles and Mason seem like great kids. I don't feel like I know as much about Kelly and Czyz, and the walk-ons are certainly mysteries, but individually and collectively, I agree with what you said -- what a good group of guys.

lpd1982
12-01-2009, 01:26 PM
Those who know these guys can attest to one other thing these guys have in common. THEY LOVE DUKE! Truly they love Duke, even beyond Duke basketball they are proud of being Duke students. I think most of us on the board feel that way too and so we connect with this bunch of guys in a special way. Who wouldn't love a guy who when given the NIT winner's watch says, "They could have given me the box and I woulda been happy." Yea Nolan.

Azdukefan
12-01-2009, 01:30 PM
Agreed, this team is extremely likeable. Granted, if you're a Duke fan, you're going to like every team, but we can probably agree there were some players in the past who weren't as, uh, endearing as others.

The three guys you singled out all have different reason to be appreciated, too. Scheyer just plays such a beautiful game, it's going to be a shame that some people won't realize how much they miss him until he's gone. Combine that with an attitude that has been incredibly poised since his freshman year, great leadership and a deep appreciation and commitment to what he's doing and there's just so much to like.

Smith, meanwhile, just exudes so much personality -- and it's all positive. The kid is just constantly smiling, cracking jokes, etc. And he has some flare to his game that is great to see.

And Singler has a dose of Scheyer's poise, but a bit more of an edge to him. And he just plays so damn hard. Add in his considerable skill and that's quite a package.

And that's not meant to shortchange the other guys on the team, too. Think about all the foot problems Zoubs has pushed through, Lance's energy and willingness to battle when out of position, Dawkins' infectious enthusiasm for the opportunity to play at Duke, etc. Miles and Mason seem like great kids. I don't feel like I know as much about Kelly and Czyz, and the walk-ons are certainly mysteries, but individually and collectively, I agree with what you said -- what a good group of guys.

I am on record at about the midpoint in the 2006-2007 season as saying I did not like that team. I do however.......love this team!

slower
12-01-2009, 01:38 PM
Just had to post a quick one and get this off my chest. Regardless of how we fare this season, I'm considering myself lucky to be a Duke fan/alum this year. In over 20 years of watching the team, Scheyer, Smith and Singler are among my favorite Duke players ever. I get a smile from watching them, on and off the court.

We may not realize just how blessed we were to have these guys until a few years down the road. Three of the ALL-TIME most loveable Duke players. And I think we may someday be saying the same about some of our current underclassmen.

Also, I'll bet that this year's Senior Day may be one of the most emotional in recent memory.

Welcome2DaSlopes
12-01-2009, 02:53 PM
Let's not forget how lovable Dre is.

hq2
12-01-2009, 03:05 PM
Gee. we just love 'em all to death, don't we! They're just such a great bunch of guys. But seriously, folks... There have been Duke teams that I thought were likeable, and some that actually weren't. I'd say two teams on the extreme end would be the 2001 championship team (great bunch of guys, all) and the '99 team that lost to Uconn, which I actually disliked to the point where I was rooting for Uconn to upset them. They were so blatantly pre-NBA that they went out and partied the night before the championship game to celebrate going to the pros; that's how little they cared about Duke!

DukeCO2009
12-01-2009, 03:07 PM
Let's not forget how lovable Dre is.

Dre is going to go down as one of my all-time favorites. I can already tell. The kid just has the "it" factor.

ChicagoCrazy84
12-01-2009, 03:12 PM
Dre will turn out to be my Trajan Langdon. The Alaskan Assassin is still my all time favorite Duke player with JJ being a close 2nd. Andre is going to turn out to be one of the go-to guys in the next couple years similar to Trajan, with hopefully a team that is just as stacked.

oldnavy
12-01-2009, 03:12 PM
I think this team likes each other as well. The chemistry is there.

Andre reminds me off Charlie in the Willy Wonka story. He is just so dang happy and thrilled to be there (here)! It is quite refreshing to see.

Edouble
12-01-2009, 03:21 PM
Gee. we just love 'em all to death, don't we! They're just such a great bunch of guys. But seriously, folks... There have been Duke teams that I thought were likeable, and some that actually weren't. I'd say two teams on the extreme end would be the 2001 championship team (great bunch of guys, all) and the '99 team that lost to Uconn, which I actually disliked to the point where I was rooting for Uconn to upset them. They were so blatantly pre-NBA that they went out and partied the night before the championship game to celebrate going to the pros; that's how little they cared about Duke!

Rooting against Coach K, Battier, Langdon, and Cwell? Really?

Please feel free to leave at any time.

Heelkiller1
12-01-2009, 03:50 PM
The 01 Championship team was probaly my favorite team but this years team is growing on me more and more every day.GO DUKE

jv001
12-01-2009, 04:29 PM
Gee. we just love 'em all to death, don't we! They're just such a great bunch of guys. But seriously, folks... There have been Duke teams that I thought were likeable, and some that actually weren't. I'd say two teams on the extreme end would be the 2001 championship team (great bunch of guys, all) and the '99 team that lost to Uconn, which I actually disliked to the point where I was rooting for Uconn to upset them. They were so blatantly pre-NBA that they went out and partied the night before the championship game to celebrate going to the pros; that's how little they cared about Duke!

Rooting against Duke? And we played Uconn? I must love Duke more that you. I could never root for anyone over them. But I would be interested in the players that were out partying the night before the FF game. The years team has some special players and I will hate to see them leave. Go Duke!

Duvall
12-01-2009, 04:36 PM
Gee. we just love 'em all to death, don't we! They're just such a great bunch of guys. But seriously, folks... There have been Duke teams that I thought were likeable, and some that actually weren't. I'd say two teams on the extreme end would be the 2001 championship team (great bunch of guys, all) and the '99 team that lost to Uconn, which I actually disliked to the point where I was rooting for Uconn to upset them. They were so blatantly pre-NBA that they went out and partied the night before the championship game to celebrate going to the pros; that's how little they cared about Duke!

Yeah, *they* didn't care about Duke.

Azdukefan
12-01-2009, 10:54 PM
Gee. we just love 'em all to death, don't we! They're just such a great bunch of guys. But seriously, folks... There have been Duke teams that I thought were likeable, and some that actually weren't. I'd say two teams on the extreme end would be the 2001 championship team (great bunch of guys, all) and the '99 team that lost to Uconn, which I actually disliked to the point where I was rooting for Uconn to upset them. They were so blatantly pre-NBA that they went out and partied the night before the championship game to celebrate going to the pros; that's how little they cared about Duke!

Root against Duke? That is sacreligious in my house. Again I was not a fan of the 2006-2007 team but never once did I root against them (I felt horrible when Maynor hit that shot). The 99 team was actually my favorite team ever. Can you say swagger?

hq2
12-02-2009, 09:58 AM
I'm going to respond to these posts about the 99 team. I agree the 99 team had several great guys on it; Langdon, Carawell, Battier, and Nate James are all among my favorites. However, it had a number of other players who were marginal students who were only there to get their NBAs, including Corey Maggette, who has since gone on to be a very selfish NBA player, Elton Brand who was already thinking about the pros at the time, and Chris Burgess who was an overated whiner. William Avery I kind of actually liked, but he made a foolish decision to leave early, and as it turns out, did not actually have an NBA game.

In addition to not representing the Duke tradition of bona-fide student athletes, I also did not like the way that team played. They were very intimidating and thuggy, and played an ugly, physical style of ball. In addition, I thought the media had way over-rated them that year; they had kind of forgotten about Uconn who finished 34-2, and had been No. 1 most of the year. Duke that year was like Vegas in '91; a team with lots of NBA players who had played easy comp most of the year (the ACC sucked that year) and had not played really tough comp (except Cincinnati) until the end
of the year. They were set up for a fall the same way Vegas was in '91, only this time, we got to play the bad guys.

Duvall
12-02-2009, 10:41 AM
I'm going to respond to these posts about the 99 team. I agree the 99 team had several great guys on it; Langdon, Carawell, Battier, and Nate James are all among my favorites. However, it had a number of other players who were marginal students who were only there to get their NBAs, including Corey Maggette, who has since gone on to be a very selfish NBA player, Elton Brand who was already thinking about the pros at the time, and Chris Burgess who was an overated whiner. William Avery I kind of actually liked, but he made a foolish decision to leave early, and as it turns out, did not actually have an NBA game.

In addition to not representing the Duke tradition of bona-fide student athletes, I also did not like the way that team played. They were very intimidating and thuggy, and played an ugly, physical style of ball.

Stop digging.

Edouble
12-02-2009, 11:20 AM
Stop digging.

Grrr... you are a bigger man than me, sir. It's hard not to write a response to that post, but I will take your lead and let it pass.

Go Duke!!!

Devil in the Blue Dress
12-02-2009, 11:31 AM
I'm going to respond to these posts about the 99 team. I agree the 99 team had several great guys on it; Langdon, Carawell, Battier, and Nate James are all among my favorites. However, it had a number of other players who were marginal students who were only there to get their NBAs, including Corey Maggette, who has since gone on to be a very selfish NBA player, Elton Brand who was already thinking about the pros at the time, and Chris Burgess who was an overated whiner. William Avery I kind of actually liked, but he made a foolish decision to leave early, and as it turns out, did not actually have an NBA game.

In addition to not representing the Duke tradition of bona-fide student athletes, I also did not like the way that team played. They were very intimidating and thuggy, and played an ugly, physical style of ball. In addition, I thought the media had way over-rated them that year; they had kind of forgotten about Uconn who finished 34-2, and had been No. 1 most of the year. Duke that year was like Vegas in '91; a team with lots of NBA players who had played easy comp most of the year (the ACC sucked that year) and had not played really tough comp (except Cincinnati) until the end
of the year. They were set up for a fall the same way Vegas was in '91, only this time, we got to play the bad guys.

Your comments about the personalities and styles of individual players makes me curious. Did you happen to know them personally or are your comments based on seeing them on TV? My question is an attempt to try to understand the comments in your post.

Azdukefan
12-02-2009, 01:28 PM
I'm going to respond to these posts about the 99 team. I agree the 99 team had several great guys on it; Langdon, Carawell, Battier, and Nate James are all among my favorites. However, it had a number of other players who were marginal students who were only there to get their NBAs, including Corey Maggette, who has since gone on to be a very selfish NBA player, Elton Brand who was already thinking about the pros at the time, and Chris Burgess who was an overated whiner. William Avery I kind of actually liked, but he made a foolish decision to leave early, and as it turns out, did not actually have an NBA game.

In addition to not representing the Duke tradition of bona-fide student athletes, I also did not like the way that team played. They were very intimidating and thuggy, and played an ugly, physical style of ball. In addition, I thought the media had way over-rated them that year; they had kind of forgotten about Uconn who finished 34-2, and had been No. 1 most of the year. Duke that year was like Vegas in '91; a team with lots of NBA players who had played easy comp most of the year (the ACC sucked that year) and had not played really tough comp (except Cincinnati) until the end
of the year. They were set up for a fall the same way Vegas was in '91, only this time, we got to play the bad guys.

Ill take the bait. Are you truly a Duke fan or a troll? I would bet the latter. Your summation of the 99 team seems to be way off base. Quite simply, the ACC on a horrible year is still one of the best conferences in the country. Call me crazy, but I would take the 99 Duke team over any team outside of 01 team in a game battle. If I were you, I might let this one die.

cspan37421
12-02-2009, 01:37 PM
They were so blatantly pre-NBA that they went out and partied the night before the championship game to celebrate going to the pros; that's how little they cared about Duke!

Well if you were there maybe you should have lectured them on their celebratory behavior, or told Coach K that he wasn't being a good enough disciplinarian, since you love Duke so much more and are so wise that you knew it would lead to disaster.

Now if you weren't there....

Edouble
12-02-2009, 02:46 PM
Ill take the bait. Are you truly a Duke fan or a troll? I would bet the latter. Your summation of the 99 team seems to be way off base. Quite simply, the ACC on a horrible year is still one of the best conferences in the country. Call me crazy, but I would take the 99 Duke team over any team outside of 01 team in a game battle. If I were you, I might let this one die.

He's not a troll: 72 posts over 2 years, a troll does not make, especially if you read some of his old posts. I think he's just weird (hope that's not offensive) about the '99 team.

Azdukefan
12-02-2009, 03:01 PM
He's not a troll: 72 posts over 2 years, a troll does not make, especially if you read some of his old posts. I think he's just weird (hope that's not offensive) about the '99 team.

How about recently baptized in some dirty blue (carolina) water? :confused:

hq2
12-02-2009, 03:30 PM
Yes, that particular team just sort of annoyed me. I have followed Duke basketball since 1965, including surviving the Dark Ages in Durham in the 70s.
How many Duke fans were there then, back in the days of Terry Chili and Bill Suk? I was. I have believed then, and believe now, that Duke basketball is about bona-fide student athletes, not pre-NBAers not interested in any education or about thugs. That particular team did not represent Duke basketball in the way that I have always believed it should be. O.K. guys, enough.

jdk
12-02-2009, 04:41 PM
That particular team did not represent Duke basketball in the way that I have always believed it should be. O.K. guys, enough.

They represented Duke basketball well enough for Coach K to have two of that team's members on the current coaching staff.

Trajan Langdon was also a fine representative for Duke basketball.

So was that other guy, Shane something or another.

My apologies if I'm just feeding the troll.

Bluealum
12-02-2009, 04:52 PM
I am just assuming the whole “which I actually disliked to the point where I was rooting for Uconn to upset them” was a hyperbole from hq2. My personal feelings immediately following that loss were one of the worst in all my years of watching the Devils through the K years and I would not have thought fondly then of a Dukie pulling against the squad. But that is neither here nor there and I am more objective now.

I think that team, though, is an interesting one to look at when discussing the ‘likeability’ of Duke teams among Duke Fan(antics) as hq2 brought up.

It had, in my estimation, two of the exemplars of Duke student atheletes in Trajan Langdon and Shane Battier. They would make my (and I suspect most others) top ten all time player favorite lists (I know there are threads on this on the boards).

I would not however mention it on a list of my favorite ‘Duke teams’, despite their absolutely stellar accomplishments. I can think of a few reasons for this.

Of course the early departures were a shock (particularly Avery and Maggette), but we found out about that after the season which would color our historical view, but not how we felt about the team then.

I suspect a team is particularly likeable for a few reasons:
1.) They overachieve to a remarkable extent (Impossible in 1999 due to the talent)
2.) They exhibit a joy and passion in playing the game and in their teammates
3.) They seem to reach out to the students and fans and invite us along for the ride.

On that team Avery was particularly unemotional, Langdon (who I loved) was not particularly expressive for a senior star, and Battier’s big personality had yet to emerge. I thought, Brand’s smile was infectious, but we saw more of it his freshmen year, and we just never saw enough of Maggette really (his lasting memory was of a jaw dropping crossover and dunk against a Carolina player that obliterates the possibility of Duke and ‘unathletic’ being in the same sentence – but that’s it for me). It was a team of great (and I submit mostly likeable players) that just didn’t seem to love playing together in the way we have gotten used to at Duke under K. And I don’t recall them reaching out to the fans in any visceral way.

For that reason I suspect the 99’ team for all its accomplishments does not stand out for many Dukies.

Using the above criteria on this team, I can see why it will be a very ‘likeable’ team.

While expectations were high starting the season, they were not unduly so for a Duke team. Guard depth, ‘athleticism’, unproven big men, etc. tempered the preseason hype. Their great early start gave them a chance to exceed early expectations increasing their ‘likeability quotient’ if you will.

So far this year, John Scheyer’s goofy grins, Nolan’s humor (see the blue/white Johnny D shorts), Dawkins youthful exhuberance, Lance’s energy, and Miles’ enjoyment at his remarkable offseason progress all have contributed to a sense of progress, personality, and shared enthusiasm. Even Singler, who can be quite stoic on the court and in videos, really seems to like his teammates.

Finally, I have heard several of the players talk fondly about the crazies, cameron, and just playing for Duke. They are engaging, and I think the Blue Planet videos help us all get a sense of this.

Lets just hope as the continued success ratchets up expectations, the team can continue to enjoy playing with each other and continue to make us (the students and fans) feel a part of the incredible ride that they provide! All we can do in return is root for them and call them ‘one of our favorite Duke teams’.

RoyalBlue08
12-02-2009, 06:10 PM
I can't help but agree completely with the first post of this thread. This may not be the best Duke team I have cheered for, but it is one of my favorites, and one that makes me proud to be a part of the Duke family. The only thing I want to add is that I think this bodes well for the future of the program that our upperclassmen are such "Duke guys", for lack of a better term. I think that all the recruits that have been coming through Durham to consider coming to Duke have got to see what we all see about the unique qualities that make this program special. Guys that want to be a part of that tradition will come, guys that think it is corny won't; and that's great, because honestly I am only interested in cheering for the former.

Heelkiller1
12-02-2009, 06:25 PM
Favorite Duke palyer this decade

1. Shane Battier
2. JJ Redick
3. Jason Willams
4.Chris Carawell
5.Jon Scheyer
6.Sheldon Williams
7.Carlos Boozer
8.Nate James

I love watching all these guys play and think they all are/where great team players.

RoyalBlue08
12-02-2009, 06:43 PM
Favorite Duke palyer this decade

1. Shane Battier
2. JJ Redick
3. Jason Willams
4.Chris Carawell
5.Jon Scheyer
6.Sheldon Williams
7.Carlos Boozer
8.Nate James

I love watching all these guys play and think they all are/where great team players.

I like the challenge of trying to make a list, and I can't argue with your top three, I complete agree. Here's my list:

1. Shane Battier
2. JJ Redick
3. Jason Williams
4. Jon Scheyer
5. Chris Duhon
6. Nate James
7. Chris Carawell
8. Greg Paulus
9. Nolan Smith
10. Dave McClure

And I am pretty sure when I am making a list for next decade Andre Dawkins and Seth Curry are going to find their way onto that list!

Edouble
12-03-2009, 01:54 AM
On that team Avery was particularly unemotional, Langdon (who I loved) was not particularly expressive for a senior star, and Battier’s big personality had yet to emerge. I thought, Brand’s smile was infectious, but we saw more of it his freshmen year, and we just never saw enough of Maggette really (his lasting memory was of a jaw dropping crossover and dunk against a Carolina player that obliterates the possibility of Duke and ‘unathletic’ being in the same sentence – but that’s it for me). It was a team of great (and I submit mostly likeable players) that just didn’t seem to love playing together in the way we have gotten used to at Duke under K. And I don’t recall them reaching out to the fans in any visceral way.

This is an excellent, well thought out post and I comment you for it. However, I must add that Avery was really no less unemotional than Langdon or Shelden Williams for that matter. For all the talk of Sheyer being Duke's most underrated player ever, IMO, Avery will forever hold that title. I find myself sticking up for him from time to time around here and I will continue to do so. He was an absolute stud and was a huge part of the success of that team.


I like the challenge of trying to make a list, and I can't argue with your top three, I complete agree. Here's my list:

1. Shane Battier
2. JJ Redick
3. Jason Williams
4. Jon Scheyer
5. Chris Duhon
6. Nate James
7. Chris Carawell
8. Greg Paulus
9. Nolan Smith
10. Dave McClure

And I am pretty sure when I am making a list for next decade Andre Dawkins and Seth Curry are going to find their way onto that list!

I have to make my own list too.

1. Shane Battier
2. Jason Williams
3. JJ Redick
4. Mike Dunleavy
5. Kyle Singler
6. Chris Duhon
7. Carlos Boozer
8. Chris Carawell
9. Dahntay Jones
10. Jon Scheyer