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SCMatt33
08-27-2010, 05:48 PM
I have recently been looking for a new way to revisit the 2010 season (always a good idea) after watching videos on Blue Planet and NCAA Vault more times than I can count. I had been thinking of my favorite moments of the year, when I started to feel an active alliteration affinity, which caused me to write this. If youíre not a fan of alliteration, then you can simply bask in the beautiful basketball bounty before you. Itís pretty obvious that most Duke fansí favorite moment is winning the title, as there is simply nothing to compare to that accomplishment. So in putting this together, I left out anything from the championship game. I could probably do this for just that game alone, but Iíve seen it enough times by now that I wanted to think about the rest of the year. Also, when I first thought about it, I was thinking about single moments and images in my head. Therefore, you wonít find 82-50 here, or Zoubs breaking out with 16 and 17, but you will find Miles' alley-oop to cap off the UNC game, and Zoubsí put-back dunk during the Maryland game. I happened to pick ten moments from the year (plus a bonus for a certain sub-set of fans), but there are so many more. Please add anything that might be appropriate (alliteration optional, but highly recommended). In chronological order:

Scheyer Shines in Chicago Showdown: Playing Iowa State for Jon Scheyerís homecoming game wasnít exactly a showdown, thanks to Jonís 31 point masterpiece. Often an underrated play (it didnít even make Blue Planetís top 5) was Jonís first half drive when he picked up his dribble on the block. With a bigger defender on him, Scheyer kept his pivot foot and used a drop step to get around the defense for an uncontested lay in. This play epitomizes Scheyerís craftiness and ability to get to the bucket without blow-by speed.

Alarmingly Athletic Aviation Alleviates All Ailments: With a nod to Mr. Gottlieb, the Plumlee brothers made some very athletic plays throughout the year. In the first game against UNC, however, Duke was struggling against an unranked Tar Heel club. With the game tied and just over seven minutes left, Mason grabbed a Kyle Singler miss, dribbled once, and threw down a reverse jam. Not only was this one of the yearís best highlights for Duke, but it also gave Duke a lead that it would not give up for the rest of the game.

The Beard is Born by Bullying the Backboards: During Brian Zoubekís first three years in a Duke uniform, he struggled to find a consistent role on the court. He often showed flashes of his potential, but was often derailed by chronic injuries that forced him to miss practice time, if not games, and it would often catch up with him by the time the conference season rolled around. Armed with a new beard and a new found slot in the starting lineup, Zoubek asserted his abilities with 16 points and 17 boards against Maryland. The lasting image from this performance was a put-back dunk early in the second half to cap an 8-2 Duke run. It was at this moment that Zoubs was transformed from a veteran role player to an offensive rebounding monster.

Cameron Crazies Crave Kyleís Carolina Catharsis: Not one player on the Duke roster, including fifth-year senior Jordan Davidson, had ever beaten Carolina at Cameron. With UNC in a freefall, Duke seemed to have a big edge toward breaking that streak, but everyone knows that anything can happen in a rivalry game and there were more than a few anxious Crazies around the country at the tip. With the question of who would win a foregone conclusion, the top was ready to fly off of Cameron as soon as the final buzzer sounded, but a Miles Plumlee alley-oop caused the eruption to happen a few seconds early. The iconic moment, however, is not the dunk itself, but rather five years of frustration flowing through Kyle Singlerís arms and out of the building as he raised in his fists in the air and stared toward the heavens.

Dawkinsí Dunk Disparages Doubters: In the summer of 2009, Andre Dawkins decided to enroll a Duke a year earlier than planned to help fill the gap in the back court left by Gerald Hendersonís early departure and Elliot Williamsí transfer. After experiencing early season success, his game understandably dropped off after the tragic death of his sister. During most of the conference season, he failed to contribute significantly, leaving some to wonder what would happen to Dawkins the rest of the year. It took a while, but Dawkins answered those questions emphatically during the ACC title game with a monster one-handed jam on a drive straight down the lane. Dawkins would go on to play a small but important role in the NCAA Tournament; hitting two huge threes to keep Duke close against Baylor before halftime.

Singlerís Stumble Scuffs up Stunned Schulman: This one isnít necessary a great basketball highlight, but another one of those moments that revealed the 2010 Blue Devilsí mentality. About two minutes after Dawkinsí Dunk, his increased confidence was noticeable as he took a tough turnaround jumper coming off a screen. The shot missed badly, and the ball was tipped toward the sideline. Kyle Singler saved the ball to Jon Scheyer, but no one noticed what was going on between the lines as the crowdís attention had turned to Singler, who ran over ESPN announcer Dan Schulman in the process. Dick Vitale was insistent that this play was a charge, but Schulman clearly flinched and gave up his legal guarding position, which is exactly what I, or any other sane person, would have done.

Scheyer Stifles Shooting Slump; Secures Strong Seed: Jon Scheyer would not officially end his prolonged shooting slump for another two and a half games, going just 2-9 from three-point range against Georgia Tech. His poor shooting seemed to be insignificant as Duke held a 10 point lead in a low scoring game with just three and a half minutes left. A 9-0 Georgia Tech run, however, dropped the lead to one with just under a minute left. Duke ran the shot clock down before calling a simple play for Scheyer to take a catch-and-shoot three off of a Zoubek screen. The game was not officially iced until two Singler free throws seconds later, but it was the Scheyer three that denied Georgia Tech a chance to go in front and effectively gave Duke the number 3 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Smith Sinking Shots Shocks Scott in South: Nolan Smith saved one his best performances of the year for a night when they needed every bit of it. Baylor had a tremendous run in 2010 and Scott Drew came very close to leading the Bears to the Final Four. Considering that the program is less than a decade removed from nearly receiving the death penalty and they didnít have a tremendous history to sell, like UK did in the late 80ís, that was a remarkable achievement. When the big moment arrived, however, it was Smith and the Devils ready to seize it. Nolan had just hit one go-ahead three on the previous possession, only to see Ekpe Udoh give it right back to Baylor. After hitting the first of two free-throws, Nolan bricked the second. As was common for Duke, Smith did not retreat to half court, but instead hovered around the three point line. When Lance Thomas came up with the loose ball, Smith was in perfect position to give Duke the lead for good.

Lanceís Leap Lifts Lackluster Linemate: Kyle Singler had picked a bad time for one of his career-worst offensive performances against Baylor (he did play outstanding defense throughout the night). With less than two minutes remaining, however, Singler found himself wide open on the base line for a three that could have put Duke up eight. Like the rest of his field goal attempts that night, this one bounced off the rim. Lance Thomas, though, picked him up by finding a large gap in the Baylor defense and grabbed the rebound uncontested for a dunk and a foul. The play capped a run of four possessions where Duke scored 13 points, averaging over three points per possession thanks to the Smith play mentioned before. After this play, Duke was well on its way to Indianapolis.

Plumleeís Put-back Pummels Pudgy Purveyor of Puss: Dukeís Final Four game against West Virginia was perhaps the Devilsí most complete performance of the year. The matchup featured the most combined career wins of any two coaches to meet in the Final Four, and while Bob Huggins may not always be as sleezy as the title makes him out to be (his actions consoling Butler showed that), he certainly has the pedigree, reputation and look of it. Duke steadily built its lead throughout and was cruising through the second half when Miles Plumlee put the icing on the cake. Nolan Smith missed a layup on a fast break, but both Kyle Singler and Miles were there to put it away. In fact, they had all four hands on the ball at one point. Miles got the better jump and finished the dunk emphatically. A technical foul for hanging on the rim did little to tarnish the moment, as Duke continued to lead. DaíSean Butlerís ACL tear took some of the air out of the building, but Duke had secured its ticket to Monday night.

Determined Davidson Delivers Dreams of Dreary Ď09ers: This one is a special nod to those that graduated with Jordan Davidson and me in 2009. While students at most schools would kill to have a four-year run like the one we saw from 06-09, including multiple Sweet 16ís, several All-Americans, record breaking performances, and one of the most miraculous buzzer beaters in school history, those of us at Duke have come to expect more. We were one of three classes in the last 25 years to not witness a Final Four run as undergraduates (1998, 2008). Simultaneously, we were the only class in Coach Kís tenure to never witness a victory over UNC at Cameron. This is a large reason why I saw an unusually large number of my classmates in Indianapolis. Because of his extra year of eligibility, Jordan Davidson was able to carry the í09 banner to the 2010 Final Four. The fact that he even played was amazing enough, but watching him hit only the second three of his career was one of the more emotional moments I have experienced as a Duke fan.

OkÖI liedÖI just canít resist including the title game. Itís way too important and the alliteration is too tempting to resist. Hereís the final moment.

Duke Devils Down Dogs Despite Dramatic Desperate Delivery Destined to Drop: Those of us in Lucas Oil stadium had to wait what seemed like forever to watch Gordon Haywardís last shot miss. For the longest time, the ball appeared as if it were headed straight for the bucket. The ball did drop, but thankfully, it only did so after bouncing harmlessly off of the rim. If that is how we felt as fans, I canít even imagine the playersí emotions. Kyle Singler watched from the floor, still half dazed from Matt Howardís quasi-legal screen. Zoubek still ran to the rim on instinct, even though there was no need to try and grab a rebound. They all knew that at that moment, there was only win or lose, there was no other outcome that could stall the inevitable. Nobody had gotten a chance yet to second guess Coach Kís decision to intentionally miss, but as he said after the game, ďWhat the hell, it worked.Ē

Again, please add to or critique my list. I just wanted to talk about something other than recruiting speculation or UNC football, which I guess is technically the exact opposite of Duke basketball, during this traditionally slow time of year.

Newton_14
08-27-2010, 10:03 PM
Great Thread Matt!

Here is one of the many memories 4 me.

Plumlee Pair Pummels Wake

In a glimpse of what the future potentially holds for a pair of Plumlee brothers, the home game against Wake was a night to remember. This was your typical highly intense conference game against a Big 4 opponent in front of a capacity crowd in Cameron. The Wake duo of Ish Smith and Al-Farouq Aminu were no match on this night for the young Plumlee Brothers. Miles the Sophomore had the best game of his career and was an absolute beast in the middle on this night. Miles scored 19 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. Baby Brother Mason had 11 points and 7 boards in only 15 minutes of action. Overall Miles had the better game, but brother Mason had the more memorable play after grabbing a rebound in heavy traffic, gathering himself, and throwing down the first of 2 really nasty behind the head reverse jamburgers against Big 4 opponents. It was truly a night to remember for Miles and Mason, the promising pair of Plumlee Brothers. Duke will welcome the 3rd Plumlee brother in Marshall Plumlee in 2011.

airowe
08-27-2010, 10:25 PM
If I didn't have to spread the love around, I would give SCmatt a ton of e-props for that post...

Lord Ash
08-27-2010, 10:46 PM
A lot of fun to read about all the good times of this year... and there were a LOT of them!

Don't worry Air, I put your name in my positive comment:D

SCMatt33
08-28-2010, 08:52 AM
Great Thread Matt!

Here is one of the many memories 4 me.

Plumlee Pair Pummels Wake

In a glimpse of what the future potentially holds for a pair of Plumlee brothers, the home game against Wake was a night to remember. This was your typical highly intense conference game against a Big 4 opponent in front of a capacity crowd in Cameron. The Wake duo of Ish Smith and Al-Farouq Aminu were no match on this night for the young Plumlee Brothers. Miles the Sophomore had the best game of his career and was an absolute beast in the middle on this night. Miles scored 19 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. Baby Brother Mason had 11 points and 7 boards in only 15 minutes of action. Overall Miles had the better game, but brother Mason had the more memorable play after grabbing a rebound in heavy traffic, gathering himself, and throwing down the first of 2 really nasty behind the head reverse jamburgers against Big 4 opponents. It was truly a night to remember for Miles and Mason, the promising pair of Plumlee Brothers. Duke will welcome the 3rd Plumlee brother in Marshall Plumlee in 2011.

Duke had so many great games this year that I had honest forgot about this one. I mean I completely forgot it to the point where I had to go read the recap and watch some highlights to remember how well Miles and Mason played. That's exactly why I started this, so others could fill in my gaps. Since I'm on a role with the titles, let me suggest Miles Mason Massive Moves Maul Middling Mess. Of course, Wake hadn't quite become the mess that they would about a month later, but Wake was never able to push themselves too far above the middle of the ACC at any point last year.

Cameron
08-28-2010, 11:26 AM
Dawkins would go on to play a small but important role in the NCAA Tournament; hitting two huge threes to keep Duke close against Baylor before halftime.

I see your "small but important role" and raise you "Duke Doesn't Dance Devilly in '10 without Dawkins Delivering Daggers in Dallas"

So it wasn't Dallas, but the alliteration sounds better and it's in the same politically organized territory:D

Its sensation simply shouldn't be secondarily stated. Dawkins' double dose of deep and deadly drops for Duke delivered the Devils from defeat and disencumbered dashed dreams of decoration in Durham.

To refrain from the rhyme and provide a more serious review of the eminent moment at hand, Andre's moment of greatness really was the single most important moment of the season in the hunt for a championship. Obviously, as with anything in life, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. And there were a lot of importantly magnificent parts in the story that was the 2010 Duke season. But, pound for pound, inch for inch, jumper for jumper, two more important shots were never scored last season. Andre's threes came at the most opportune time, bleeding Baylor's scorching run and, essentially, elevating us to a national championship. The fourth in the Coach K era.

Pretty good for a twelfth grader.

Great list, BTW, SCMatt.