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  1. Duke's Brand: Is It Crumbling?

    Last week, I was listening to Bomani Jones on 850 The Buzz. I don't partiularly agree with everything he has to say, but when I heard him say that Duke's brand is crumbling, I felt compelled to bouce this off the forum members. So, IS Duke's brand crumbling? Will the small, historical Cameron Indoor eventually hurt us in regards to recruiting? Is there a reason why we're having a difficult time landing back-to-the-basket big men? If Johnny ever takes over Duke, will he be able to recruit and coach at the highest level? Is our lack of highest-level success over the past few years actually the beginning of a slow downward trend that is simply being buffered by the legacy of K?

    What are your thoughts, fellow Devils? Comfort me and please tell me it ain't so!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
    It's unfortunate, but in today's society the media loves to build someone or something up, only turn right around and relish in tearing it down.

    According to the media we haven't been to the Final Four in eons. We've had solid seasons most programs would die for, but because it's Duke nothing less than a Final Four run seems to be acceptable.

    Our society is one of instant gratification and many of the young prospects want to go where they are Mr Big. and they can pad their resume. Could Coach K land that type of player? Sure he could, but he won't because that isn't what Duke basketball is about.

    I can live with our image crumbling, maybe then there wouldn't be so many Duke haters who claim we receive an unfair advantage due to all our media coverage. Let ESPN rave about some other program.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    In a word, No.

  4. #4

    he's right!

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoDukeTattoos View Post
    Last week, I was listening to Bomani Jones on 850 The Buzz. I don't partiularly agree with everything he has to say, but when I heard him say that Duke's brand is crumbling, I felt compelled to bouce this off the forum members. So, IS Duke's brand crumbling? Will the small, historical Cameron Indoor eventually hurt us in regards to recruiting? Is there a reason why we're having a difficult time landing back-to-the-basket big men? If Johnny ever takes over Duke, will he be able to recruit and coach at the highest level? Is our lack of highest-level success over the past few years actually the beginning of a slow downward trend that is simply being buffered by the legacy of K?

    What are your thoughts, fellow Devils? Comfort me and please tell me it ain't so!
    Jones is dead on! Duke's brand is crumbling solely because he was recently employed as an adjunct professor there.

    He's a clown.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    winning will take care of itself.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Lewisville, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by VaDukie View Post
    In a word, No.
    Agree. For starters:

    1. Coach K and his gold medal winning Olympic achievement---a brand enhancer for sure; lots of publicity, internationally even, tons of respect from the NBA crowd, and probably made him a better coach.

    2. Recruiting is going very well, despite the loss of Boynton. 2010 is shaping up as a monster year.

    3. This 2008/09 team is very good, better than last year's, and a major threat to go to the Final Four (at least). This year's UNC/Duke matchups will be hugely hyped (and very competitive). UNC ascension does not mean Duke's decline.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO.
    Quote Originally Posted by roywhite View Post
    Agree. For starters:

    1. Coach K and his gold medal winning Olympic achievement---a brand enhancer for sure; lots of publicity, internationally even, tons of respect from the NBA crowd, and probably made him a better coach.

    2. Recruiting is going very well, despite the loss of Boynton. 2010 is shaping up as a monster year.

    3. This 2008/09 team is very good, better than last year's, and a major threat to go to the Final Four (at least). This year's UNC/Duke matchups will be hugely hyped (and very competitive). UNC ascension does not mean Duke's decline.
    Well said. A couple of things I'll add:

    1. Jones is in the business of hyperbole and this is nothing more than an example of that. I don't blame him--that's the nature of being a radio sports host. Adding to that is the fact that, in his broadcast market, few things play as well as trashing Duke. For him, it's a good business model and he'll exploit it as best he can.

    2. I am of the opinion that Duke's recent struggles (using that term very loosely) are the result of a single recruit that didn't pan out. Duke's "brand" is entirely too strong to be harmed in the long run by a single circumstance.

    3. roywhite noted this, but it deserves repeating: Duke has a very good team this season. We present matchup problems across the board and, hopefully, have the depth this season to run the offense effectively down the stretch.

    Oh, and Cameron does not need to be expanded.

  8. #8
    I hate to say it but I agree.

    I don't think anyone is at fault, there are simply cycles in a program. Look at the 95-97 seasons, between periods of massive success(yes K's health problem was an issue, but the talent generally wasn't there). That said we returned to dominance in 1999-2005. I say I agree that the brand is diminishing, not crumbling. In the early part of this decade, Duke was THE team, now we are just in a group of the elite. I think the creation of a required year in college has hurt our talent level in comparison to many of these other schools, simply because a premier academic institution is not at the forefront of many such recruits minds.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    New York, NY
    Since '91, we've been the biggest show in ncaa basketball. For the past few years, we haven't won the close tournament games and haven't made it to the final four. I think it's reasonable to make a case that we aren't invulnerable, but, of course, we weren't invulnerable back then either--one of the reasons that some of our games are classics is that we won games that we could easily have lost (and I try to block out a few games where we really should have won). the reality is that we are a top 5 program (and no one is #1), and that's great...

  10. #10

    Consider the source

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoDukeTattoos View Post
    Last week, I was listening to Bomani Jones on 850 The Buzz. I don't partiularly agree with everything he has to say, but when I heard him say that Duke's brand is crumbling, I felt compelled to bouce this off the forum members. So, IS Duke's brand crumbling? Will the small, historical Cameron Indoor eventually hurt us in regards to recruiting? Is there a reason why we're having a difficult time landing back-to-the-basket big men? If Johnny ever takes over Duke, will he be able to recruit and coach at the highest level? Is our lack of highest-level success over the past few years actually the beginning of a slow downward trend that is simply being buffered by the legacy of K?

    What are your thoughts, fellow Devils? Comfort me and please tell me it ain't so!
    If this comment had come from someone objective- perhaps it is worth discussion- but Jones is an admitted Duke Hater with a capital H. He likes to stir things up. Duke remains an elite program. When K leaves Duke will have its challenges as did UNC when Dean Smith left. UNC went through a very down period very recently and have managed to get themselves righted once again.
    dukelifer

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    UNC's down turn was strickly due to incompetance in coaching and the recruits knew it.
    Duke basketball is here to stay and like rock and roll, it will go down in history.

  12. #12
    I think the main reason why people say things like this is because of the poor tournament play throughout this decade. Duke's only been past the Sweet 16 once since 2001. When talking about the blue bloods of college basketball it's all about tournament play. It was good for Tennessee to have such a successful regular season but you don't hear much bashing about them getting ousted in the Sweet 16, it was very similar to our 05-06 season, but that's the difference between Duke and a place like Tennessee. Success breeds success, look at Georgetown, they went five years without getting to the tournament and now they're able to reel in top recruits like Greg Monroe because of some recent success and dominant players, same goes for UCLA. If we make a FF run this year alot of things will be put to rest nobody will care that we struggled in the tournament in years past, nobody cares that Kansas got beat in the 1st round two years in a row a few years back and nobody cares that Florida couldn't make it past the second round between 2000 and 2006 even with alot of talent. I think success this year may help us to land a certain elite player in the 09 class and to fill out the rest of our 10 class.

  13. #13
    A win over UCLA in MSG will shut-up a lot of critics.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    ← Bay / Valley ↓
    I was getting my flame-war gear on for this thread, then I realized you said "brand" not "band"

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Lewisville, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by hc5duke View Post
    I was getting my flame-war gear on for this thread, then I realized you said "brand" not "band"
    Nor has Elton sustained further injury.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Virginia
    I think the word "crumbling" is a bad choice of words. For the brand to be crumbling, to me, the foundation on which the program was built would have to be severely weakened. Since K is the foundation on which the program was built and he is no less of a coach now (as evidenced by the gold metal this summer) than he was a half decade ago then the foundation is fine.

    I would however, agree that the programs band or image has been slightly tarnished over the past few years. We have failed to get past the opening weekend of the tournament the past 2 years or get past the second weekend since '04. Couple that with the back to back nc's by Florida, the re-emergence of UNC as a power, and UCLA's run of F4's and Duke is no longer the sexy pick to reign the college basketball world.

    The difference to me between a program's brand crumbling and a program's brand tarnished, is a crumbling brand is sinking fast and has little chance of recovering in the short term. UCLA was a brand that crumbled after Wooden retired. Kentucky was a brand that crumbled after they were cited for ncaa violations. Both eventually returned to the top of college basketball but it took changes in coaches and several years of mediocrity.

    A tarnished brand however, can return to the top with the right recruit or a lucky bounce. Duke was a top 5 team for the majority of the year last year. If Singler didn't wear down, Henderson hurt his wrist or Nelson catch the flu at tourney time, then Duke had a good chance of making the great 8 or possibly the F4. With 5 of our top 6 players returning and the fortuitous signing of Plumlee, Duke is poised to to make a strong run this year and next year Duke could even be stronger.

    If Duke flames out this year and next year, then maybe one can start the discussion of whether or not Duke's brand is crumbling but until then I'm not too concerned.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    roxboro nc

    crumbling??

    lots of great points in this thread, so i will add my opinion.
    i do agree, crumbling is not the right word. tarnished comes to mind more than any other word. and i dont mean tarnished as in the program itself, i think more in terms of on the court as a mental edge.

    the number that really caught my eye, in the si preview, duke has a winning percentage of .541 after jan 31st the past three seasons. as we all know, no matter your record in nov,dec,jan, teams are judged by what they do in feb and march, and as we all know, our teams have worn down in each the past few seasons. a perfect example, last year, the first carolina game, duke played what i think was by far their best game of the year, went to 22 and 1 and finished the season 6 and 5 from that point.

    march is the time when teams are supposed to reach their peak and hopefully with the depth and no key injuries, duke will peak in march, make a strong tournament run and the "crumbling" factor will be a distant memory

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO

    Smile Is Duke's Brand Crumbling?

    No. Elton is having a great year in Philly.

    sagegrouse

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by TwoDukeTattoos View Post
    Last week, I was listening to Bomani Jones on 850 The Buzz. I don't partiularly agree with everything he has to say, but when I heard him say that Duke's brand is crumbling, I felt compelled to bouce this off the forum members. So, IS Duke's brand crumbling? Will the small, historical Cameron Indoor eventually hurt us in regards to recruiting? Is there a reason why we're having a difficult time landing back-to-the-basket big men? If Johnny ever takes over Duke, will he be able to recruit and coach at the highest level? Is our lack of highest-level success over the past few years actually the beginning of a slow downward trend that is simply being buffered by the legacy of K?

    What are your thoughts, fellow Devils? Comfort me and please tell me it ain't so!
    The only person who would make this statement less credible than Bomani Jones is Gregg Doyel! Both of them are Duke Despisers! Give me a break... the man lacks any objectivity... In fact, I'm kind of hoping that both Jones and Doyel will crumble!
    DukeDevilDeb

  20. #20

    Cycles

    One cause of Duke's excellence for a number of years was that most recruits panned out (Burgess was one exception), plus many of them stayed for three or four years. But then we had some small recruiting classes (Deng's one-year, one-person class, for example), and others that had some problems on the way (such as this year's senior class, which lost three players pretty quickly). Fortunately, things are really looking up. Just think of the guys who are not starting: Smith, Pocius, Williams, Plumlee, Thomas, Czyz. Those guys would make a pretty good starting five and sixth man.

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