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  1. #1

    Dear Class of 2021,

    Dear Class of 2021,
    I write to you with an idea, so please hear me out. I ask you to consider staying one more year at Duke and make history. You have a chance to become the one of the greatest Duke team's and claim the illustrious title of becoming a National Champion. When else in your lifetime will you have the opportunity to be coached by the legendary Coach K? You have become close friends over the year as you have weathered the ups and downs of this past season. You will never get to play all together again on the floor of Cameron Indoor Stadium under the guidance of one of the greatest coach of all times. Yes you have the brotherhood to always return to, but the NBA doesn't promise the same bonding experience as players drift from team to team.
    The millions that await you in the NBA will be there next year. That you know. So enjoy college and take the time to benefit yourself and invest in your education in the classroom and on the court. You are only 18 years old, you have a lot left to learn. So seize the moment, defy the norms of the "one-and-done" era, and return to college.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by duke_blue2010 View Post
    Dear Class of 2021,
    I write to you with an idea, so please hear me out. I ask you to consider staying one more year at Duke and make history. You have a chance to become the one of the greatest Duke team's and claim the illustrious title of becoming a National Champion. When else in your lifetime will you have the opportunity to be coached by the legendary Coach K? You have become close friends over the year as you have weathered the ups and downs of this past season. You will never get to play all together again on the floor of Cameron Indoor Stadium under the guidance of one of the greatest coach of all times. Yes you have the brotherhood to always return to, but the NBA doesn't promise the same bonding experience as players drift from team to team.
    The millions that await you in the NBA will be there next year. That you know. So enjoy college and take the time to benefit yourself and invest in your education in the classroom and on the court. You are only 18 years old, you have a lot left to learn. So seize the moment, defy the norms of the "one-and-done" era, and return to college.
    10 years ago I would have agreed with this. Selfishly, I would love to see these players return as well. Realistically, we all know they aren't coming back. Now, after growing older my advice to any college students in any program or university in America, even to non athletes, would be that if someone offers you millions of dollars to work for them you drop out of college right this instant and accept the offer. I can't blame them at all. A college degree isn't as valuable as it used to be, and college basketball isn't what it used to be either.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by kshepinthehouse View Post
    10 years ago I would have agreed with this. Selfishly, I would love to see these players return as well. Realistically, we all know they aren't coming back. Now, after growing older my advice to any college students in any program or university in America, even to non athletes, would be that if someone offers you millions of dollars to work for them you drop out of college right this instant and accept the offer. I can't blame them at all. A college degree isn't as valuable as it used to be, and college basketball isn't what it used to be either.
    Sure--though I don't think the OP characterized his/her letter as "advice," even though it reads that way. Seems more like pleading to me.

  4. #4
    Jay Williams and that stacked 2002 Duke team lost to Indiana in the Sweet 16.

    JJ Redick and Shelden Williams lost to LSU in the Sweet 16.

    1998 Duke was stacked and lost in the Elite 8.

    The reality is besides that magical stretch from 1985-86 to 1994 where Duke made the Final 4 7 out of 9 years, we're an elite program that gets to the Final 4 once every four to five years much like KU, UNC, UK regardless of the composition of our roster based on seniority.

    Would you rather watch more 4 year players like Josh Hairston, Tyler Thornton, Greg Paulus, DeMarcus Nelson, etc. than OADs like Bagley, Tatum, Ingram and Jabari?

    RJ, Cam and Zion are going to be a joy to watch next year. Give me that all day over 4 year players who hit their ceiling and can't take us over the top (despite being very passionate about Duke).

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by DukeTrinity11 View Post
    Jay Williams and that stacked 2002 Duke team lost to Indiana in the Sweet 16.

    JJ Redick and Shelden Williams lost to LSU in the Sweet 16.

    1998 Duke was stacked and lost in the Elite 8.

    The reality is besides that magical stretch from 1985-86 to 1994 where Duke made the Final 4 7 out of 9 years, we're an elite program that gets to the Final 4 once every four to five years much like KU, UNC, UK regardless of the composition of our roster based on seniority.

    Would you rather watch more 4 year players like Josh Hairston, Tyler Thornton, Greg Paulus, DeMarcus Nelson, etc. than OADs like Bagley, Tatum, Ingram and Jabari?

    RJ, Cam and Zion are going to be a joy to watch next year. Give me that all day over 4 year players who hit their ceiling and can't take us over the top (despite being very passionate about Duke).
    I wonder how many versions of this thread we will get in the next six months.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by DukeTrinity11 View Post
    Jay Williams and that stacked 2002 Duke team lost to Indiana in the Sweet 16.

    JJ Redick and Shelden Williams lost to LSU in the Sweet 16.

    1998 Duke was stacked and lost in the Elite 8.

    The reality is besides that magical stretch from 1985-86 to 1994 where Duke made the Final 4 7 out of 9 years, we're an elite program that gets to the Final 4 once every four to five years much like KU, UNC, UK regardless of the composition of our roster based on seniority.

    Would you rather watch more 4 year players like Josh Hairston, Tyler Thornton, Greg Paulus, DeMarcus Nelson, etc. than OADs like Bagley, Tatum, Ingram and Jabari?

    RJ, Cam and Zion are going to be a joy to watch next year. Give me that all day over 4 year players who hit their ceiling and can't take us over the top (despite being very passionate about Duke).
    Curious that you would include DeMarcus Nelson, with Josh Hairston. The Nelson I remember was pretty good.

    I understand what you're saying. But as recently as 2010, Duke won a national championship starting five upperclassmen and with a roster that included seven future NBA players, not one of whom jumped to the NBA prior to using up their college eligibility. Three years later, Duke got as far as this year's team with a lineup led by three seniors, all of whom played in the NBA.

    Yes, I realize that 2010, even 2013, sound like ancient history these days. But there are always going to be Jalen Brunson's and Justin Jackson's and Frank Kaminsky's, great college players, with NBA talent, who stick around and don't hit their ceiling early and help their teams win games and championships.

    So, I'm not convinced it's as binary as your post suggests. Yes, I'm looking forward to seeing next year's freshmen. Talent erases a lot of ills. But there are some benefits to blending talent with experience.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    "But there are always going to be Jalen Brunson's and Justin Jackson's and Frank Kaminsky's, great college players, with NBA talent, who stick around and don't hit their ceiling early and help their teams win games and championships...
    Standing O.
    Nothing incites bodily violence quicker than a Duke fan turning in your direction and saying 'scoreboard.'

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    Curious that you would include DeMarcus Nelson, with Josh Hairston. The Nelson I remember was pretty good.

    I understand what you're saying. But as recently as 2010, Duke won a national championship starting five upperclassmen and with a roster that included seven future NBA players, not one of whom jumped to the NBA prior to using up their college eligibility. Three years later, Duke got as far as this year's team with a lineup led by three seniors, all of whom played in the NBA.

    Yes, I realize that 2010, even 2013, sound like ancient history these days. But there are always going to be Jalen Brunson's and Justin Jackson's and Frank Kaminsky's, great college players, with NBA talent, who stick around and don't hit their ceiling early and help their teams win games and championships.

    So, I'm not convinced it's as binary as your post suggests. Yes, I'm looking forward to seeing next year's freshmen. Talent erases a lot of ills. But there are some benefits to blending talent with experience.
    DeMarcus sure got everything out of his 6'2" frame that was possible. He was one Duke player that had an unusual shooting form that seemed to work. I enjoyed watching him play. GoDuke!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    North Carolina
    Quote Originally Posted by DukeTrinity11 View Post

    Would you rather watch more 4 year players like Josh Hairston, Tyler Thornton, Greg Paulus, DeMarcus Nelson, etc. than OADs like Bagley, Tatum, Ingram and Jabari?
    And get practically the same result? Yes. Hairston, Thornton, Paulus and Nelson at least put up a banner in Cameron. Unlike 3 of the players you mention...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    So, I'm not convinced it's as binary as your post suggests. Yes, I'm looking forward to seeing next year's freshmen. Talent erases a lot of ills. But there are some benefits to blending talent with experience.
    I couldn't agree with you more. For better or worse, Duke finds itself in a situation where it will have to replace its entire starting lineup (most likely) with freshmen and perhaps one or two upperclassmen with little or no experience playing starter minutes. While I'm sure they will provide some exciting moments, as this year's team did, I'd feel a lot more confident if we had a core like Cook, Jefferson, and Jones coming back like we did in 2015.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by MCFinARL View Post
    I couldn't agree with you more. For better or worse, Duke finds itself in a situation where it will have to replace its entire starting lineup (most likely) with freshmen and perhaps one or two upperclassmen with little or no experience playing starter minutes. While I'm sure they will provide some exciting moments, as this year's team did, I'd feel a lot more confident if we had a core like Cook, Jefferson, and Jones coming back like we did in 2015.
    Also had Sulaimon. One might argue that Quinn, Amile, Matt and Rasheed with Marshall could have been a pretty decent starting 5. Duke will not have that next year. Even this year- Grayson was first team All ACC caliber. Next years team will have its bumps and the year after that is going to be even more challenged. I am sure K will have a plan. It is just not clear what it is.

  12. #12
    How many OAD's made it to the Final Four?

    While looking strong at times, OAD's can, as K points out, look real young at other times. It could just be a fact of life that a team with too many OAD's will never win another championship. And it's only when you have the right mixture of 4 year veterans and just a few OAD's sprinkled in that the team will persevere in the pressure cooker of the NACCT.

    Plus, in order to win you need a really really experienced point guard, period.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by dukebsbll14 View Post
    And get practically the same result? Yes. Hairston, Thornton, Paulus and Nelson at least put up a banner in Cameron. Unlike 3 of the players you mention...
    Also, I like man to man defense over zone. Apparently freshman laden teams aren't capable of that.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    But lets be real. Grayson cost himself millions by coming back. Bagley isn't coming back, but let's pretend he's actually considering it. Remember he's had one eye gouged and one knee sprained. That risk doesn't go away, even with insurance. And the notion that another year in college will better prepare him is ludicrous - his game will improve significantly faster in the pros, where there is more money and time on development, and practice against significantly better players than the bench players at Duke. Ditto for Carter. Dick Vitale used to (ludicrously) argue that staying more years would improve endorsement potential. Uncle Drew begs to differ. There's really no good argument for these guys staying.

    I say this as someone who laments early entry, and wants to go back to a 3/4 year player system.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Tampa
    Quote Originally Posted by JFG View Post
    How many OAD's made it to the Final Four?
    Well, there's Malik Newman, for one.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by dukelifer View Post
    Also had Sulaimon. One might argue that Quinn, Amile, Matt and Rasheed with Marshall could have been a pretty decent starting 5. Duke will not have that next year. Even this year- Grayson was first team All ACC caliber. Next years team will have its bumps and the year after that is going to be even more challenged. I am sure K will have a plan. It is just not clear what it is.
    I think we'll be fine. Remember, the two Duke teams in the past 5 years that went furthest in the NCAAs and were highest-rated by kenpom were the two YOUNGEST teams, including one national champion.

    The veteran core in 2012 (only 1 OAD), 2014 (only 1 OAD, 2 if you count Rodney), and 2017 didn't seem to really enhance results and in fact ended their respective seasons with the much-dreaded and oft-cited "first weekend loss" (Lehigh, Mercer, SC). I'm not actually advocating to fill out a roster with 13 freshmen or anything like that, but I'm just saying that there doesn't appear to be a relationship in the other direction between having a veteran base and having more success. It seems like relying heavily on freshmen is better than the much desired 1 OAD + vets model, for example. (Now, it may just be that one would prefer to root for 1 OAD + vets over Multi-OADs regardless of results, and that's fine.)

    You know what I think really matters, though? Health. With one exception (2014), if a Duke team stays reasonably healthy, it'll come together very well by the end of the season. I expect no different from the 2018-19 team.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by JFG View Post
    How many OAD's made it to the Final Four?

    While looking strong at times, OAD's can, as K points out, look real young at other times. It could just be a fact of life that a team with too many OAD's will never win another championship. And it's only when you have the right mixture of 4 year veterans and just a few OAD's sprinkled in that the team will persevere in the pressure cooker of the NACCT.

    Plus, in order to win you need a really really experienced point guard, period.
    Or a good Freshman point guard and a transcendent player. That is how KY did it their one and only time time. And that team had two excellent sophomores in Jones and Lamb. Next year’s Duke team will not have any of that. They will be very very young.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    I think we'll be fine. Remember, the two Duke teams in the past 5 years that went furthest in the NCAAs and were highest-rated by kenpom were the two YOUNGEST teams, including one national champion.

    The veteran core in 2012 (only 1 OAD), 2014 (only 1 OAD, 2 if you count Rodney), and 2017 didn't seem to really enhance results and in fact ended their respective seasons with the much-dreaded and oft-cited "first weekend loss" (Lehigh, Mercer, SC). I'm not actually advocating to fill out a roster with 13 freshmen or anything like that, but I'm just saying that there doesn't appear to be a relationship in the other direction between having a veteran base and having more success. It seems like relying heavily on freshmen is better than the much desired 1 OAD + vets model, for example. (Now, it may just be that one would prefer to root for 1 OAD + vets over Multi-OADs regardless of results, and that's fine.)

    You know what I think really matters, though? Health. With one exception (2014), if a Duke team stays reasonably healthy, it'll come together very well by the end of the season. I expect no different from the 2018-19 team.
    I am very interested to watch this particular experiment. The quality of the Freshman and the relative inexperience of the returnees is unprecedented or perhaps similar to 1982 and we know how that turned out.

  19. #19
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    Feb 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by dukelifer View Post
    I am very interested to watch this particular experiment. The quality of the Freshman and the relative inexperience of the returnees is unprecedented or perhaps similar to 1982 and we know how that turned out.
    I have a feeling you're going to send me another pie before it's all said and done.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by dukelifer View Post
    I am very interested to watch this particular experiment. The quality of the Freshman and the relative inexperience of the returnees is unprecedented or perhaps similar to 1982 and we know how that turned out.
    1982's class is not at the same level, and back then few players left early so the league and college basketball in general was much older and tougher. So next year should go much better than 82-83. If I had to guess I'd say similar results to this year, but with much less margin for error for injuries.

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