Monday, June 29, 2009

The Science of Selling Yourself Short.

They say that madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Duke basketball has consistently recruited the most over-hyped Caucasians in the world that "play basketball the right way" (read: do whatever the hell the coach says). They're fundamentally sound, athletically acceptable, but nowhere near what they should be. The amateur basketball landscape has changed drastically in recent years, with more and more teams shelling out for one-and-done stars and surrounding them with phenomenal athletes.

How has Duke faired in this climate? In a word, poorly, and that's being polite. Several disappointing finishes in the tournament have created an air that the days of Cameron hegemony have passed. Some people lament this. Not me. I personally like athletic basketball, and hate seeing people like J.J. Reddick succeed at anything.

So here we are, at a crossroads of sorts. One would assume that the most celebrated coach in the current hoops world (and rightly so) would be able to read the changing climate and adapt accordingly.

Enter Ryan "Pooptooth" Kelly. What a shitbag this guy is, huh? He's the most heralded recruit that Duke has coming in this year, and man is he a snoozer. He's like a less athletic Josh McRoberts. He's fundamentally sound, I guess, but he is nowhere near an elite player. Fuck him. We're talking about one of the most storied programs in all of hoops, and this is who they're proud of? It is baffling. It's downright absurd. Why don't they go after some stud that can jump out of the gym but can't shoot? Why not go after a player with an entourage and tattoos? I get that K is a system coach, but he had to have learned during the Olympics that sometimes you have to go against your better instincts and bring in some folks with a little bit of street in them. A loose cannon here and there. Trust me, you'll be able to make them learn whatever you want them to.

How does K not remember the way Tyrus Thomas made Reddick look retarded? His big recruit a couple years ago, Paulus, is now going to play football for Syracuse! SHIT! What the fuck is wrong with these assholes? Have some goddamn respect for yourselves!


  1. Duke has been smoking some pole ever since the hype around Shavlik Randolph; from a recruiting standpoint, Shavlik was the beginning of the end.

    But the real deathknell of the Duke Is Great Phenomenon occurred when ESPN bought the rights to broadcast SEC football. The SEC pretty much made them take basketball, too, in order to get to the good stuff.

    ESPN has, as such, a vested interest in promoting SEC basketball. You're going to get sick of seeing John Calipari and Bruce Pearl (though it's tough to imagine that you aren't already). Think about it; how many Duke home games did ESPN broadcast last year? I'd have to guess substantially more than Tennessee games. That's about to change.

    Duke has sucked dick for a while now, but because they got so much air time, they'd sneak into the tournament, generally as a 4 seed or better. It all comes crashing down starting this season.

  2. It has been well documented Overexposure hurt Duke. Duke is the poster child for hard work, unathletic players, favoritism from both the media and officials, etc.And now every high school player in America knows this.

    I don't even know if Coach K could land a one and done/athletic recruit. If your that type of player why in the hell would you want to go to Duke? I'm also pretty sure he doesn't want to get that type of player. He's always valued character/technique over athleticism and really doesn't want to put up with the baggage that comes with Rose and Orange Juice Mayonnaise. (NCAA violations, not the Lawrence Phillips type of baggage.)

    And who could really blame him. Barring some type of huge scandal Coach K has a lifetime job in Durham. And as much as we don't talk about it, job security is gold in NCAA sports.

    All that being said, I can't wait to see the poop tooth signs in the ACC this year.

  3. That above post should read: It is well documented that I actually like Duke, and especially Coach K.

    Also, Duke is the exact opposite of FSU/Miami football. Yet they all have ended up in the realm of mediocrity.

    FSU/Miami relied on athletic players who may or may not have some issues off the field. Once Richt left FSU, and Butch left the U (although I thought Coker did a fine job, and is a good coach) everything went downhill. Mickey Andrews is still awesome, but he's not awesome enough to hold up an offense that goes 3 and out every drive. Only Bud Foster can do that.

    I guess you could say when Battier et. al left Duke they spiraled down into the upper middle class of NCAA basketball.

  4. The Battier/Boozer era was the last great one.

  5. Why has Coach K not been able to land a stud (athletic, quick, gots some hops) point guard who is undersized. An undersized point guard won't be one and done. A Ty Lawson-esque player who would be the center piece of the team, play at Cameron, beat the shit out of UNC, lead a team to the final four, and give K at least three years on campus. I don't understand why he isn't landing a player like this.

  6. Name one Duke player who has fit into that mold. One athletic point guard.

    I got William Avery. Jay Williams doesn't count. It's just not K's kind of player.

  7. That's what I'm getting at. Why isn't it? He could still have his white nonathletic guys surrounding him. Just break the mold once and they'd be in the Final Four.

  8. First and foremost, an athletic pg does not a contender make, but it's a great start.

    On to your question, I'll quote my own first line, "They say that madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." K learned hoops at West Point with Bob Knight. It was orderly, emphasized defense and fundamentals.

    It worked with Hurley and Laettner, so the formula had to be perfect, right? Well the formula stayed constant, but the environment changed.

    On the one hand, you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

    Personally, I think the Cameron fundraisers won't shell out to see a team that they can't identify with. They strike me as the type of people that describe others as "thugs" and lock their doors when black people walk by.

  9. I'm guessing you're assuming that Kyle Singler doesn't have street cred?

  10. Kyle Singler is hemorrhaging street cred in the exact same pattern as Josh McRoberts (who, after his freshman year, was considered an "upside high motor" potential lottery player") and Shavlik Randolph. His hype in high school only increased after the Duke commitment; essentially he was blessed as awesome by association.

    John Scheyer and Kyle Singler are not going to take a 5 game series against any final four team going back to George Mason or that random LSU team with Big Baby. It's just not going to happen.

  11. Another thing to consider? Coach K has been busy the last few summers with the Dream Team. He's worn the fuck out. He's old. If he can get kids that won't trigger an ulcer, he'll take 'em.

    Medical history shows us the risk of violating this axiom in the form of Jim Calhoun, who, while keeping the Huskies out of jail with varying degrees of success, manages to find himself in the hospital with troubling regularity.

    But his teams can ball, and he'll gladly tell you to kiss his ass if you don't like it. I'll take a Huggins, Calhoun, or even Nolan Richardson over the disingenuity of Coach K any day of the week, but that's just me.

  12. They also haven't had a dominant big man since shelden.

    I also think they get beat easily in tournaments because they constantly want to spread, dribble drive, and jack the three. Which works until you play a team like Villanova, or VT in the ACC who is freakishly athletic.

  13. The dribble drive, jack the three would work nicely...if they had anyone that posed a threat to finish at the rim.

  14. 1. Josh McRoberts had more street cred than Singler and Randolph combined. He had a fair amount of hype because of his dunk contest showing at the McD's AA game. He eventually gave the finger to the program, went pro, and started dating one of the chicks from the Hills. Still more street cred.

    2. Kids that might give K an ulcer don't even rate, they just plain WON'T recruit them.

    3. Shelden isn't even the dominant on in his own marriage.

    4. We're also forgetting about what kind of kids would WANT to play for K. Basically, nobody dreams of becoming a role player, they dream of being stars. Unfortunately, that's what Duke teams are. A bunch of role players.

  15. They don't drive and kick as an ethos, they do it because it's an easy thing to do when they're tired of running other plays. They run plays focused on getting Singler the rock in the corner, or between 15-18 ft. outside of that, With Scheyer taking the rest of 3pt land and slashing to occupy short corner and in. On made baskets the press and trap, which they're adept at.

    Their records are constantly inflated because they get to play in a stadium with the largest collection of loud, fat, asian chicks in the world.

  16. Well said, Icehouse, but it's important to remember that North Korea is undefeated at home, too. The Asian chicks don't have to be fat to be effective.

  17. 1.) Josh McRoberts sucks dick. There was never a time when he was even the second most productive player on his team. Even if he tricked some team into a contract, just remember that NBA execs gave Shawn Bradley a 10 yr career. That's no litmus test for success.

    2.) Coach K is actually primed to get the #1 kid in the country for the upcoming class of seniors - Harrison Barnes (prepare to get your mind blown: Duke prospect named Harrison is actually black). This is probably due to the fact that he can a) look forward to being hands down the best player on a hyped team and b) Duke is still the most hyped team in the game. So it's not over yet, but I still contend that it's winding down.

    3.) With a decent pg and somebody that can rebound, that would have been a top 10 team last year. I think you all know how hard it is for me to say that.

  18. And let's be honest. Duke isn't THAT bad. Sure they are overrated and are nowhere near what they used to be but they haven't fallen off the cliff like other traditional basketball powers.

  19. 1. I'm not defending Josh McRoberts. The best thing about him making the jump to the league is that I never have to see him again. However, he could jump. The team he duped was the Blazers, who D-leagued him, then traded him to the Pacers. If you like the letters "DNP," you'll love his stat lines.

    2. If Harrison Barnes wins the Naismith award, I'll buy a Duke jersey and wear it in public.

    3. "With a decent pg and somebody that can rebound" in Dukespeak is "we had shooters, but we had nothing else."

  20. Last year's Duke team should have been north of a 6 seed, but they are incubated in rankings like no team I have ever seen. Just looking at positional matchups, Duke couldn't have stayed on the court with Pittsburgh, Oklahoma, or Louisville. By the way, all three lost in the Elite 8. Duke lost the round before, by 22 pts to a team they outranked by 7 spots in the coach's poll.

    As of this season, Duke is not that great. They're about on par with Mizzou, Gonzaga, Purdue, and other teams squarely in contention for the bottom half of the top 25. But my guess is that you couldn't name any of the coaches for those 3 teams, and they ain't getting American Express commercials during every ESPN TV timeout.

    Point being, as overexposed as Duke is, it's their own fault that they've begun to suck. No team in this sport has ever been given the media advantage they've enjoyed over the last 10 years. Frankly I'm ecstatic, as I hate them and would probably sacrifice a limb for the chance to beat the shit out of K and Laettner.

  21. I was joking about Singler's street cred.

  22. Mike Anderson, Mark Few.

    But that's not fair, I'm a Mizzou fan, and few is an avid fly fisherman.

  23. re: Booker Pogue...
    "Point being, as overexposed as Duke is, it's their own fault that they've begun to suck." = the point of the post exactly.

    re: deafmute... We know. There's no way you could've been serious. However, it bears mentioning that he squared off every year in high school against Kevin Love, who is making substantially more money than Singler ever will.

  24. Lattimer,
    Baby, I didn't mean to insinuate that you didn't know those coaches, it was more of a rhetorical "you." I hate it when we fight. Come back to me... I never could say goodbye girl.

  25. Haha I know, I was just proud of myself because I knew two of them.

    Sometimes I use the comment section to boost my self esteem.