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10 Random Thoughts on Duke Basketball

10 Random Thoughts on Duke Basketball Volume 1 - Lance King for BDN

Here is the first edition of "10 Random Thoughts on Duke Basketball."  I will be covering various tidbits worth mentioning that will consist of little known facts and things to ponder.

Marvin Bagley III is only scratching the surface - What a phenomenal week for Marvin Bagley III.  He wins ACC Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week while setting various freshman records at Duke.  But he could be in high school for his final season.  What I am saying is he is young and learning and will realize more and more what he is capable of doing as the season wears on.

Duke is more than just Marvin Bagley III - Take a look at Wendell Carter Jr. for a second.  He is having a solid freshman season as are all of the starters.  It is his play and ability to help protect the lane and garner rebounds that helps Bagley to be great.

Duke is going to get a lot better soon - Okay, so you know they will have played 9 games in 20 days after they take on Indiana tomorrow night.  But have you considered that during this stretch there has been little to no practice time?  Once Mike Krzyzewski and his staff has time to break down the film from this run, Duke will make major adjustments and tweak what they are doing.  In short, you ain't see nothing yet.

Duke Basketball players should run their own race and in time their goals will be met.

Run your own race - I have covered Duke basketball for many years.  In that time I have seen great players in time not have the success they would like in their freshman and sophomore seasons.  Heck, ask Nolan Smith about sticking with it after barely playing as a freshman.  Duke has some guys on the roster that may not fully blossom until their junior years, but if they stick with the system, they will become stars with key roles.

What we have learned to date -  You can never count this Duke team out.  Fans should look over their timelines to see how they reacted when Duke was down 17 to good teams.  Moving forward, they should know this team is talented and can wear their opponents down over the course of a whole game.  The confidence gained in these comeback wins will serve Duke well.

Duke Basketball is alive and well.

Special -  Mike Krzyzewski aka Coach K called his team special in the post game after the win over Florida.  Special can mean many things, but he has seen this group will not give up and wants to play together, learn and get better.  What he did not specifically mention is that these are all really good young men off the court as well and that he love teaching them.

Indiana is a trap game - The Hoosiers had one of the worst losses in their fabled history in their opening home loss to Indiana State of Larry Bird fame.  They lost to a good, ranked, Seton Hall team on the road.  But they have shown signs of improvement pushing their record to 4-2.  They are rested and playing in their super bowl tomorrow night.

Duke does not announce their injuries - I often see fans ask what is wrong with so and so or he is having a bad game or two,  It is not policy for the Blue Devils to announce their injuries and do not expect them to help their opponents scouting report by doing so.  Food for thought.

The Duke team will soon get a break but -  the coaches will be breaking down filming in between holiday recruiting events later this month.

That needed break will come - after Duke returns from Bloomington where they will face a good South Dakota team in CIS (Cameron Indoor Stadium) on December the 2nd (Saturday) and then St. Francis in a brutal 9:00 start this coming Tuesday.  Wait!  I am not finished.  The team will then go as far north in the ACC as possible for their league opener against Boston College on the 9th.  At that time comes a much-needed 11 day break.  Duke will then play Evansville on December the 20th in CIS to shake off the rust before another 10 day break when they will come back to take on Florida State at home with the students still on vacation break.  Duke will need their non student fans to be on the top of their game in the home ACC opener.

I hope you enjoyed my first edition of "10 Random Thoughts on Duke Basketball," and return for more.  Remember that we are doubling your membership to all new members of BDN Premium through the new year.  If you join for 1, 3, 6 or 12 months, we will double your membership time.  IOW, 2 years is just $100.00, or if you join for 6 months at $60.00 you get a full year.  By joining you help us spread the news on Duke Basketball on various platforms while getting some inside news.  For recent new members, you now have access to the message board, but it is a separate sign up which will then be approved.

BDN’s PK80 Duke Basketball Notebook

Duke Basketball PK80 Notebook

Still Buzzing From Comeback Win

As fans we get wired after big wins and that is exactly what happened to many in the Blue Devil Nation after Duke staged a rollicking comeback win.  Duke moved to 7-0 on the season but not before the emotional meter ran from one end to the other for the team and those who watched.

Looking at twitter timelines show many fans going from ranting on the team to sheer elation in a matter of minutes.  Yes, it was that kind of day and proof that one should never count any Mike Krzyzewski basketball team out.

But even Krzyzewski seemed thrown aback from the turnabout where he admitted his team could have folded being down 16 in the 2nd half with just over ten minutes to play.  Thankfully, Duke saved their best play for when their backs were against the wall and came away with a fine victory.

Marvin Bagley III

One thing for certain is that everybody knows who this young man is now.  It is amazing how many in the media did not seem to realize just how good Bagley not only is but will be.  In short, he is a special player and perhaps, dare I say, the best to wear the royal blue uniform?

Okay, I will back up and not get ahead of myself.  Thankfully, Bagley despite his immense skill set is a humble young man.  In the post game locker room he admitted that he could get better and that he is still learning the game.

So, maybe a new lesson or two will lead to 44 points instead of 34?  Anyhow, his numbers were 34 and 15 against a good team.  And he now has five double-doubles on the season.

Our stinger covering the game got to listen to Bagley answer several questions about his recent eye injury.  Seth Davis peppered the star with multiple questions about that and the incident did indeed bother Bagley more than some might think.

Bagley's play left many media types simply saying he was a pro.  Some fumbled for words when describing his play..  One ESPN announcer said he was a sure top five pick.  Top five?  Maybe he had been watching football.

One More Game to Go and Quite the Set Up

While some of you were cutting z's last evening, Florida and Gonzage were putting on a show of their own.  The Gators remained undefeated with a thrilling and hard-fought double overtime win over the Zags.

In their 111-105 victory, Florida was led by three main scorers which are all guards.  Jalen Hudson led the way with 35 points while playing with foul trouble.  Chris Chiozza added 26 and KeVaughn Allen chipped in with 23.  Did I mention these guys consist of one experienced senior and two juniors?

And to add a little more of a twist to this upcoming game, Duke Athletic Director Kevin White's son, Mike White is the Florida coach.  Yep!  Kevin has had to face this before and insisted it is all about Duke for him when I asked before a previous match up.  But man, his nerves will be in a bunch during what should be a great game between top 10 teams.

Oh, and one last thing.  Florida (5-0, ranked 7th) has scored over 100 point  in 4 of its 5 wins.  That tid-bit translates as they are the highest scoring team in the nation.

Rest?  What rest?

The teams participating in the PK80 have been quite busy with no time off.  All of them visited the Nike Facility upon arrival and have spent most of their time preparing for great opposition.

BDN Factoids - Marvin Bagley has 5 double-doubles in 7 games for Duke.

For those who are not familiar, the assistant coaches will take in the next opponents game.  That means Jeff Capel and company were up late last night watching Florida defeat Gonzaga.

Now with that said, Duke had a long journey to get to Portland and left the day after a recent win over Furman.  But Florida had a slightly longer journey per flight logs.  And now we have two east coast teams which will tip-off tomorrows game at 10:30 EST.

Win or lose, celebration or not -- Duke will then board a flight which will put them back in Durham, N.C. on Monday morning around 9:00.  So, if you are thinking about greeting them know they'd probably appreciate a low-key walk to the dorms before class.

Duke basketball will then have to adjust to east coast time again and wake up the next day to leave for Bloomington, Indiana.  And there, they will face an improving Hoosiers team in a game that tips at 9:40 or later.  They will then return to Durham well after midnight and have a little off before facing South Dakota at home on December 2nd.   They will take on St. Francis the 5th and then travel the next day to Boston to face the Eagles at 12 noon in their ACC opener.

That is the way it is when you are a cash cow for Nike and ESPN.  The good news is after the game with Boston College, the team gets ten well needed days off.

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