Tag Archives: Lance Thomas

Enjoy the moment Blue Devil Nation for these opportunities are rare

Crazies invade Indianapolis
Enjoy the moment Blue Devil Nation. Wallow in the atomosphere and appreciate how fortunate you are - BDN Photo

INDIANAPOLIS –  Hey Duke fans!  Live in the moment for opportunities to win a national title don’t come around often.  Take a moment and realize how lucky you are as a fan to follow such a great program and a great team.

From the Duke coaches to the players, there is nothing but solid character on the 2009-10 Blue Devils team and it’s time to recognize and cherish that.  Just ask UNC fans who are coming off a title how long ago that seems now?  If it happens, enjoy it, savor it, live it.

Before you begin to worry if Kyle Singler will return or when the next recruit  will commit, live in the here and now.  Immerse yourself in the here and now and enjoy rooting for the team everybody in the nation will be watching this evening.

Make no mistake, that the majority of fans out there would kill to have a program like Duke’s, so recognize how lucky and blessed you are to have them as your team.

It’s been an amazing season and that season may well end in a fourth National Championship and how amazing is that?  I mean, who thought this would happen after Gerald Henderson left or Elliot Williams transferred?

This Duke team has succeeded at meeting every goal it set forth to date and you will never see a more likable and grounded roster of kids than this seasons.  No matter what they have been faced with, they have met the challenge with success.

Bozo media types are saying Duke had an easy road.  Well, they beat the PAC 10 Champions, the Big 10 Champions and the Big East Champions to get here and the Horizon Champions may be added to the list in about seven hours.

But don’t get caught up in all the hate and realize that a lot of it is fabricated to begin with.  Worry instead if Duke will defeat a Butler team that is laying a trap.  But know your Blue Devils will show up and I mean they will be ready.

I have a good feeling that Duke will be atop the world by midnight, but should they slip, these guys are still champions.  It is rare to have senior leadership like Brian Zoubek, Lance Thomas and Jon Scheyer and they should be cuddled by the fan base.

If Kyle Singler goes pro, wish him the best for he will have left you with something special.  What I am saying is that nothing should take away from the joy that only two teams will experience when the ball tips at 9:21 tonight and no I am not saying Kyle is gone, so relax and don’t go there.

Oh, and make sure you greet these Blue Devils in a big way when they return.  And do me a favor Blue Devil Nation, cheer hard for me as I will still be on the road back to Durham.  In fact, a video of the return would be appreciated or a tape of any local coverage of the event.

It’s been one heck of a ride and it’s one that nobody should want to end.

April 4th Duke Press Conference from Indianapolis

Duke set to take on Butler
Duke players address the media in Indy BDN Photo

INDIANAPOLIS – The Duke Blue Devils defeated West Virginia just hours ago, but they were once again in Lucas Oil Stadium to address the media early this afternoon.  The following is the national press conference which featured Coach K, Jon Scheyer, Kyle Singler, Lance Thomas, Nolan Smith and Brian Zoubek.  Several more interviews to come including one on one chats with selected Blue Devil players and coaches.

April 4th Press Conference -

BDN Post Game from Indy – Duke’s Lance Thomas shares his thoughts

INDIANAPOLIS – Once again Lance Thomas left every inch of himself on the court in Duke’s win over West Virginia which advances them to the Title Game.  Late in the contest Thomas ran to a loose ball and jumped to grab it with authority right in front of the Duke bench and that play epitomizes how he valued the ball even when Duke had a solid lead.  A very tired Thomas spoke with the Blue Devil Nation and here is what the senior had to say –

BDN from Indy – Duke’s Lance Thomas talks Final Four

Lance Thomas and Duke to take on West Virginia
Lance Thomas in Lucas Oil Stadium

INDIANAPOLIS – The Blue Devils are in Indianapolis for the Final Four and an opening round date with West Virginia.  Duke held their open practice today before several thousand fans in Lucas Oil Stadium but just before that BDN was on the scene for player interviews.  Here are Lance Thomas thoughts the day before tip off.

Just press play -

This Duke team is one tight knit group [updated]

HOUSTON – The Duke fans who made the trip to  Houston have an extra hour of joy to celebrate Duke going to their 15th Final Four.  But for those of you on eastern standard time, the Blue Devils are headed your way tonight.

After much celebration, the Blue Devils will be back in Durham early this A.M. and they are carrying the Southern Regional Trophy with them.   The Blue Devils defeated Baylor 78-71 before 35,000 screaming Bears fans in a very exciting contest.

On a night when Kyle Singler couldn’t find his mark offensively, Nolan Smith played the game of his life, scoring 29 points and being named the most outstanding player of the region.  Despite Singler’s off game his teammates picked it up and that has been the case for this Blue Devil team all year long.

The one thing which really stood out after the contest was the word, “togetherness.”

Another word you heard a lot in the Duke locker room was chemistry and a third word heard often was tight.  You see, these Blue Devils are on the same page like few other teams before them.  “We always hang together off the court, there are no cliques on this team,” said a very emotional Lance Thomas.

When I asked Thomas if he had ever played on a tighter team, he shook his head from side to side for emphasis, saying, “Never, never,” with a lump in his throat.  “We’ve worked so hard for this,” said Thomas who was almost at a loss for words with relief.

Thomas and his senior teammates are a big reason for the camaraderie and the Duke staff is quick to tell you that.  In an on-court interview with Duke Assistant Coach Chris Collins, the emotional coach stated, “These guys may be the best team we’ve ever had.”  He didn’t mean the most talented, as you will hear.  No, he was talking about how much he liked coaching this group.

Coach Wojciechowski then stated, “It’s not the most talented team, but they like one another and do everything together.”

His senior teammate Brian Zoubek echoed the sentiment as well, “He’s [Thomas] right.  We do it all together.”  Whether it is going to movies, bowling or just hanging out, every player agreed that this was one tight knit group.

These Blue Devils show that tight knit togetherness on the court as well.  The 2010 Blue Devils never seem to panic and they lean on each other, picking up the slack when a teammate has a down game.  No matter what the statistical anomaly, this team finds ways to win.

When I asked Nolan Smith if he felt he needed to become more of a scorer with Singler having an off game, he was quick to say yes, but he followed that by saying, “That’s the way it is this season, we help one another.”

Perhaps, Jon Scheyer said it best, “We can tell one another anything.  We’re able to confront each other and we all hold each other accountable.”  In short, these Blue Devils have each others back in every way.

As I told Scheyer what Thomas had said about chemistry and togetherness, he exclaimed, “Yes, I have never been on a team in my life that was so close and then the emotion kicked in and he fought back tears looking down before recovering and answering questions from the throng of media which then gathered around him.

This may not be Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s most talented team, but I have never seen a group more together and that in itself makes this team quite special.  And before you say maybe I didn’t see the back to back national champions or the 86 team, think again, for I have witnessed every season since a coach whose name nobody could pronounce came to Durham from Army.

Coach Krzyzewski may not tell you the same for he has had some really good teams, but, make no mistake, he understands how special this season has been to date.  Win or lose in Indianapolis, this team is indeed unique.

It’s a team that went through a lot in the off season with departures and missed on what many felt at the time were ‘must’ recruits for success.  One thing is certain, those players are now questioning their decision as Duke is once again basking in the national spotlight.

But maybe those near misses and defections are the reason this Band of Brothers has come together unlike any Duke team in recent memory.

“We hang together on and off the court and like each other,” said Thomas.  He then continued, “There are no separate cliques on this team, we are all in this with one another.”  Yes, he repeated himself with sincerity.

And then there is Coach Kryzewski’s comments during the post game press conference, “This team will really be brothers forever.  It’s as close a team as I’ve had.  You want great things to happen for people who are great with us.  I mean, they’ve been spectacular to coach.  You can tell they’re really close and I’m ecstatic about it.  I can’t tell you how happy I am about them taking our staff to Indianapolis.

And Duke fans?  They should be happy to have a group like this represent the royal blue and the four letters they wear proudly on their chests.

Stay tuned for more coverage from Houston and stay tuned to BDN all the way through the Final Four in Indy for we will be there for you.  Want to support BDN?  Join Blue Devil Nation Premium.  You are sure to like it!