What a great win for #DukeGang
Okay, so it was only a win over Charlotte. But the Blue Devils romp to victory cured a lot of ills. Firstly, a return to the win column and that is as important as it gets. Then there is the fact that players saw positive things happen on and off the field. Considering the Blue Devils struggles on the injury front and with chemistry to date, seeing some positives was much needed.
It was clear that David Cutcliffe had his team prepared for Charlotte but now he must turn his attention to taking on rival North Carolina. And we are talking a team which will have its ears pinned back after a stumble at Virginia.
The Tar Heels open as a 10 point favorite in fanless Wallace Wade Stadium. And it seems like every time the Duke run game show enormous success in a game, it disappears the next week. Yes, that is something to watch for if the Blue Devils are to compete.
Duke gets Illinois in the ACC/Big 10 Challenge
If you are wondering about the opponent the Blue Devils drew in the ACC/Big 10 Challenge, we have a few words on them. Firstly, Illinois is a hungry team enjoying a resurgence with their program. They are expecting a banner season in Champaign in that Ayo Dusunmu and Kofu Cockburn pulled out of the NBA Draft at the midnight hour. They got a good transfer in Austin Hutcherson who will try to mesh with a lot of returning talent. Duke will need to match the hunger of a highly ranked team in the pre-season trying to return to the glory years and fully expecting to do so with their best team in decades.
About the rest of the schedule
Trust me, the team is as upset as the fanbase that the basketball schedule has not been released as of yet. With the season starting in two weeks the ACC and ESPN are still working on the ACC part of the slate which will consist of twenty games this season. Surely, it has to come out by week's end. Right?
NBA Draft will coincide with the season
We are starting to get some buzz on the NBA Draft which takes place on the 18th of this month of November. Duke will be sending Tre Jones, Cassius Stanley, and Vernon Carey to the league in a draft that takes place after the season opener in hoops. Like everything else, this will take some getting used to but I do expect all three Dukies to be on NBA teams next year. I see value in each of them and think while this draft is not top-heavy with major talent, it makes up for that in the overall depth of talent who will make the jump.