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Duke vs. UK In Recruiting

Here's an article from Kentucky Hoops which talks about
the Duke-UK rivalry as it extends into recruiting.
Turns out Duke has
won eight out the last ten battles, which Quotin' Bob Gibbons says is because ''(UK Coach) Tubby Smith can't control the media, which publicizes Duke as being the ultimate in college
basketball...and that's the image commonly being portrayed by TV. How do you overcome that?"

Quick, someone call Ken Burgess.

Bob has a point to an extent - Duke does make a huge impression on TV.
It's not because the basketball is different, though it's damn good. The
academics are a selling point, but only to a Battier or a Duhon. It doesn't help
with a mediocre student; it hurts.

So what is it? Well, that's pretty easy. It's Cameron.

What Cameron has become - because it wasn't always like it is, and frankly at
times it has been better than it is today - is nonetheless pretty amazing. When Vic Bubas spoke at the
celebration last spring, he recalled how the gym wasn't that big a deal when he
got there. The students didn't always pack it in, he said, and that happened
when Coach K was out, too - there were games where the students, the Crazies,
were fickle, fair weather fans, sad to say.

At the end of the Bucky Waters era, the atmosphere was, frankly, ugly
at times.. Under Foster, there was a renaissance and a lot of fun, though the
end of his term wasn't much fun.

But Coach K recognized the value of the Crazies and has actively encouraged
them over the years, and also worked hard to keep them in line. We've seen
him, more than once, turn to he crowd and tell them not to do something.

So when guys like Battier show up and run to look in the windows of Cameron,
it's clear that the old barn has a huge mystique and appeal. It doesn't
hurt when Al McGuire wades in the crowd with a pith hat, whip, and chair, and it
doesn't hurt that Vitale praises it to the hilt, either. But what
makes Cameron Cameron is the crowd. Coach K is an amazing coach, and he
would do well wherever he went, but there was Duke basketball before he came and
it'll be here after he's gone, too, and he'd be the first to tell you that.

H.L. Mencken said once that when you close the gates to immigration,
the American language would die. A similar reality is true for
Cameron. It's the most amazing environment in college basketball, and the
intensity of the experience draws players to it. It's what Jason Williams
recognized about college hoops while at the Nets game, when he went to see Marbury and was bored, and it's
what can elevate guys like Fred Lind, Terry Chili, and Bruce Bell to
momentary greatness. We hope Duke always cultures Cameron. The
Colonial Animal, as Thomas Wolfe calls it, can survive winning and losing and
coaching changes, but there's no guarantee it will always be what it is if Duke
fails to nurture it. It needs to be treasured. Aside from everything
else, it's Duke's biggest advertisement, and as the old saying goes, you can't
buy that kind of exposure.