The bad news is a trip to Littlejohn to take on the Clemson Tigers, a team
rapidly improving, having just beaten State in Raleigh. Keep in mind these guys
lost to some pathetic teams in the early part of the year, and they are liable
to be still stewing over what Duke did to them in Cameron.
The good news is going to Littlejohn - or anywhere - after a loss.Â That
tends to focus Duke, and Coach K, pretty sharply, and we expect they'll play
with great intensity.Â Nonetheless, it'sÂ never easy playing down
there, and almost no one likes going.Â Â
So just to be clear, Clemson definitely has a shot. They're seeing a Duke
team which is tired, thin, and which ran out of gas against St. John's.Â
Duke has a lot of heart, though, and though that's not enough, if we could see
they're tired from the cheap seats, Coach K knows it and has made
adjustments.Â Let's hope they help.
We're at the point in the season now where you can say Duke is only
guaranteed four more games - Clemson, UNC, one ACC and one NCAA game. There are
as many as eleven left, total, depending on how things break.Â Â
Regardless, though, this team has done an amazing job and has done as much as
anyone has to build on the Duke tradition. Everyone thought they were going to
get the Devils, but Chris Carrawell said, in the summer, that wasn't going to
happen:Â "My teammates over here are teasing me, telling me Duke's going to hit rock bottom and I'm remembering that. I'm remembering that. Duke's not going to be [at the bottom], and I'm here to tell them and I'm going to show them that we're going to be back on top."
He said this while playing in the World University Games, and he's backed it
up, too. It's been an amazing season, and while we obviously hope they do well at Clemson, we also hope that when they come back to Cameron, they get the recognition they deserve. This has been one of the great seasons in the history of Duke basketball, not just because of the record, but because of the character of this team. They have been spectacular.