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He's Baaaaack! Watzone Goes To Pickup!

The Devils are back on the courts!

I journeyed over to Cameron Indoor Stadium expecting to catch some
pickup hoops today.
What I found was more scaffolding than I'd ever seen. Cameron is having
air condition installed.
The guys were playing at Card Gymnasium. For those who don't know, it
sits adjacent to Cameron. It was named after Cap Card, and many of you
reading this have probably played
there too.

While the atmosphere was not the same, I was still excited by the sight
of most of the 2000-01 Blue Devils.

The Dukies that participated today were Chris Duhon, Nate James, Mike
Dunleavy, Carlos Boozer, Casey Sanders, Nick Horvath, Andrae Buckner, JD
Simpson, Ryan Caldebeck, and Andrae Sweet. Shane Battier and Jason
Williams are readying for competition versus the NBA/USA Olympic team,
and were not present. Matt Christensen was in attendance but DNP.

The legendary Christian Laettner (who was just traded to the Dallas
Mav's) played along with former teammates Thomas "thrill" Hill and
former Delaware assistant Kenny Blakeney. Last years ACC POY Chris
Carrawell came in late and DNP.

High School powerhouse Mount Zion Christian Academy (located in Durham)
was also playing today.
The Duke players split up and played Mount Zion split squads, and then
the winners met in the torrid humidity.
Both Duke squads won and then met. They consisted of Horvath, Laettner,
THill, Blakeney and Buckner. The other team was Dunleavy, Duhon, Casey
and Carlos. Simpson played instead of Nate at times.

I know you guys have a feel for our returnees, so I'll start with the
newcomers. I have decided to give individual assessments. Thus I
attempt to elucidate that way instead of game action.


CHRIS DUHON-
This kid is everything you have hoped for. Firstly, he
showed a complete and highly unselfish game. He ran the point with
silky precision. He played good defense, deflecting many passes. At
times he was all over the court. 

CD deflected a pass and then ht the open MD for a layup. On the next
play he grabbed a rebound, dribbled the length of the court and was
challenged by Laettner to no avail -- he pulled up as the two exchanged
a laugh. He worked well with his teammates. He threaded the needle on numerous
passes.
He often hit Casey for dunks. Once he intercepted a pass to hit CS. He led many breaks and had assists to many players
His best play was when he lost the ball on pressure out of bounds, but
hustled by coming back in and stripped the ball and made the assist to
an open teammate.

Chris handled the ball well. As I said he was very unselfish and looked
to pass first. He has jets he can turn on and drives well too. He hit
a few threes, showing good range. He is a special player...a perfect
fit!


ANDRE SWEET-
He is finding his way around.
He hit 1 of 2, including a three. He showed he belonged, but was
overshadowed by imense talent. He seemed to have improved his ball
handling since NY Rices Raleigh games.


DAHNTAY JONES
- While he did not play, he did work out with a manager.
His free throws were nice, and he is a mature player that will surely
help next year. He is a good addition and is in good physical shape.
I'd take him any day over some of the recruits we backed off on.


NICK HORVATH
- Nick showed a baby hook.
While he struggled with his shot, he was very aggressive on the boards.
He has improved this area and has gained some needed muscle. He was seen
working with CHRISTIAN LAETTNER before the games, once faking CL out. I
really enjoyed watching him and CASEY SANDERS battle. They were often
matched up and fought physically for position. Speaking of Casey, he altered many shots,
dunked with ease and ran the court well. He got a few blocks and put on
a solid fifteen or so pounds of muscle. He was on the end of alot of
Duhon passes...good chemistry. Both players showed more range. I was
impressed by Nick's improved inside play.


MIKE DUNLEAVY-
Ahh, Mr. Showman. His game is still intact, solid in
every area. He made good passes, shot well. You have to love this kid
and his genes. He is more than chip of the old block! He was money
from the top of the key and anytime open.


CARLOS BOOZER-
You could see signs of he Pete Newell Big Man Camp in
his play. He was aggressive inside. He has developed a baby hook with
both hands and hit the boards well.
He had some thunderous dunks and several times stood players straight up
with his strength. He seems more confident down low.
He also made some good passes, which was missing last year. He hit
teammates when collapsed on near the glass.


NATE JAMES
- Nate has a most austere look on the court. He is serious.
Just when I had entered him in my note as a tough shooting day, he
exploded in the final game dominating it offensively. The Dukies crushed
Mt. Zions A team and Nate did the following:

  • three from right side
  • three from top of the key
  • dunked on the break
  • hit a driving layup

All of this was successive possessions. He closed the game with two more
threes! Wow!
Can you say Senior leader?


THE ALUMNI-
Christian, Thomas and Blake put it on the new Devs the
first time out. THill showed he still has athleticism and hit threes
and played a good overall game. Blake ran the point well and Christian
did not shoot much, but was a presence at all times, positioning and
posturing effectively. They can still play...big time!

RECAP- They looked pretty good folks. They are more mature and a little
bigger physically.
They played well together for this early stage. Just think...Jason and
Shane did not play. They'll be very good for Duke fans and I hope to cover
them again to make a better overall assesment.

OTHER NOTES OF INTEREST-

  • Debbie K. took in the action with her newborn son.
  • I shook hands with assistant Wojo and Collins outside...good guys!
  • Jeff La Mere continues to do a good job with organization and
    operations.
  • I forgot about MD's sensational spin moves!
  • The Hall of Fame room/hall is near completion, includes Camerons
    original mid court in the facility.
  • The Butters building is not unlike Fort Knox! Try getting past the first
    floor!
  • Rumors persist that Laettner may yet be a Laker...it is a good move for
    him either way.
  • Chris Carrawell starts camp with the Spurs on October 2nd.
  • I hope these notes gave some of you fellow Duke fans a Summertime fix!
    Go Devils!
  • and quit laughing at the inglorious nature of events going on eight
    miles West of Durham! GTHC! :)

 

On MOUNT ZION CHRISTIAN ACADEMY-

  • I was informed that they would complete their roster next week. The
    Warriors are loaded with talent. I chatted with Coach John Lewis about
    this years prospects. They will have two seven footers join them soon.
  • Amare Stoudemire played well inside and is one the the nations sought after best
    prospects. JERRY JACKSON is a 6-4 smooth point guard, who had a reverse
    dunk.
  • Shelton Bailey also looked good as did a tall kid from Yugoslavia...I
    won't attempt his name and may have some aforementioned spelling wrong.
    Some of their players were a bit perplexed, while some were up for the
    challenge.
  • Look for the Warriors in the Nations top five. They were much deeper
    and athlectic than last years team. If you get the chance, catch them
    live!