It was a rainy damp day in Durham, but things seemed a bit sunnier when
fans attended the Duke Universities Mens Bas
ketball teams practice for the general public Friday.
Cameron Indoor Stadium was fairly full on one side, with a bevy of fans
of all ages anxious to get a glimpse at this years team.
Coach K appeared to be in excellent health, as he Johnny Dawkins, Steve
Wojciehowski and Chris Collins ran the talented newcomers and returnees
through numerous drills and simulated game situations.
K often stopped the action and seemed to pay close attention to the
post play . Coach talked with newcomers Michael Thompson, Shelden
Williams and hold over Casey Sanders about proper ways to block out,
call for the ball and gain position. He also encouraged talking and
communicating amongst each other.
It was obvious that Coach K and company has a lot to work with, but what
they have in player numbers - experience can only be gained on the
Shavlik Randolph proved to me that recent hype of his play was true. He
is simply a smart player and knows the game. He'll be pencilled into
the lineup from day one, as will Chris Duhon. Duhon could be seen
trying to acclimate the players to the Duke environment. Dahntay Jones
showed his athletic ability off, once on a break for a thunderous dunk.
Shelden Williams? I don't think this guy knows how good he can be down
low yet. When determined, Shelden will be hard to stop.
Dockery showed good handling skills, and will earn some time. J.J.'s
outside game shines, and he'll only have to learn how to create his shot
to prove valuable.
All in all, the team showed a lot of possibilities. It is obvious that
they are still learning to play together, but they look to be in good
shape. Rather than go into detail on every player - I'll wait for
tomorrows Blue-White game where there is sure to be some push for
Also, with the DBR tailgate party at tomorrows Duke-Maryland Football
game and the attendnce by many board members -- I am sure we'll have a
lot of reports and views on the weekends happenings.
Other tidbits- Several players parents were in attendance, including the
Melchionnis, Randolphs, Dahntay and Chis's Mom among others. The crowd
gave several ovations for outstanding play. Duke has recently moved the
banners in Cameron...room for more;) Okay, Luol Deng was their today.
The Blair Academy prospect took in the practice from several angles. He
was dressed in a Long John Shirt and dark jeans and sporting some nifty
sneakers. Coach K and the other Coaches spoke with him during parts of
the practice, probably telling him about our system and his possible
role. Deng will be in town for the weekend and will take in tomorrows
Blue and White game. He spoke for several minutes with Coach Dawkins
after todays practice. The two seemed to have a nice discussion. It
was Coach Dawkins that compared his game to Grant Hill, in that he had a
desire to put the team and winning first. Let's give Luol a big old
Cameron welcome tomorrow, and show him what the Duke Love is all about.
Also, while the Blue-White game is sold out...try to get tickets
outside, as may often buy extras. One other note, it has been reported
elswhere that I said Ebi was coming Duke and told this to DBR. That
infomaton is not true, nor would I ever tell them or Duke fans anything
without backing it up with facts. Afterall, I am just a fan who enjoys
sharing my Hoops experience with others. Go Duke!