Duke starts the brief exhibition season with Shaw, coached by former Duke
great Robert Brickey. We got to know Brickey fairly well shortly after he
graduated, and while he was at that time a bit wild, as many young men at loose
ends are, he found his way and is a well regarded young coach.
Unfortunately, his Shaw team is likely to find itself considerably
outmatched. Brickey's team is limited numerically and size-wise. The
current roster is nine players, with no centers listed. In fact, only four
players are taller than 6-5 and only one is 6-6.
It's always possible that a small, quick team can surprise a bigger team, but
it would be a monumental surprise if that happened. Duke has size,
quickness, power, and confidence that Shaw will find hard to overcome.
The nature of exhibition games is that they are scheduled to give your team a
chance to see what strengths and weaknesses it possesses. Winning is
generally taken for granted (at least by the home team).
One advantage Shaw has is that Brickey has a very good idea what Coach K will
do, while Coach K may not realize whatever Brickey has added to his Duke
foundation. Many people, for instance, would assume Shaw should try and
And the players know each other and have played against each other, living,
as they do, in a rarified competitive world.
There wasn't always such a disparity between traditionally black schools and
the ACC. Winston-Salem State had Earl Monroe; Earl Manigault almost played
at two schools, both traditionally black. Before integration, the better
players often went to the traditionally black schools because they had no
choice. Billy Packer has spoken of how he would sneak over to
Winston-Salem State to see a star player there.
One unfortunate aspect of this game is not being able to see Brian Zoubek
against a similarly sized big man. After his star turn in the Blue-White
scrimmage, it'd be great to see him take on another big man. But that
won't happen Thursday. We will, though, get to see how he deals with
guarding a smaller guy, which should be equally interesting.