In Gene Wojciechowski'sÂ book, The Last Great Game: Duke vs. Kentucky and the 2.1 Seconds That Changed Basketball, it's clear that Christian Laettner, though he had a different way of showing it, was really attached to his teammates. It's a good observation for the other Wojo: teams are never the same and personalities can be close, or can be in conflict, or be in conflict and still work closely. Groups have differing chemistries.
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If it's fair to say that Coach K frequently, if obliquely, addresses perceived weaknesses from a previous year by what he emphasizes in the following year, then the theme of togetherness for this year is really intriguing as it suggests that last year's team was somewhat less than that.
We're not saying it was a disaster; you don't win 27 games in a disastrous season. But maybe it could have been better.
Countdown to Craziness kicked off the new theme Friday night, and in two scrimmages, Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee showed they would be leaders and major factors, but a lot of players showed stuff. Rasheed Sulaimon showed he could get to the basket, Alex Murphy was solid, and Quinn Cook looks like a born point guard.
Seth Curry and Marshall Plumlee sat out with injuries.
In the photo accompanying this article, by the way, consider the length of Amile Jefferson's arms and how he might renovate a defense. That's a real obstacle.
Also a nice touch from Friday: Nobel winningÂ Duke prof Robert Lefkowitz was honored.
Next week, things get more real as exhibition play begins.