Next up for Duke is Delaware, and the Devils have certain ties to that program.
|Ross's Career Record|
|2006-07||5-26||3-15 (12th)||CAA 1st Round|
|2007-08||14-17||9-9 (7th)||CAA Quarterfinals|
|2008-09||13-19||6-12 (9th)||CAA 1st Round|
|2009-10||7-24||3-15 (12th)||CAA 1st Round|
|2010-11||14-17||8-10 (7th)||CAA Quarterfinals|
|2011-12||18-14||12-6 (5th)||CAA Quarterfinals|
Three former Duke assistants have become head coaches for the Blue Hens: Steve Steinwedel, Mike Brey and David Henderson all became the head man at Delaware, sequentially, from 1985 to 2006.
Brey was the best of these, raising the Blue Hens profile remarkably.
After David Henderson was let go, the Duke connection was broken as the Hens hired MontÃ© Ross, a Winston-Salem State grad and a product of the Big House Gaines era. It's kind of neat to think of him continuing that.
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Unfortunately he hasn't done that well: his winning percentage at Delaware is .378.
His leading players are 6-2 Devon Saddler (21.4 ppg) and 6-9 Jamelle Hagins, who's averaging 13 ppg and 13.4 rpg.
Jarvis Threatt (6-2) is also in double figures at 10.4 ppg.
The Blue Hens are not off to a great start, but they did knock off UVa, 59-53. They nearly beat Kansas State and lost to Temple by just five. They're not that far away, but so far, Duke is on a different planet than just about anyone else.
It's going to be a tough order for Delaware, particularly in Cameron, but they do have a chance, and that chance depends on this:
Duke relaxes, plays a subpar game and it's close at the end. And if at that point Duke is tight and rattled, then Delaware might have a chance.
Otherwise, Duke is playing remarkably well. In a normal game, which follows a normal scenario, as opposed to the one outlined just above, Duke is playing too well to lose to a less talented, smaller team.
Thing is, life doesn't always go according to predicted scenarios. So while Duke is certainly favored, that means nothing when the ball goes up. The game is settled by players on the court, not by oddsmakers and there have been bigger upsets.