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From The Mailbag!

Hi DBR guys,

Re: your notice of Danny Green's improving 3-pt stroke, you rightly credit one of my favorite old guys ... "Chip Engelland, who finished at Duke a few years before the three point shot came in, has built a career as a shot doctor." You forgot to mention, though I'm sure you recall, that Chip did have one year with the 3-pointer, the "experimental" (and ridiculously short) 17'9" line in 1983. It was only used in ACC games, I believe.

(Note: we did forget. Thanks to everyone who mentioned it)

Even though Duke finished 11-17 that year, dead last in the ACC, and it's mostly memorable only for the scintillating play of superfrosh Johnny Dawkins -- who, I still say, was robbed in the Rookie of the Year vote (curse you, Mark Price!)* -- I still loved that plucky team, led by senior backcourt of Tom Emma and Chip Engellund ... oh, and let me give some love to our junior center, Canadian and fellow Bogger Danny Meagher, in addition to the rightly renowned freshman class (Alarie, Bilas, Henderson, and Weldon Williams, plus Dawkins).

I looked up the stats for Duke that year, and Chip shot a stunning 55.4% from the 3-pt line in 1983 (41 for 74)! I can't find the full ACC stats for 1983, so I don't know who was the best 3-pt shooter (any ideas? I'm thinking maybe someone like Jeff Lamp?) in the league, but I doubt anyone had a better pct, at least among those who took more than 50 shots.

So I'm pleased, but not at all surprised, to learn that Engelland has had a long career as a "shot-doctor." He really was one of Duke's great shooters, and it's too bad he's so little known. Thanks, you guys, for the memory!

All the best,

Rob Tally, Trinity '91 (and BOG dorm, '89), and Law, '01

* OK, free trivia: Price in '83 was the first of an unprecedented and since unmatched four-peat for Georgia Tech in the ACC RoY votes; Price was followed by Bruce Dalrymple, Duane Ferrell, and Tom Hammonds (thus robbing Duke's Amaker, Strickland [ok, maybe not "robbed"], and Ferry, as well ... although I bet UNC fans also have a gripe). Throw in Dennis Scott in '88 and Kenny Anderson in '90, and GT had 6-out-of-8 RoYs. More amazing, GT later added Martice Moore, Stephon Marbury, Ed Nelson, Chris Bosh, and Derrick Favors. So that's 11 of 31 since 1982. (And, yes, I had to look it up; I don't really remember Martice Moore, I concede.)

Now, this might be an embarrassment to both Bobby Cremins and Paul Hewitt -- or merely a coincidence, bad luck, or one-and-done-ism -- but in that same era GT has had only one ACC Player of the Year winner (Dennis Scott, '90). This is where Duke's experience takes its revenge,** of course: in the same years in which we got only three RoYs, we had 10 PoYs (counting Ferry and Redick, who won back twice, for each of theirs). Youth is overrated!

** Bonus trivia: I'm sure you guys know that Chris Duhon in 2001 was, remarkably, Coach K's first ever ACC RoY (with Kyle Singler and Austin Rivers being the only other two). But the award was first given in 1976, and Duke won first three: Spanarkel, Gminski, and Banks (with Hawkeye Whitney tied with the G-Man in '77). So Gminski is the only Blue Devil to win both RoY and PoY ('79) in his ACC career.

(apologies for the length ... this one got away from me!)

Dr. Robert T. Tally Jr.