If you missed it, here’s Duke’s Countdown: The Movie.
JJ Redick was the host and after saying he thought someone cooler like Zion or Jayson Tatum should be doing it, he said they were busy doing commercials, so Duke was stuck with him.
Given his transition into media via his eponymous podcast, Redick is coming up fast on guys like Jay Bilas and Jason Williams, just on the outside. Pretty much like he would prefer, most likely, and he was the right choice for this gig.
Then it went into Coach K’s Top Ten TikToks which, even a few years ago, would have been inconceivable. But as you probably know, Mike Krzyzewski is nothing if not adaptable.
Quickly obvious: Mark Williams and DJ Steward have pretty good chemistry.
Then we see the current members of the Brotherhood looking at some great plays in Duke history. The best part here: Wendell Moore describing his own game-winning put back last season vs. UNC in overtime. Christian Laettner’s shot gets a pretty intense reaction too, as it should.
Watching these guys relive some of the great plays in Duke history is a lot of fun and watching the plays again is fun too. A lot of programs would be lucky to have one of these highlights. Look how many we have!
Redick critique: not impressed with their acting skills.
After some video fun, it was time for player intros which went to a new level with animation. Coach K sitting with the GOAT is pretty funny. See how many players you recognize. This really takes collegiate stuff to a new level.
The introductions are really different since they’re not center court at Cameron. Each player had his own theme song and here they are:
- DJ Steward: Who Run It by G Herbo
- Jalen Johnson: Dreams and Nightmares by Meek Mill
- Henry Coleman: Swing by Savage
- Jeremy Roach: Relentless by Gunna Featuring Lil Uzi Vert
- Mark Williams: The Bigger Picture by Lil Baby
- Jaemyn Brakefield: Laugh Now Cry Later by Drake Featuring Lil Durk
- Matthew Hurt: Celebration Station by Lil Uzi Vert
- Wendell Moore: Practice by DaBaby
- Michael Savarino: Never Say Never by Justin Bieber Featuring Jaden Smith
- Keenan Worthington: Give Me Everything by Pitbull Featuring N-Yo & Afrojack & Nayer
- Joey Baker: If I Ruled The World (Imagine That) by Nas
- Mike Buckmire: Prices by Lil Uzi Vert
- Patrick Tapé: Love Come Down by Kid the Wiz
- Jordan Goldwire: Franchise by Travis Scott
After the intros, Redick took a spin through the posters during his career before moving on to this year’s poster. As an intro, more fun animation including Henry Williams as Hank the Tank and Jeremy Roach as the Bolt. Joey Baker got Bullzeye. Nice touch there. Coach K makes a cameo with five rings and four gold medals but where’s the GOAT?
Honestly, the K stuff was mildly daring. In the beginning he’s sitting with the damn GOAT - is the goat - and almost smirking. Then the rings? The medals? Wow. We wonder what he was thinking when he previewed this. We like think two things: publicly - that might be a bit over the top and privately...that’s so gangster!
Just kidding, but we’d love to have been a fly on the wall when it debuted in his office. Or for that matter, Ol’ Roy’s or John Calipari’s. Now that would be classic.
And the poster theme? Hoop Heroes. We might be forgetting something, but this looks like the first poster that doesn’t actually use a photograph. It’s pretty cool. Head to the 30:22 mark if you’re impatient.
Redick bows out with a little older brother (uncle?) type advice about dealing with the pandemic before more advice and encouragement from other members of the Brotherhood who have moved on in hoopdom.
Then things end with a few bloopers.
So how was it?
Well it was entertaining and we thought some of the animation was really kind of cutting edge, not as animation but for a college presentation. Duke’s social media branch has really taken off and it’s going to be hard for anyone to keep up. Those people are talented and highly creative.
We also like Duke’s continuing desire to showcase its players and put them front and center. Everyone is upbeat and intelligent and they represent the program very well.