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An Early Look Ahead To Jacksonville

Not to look past the exhibition with Fayetteville State, but we thought we’d link this while it’s fresh.

Countdown to Craziness
 DURHAM, NC - OCTOBER 21: Jaylen Blakes #2 moves the ball against Jaden Schutt #14 of the Duke Blue Devils during Countdown to Craziness at Cameron Indoor Stadium on October 21, 2022 in Durham, North Carolina.
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

It’s a bit early to talk about Duke’s season opener against Jacksonville, since the exhibition against Fayetteville State is Wednesday, but here’s an early look from, of all places, the Dothan Eagle.

We have good feelings about Dothan because we got to know a basketball player from there, Henry Callins. He wasn’t a particularly good basketball player but he was smart and interesting and represented his hometown well.

Segue over; back to Jacksonville.

We’ll learn more about the Dolphins over the next few days but for now, we know this: they were 21-10 last year which is pretty good. For an ACC team, 20 wins is not that big of a deal; in fact, it’s now kind of pedestrian. To win in the A-Sun is a lot tougher. Even more impressively, it was Jordan Mincy’s first season.

He played for former BC coach Jim Christian at Kent State and actually played against Duke coach Jon Scheyer there.

His best player is Kevion Nolan, who was a first-team ASUN player last season. And a familiar face is on his staff: former UNC player Scott Cherry, who was not overly talented but who had a very respectable career under Dean Smith.

You might think that Duke is the only team in this game to play for a national championship but you would be wrong: Jacksonville lost to UCLA in 1972 with the twin towers of Artis Gilmore and Pembroke Burroughs. The seven-foot Burroughs later became perhaps the tallest state trooper in Florida history.

Normally we wouldn’t talk about this game before Fayetteville State but it’s a new era and we’re excited.