We haven’t had a chance to listen yet, but Duke Basketball now has a podcast called The Brotherhood, and that, like so many of Duke’s social media efforts, is likely to be a big success.
The program decided to move into social media aggressively when Duke Hating was at its peak and then-coach Mike Krzyzewski and staff decided that not only was social media a good counter to that, but that the players should do much of it themselves. So among other things, we’ve seen Marshall Plumlee interviewing his teammates, which is still a high point.
The other brilliant decision Duke made was to hire Dave Bradley to run the whole enterprise. It would be impossible to truly quantify his contributions to the program, but he is largely responsible for two things: first, the lessening of the overall problem that Krzyzewski identified, and second, actually making the Blue Devils cool on social media. And who knows how much that pays off with recruits?
This podcast is an extension of that.
In the inaugural episode, Ryan Young interviews Kyle Filipowski, who, among other things, gets into why he chose to return to Duke for his sophomore year and why he would only have done that at Duke.
And secondly, he explains that he chose his uniform number (30) partly because a lot of cool numbers have been retired and partly to honor the connection he feels with Jon Scheyer. That will change now that players can use numbers 6-9 but with iconic numbers like 32, 33, 4, 10 and 11 off the table, Filipowski’s point is still valid.
And really, that tells you an awful lot about where the program stands today.
One more thing worth mentioning: this podcast is obviously an official Duke production, but with NIL, it sure seems possible that a player - hypothetically, say, Jared McClain - could start his own podcast and do pretty well. But here’s the thing: because the premium in that media is on personality more than talent, it doesn’t have to be a star player. You can imagine, for instance, that Plumlee would have been highly entertaining in that role.
Going back a bit more, what would Chris Carrawell have done with an NIL podcast? How about Kenny Dennard?
It’s a really intriguing idea and one that, done properly, could help both player and program.
Well, as long as we’re at it, here’s an idea that could be fun and unique: Filipowski could co-host a podcast with his twin brother Matthew, who is playing for Tommy Amaker at Harvard. How cool could that be?