It’s been a couple of weeks since Duke got a visit from Mitch McGary, a 6’10 power forward out of Brewster Academy in New Hampshire (2012), who seems like a great fit for the Devils. Definitely a good kid, who I’ve had brief interaction with. Seems grounded and level-headed. On his radar in addition to the Devils are UNC and Michigan. His AU Coach seems to be leaning toward Michigan, so it’s hard to know where his head is at. Hopefully in due time we will have some information.
Another recruiting priority for Duke is Tony Parker, the 6-9, 250lb power forward out of Georgia (class of 2012), whom Coach K visited this past Monday. Coach made it clear that he has a clear role for Parker – to be that dominant presence that Duke has lacked since the days of Carlos Boozer and Elton Brand. With a solid inside banger Duke would be a much harder team to defend, teams would have to play honest and pressure on the outside would have an outlet in a big space eater with a soft touch inside. Duke will have to work hard to get Parker with the likes of Georgia Tech, UCLA, Ohio State all in the mix.
Also on the news front is word that Quinn Cook is now at or near 100% in his rehab from a high school knee injury. My guess is that he is going to provide crucial minutes for the Duke this year. A true point guard with a gift for delivering the ball. We were all hoping to see him play during Duke’s overseas trip last month but complications with how he was healing from that injury shelved him from participation. It’s good to hear that he is up and ready to get at it!
Duke freshmen Austin Rivers clearly has pocketed quite a few lessons during Dukes overseas trip to China and Dubai. Rivers had an up and down trip but honestly what more did anyone expect from a highly touted recruit making his debut on the world stage. The lessons learned and the extra practices should pay dividends during the season for Rivers and the rest of the Dukies. Considering the youth of the team this year, anything that gets these kids on the court with a coach is a plus. The mistakes Rivers made allowed for teachable opportunities, and he seems to have not only humbled but hansn’t his drive to learn. The key is humbling without damaging the ego, allowing room to learn without destroying the natural instinct that made him a consensus number 1 recruit coming out of High School. He is going to be fun to watch. The maturation process is just that, a process.
Congrats go to Miles Plumlee and Ryan Kelly, team captains for this year. Great choice by Coach K, and an honor certainly earned. Undoubtedly the leaders on this new team, they are going to be fun to watch this year.
My 2 pennies on the ACC Expansion is pretty simple, I don’t like it. I like tradition. How does a team like Syracuse leave the Big East? It’s as if those battles with John Thompson and Jim Boeheim are just not important, all of the magic the Big East had in the 80’s and 90’s is just gone. That history, to me is now just sullied. All for money? I just don’t get it. Maybe I would like it if I was a college football fan, I am not, never got into it really. I like the ACC the way it is, I like the Big East the way it was before Expansion became the new “in thing” to do. To me it’s like free-agency in basketball and football in the pros, it makes it hard to really get behind something. Players used to build a brand name based off of not only their play but also putting down roots with a team. We think of Joe Montana with San Francisco, we think of Walter Payton with the Bears. We think Big East basketball we think Syracuse, and UCONN and G’Town, and in recent years Pitt as well. I don’t like the temporary nature of things today, we blow up history for bucks and to me that kind of sucks. Just my little rant.