Thursday, July 1, 2010

Collegiate Hoops: Duke Blue Devils 2010-11'' Season Preview

Duke Blue Devils

2009-10 Record: 35-5
2009-10 ACC Record: 13-3

You couldn’t ask for a nicer season if you were a Duke fan. They throttled short-handed North Carolina twice.

They had some questionable loses but overall they were able to win the one’s that mattered.

At the end of the season, the Blue Devils were crowned National Champions. Before the NCAA tournament started, the consensus National Champions was either Kansas or Kentucky.

Nobody really mentioned Duke and they were able to prove them wrong. Many blame it on the easier road they faced.

However, no tournament bracket is easy. They faced tough teams especially in the Elite Eight on-to the National Championship.

A repeat is a huge possibility for Duke. They’re lock and loaded, ready for next season.

Key Returnees:

If you weren't a senior, you didn't leave. The Blue Devils returned eight of their players that won them a national championship.

The success of the Blue Devils hinged on whether Kyle Singler would return. He returned and that's why Duke is the instant favorites.

Singler and Nolan Smith will need to provide the same kind of success they did this season but more.

They also returned the two Plumlee twins in the post. That will benefit well both in the starting five and on the bench.

Key Departures:

The Blue Devils had a lot of key returnees but they also had big departures.

Jon Scheyer, the point guard and floor-general for Duke this past season. In the clutch, the ball was in his hands and he hit the big shots. Not only that, but he created for others around him.

He made sure the game was played at the speed they wanted it at--not what the other team preferred. 

They will undoubtedly miss his contributions.

In addition, Brian Zoubek has to be the biggest lost for the Blue Devils. 

He brought you defensive, and offensive rebounding. Not to mention, the ability to lock down on the opposing teams center. 

Despite the 7.7 rebounds, and 5.6 points; Zoubek was a special player to this program.

Both will be definitely missed.

Key Additions:

If you haven't heard of Kyrie Irving then you're not a real college basketball fan. Irving has been on Duke radar for a while. Once he decided that Duke was his destination in the fall, they were no longer looking for a Scheyer replacement.

Irving is one of the best point guards this 2010 recruiting class had to offer. Some go as far as saying he is the best. 

That is good news for any Duke fan. This recruiting class featured players like Josh Selby and Brandon Knight.

Joshua Hairston is a great post addition. He will give 110 percent on every possession. He works hard on offense but is better on defense. 

He times blocks and steals perfectly down on the low block. Not to mention, he is a high energy type of player.

Fatigue isn't a problem for him, he can go all day.

Tyler Thornton the 6-foot-2 point guard signed with Duke as well. Coach Krzyzewski not only added depth to the position, but placed a leader on the second unit. 

When the starters get winded the offense won't skip a beat. With Thornton's understanding and leadership, he should be able to run the second unit rather well.


Most people foresee a repeat this upcoming year. The Blue Devils are loaded and the roster is going to be 11-men deep. 

That is great because nobody in college basketball will be able to play with an 11-man rotation like Duke will be able to. On top of that, they have the best point guard in the business.

They can score, rebound and defend well. 

Nothing has changed but the year for Duke. They will once be back in the National Championship and repeat like the Gators did back in 2004.

They're main focus should be improving their players. They're will be players that are looked upon to produce consistently that haven’t played significant minutes over the season.

If they are able to get players to step up, in the post mainly, they will have a productive National Championship season once again.

Written by DeAnte Mitchell

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