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A Quick Look at the Giant Source of Evil Down the Road

Seth Davis has an article on the Duke basketball practice he sat in on, and it's rather obnoxious. Davis is there because it's an open practice as part of a Fuqua School of Business leadership conference (eyeroll), and he uses the opportunity to discuss Krzyzewski's post-Olympics revitalization (further eyeroll) and profess a love for John Scheyer of Redick-proportions (Oh look, there's the interior of my skull.) He does nab a quote from the coach himself, though:

"White shirts, you look like f------ losers right now," he barks. "There's no f------ energy. And you're getting your asses beat."

Awesome. 200 MBA students are going to take that back to their cubicles. Irritations aside, there's some wheat to be separated from the chaff, so let's get to it:

  • Wheat: Nolan Smith has surpassed Greg Paulus. I can buy that. Smith was putting up similar numbers as Paulus in a lot of categories last year, on half the playing time. He'll be a big threat this season.
  • Chaff: The team communicates! Or in Krzyzwski's words, "We have three systems -- offense, defense and a system of communication." Their dominance over the Colby Fightin' Mutes this season is now sealed, but unless they're all talking in some secret twin language, I don't think I care.
  • Wheat: Miles Plumlee is ready to contribute. Duke hasn't had two serious interior threats in quite a few seasons; with Plumlee and Singler, this could change. Of course, Duke hasn't run an interior offense in as many years if not more, and even Singler spends a lot of time behind the arc. A new-look Duke offense will be a challenge, while the same spread-the-floor, perimeter-oriented system would be considerably easier for the Heels to handle.
  • Chaff: Nice things about David McClure and Gerald Henderson. McClure was the ninth man on a seven-man team last year - and the eighth man got so little time he transferred. Henderson is declared the X Factor, which is a nice way of saying he needs to play better than he actually can. Either that, or its code for "He's gunning for Hansbrough's nose again." You be the judge; either way it doesn't matter.