Since I was on a weekend vacation this past week, I am a little behind on the Countdown to Craziness for Duke men’s basketball (Canada does not have ESPNU, or at least my hotel didn’t). I just got to watch some of the highlight videos.
It is always a great event for the fans and Cameron Crazies to get a good look at what the team will look like during the upcoming season. Plus, the new guys have a chance to play in front of a packed house.
Each player was introduced to the song of their choice, the best being the final player. That was guard Andre Dawkins, who came out to “I’m Back” by TI. That was fitting considering he took a year off.
Here is a list of the rest of the players’ intro music (via DukeBluePlanet):
Matt Jones: “Ambition” –Wale
Semi Ojeleye: “Champion” –Kanye West
Nick Pagliuca: “I wish” –Skee-Lo
Jabari Parker: “Dark Fantasy” –Kanye West
Amile Jefferson: “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” –DMX
Rasheed Sulaimon: “U Da Realest” -2 Chainz
Marshall Plumlee: “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” –The Temptations
Alex Murphy: “Maad City” –Kendrick Lamar
Rodney Hood: “We Outchea” –Ace Hood
Quinn Cook: “Bando” –Migos
Josh Hairston: “Numb/Encore” –Linkin Park/Jay-Z
Tyler Thornton: “Work (Remix)” –ASAP Ferg
The Grad Students:
Todd Zafirovski: “Shout” –Isley Brothers
Andre Dawkins: “I’m Back” –TI
This was my favorite video of the night, featuring kids from the Duke Children’s Hospital (who were on hand for CTC):
The team played two 15 minute scrimmages, with the Blue winning the first, 36-34 on a pair of Dawkins free throws late. The White won 33-30 in the second. Coach Wojo and Coach Capel were in charge.
Parker scored a total of 24 points and hauled in 14 rebounds and by far was the best player on the court. He also excited the crowd of what this season could be (though he left the second scrimmage with a minor foot issue). Hood scored a total of 17 points, but faded into the background when on the court with Parker, as he shined.
Ojeleye, who won The BELT (the top strength/conditioning award) earlier in the day, also won the Slam Dunk contest. He is not expected to play much during his first season at Duke, but he electrified the crowd with his athleticism and his ability to rebound on the offensive side.
This year’s team looks to be very up-tempo on offense and will play a pressure defense. It should be a fun team to watch. The major concern will be foul trouble. The scrimmage consisted of 47 fouls in 30 minutes. Was it a testament to the fast-paced offense and what that will do to opposing teams? Or is their defense lacking? We will soon find out, with their first exhibition game on Saturday against Bowie State.
Thornton, Jefferson, and Hairston were whistled for six fouls each. All three have had problems throughout their career with foul trouble. Thornton was the least impressive player during his final CTC: he had six turnovers in 14 minutes. In the second scrimmage, Sulaimon handled the bulk of the point guard duties. Cook harassed Thornton on defense, especially in the second scrimmage.
Cook scored seven of his 15 total points on three consecutive possessions. In other news, Cook was named to the Bob Cousy Award Watch List. This award is given to the top point guard in men’s college basketball. Click HERE for the entire list of players.
Hairston scored all five of his points from the free throw line. Jefferson scored 16 points on 8-of-12 shooting and hauled in seven boards, while going up against the bigger Plumlee at center. Speaking of Plumlee, he was quiet in the first game, but erupted for seven points and six rebounds in the second game. Four of those rebounds were on the offensive end.
Murphy also disappointed in the CTC after playing solid in earlier open practices. He played the fewest minutes of any scholarship player (16) and only scored four points while hauling in three rebounds. In the first scrimmage, Murphy did not attempt a shot. He plays the same position as Ojeleye, so he could end up losing playing time if Ojeleye continues to impress.
Jones has had alot of hype coming in like Parker, but did not have it at CTC. He made just 3-of-9 shots from the field and 3-of-8 from the free throw line. He saw time at the point guard spot and his three assists in the second game were tops of any player.
Sulaimon missed his first seven shots, but ended the CTC with 16 points. He looked comfortable as the point guard, but looked for his own shot in the second game a bit too much.
Dawkins went just 1-for-4 from the field, but scored nine points. He did play with the “first team” during the second scrimmage. It was good just to see him back on the court at Cameron.
Zafirovski and Pagliuca did not see action at CTC, though the Cameron Crazies chanted their names.
*The weirdest thing for me is that there is just one Plumlee on the Duke team this year. It seems like forever ago that Miles started the chain of Plumlee’s at Duke.
**All videos are courtesy of DukeBluePlanet.