Duke Newsflash: Blue Devils Have a Thin Backcourt!

Mike KlineAnalyst INovember 5, 2009

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 19:  Nolan Smith #2 of the Duke Blue Devils celebrates a basket with Jon Scheyer #30 and David McClure #14 against the Binghamton Bearcats during the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 19, 2009 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Extra! Extra! Read all about it. Duke's backcourt is thin this season.

If that isn't news to you, then please do us all a favor and pass the message to members of the media.

Every since Gerald Henderson left for the NBA and Elliott Williams transferred to be closer to his ailing mother, everyone who knows anything about college basketball knew the Blue Devil's backcourt was paper thin.

Even though they added Andre Dawkins a year early and moved Kyle Singler to the perimeter full time, this was still a known fact.

So I'm scratching my head over all the media hoopla surrounding the announcement that Nolan Smith would have to sit out two games due to playing in unsanctioned summer league games.

I have no issues with them reporting the story. It is a story and should be reported.

But what is a bit annoying is the constant refrain of radio hosts and newspaper reporters saying "Duke's backcourt is so thin and they will be in trouble."

And they say and write this as if it were new. Give me a break.

I think a monkey could find a more original story to report.

It quite frankly isn't news anymore. Sure, if Duke somehow looses to either UNC-Greensboro or Coastal Carolina, both unlikely, then it will be news.

That isn't to down grade or demean those two programs, but if Duke can't beat them without Smith, then there are bigger issues than a thin backcourt.

In the Blue Devil's final exhibition game against the Findlay Oilers, the defending Division II Champions, Duke only held a 12 or 11 point lead at halftime.

This was attributed by members of the media as Duke's great weakness showing through as their offense did not run smoothly without Smith.

I guess the thought never occurred to them that perhaps Duke is not used to playing without Smith; he has been practicing with the team all season after all.

Perhaps maybe it was an adjustment for the team on short notice, something they hadn't prepared for?

I haven't heard one comment that that could have been the case. Only the constant echo of Duke's lack of backcourt depth will be their undoing this season.

That could be true, but I think it is a bit premature to write the Blue Devils off just yet.

Some have even gone as far to say that if Smith, Scheyer, or Singler are hurt at any point this season that Duke will be no better than seventh or eighth in the ACC.

Could be, but I'm thinking there is enough talent on this team for that not to be the case.

My point is, any team in the country is an injury, an academic suspension, or an NCAA sanction away from disaster. 

The Blue Devils are no different, but all these "Woe Is Duke" headlines are a bit much.

If Duke loses to a Division II school with their full complement of players, in Cameron, in an exhibition game, then perhaps we can worry just a little bit.

For now I think the Blue Devils will take their chances with the lineups they are able to put on the floor.