Duke: Why They Will Struggle Down The Road

Dylan MagelContributor IFebruary 21, 2010

The Blue Devils have built a consistent resume over the last decade as being a National Championship contender each and every year. While the credit can be put on future Hall of Fame coach, Mike Krzyzewski, the common factor throughout their history has been a dominant "big man". They began the decade in the 2000-2001 season with their co-captain Shane Battier, putting up 19.9 points and 7.3 boards a game. Battier was accompanied with NBA star, Carlos Boozer, who helped Battier to lead the Blue Devils to a National Championship. In the 2001-2002 season, the new co-captain for Duke, Carlos Boozer, led the team with 8.7 rebounds and 18.2 points per game. This was one of the best in the nation that year. The 2002-2003 season was somewhat of an off year for big men on the Blue Devils roster. Although Dahntay Jones scored over 17 points a game, he only brought down 5.5 rebounds. The Dukies finished the season with a loss in the Sweet Sixteen to the Kansas Jayhawks. Shelden Williams brought in the 2004 season with a bang, grabbing nearly 9 rebounds and 12.6 points per game, leading Duke to the Final Four. Williams continued his rampage in college basketball with a double-double average of 15.5 points and 11.2 rebounds per game, although his Blue Devils would only advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Williams finished his Duke career with 18.8 points per game and 10.7 boards.

Skipping ahead to this year, the Blue Devils center, Brian Zoubek, only brings down 6.5 rebounds and 5.5 points. These are statistics that don't nearly resemble those of the past great big men the Blue Devils have been known to produce. The majority of the years with these greats resulted in Final Four finishes if not a National Championship win. Will Zoubek break the mold and lead his team to the Final Four regardless