Duke kicked off its season last Friday with its Count Down To Craziness Midnight Madness basketball event.
The opening of official practices gave the Blue Devils the opportunity to celebrate last season's fourth National Championship while breaking in some of the team's new talent.
In attendance were Duke commits Austin Rivers and Michael Gbinije, as well as several key prospects.
The top recruits, current players and a packed Cameron Indoor Stadium saw the raising of Duke's fourth National Title Banner and the presentation of rings.
The Blue Devils also played their annual Blue-White scrimmage and saw good things out of freshman Josh Hairston and Kyrie Irving as well as solid performances from the veterans Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith.
Duke Recruit Tyler Adams wavering?
Absent and recently the topic of discussion on several Duke board was Tyer Adams. The 6'7"-6'8" center prospect has verbally committed to Duke; however, Adams elected to attend Georgetown's Midnight Madness event.
The decision has kicked off a storm of discussion about whether Adams will renege on his early commitment and decide to play somewhere else. A similar discussion was initiated back in the spring when reports indicated he might be interested in Mississippi State.
A pro-Bulldog website had indicated as much, but Adams later affirmed his commitment to the Blue Devils. Less than six months later and the discussions have resurfaced. Some fans are taking a wait and see approach while others are saying the Duke staff should cut ties.
At this point it is entirely too early to tell and any assertions that Adams is wavering has not been confirmed by Adams himself, unless you interpret the CTC snub as such.
Some have even gone as far to query if Adams might be struggling academically. Besides being blatantly unfair and unsubstantiated, it is highly unlikely the Duke Staff would pursue a player they felt had suspect academic standing.
So until Adams announces he has reopened or some other reliable source indicates such then it is best to take that wait and see approach.
Will Blue Devils Add a Cook to 2011 Class?
Also in attendance was 2011 point guard recruit Quinn Cook. The Virginia native who attends Oak Hill Academy has been high on the Blue Devils. Some websites even reported Tuesday night that a commitment to Duke was coming or done.
Cook later tweeted that that was not true. At least not yet.
Duke would love to have a player of Cook's abilities especially considering the uncertainty of Kyrie Irving's longevity in a Blue Devils uniform. Many are projecting Irving leaving after this season.
Even if he stays, Cook is more than likely a three to four year player rather than a one or two and done. Having another solid point guard certainly cannot hurt.
While nothing is final Cook's attendance at CTC may have sealed the deal. And while Internet rumors are just that, it is fair to say the situation looks good for the Blue Devils landing Cook.
Duke Starts on Top so Fans Should be Cautious
The Blue Devils find themselves in a familiar place to start the season as the nation's No. 1 team. While Duke is the preseason favorite, as last season proved, it isn't always the favorite team that wins.
It isn't like the Blue Devils aren't use to taking other teams' best shot, but there is a difference when you are the defending National Champion.
Duke has the talent to repeat, and they certainly have the coach. They have a good mix of experience and youth, so the ingredients are there.
But if the nine years between Duke's last two championships didn't teach Duke fans to appreciate the success and be patient nothing will. Blue Devil fans rejoiced after Duke won its fourth title having grown tired of the demise of Duke talk.
Now the Blue Devils are back on top the attitude of entitlement has a funny way of rearing its ugly head. Some fans will think a back to back championship is an inevitability. That isn't so and Mike Krzyzewski who addressed the fans at CTC said as much.
So while there is plenty of reason to be excited for the 2010-2011 season, it is best to enjoy it and don't expect too much, just enjoy the ride.
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