Well folks, it’s 4:00am on Saturday, April 3rd, 2010. We’re finally about to set off…on the road to the Final Four.
At this point, there’s been so much said and written about this Duke team, why they can’t win, and why Duke is the object of nation-wide hate, that the only thing left to do is win. And for thirty three games this year, our boys have done just that. They stand at 33-5, having won 16 of their past 17 games, and in prime position to bring home Duke’s fourth national title.
The seniors on this team – Brian Zoubek, Lance Thomas, and Jon Scheyer – endured a hellish freshman season, one that ended with a tough loss in the first round. Without senior leadership of any kind, they were forced to grow, not only as basketball players, but as leaders. Zoubs, LT, and Scheyer would form the core of Duke basketball for the next three years, gradually progressing and learning – reaching the second round in ’08, the Sweet Sixteen in ’09 – until they finally reached the ‘promised Land’ in 2010.
This group has learned the hard way that respect, whether it’s from other teams, coaches, or the media, must be earned. After Duke’s second round loss to West Virginia in ’08, Joe Mazzulla, Cam Thoroughman, and Wellington Smith had a few choice words for the Blue Devils.
“It’s just a name on the front of a jersey,” he said. “It’s not like they have Jason Williams or Carlos Boozer anymore.”
– Wellington Smith, 3/22/08
Trash talking aside, this team has been on a mission from day one, and has been absolutely incredible to watch. They have been true representatives of this university and excelled beyond our wildest dreams when it has counted the most. It’s time to earn that respect, once and for all.
Go get it, boys. Let’s go Duke!