Hungry, Humble and Happy

The Duke basketball program has a lot to discuss with recruits.

The world conqueror is back in Durham, and we're ready to put our championship pedigree to its regular litmus test. (Photo courtesy of DukeBluePlanet.com)

Duke has four national titles in the modern era of basketball, a legendary coach whose teams can’t stop winning championships, one of the best academic acumens in the world…and on, and on, and on.

So the Blue Devil coaching staff has a lot of positives to throw out to recruits (and as Andy Katz reported recently, Wojo and Co. didn’t miss a beat while K and Collins were abroad). We have no reason to resort to negative recruiting, the underhanded and illegal tactics that are souring the world of high school sports and obliterating the “ethics” of coaching. That fact is not pompous, it’s not something that will necessarily last forever. For now, it’s just how things are.

But let’s be real–not everyone has the benefits that Duke fans (and really, UNC fans as well) tote to the high ground. Look at Bruce Pearl. How could a man who hops around half naked at a Lady Vols game imitating the Truffle Shuffle also be a base hoops villain with no respect for fundamental rules?

I know that the NCAA is a bass ackwards organization whose only saving grace is the Big Dance, but really, Bruce. I feel kind of sorry for you. That tan? Yikes. Being perpetually in the shadow of your football program? Tough life.

(Well, Billy Donovan made it work, but he also has Nerf guns.)

It must be difficult for Pearl to have his recruits constantly dipping out on him and his players having frequent run-ins with the law. And after being banned from off campus recruiting for two years, things are just going to get worse and worse at Thompson Boiling Arena. Pat Summit has always worn the pants in this relationship and good lord, man, she always will.

I’m thrilled to be a Duke student for the halcyon days that we have now firmly entered. Our recruiting, unlike Pearl’s, is going along swimmingly. Our targets, unlike John Calipari’s, did not play profe$$ionally in Europe or have their transcripts overhauled to be admitted to “school” (…reportedly). Our prized players, unlike poor Dana Altman’s at Oregon, aren’t jumping ship overseas (check those consecutive ocean metaphors!).

Obviously, the Blue Devil program has had problems in the past. If I had a nickel for every time a rival fan (read: Kentucky) mentioned Corey Maggette and Myron Piggie, and literally snorted like a pig in imitation, I could buy season tickets next to Ashley Judd. And there is no guaranteeing that, in the post-Coach K era, Duke will always attract top talent to Durham or run a squeaky clean program. We can hope, but we can’t count on it.

But for now, let’s enjoy the fruits of success. Coach K is stacking so much paper to the ceiling and slanging so many gold medals that Duke will probably have top 5 recruiting classes until he retires.

The founders of this blog have at least two more years at Duke and in Cameron. With this roster, a coach who has his own holiday, and the Durham community, we’re hoping to ride the wave to Houston.

Crazie Notes featuring Quinn Cook

Duke has offered 2011 standout point guard Quinn Cook, Jason Jordan on DIME Magazine reported yesterday. Thanks for taking our post-Felix advice, guys. Once Cook recovers from his knee injury, he’ll be an absolute star for Steve Smith at Oak Hill. I hope (and kind of anticipate) that Quinn joins Duke and helps fill the hole left by his god-brother Nolan Smith. With Gbinije, Adams and Plum3 already committed (and Austin Rivers possibly on the way), we may be looking a recruiting class to sort of rival 1999. Maybe.

Cook’s highlights from a solid summer are below.

Find more videos like this on BALL IS LIFE

————

Thanks for all your support of Crazie-Talk, folks. Please leave your comments, thoughts and criticisms in the comments section. You can even tweet and Facebook this article if you want. I love the 21st century.