Duke Loses, America Wins … but not why you probably think

Articles, Sports

Thank God that Duke lost, am I right?

First, thanks for all of those page views you guys. But second, and most important point here, is that we only have to deal with another six or seven hours of fake outrage over Grayson Allen and Coach K. And in Allen’s case, we’ll likely never have to hear college basketball fans talk about him again as it’s expected that he’ll enter his name into the NBA draft in the coming weeks.

BUT HE TRIPPED PEOPLE!!!   Which he did, and that’s absolutely worthy of the technical foul he received for the first and the league reprimand he received for the second. It’s even worthy of the national perception he received for both incidents. But the discussion about Allen declining an exuberant hug from Dillon Brooks in the final seconds is a classic case of narrow-minded fans looking for something to be mad about, and websites not unlike our own (USA Today, Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, etc.) throwing out bait to get those clicks.

Brooks went from enthusiastically celebrating a late-game deep three-pointer to an aggressive hug with Grayson Allen, and Allen just kept walking. No push. No words. Just walked towards the handshake line. End of story. Well, until Pete Thamel (from Sports Illustrated) tweeted a quote from Brooks talking about the post-game exchange he had with Coach K by saying “I’m too good of a player to be showing off at the end. He’s right.”

At face value, who cares? The internet, that’s who.

And people will it eat it up. Remember in 2013 when Coach K gave a quote about his displeasure about ESPN’s hyping of college players as NBA prospects?

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Remember earlier this year when UNC’s Roy Williams make the identical point? The same website (and same author) as the above column certainly does.

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And don’t blame the websites. They know their audience. And the absolute best part of Duke losing to Oregon is that we get to skip out on the hot takes tailored towards mindless viewers looking for a reason to be angry, and we can all enjoy the rest of the tournament.


Quick post-mortem on Duke …

  • Brandon Ingram is absolutely going to enter the draft and should be the first pick overall. You don’t pass on that skill set, coachable attitude, and calm demeanor all packed inside of a still-growing body. Pardon the hyperbole, but he could end up being the most talented NBA player to ever come out of Duke.
  • Our Sportschannel8 college basketball experts believe that Grayson Allen will enter the draft without hiring an agent. If just one team likes him as their first pick, he’ll stay in the draft.
  • There’s no reason that the NCAA won’t grant Duke’s request for a 5th year for Amile Jefferson and he’ll be back next year.
  • Marshall Plumlee may get a 2nd round look, but will likely skip out on the NBA to pursue his career in thCQlNrSgUkAAAPEW.jpg-largee US Army. The much-maligned trio of Plumlees will each leave Duke with a national championship ring. By the way, there’s still one Plumlee left in the ACC. Maddie Plumlee plays volleyball for Notre Dame.
  • With the personnel losses that Duke encountered this season, including the unexpected loss of Senior co-captain and double-double performer Amile Jefferson, Duke was forced to push four of their seven players into roles that didn’t quite fit. While a Sweet 16 exit isn’t what Duke fans are used to, this will be the kind of season that becomes more of a success the more distance the fanbase gets from the Oregon loss.
  • The “hit or miss” with recruiting the best players out of high school comes when there is a weak class, which was evident this year with Duke and Kentucky. With a very talented and very deep high school class entering college this summer, expect the veteran-led teams to fall back away from the spotlight again with teams Duke, Kansas, and Kentucky leading the way with younger players.
  • Next year’s Blue Devils could be one of the most unique teams we’ve seen in the Triangle area, mixing a 2015-like freshman class (Harry Giles, Jason Tatum and Frank Jackson) with 2015-like senior leadership (Amile Jefferson and Matt Jones), but with a complementary cast of experienced players like Luke Kennard, Derryck Thornton, and Chase Jeter to provide top quality depth. The incoming freshmen class will be rounded out by Javin Delaurier and Jack White, who likely would have seen significant minutes this season but will probably be reserves next year. Duke is also still recruiting the class of 2016.