Duke Report’s Freddie Hodges took time to speak with a Cameron Crazy about the 2015-16 Duke basketball season and a few other topics.
Duke Report has been following Shaker Samman since his freshman year at Duke, getting his point of view as life as a Cameron Crazy at Duke University. You can find the past articles here:
Shaker or “Blue Man” is now in his third year of being a Cameron Crazy at Duke. We recently caught up with Shaker to get his thoughts on the 2015 Duke Basketball national championship, the current Duke Football season, and the upcoming Duke Basketball season.
DR: Describe your experience at the 2015 Final Four at Lucas Oil Stadium and how it felt to be there as a Cameron Crazy watching Duke win its 5th national championship?
SS: April 6th was the best night of my life. The last few minutes of the national championship were sort of a blur. I remember standing on a chair, euphorically punching the sky, and I remember confetti, and net-cutting, but I couldn’t tell you what happened in between. The entire game was tense, and I’d be lying if I thought we were absolutely going to win. That being said, I wasn’t really convinced we weren’t going to. It was honestly just an insane game, and a day I’ll never forget.
DR: With the recent success of Duke football, what are your expectations for this season of Duke football?
SS: I see us going like 7-5 this year, and that’s okay. We don’t need to push the boundaries of history every season. We’ve got a new quarterback, and lost a few difference makers. A mediocre season this year could mean an incredible one next year as players grow, and recruits join the program. 7-5 and a trip to Shreveport. Lock it in.
DR: What Duke football games are you most looking forward to this season?
SS: Duke-Carolina is the obvious choice here. Last year was pretty heartbreaking, but neither of our teams have looked particularly impressive so far this season. I’ll be donning the “wrong” color blue in Chapel Hill this fall. Hopefully we come out with a win.
DR: With Duke Basketball losing 4 starters from last year’s championship team (three in the 1st round of the NBA Draft and their senior captain) but bringing in multiple 5 star recruits…what are your expectations as a Crazy for Duke Basketball this season?
SS: Sweet Sixteen. This isn’t a title-caliber team. It’ll be a really fun team, no doubt, but it won’t be much better than the Jabari-Hood team we saw a few years ago. We’ll give up 85 points a game, and score 86, but we all know that model isn’t sustainable. We’ll finish third in the ACC behind UNC and Virginia with a record like 27-10. It could be a fun year because of how talented Ingram is, but I don’t have high hopes.
DR: Virginia is ranked as high as #4 in some preseason polls. How do you think Section 17 or the Cameron Crazies section will be when Tony Bennett brings the Hoos and his pack line defense to Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 13th?
SS: It’s a marquee game, no doubt, so Cameron should be rocking. I’d be surprised if it’s rowdier than a Carolina game, but it should be fun. I’d compare it to Syracuse my freshman year (the Blazer game).
DR: What other Duke Basketball games are you looking forward to this season?
SS: Carolina. They’re national title favorites. Anything can happen in a rivalry game, so expect a cage match.
DR: Speaking of the Carolina game…is it an easier (weather conditions, etc..) experience camping out for the UNC game when it is played in February vs. March?
SS: Oh, it’s absolutely easier when the home game is first. Adding four weeks onto the tenting experience is hellish, and I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. Don’t get me wrong — I love KVille, and going to the games is great, but living in a tent in the freezing cold is a nightmare.
DR: Can you share any interesting experiences you have from camping out in Kville?
SS: Alright, so experiences that are internet friendly: my freshman year, I took over someone else’s shift (they had to go study for a midterm), and stumbled upon Jon Scheyer and what I think was his nephew. He asked to get a picture with us, and our tent. Definitely something I’ll keep with me for a while.
DR: It’s a new Duke Basketball team this season. I have to ask this one last question – Will Carolina “Go to Hell” this year?
SS: I want to say yes so badly, but honestly, probably not. Carolina could win it all this year. My best advice is to find shelter, and wait for the cold winter to pass over. This is a football school, anyway.