It has been a long time since I was able to set the DVR to record a Duke game. But finally tomorrow, I will get that chance once again. Tomorrow Duke will kick off their 2008-2009 campaign against Presbyterian in the first round of the Coaches vs Cancer Classic.
After the late season disappointment last year every Duke fan is looking forward to what could be a very successful year. Last year Duke came out of the gate strong, and stayed that way up until March, when it all kind of feel apart. The only true loss for Duke was DeMarcus Nelson, and there are plenty of players who are ready to step up and be the go to guy.
Gerald Henderson will be looked at as the main focus on this offense. In my opinion, he took over that role after his performance in the Belmont game in the tournament. Henderson has all the makings of a superstar for Duke. Anything less than 1st Team All-ACC will be a disappointment.
An important part of this team will be the Greg Paulus, Nolan Smith situation. It is much anticipated seeing how Smith will handle the point guard role, and how Paulus adjusts to coming off the bench. This could be a great thing for Paulus as he might have a better chance to utilize his shot as a “2” guard.
One thing I will be watching this season is the development of Miles Plumlee and Olek Czyz. Also, improvement from Brian Zoubek and Lance Thomas. These four players are extremely important. Their success will be important for Kyle Singler. Singler needs to be able to play his natural position and stay from under the basket to avoid getting the crap knocked out of him the entire season.
There are some many options for Coach K this season. The gold medal winning coach, will return to a team that is loaded with talent, and if all the cards fall right we could be playing deep in March.
Duke will be tested early with a possible match up with UCLA waiting for them at Madison Sqare Garden. First Duke will have to play a few games that are with inferior opponents and should just be warm ups.
Tomorrow starts the marathon season of college basketball. Last season was very exciting at times, and that success should carry over. This team has the potential, but they need to keep it together the entire year. I look for big things from this team and can’t wait to see them play.