Countdown to Craziness takes place this Friday, October 20 and the start time is scheduled for 7pm EST. For many fans, it will be the first time they will get to see this year’s Duke basketball team in action.
The ACC Network on Watch ESPN will be showing the event in its entirety starting at 7pm.
What to Expect?
If you have never watched Countdown to Craziness before, you’re in for a real treat. Usually, they have different games for Duke students to try and win prizes. They are also a few different performances by various student groups which include singing, dancing, and other talents.
For most Duke fans, they can’t wait to see the player intros. Each year, the team does something unique fans definitely will enjoy:
After the intros, the Blue Devils are split into the white and blue teams who are coached by the assistant coaches. The white team, coached by Jeff Capel last year, is typically who you’ll see as the starting five to begin the season. Last year, Jon Scheyer coached the blue team. The teams play two 10-minute halves.
Some years at halftime (others after the scrimmage) the team presents the “Iron Blue Devil Belt” to the men’s basketball player who excels in summer workouts along with preseason conditioning. Coach K also speaks to the crowd and the team recognizes a member of the Duke family for recent accomplishments.
At the start of the second half of the scrimmage, a few players will switch teams. Coach K likes to see how well certain groups play together.
In some years after the scrimmage, there has been a dunk contest. The past few years they have not had one. With the team currently healthy for the most part it is possible they have one this year.
Players to Watch
Duke’s freshmen class was rated as one of the top recruiting classes for the 2017-18 season:
- Marvin Bagley – many have said he may be the best freshman to ever play at Duke.
- Trevon Duval – Duke has been looking for that special point guard since Tyus Jones. Can Duval be the one to lead the Blue Devils back to the National Championship?
- Wendell Carter – he hasn’t been talked about much since the commitments of Bagley and Duval but don’t sell the versatile big man short. He’ll be a key piece to Duke’s championship dreams this season.
- Alex O’Connell – the wiry shooting guard can light it up from outside. Will he get playing this season or be better served to redshirt to bulk up?
- Jordan Goldwire – he wasn’t as highly ranked as other members of this class, but don’t underestimate the tenacity of this hardworking point guard.
- Gary Trent Jr. – the son of the Shaq of the MAC can shoot from outside or drive the basket. The question will be will he start from day one or be a super sixth man off the bench?
- Jordan Tucker – Tucker held out for an offer from Duke. Once it came, it didn’t take long for him to commit. He could be another key outside shooter off the bench this season.
The Blue Devils return six players from the 2016-17 team that lost to South Carolina in the second round of the NCAA Tournament:
- Grayson Allen – Allen surprised many by returning for his senior season. After spending several months away from the game will we see the Allen we came to love during the 2015 championship run?
- Marques Bolden – Bolden was thought by many to be a one-and-done. Injuries derailed his freshman season. How will he come back after the injuries and rumors of him transferring this past offseason?
- Javin DeLaurier – DeLaurier should see significant time this season. His ability to play the 4 or 5 will help spare Bagley and Carter. Could we see a lineup with Bagley at the 3, Carter at the 4, and DeLaurier at the 5 this season?
- Justin Robinson – the son of The Admiral wasn’t on the court much last year but he provides valuable leadership off the court which will be important for a team with only one senior.
- Jack White – White didn’t see as much playing time last season as some would have liked. He provides toughness and can be the glue guy for this year’s squad.
Recruits in Attendance
Countdown to Craziness is always a big event for the nation’s top recruits. Last year future Blue Devils Wendell Carter, Gary Trent Jr., Tre Jones, and Cameron Reddish were in attendance.
This year 2018 5 Star Zion Williamson will be making a repeat visit to Durham. 2019 5 Stars Armando Bacot, Joey Baker, Matthew Hurt, and 2020 5 Stars R.J. Hampton and Isaiah Todd will be in attendance. There are sure to be others who have not made their plans public yet.
Friday should be an exciting time for Duke fans. Most will likely temper their expectations after what happened last season, but everyone is eager to finally see this year’s squad in action.
If you are unable to watch this year’s Countdown to Craziness don’t worry. We’ll have a full write up, photos, and videos from the event.