Duke 2006-07 Preview

Last Season: 32-4 overall, 14-2 in the ACC. ACC regular season and tournament champs. Lost to LSU in the Sweet Sixteen as a #1 seed.
Gone: All-Everything JJ Redick (you’ve heard of him?), All-American Shelden Williams, starter Lee Melchionni and seldom-used freshman Eric Boateng.
New: Gerald Henderson (6-5 SF), Jon Scheyer (6-5 SG), Lance Thomas (6-9 PF) and Brian Zoubek (7-1 C). Henderson, Scheyer and Thomas were all McDonald’s All-Americans and Zoubek was ranked #38 by Scout.com
Forecast: Obviously, Duke lost a lot with the graduation of Redick, the ACC’s all-time leading scorer and Williams. Redick provided a huge hunk of Duke’s points and Williams was possibly even more valuable, controlling the paint on both ends of the floor. Melchionni had a bit of a disappointing season, but he did give the Blue Devils some big threes and hustle. He also led the team in jumping, screaming hugs.
As always though, Duke has plenty of fresh talent to step in. This new team should be much more athletic than the past couple of Blue Devil squads and will probably play at a higher tempo. The key will be sophomore point guard Greg Paulus, who had a good, if uneven, freshman campaign. The thing is, Paulus has already injured his foot, a repeat of problems he suffered before, and the Blue Devils don’t really have a reasonable backup. Also, folks seem to be taking it for granted that Josh McRoberts will step up his game to an all-league and even All-American level. I’m not so sure. McRoberts is clearly talented and showed it at times last year, but he was far from assertive and didn’t seem to be a leader. Maybe he’ll improve – he certainly has the potential – but I think folks are looking more at the DUKE on his chest than his actual production so far.
All that said, I’d be shocked if this team finished lower than third in the ACC. OK, maybe not shocked, but very surprised. If there’s one thing Mike Krzyzewski knows how to do, it’s to work with talented basketball players. They may not be experienced, but he’ll coach them up and put them in positions where they can be very successful and will improve throughout the season.
Other Reviews:
Blue Ribbon (only half without paying)
Fox Sports
USA Today

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *