The 1990-91 Duke team changed my life.
The 1991-92 Duke team changed my changed life.
Best basketball team ever? Probably. The team that made me a sports fanatic, a statistics junkie, and made me realize that Mike Krzyzewski is an artist and a genius, yes. But I digress, I'm not trying to relive my preteen years, I'm just thinking.
As I watch this years Duke Blue Devils, I wonder, are they one in the same? The 1991 team had three seniors (Christian Laettner, Brian Davis, Ron Burt). The 2010 team has three seniors (Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler, Casey Peters). The 1991 team started ranked #1, and never lost that spot. The 2010 team started ranked #1 and have yet to lose that spot. The 1991 team, had to play a to the buzzer game against Michigan five games into the season. The 2010 team had to play a to the buzzer game against Michigan State
seven games into the season. The 1991 team (through nine games) won by an average of 22.3 points per game. The 2010 team is winning by an average of 24.5 points per game. The 1991 team had the quintessential leadership of Christian Laettner and Brian Davis, the 2010 team has Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler. The main thing they both have in common is Mike Krzyzewski is still their coach, and they still play in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
It's way too early to sit here and say that they will repeat. My biggest concern is that I feel the ACC is a little down this year, so I'm not sure how well the conference season will prepare the Blue Devils for the tournament. Influential freshman, point guard Kyrie Irving just went down with a toe injury for possibly the rest of the season. I'm confident though that Nolan Smith will keep on keepin on and won't let the Blue Devils lose a step. College basketball is possibly one of the most exciting times of the year, and I am super excited to see what these guys have in store.
Not to look ahead too much (but I am), I am so excited for next season. It's hard to believe but this team is possibly going to be even better. Yes, they lose Nolan and Kyle, but the rest of the team will have one more year of experience and Austin Rivers and the third Plumlee brother will be on the roster. I personally can't imagine a stronger team emerging this year or next year for that matter.
Only time will tell how good this team really is, and all I can do is watch them through the eyes of my ten year old self convincing everyone that they will repeat.
Let's Go Duke.
We're gonna beat the hell out of YOU!
*91, 92, '10 team photo courtesy of GoDuke.com
*'10 championship photo courtesy of sports.espn.go.com