This weekend was a tough weekend for Duke fans, players, and alum as Duke went into what was probably their last game in College Park and lost to the Terps but 2. Duke did not look like they had the energy or will to win the game. It’s possible the BC game (travel issues) and the UNC game (our rival) took whatever the Blue Devils had and they were unable to find anymore for their 3rd game in 6 days. Duke University also learned that former player Phil Henderson passed away at the young age of 44. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Phil’s friends and family.
Former standout Duke University basketball player Phil Henderson, 44, has died in the Philippines, according to Duke alumnus Seth Davis of CBS Sports. The cause of his death was not immediately known. He was working in the country as the director of the Filipino Basketball Academy. Henderson played at Duke from 1986-90 and was a starter in three Final Fours. One of his teammates, Robert Brickey, posted a message on Facebook saying he was “deeply saddened by the loss of my friend, roommate and teammate Phil Henderson … Keep his family in prayer.”
Maryland upset Duke yesterday 83-81 and the students rushed the court after Quinn Cook’s desperation half-court shot clanged off the rim. It was a good game made great by the history between the two schools thanks to conference affiliation. Both Maryland and Duke were charter members of the ACC when it was founded in 1953. Yesterday, Maryland coach Mark Turgeon talked about how much the win meant to him and to the program. “I know what it means to our fan base. I wanted to beat Duke. I wanted to beat Duke. This means a lot to me. I talked about it in the summer, ‘God, if we beat Duke, I’m going to be in the student section. I’m going to be hanging out with the students.’ This game means a lot to me.”
On Saturday, Maryland scored a thrilling 83-81 win over second-ranked Duke. The game story is here. Postgame blogs will arrive in droves. For now, however, some quick quotes courtesy of both Duke men’s basketball Coach Mike Kryzewski and women’s basketball Coach Joanne P. McCallie. Earlier this week, Krzyzewski told ESPN’s Andy Katz that the Blue Devils wouldn’t schedule the Terps once Maryland jumps to the Big Ten in 2014. Here’s what he said during his postgame press conference Saturday: We don’t look at rivalries. We look at each opponent the same. I’ve said that every time I’ve come here. I have a great deal of respect for Maryland. If it was such a rivalry they’d still be in the ACC. Obviously they don’t think it’s that important, or they wouldn’t be in the Big Ten. I respect their basketball program and the job their coaches have done and their players have done over the years. We’ve had some great games with them, but we have great games against a lot of people. A lot of people want to beat us, and they’re one of them.
Carolina-Duke round one went to the Blue Devils Wednesday night, unofficially marking the end of the first half of the ACC hoops season. All the teams have played at least 11 of their 18 games, but the remaining slate carries added weight as teams jockey for postseason position. Plus, there’s the ACC Tournament to come, which could prove critical to the NCAA hopes of one or more bubble teams. Here are some questions on my mind to ponder for the stretch run: 1. Is Miami really that good? 2. If Duke is ranked No. 1 nationally, why are so few convinced that they can get any better? 3. What is the deal with N.C. State?
It’s an anomaly that has persisted in college basketball the entire season. While there have been a slew of exciting games, including a five-overtime affair, it was revealed this week that the scoring average is the lowest since the 1981-82 season, five years before the three-point shot was instituted. Georgetown, currently leading the Big East, won a 37-36 game over Tennessee on Nov. 30 in which the winning basket was scored with more than four minutes remaining. Kansas, ranked fifth at the time, didn’t score for the first 7 ½ minutes against the worst team in the Big 12 in TCU and ended with just 13 points at the half. Why the ineptitude and is it affecting viewership? The answer to the second part is no as ESPN’s ratings are virtually the same as they’ve been the last five seasons.