Nolan Smith (Duke University)
Coach K‘s four national championship teams at Duke University have been defined by threes. Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley and Grant Hill ran the show in the ’90s; Shane Battier, Jay Williams and Mike Dunleavy Jr. won it in ’01; and in 2010 it was Jon Scheyer, Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith.
With Scheyer gone to graduation and a few younger players taking aim at that vacant spot in the Big Three, this season’s leadership responsibilities for the Blue Devils (11-0) have fallen on seniors Smith (17.1 ppg, 5.4 apg) and Singler (17.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg) to lead a talented group aiming for a repeat. Going into tonight’s game against UNC-Greensboro (7 p.m., ESPNU), Smith talks about how experience wins championships: Read More »
/ Dec 22, 2010 / 10:00 am
Grant Hill‘s ankles once looked to be made of glass. But nearly eight years after his last ankle surgery, he has reinvented himself to be an ironman in, of course, a place called Phoenix.
Where has the time gone? Not on Hill’s body, which is holding up better for the 38-year-old Suns forward than perhaps had his All-Star career not been put on hold for more than three seasons in Orlando. Hill played in all 82 games in 2008-09 and 81 last season, feats that not only underscore his remarkable recovery but his belief he’ll be playing a few more seasons yet. Read More »
If Kemba Walker hadn’t decided to turn into Tiny Archibald in Maui, tonight’s Duke vs. Michigan State matchup (ESPN, 9:30 p.m. EST) would be a meeting of the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the nation.
Despite their blemished record, No. 6 Michigan State is still considered a Final Four favorite and regarded as the toughest challenge the defending national champion Blue Devils will face in the regular season. Currently, these are the top two teams in college basketball. How do they match up historically? Read More »
/ Sep 28, 2010 / 5:30 pm
As NBA training camps get underway, we preview the upcoming season with the “Highs and Lows” system — predicting the respective ceiling and basement for each team.
Added: Jordan Crawford, Josh Powell, Etan Thomas
Lost: Joe Smith, Randolph Morris, Mario West Read More »
/ Aug 14, 2010 / 12:01 am
Perhaps you’ve heard about this thing we’ve got going on called the World Basketball Festival. No big deal, just a blockbuster four-day weekend dedicated to the greatest sport in the world, taking over the greatest city in the world, and attending by the greatest athletes and entertainers in the world. After Day 1 saw a Team USA scrimmage and Jay-Z performance at Radio City Music Hall, Day 2 was spent almost exclusively at historic Rucker Park in Harlem for a star-studded schedule … Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul got it started at the Jordan Breakfast Club clinic. Read More »
/ Apr 21, 2010 / 5:10 pm
Dirk Nowitzki (photo. Monte Isom)
It sounds strange to make a favorable comparison between a future Hall of Famer and a former NBA journeyman — and have the journeyman set the standard of said comparison — but watching Dirk Nowitzki drop 36 points in Dallas’ Game 1 win over San Antonio the other night, I couldn’t help but think of Christian Laettner. Read More »
/ Apr 19, 2010 / 7:44 am
Ron Artest, Dime #21
The Lakers are still the smart bet to defend their championship, but we’re also not counting out the Thunder in their first-round series. But if OKC is really going to pull a ’94 Nuggets job and win as an 8th seed, they may need to actually reanimate Dikembe Mutombo in his prime … The front line was the key to L.A.’s Game 1 win: Pau Gasol put up 19 points, 13 rebounds and 3 blocks, while Andrew Bynum went for 13 points, 12 boards and 4 blocks. And Lamar Odom didn’t even do much in this game. OKC can only counter with Nick Collison (not skilled enough), Serge Ibaka (too young) and Nenad Krstic, who is what we thought he was … Tough game for each of the marquee superstars: Kobe had a quiet 21 points (6-19 FG), while Kevin Durant scored 24 on just 7-of-24 from the field. Read More »
Yesterday was my 25th birthday. I know, kinda crazy. So with the National Championship game last night, I figured I’d look back at the past 25 years of the Big Dance. At the end of the Final Four, the Associated Press always selects a Most Outstanding Player (last night being Duke’s Kyle Singler). The MOP need not be a member of the Championship team, but they almost always are. In fact, the last player to win the award in a losing effort was Hakeem Olajuwon back in 1983. But not everyone goes on to have a career like The Dream. With that in mind, I’ve tracked down the MOPs of the past 25 years… Read More »
As our editorial team was brainstorming content for the Sweet 16 games this Thursday and Friday we realized that most of us had some kind of attachment to at least a few of the squads represented. Most of that attachment goes back to who we grew up rooting for as kids (check out Austin Burton’s favorite Washington Huskies of the past 25 years). For me, after Temple and Boston College (my alma mater), I loved Duke. A lot.
I’m pretty sure it started when my Dad took me to see Duke play at the Palestra in Philly against one of the Big 5 schools in the era before the Blue Devils started dominating college basketball. I attached myself to some of those Duke squads that were around pre-Christian Laettner title runs and obviously, being a kid, was more than happy when the program really took off a short time later. They lost me a little with the J-Will/Will Avery/Greg Paulus teams, but I will always support Duke.
Here are my Top 10 Favorite Blue Devils of the Last 25 Years: Read More »
Duke's Jon Scheyer
One by one, Kyle Singler, Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith walk into the small media room inside Cameron Indoor Stadium and take a seat behind a wooden table with one mic amidst a sea of digital recorders. Over and over, they answer geeky notebook-jotting reporters who try and find smarter ways to recycle the same question.
It’s boring and typical, and Duke’s “Big Three” — arguably the storied program’s most talented and productive trio since Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley and Grant Hill — all know it. Still, consummate professionals, they embrace the redundancy. Even have a little fun with it. Read More »