The world is burning. The coronavirus has shut down everything from office buildings to conferences about the coronavirus. Meanwhile, there’s not a package of toilet paper to be found on shelves in 34 states.
In times like this, we Americans need something to bring us together. Something powerful. Something uplifting. Something that transcends geography, age, race and creed.
We’re talking about hating Duke.
And now that the NCAA tournament has been postponed, we know that our nation will be deprived of what is as close to a national religion as we have. So for those who haven’t checked in on the Blue Devils this year, and for those haters just looking to get your fix until — and if — the tournament is played, we’ve put together a handy guide.
Vernon Carey, Jr.
Please, please, Duke fans, tell us more about the Duke “brotherhood” when Carey and every other starter for the last decade has been so out the door to the NBA that they sometimes put on a Sacramento Kings jersey by accident on game day.
Carey is just another in a long, dark-blue line. When asked why he came to Duke, he didn’t mention Duke’s academic reputation or Coach K’s tutelage or the Cameron Crazies or that one bad-ass barbecue place in Durham. He said his choice was “a business decision, for the most part.”
So much for his business decision. Like so, so many big men before him, his pro stock has tumbled while wearing a Blue Devils uniform. He now barely squeaks into the first round in some mock drafts, despite being a five-star high recruit.
This dude has been playing so deep in his brother’s shadow that extra lights had to be brought into Cameron. But there’s one thing older bro Tyus never had: his own classic #DukeSoDirty moment. During a game against Michigan State earlier in the season, Jones went up for a breakaway layup and landed on top of the fallen defender, Foster Loyer, jamming his foot into Loyer’s chest in a way that would have made Chistian Laettner smile, if Christian Laettner were a human being capable of smiling instead of a sentient hairstyle.
Jones did end the regular season on a high, winning ACC Player of the Year honors. But even that process had a little of that rigged Duke magic. The university declined to nominate teammate Vernon Carey for the award, despite the center tallying more all-ACC votes than Jones.
DeLaurier is Creole for “Of The Bench.” He’s also something we never thought we’d see at Duke again: a senior. He tested the NBA waters last year, and the waters spit him out, sending him back to school and allowing him to finish his college basketball career as the only Blue Devil in history to be recruited over for 5 consecutive years.
Finding out that Coach K’s grandson is on the team is actually less of a surprise than finding out Coach K has a grandson. Ascribing the human qualities required to be a grandparent to a man who once viciously cursed out teenage reporters is just very difficult for the human brain to compute. Although Savarino is barely 6 feet tall and averaged just 7.3 points in high school, he somehow landed a spot on the Duke roster. The reasons why may be similar to how Jared Kushner ended up in charge of every governmental initiative, short of a moon landing.
Grandboy’s toughest challenge, aside from growing three inches, is trying real, real hard not to refer to Coach K as “Poppy” in public. As well as absorbing the skipper’s salty language. “I know some people sitting behind the bench are just mortified by how many curse words he says but he’s a great man and he means a lot of good,” Savarino told The News & Observer.
Wendell Moore, Jr.
He likes to think of himself as the do-it-all Swiss army knife, but with stats like these, he’s like if the Swiss army knife were full of nothing but that weird plastic toothpick. 21% from 3, a wretched 11% at home. More than 2 turnovers a game. And Tre Jones is leading him in blocks.
He straight up admitted before the season started he was (we’ll give you one guess...) looking to be one and done, and he compared himself to Kawhi Leonard. See you next year, Junior.
Joey Baker is a sophomore this year but decided to skip his final year of high school so that he could attend Duke a year early. Not the best decision, Joey Playing less than 5 minutes per game, he averaged more fouls (1.3) than points (.8). He skipped senior prom for that. Joey decided he would rather rot on the bench and clap vigorously after every Zion dunk.
Here’s what you need to know about Goldwire. He was a lightly recruited 3-star guard coming out of high school who was all set to go to Eastern Kentucky. But then Duke stepped in after its more high-profile recruits dragged their feet on commitment and freshman Frank Jackson bolted in order to realize his dreams of becoming a second-round pick and missing his entire first pro year with a bum foot.
After just a few hours drinking in the faux-Gothic splendor of the Duke campus, Goldwire ditched Eastern Kentucky and slobbered all over the Blue Devils, like a horny bro who abruptly leaves his wife after a hot girl casually smiles at him in line at the post office.
“We recruited [Goldwire] hard for months,” Eastern Kentucky’s Dan McHale would later say. “Duke recruited him for days, hours. But it was Duke. What are you going to do?”
Cassius Stanley is a freshman on this year’s Duke squad and will be turning 21 this August. You read that right. He is currently a 20 year old freshman. Did he re-re-re-class? And, if you think it’s overly pretentious for high school recruits to do that stupid “pick a hat” thing when they announce where they will attend college, then Cassius Jerome Stanley would like you to hold his beer. That he can almost legally drink. Check out this video that made announcing he was going to Duke.
Don’t get us started on how ridiculous and forced this whole “The Brotherhood” thing is, but that video made absolutely no sense. We have many questions. Is he comparing himself to Muhammad Ali because the boxer used to have the same name that you have? What exactly is “Impossible” Cassius?
Alex O’Connell/Matthew Hurt/Jack White
We’re gonna be honest: We can’t tell these dudes apart. They’re all in the classic “Hustly White Dude” mold that Duke has produced so many of over the years, including Brian Zoubek, John Scheyer the White House’s Stephen Miller. It doesn’t help to tell them apart when Coach K has been jerking their minutes around all year. Any one of these guys could play 30 minutes one night and 2 the next. Thinking it might result in more consistent court time, Matthew has already shown the coaching staff he is skilled at swinging his pointy elbows at the face of an opponent and being rewarded with a trip to the free throw line.
His full name is Keenan Toliver Worthington, so he was pretty much legally required to attend Duke.
Justin Robinson looks like someone who would say, “Yes, sir,” to the dentist. He likes puzzles. He plays the ukulele. But his main achievement is having the relative clause, “who is the son of Hall of Famer David Robinson,” forever follow his name. And any of his rare appearances on the court annoyingly net proud Papa Robinson more screen time than a 1993 Spurs game. Hey, camera guy, we get it. David Robinson is his father. And David Robinson is sitting in the stands. Famous people have children, too. Now can we get back to a shot of a red-faced K cursing the refs?
We don’t know who Mike Buckmire is. You don’t know who Mike Buckmire is. There’s a decent chance Mike Buckmire doesn’t know who Mike Buckmire is. He is either a reserve guard or lucky caller nine on the AM1310 fan hotline who landed a spot on the bench. This dude has played a total of nine minutes for Duke this season. Which is only nine minutes more than we’ve played. His official bio boasts that he is “regularly one of the first players on the practice court and last off.” But honestly, what else is there to do at Duke?
Tucker and Bagwell are the authors of the 2012 book “Duke Sucks: A Completely Evenhanded, Unbiased Investigation Into the Most Evil Team on Planet Earth.”