The Duke Basketball team named guard DeMarcus Nelson as its team captain for the upcoming season Friday.
(it’s funny, DeMarcus looks exactly like that generic “player” we used to use in all those video games before they had the names and likeness of the players. Just a brown skinned, bald headed brother with that extra skrong frame, sorry, just an observation)
Nelson, who was one of three captains last season, is the only senior on the Blue Devils’ roster and is coming off a season in which he averaged a team-leading 14.1 points and 5.4 rebounds.
“DeMarcus has grown into quite a leader,” Coach K said. “This has been recognized by his teammates and coaches, so instead of having multiple leaders we are looking for Markie to do that on his own this year. We are all really excited for him.”
Now, upon hearing this news, any astute Duke Basketball fan will quickly realize that if Nelson is the sole captain on the squad, that means that Greg Paulus suddenly is NOT the Blue Devil’s captain for the 2007-2008 campaign. Hmm, sounds like a snub to me. It just makes you wonder, while Nelson is being recognized for his ascension within the program is Gregory P getting that “not DeMarcus” treatment? What’s the “not DeMarcus” treatment you ask? I’m not sure, but this is likely what it feels like:
Well, I’m not sure, but when Greg heard the news he wasn’t going to be captain after being one last year, given his shaky play, it probably felt something like an inverse backhanded ghost slap about the face, neck, nuts and solar plexus from both staff and team, leaving him with an expression that probably looked something like dis:
Whispers around the Duke program would have you believe that the team was getting pretty tired of Josh McRoberts’ act last year, so his departure wasn’t all that big of a disappointment. Don’t forget, these two guys, McBoberts and Paulus, were the final pieces that supposedly were going to give Duke a legitimate shot at a National Title in 2006. Well, that didn’t happen.
(I know JJ, I expected more from those dudes too)
To me, Coach K managed them all wrong both that year and last year. Who knew Paulus was more of a shooting guard with good handle and above average passing skills than he was a great playmaking PG? Who knew Josh McBob was more of a distributor who liked wide open alley ops and dunks than he did being a go to guy in crunch time? Well, in my view, Coach K should have known, but what can you say?
(Look at the silky smooth hairdo of the cat on the left, perfect)
I actually like both Greg P and Josh McRoberts. All I can ask for from our guys is that they play with the heart of a lion, will of a champion. Greg Paulus does that. Not only that, but he’s got a killer J, he can score in traffic and can dish the rock a little. A top flight pure PG he is not. That’s just a fact. Call it what you like, a recruiting mistake or whatever, but I think it’s more about who K played alongside Paulus than Greg himself. Greg Paulus should be our 2 guard or part of a tandem guard system, but he’s NOT an elite playmaker and he cannot guard, one-on-one, most ACC caliber starting PGs.
K needed to either get him some help (read Nolan Smith) or put Greg in a system that catered to what he could do best. Let’s start with some Zone D every now and again, perhaps? Let’s continue by paring him with a hot defensive stopper (read DeMarcus) rather than a taller version of himself (Scheyer). Duke’s guards haven’t been good enough (particularly on the defensive side of the ball) over the past few years to do the typical Coach K 4 guard set he enjoys so much (read DeMarcus at the 4!!!). That’s not Greg’s fault, never was. Let’s just see how Greg responds to the “not captain role”… I know it’s gotta hurt. Word on the street out of Duke is that Nolan Smith is looking even better than people had once thought. I mean, just think about it, you’ve got Paulus, Henderson, DeMarcus, Scheyer, Nolan Smith, Taylor King, AND Pocious as potential/legitimate guard options?
(either homeboy is an evil genius or we’re not recruiting right)
Greg’s minutes just have to be reduced. There is no way they won’t be. Is that why K and staff took the captain designation off him? Not sure. Either way, it’s time for Greg to man up though. Show that heart, accept (and know) his role so Duke can get back to competing and winning. I have no doubt that he will.