First, to fire you up.

That was a year ago. I had the displeasure of being in attendance at that game, having made the trip from Columbus for the explicit purpose of watching the Blue Devils continue their then-undefeated season.

The Hoyas played uncharacteristically well that day, turning their season into one of the program’s best since the head coach’s father had roamed the sidelines.

Following the game, the streets of Washington were flooded with unimpeded bliss. Their beloved program had finally found its footing in a new offensive system, one that utilizes patience and backdoor cuts. It had worked well against Duke largely because the Hoyas’ perimeter game was on fire that day.

Today, the Blue Devils hope to turn the tables.

Georgetown’s big men will pose perhaps the most imposing challenge for Duke, for whom freshman Brian Zoubek may be required to play as pressing a role as he’s had in his young college career.

But the success of this Duke team–as with all Duke teams–falls on the shoulders of those who lead it. Can the Blue Devils find a steady hand? Can their sophomores find their way out of their early-season woes? Can the freshmen begin to meet the lofty expectations hoisted upon their 18-year old shoulders?

The season is young. Finals loom just two weeks into the future. But this is Duke basketball, and excellence is expected every step of the way.

Here’s expecting Duke to come out with a vengeance as it defends its home court against Coach Thompson’s streaky Hoyas.

~

> The Washington Post

> Herald Sun

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