DURHAM, NC--In a move designed to get the Duke Blue Devils back on track, the ACC declared that, effective today, all Duke baskets would be worth four points instead of the customary two. The Blue Devils are in the midst of a rare mini-slump and are in need of some outside help in order to stay competitive in the ACC.
“We’re going to give Duke a little help,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “I know it’s a little inconvenient for everybody, but the sad fact is that Duke is very vulnerable this year and they need all the help they can get. We have to pull together and make sure the Blue Devils turn it around. Why? I don’t know. It ’s just the way we’ve always done things around here.”
The Blue Devils next game is Wednesday night against conference rival North Carolina. The Tar Heels have already been apprised of the ACC’s decision to help Duke, but they won’t use that as an excuse. According to coach Roy Williams, they’re just going to have to try a little harder.
“Look, these things happen. You can’t sit here and make excuses about it,” said Williams, whose team is 6-2 this year in the ACC. “We’re just going to have to go out there and out-hustle them. Guys are going to have to step up. Is it a pain in the ass? Absolutely. Does anybody feel sorry for us? Hell no. Everybody in the conference is dealing with it. The only team we should feel sorry for is Duke. Those guys are undermanned this year. They look like the Washington Generals. They should make their baskets worth five points.”
In the past, the ACC has been accused of practicing favoritism towards the Blue Devils. To their credit, conference officials have never denied the allegations of bias. They do, however, believe that the Blue Devils have earned their preferential treatment.
“You make your own luck, or in this case, your own blatant favoritism,” said Swofford. “By winning consistently for years, Duke has proven to be the class of the conference and in turn, deserve to be treated as such. It’s not like Maryland or Virginia or Clemson have been better. Far from it. And don’t talk to me about UNC either. They’ve had their down years. The fact is, we just like Duke, okay? They’re like the cool kids in school, and we’re like the hopeless nerds trying to sidle up next to them.”
With their baskets now worth four points, the Blue Devils are setting big goals for themselves, such as winning the conference title and breaking the single game scoring record of 186 points, set by Loyola-Marymount in 1991.
“This is going to open up a lot of doors for us,” said guard Greg Paulus. “I think we’re capable of some pretty big things now. I mean, four points. That’s a lot. We could legitimately break the scoring record. We could win all our games, too. The only problem is that when we play teams outside our conference we’re going to have to play by the normal rules. It’s too bad we couldn’t reach some kind of agreement with the rest of the country, too. Oh well. No need to cry about it. When life gives you lemons, you just gotta make lemonade.”
Nonetheless, the Blue Devils are not taking their upcoming game against UNC lightly. Coach Mike Krzyzewski is telling his team to treat it like any other game. A lackluster effort, Coach K warned, could lead to embarrassment.
“I hope we’re not going to relax and let our guard down just because our baskets are worth four times those of our opponents,” said. Krzyzewski. “That doesn’t mean we can go into a game all La-Di-Da expecting to walk all over people. We’ve got to work just as hard as we usually do. Remember, communication is the key to a team’s cohesiveness and passion is the key to a player’s something and the spirit is like a…airplane, or something, and…I don’t know. I’m running out of profound things to say. Just go buy my book and turn to the chapter on pretending to have respect for your opponents.”
ACC Declares Duke’s Baskets Worth Four Points
|February 6 , 2007 Volume 2 Issue 80|