Think about this: Zion Williamson from last season (Heisman Trophy winner alongside every other award possible in college basketball for his position, eventual No. 1 NBA draft pick, social media rockstar, dunking sensation but way, way, way more than a dunker) in prime physical condition.
Hold up– Zion wasn’t in prime physical condition last year?
Well, obviously, Zion was in incredible shape. Like, he was jumping from the free throw line before the season had even started. However, it appears that even that isn’t prime physical condition for him; this picture is getting a lot of attention:
Good gracious. Many were quick to jump on the “not in good enough shape” bandwagon after his post-college, pre-draft break, but that’s out of the question. I’m pretty sure he’s doing alright and it looks like his knee, which he injured minorly in his first summer league appearance, is healed up pretty well (see below).
We can’t wait for Zion to start tearing up the league. The Pelicans open in Toronto to play the reigning champion Raptors, sans Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. Bleed blue.
After a few weeks of consideration, Marques Bolden has announced that he will remain in the NBA Draft, while his fellow rising senior, Javin DeLaurier, will return to Duke for his senior season. Best of luck to Marques Bolden in his future endeavors in the pros, and we’re happy to see Javin’s return. More to come later.
Bleed blue. I promise that I’ll post more often starting in June; exams stink.
Zion Williamson has officially declared for the 2019 NBA Draft, as he announced via Instagram on Monday. His declaration is the final of the three expected to come from Duke, and like his teammates Zion is likely to be signing with an agent, being the face of basketball and all. Unless the general manager of the NBA Draft lottery winner is suddenly without a brain, Zion will go #1 in the draft, no question about it.
All we can say is that while this wasn’t unexpected, thank you, Zion. Thank you for making this season as unforgettable as it was. Thank you for making fans across America jump and yell with electrifying dunks. Thank you for being the spark for your team like no other player on earth. Thank you for fighting, fighting, fighting every second for this team. But thank you most of all for being yourself: for loving the game, for grinning and laughing and being so happy all the time to make the game so much fun for everyone. Zion Williamson is every reason why we love the game of basketball.
Bleed blue. Look for updates as Matthew Hurt, one of the final recruits on the list for Coach K and Duke this year, makes his decision on Friday. All signs have pointed to his interest in going to Duke, especially after fellow Minnesota native Tre Jones announced his plans to return to Durham. Additionally, Hurt’s father canceled visits from two of the four head coaches that he’s considering playing for, which certainly isn’t a good sign for those programs (neither of which are Duke; the two were John Calipari of Kentucky and Bill Self of Kansas).
RJ Barrett, the widely projected high lottery pick in the NBA Draft, has announced that he will leave Duke for the next level. The “Maple Mamba” will sign with an agent, making him ineligible were he to want to come back to school. Krazies’ Korner would like to thank RJ, alongside the rest of the Duke fanbase, for his incredible efforts this season and for what he did to help make this such an amazing season.
I’m still trying to comprehend the fact that Grayson Allen won’t take the floor at Countdown on the 19th. He’s a special player of the likes we aren’t likely to see again, at least for a while. Grayson is getting rolling with his new teammates on the Utah Jazz, a franchise that’s on the rise with new star Donovan Mitchell. Now they know they’ve got another star, a gem for that late in the draft: Grayson Allen. He’s a guy who’s all for the team, he’s an excellent player, he can lead guys, and he’s been on a team with about half the NBA at this point. He’s showing out in the Jazz’s preseason:
He threw down that big dunk and helped the Jazz to the win. He came off the bench but played a sixth man role for the Jazz with the most minutes out of those players. Grayson Allen has a bright future in Salt Lake City!
Bleed Blue. Duke Football takes a bye week this week.
People were beginning to think that Harry Giles would always be the poor guy who had a bright future but a debilitating knee injury. Not anymore. Harry is balling in his first preseason games in Sacramento. If you looked at his high school highlights, you wouldn’t be too surprised, but it never really happened for him at Duke just because of his knee.
When Harry Giles was a college freshman in Durham, Duke basketball fans kept waiting for him to turn Cameron Indoor Stadium into his personal bounce house. Unfortunately, knee surgeries in 2013, 2015, and 2016 had taken their toll on the spring in the step of the 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward.
–Matt Giles, BallDurham
I just love that “personal bounce house” line. But yeah, it never happened at Duke. However, he is doing really well now in what has been the past few years’ most boring team of the NBA. Now? They look like showtime. For Marvin Bagley: he was a double-double machine at Duke and the #2 pick in the NBA Draft, but didn’t look as hot in summer league and got shut down for pelvic bruising. He’s gone back to his machine-like ways and looks pretty epic. They lost to the LeBron-ified Lakers but there’s no shame in that considering the development that they’ve shown. I’ll let you listen to Marvin Bagley rap while you think about how awesome he’ll be in the NBA this year.
The former Blue Devil Elton Brand just got a major promotion to general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers fired GM Bryan Colangelo after rumors swirled that Colangelo’s wife created burner accounts on Twitter. It’s crazy because Elton Brand was playing for the (then terrible) Sixers just a few years ago. He was a two-time All-Star in his seventeen-year career, which ended with the Sixers, and served most recently as Vice President of Basketball Operations this past season. At 39, he’s one of the younger and certainly less experienced GMs in the league but we have no doubt what he can do. He’s got potential to work with and a fellow Blue Devil in JJ Redick as one of the veterans. Congratulations to him. Bleed blue.
I found this watching Get Up’s “My Favorite Person on Earth (right this second)” this morning and it just reminded me of what an awesome guy Quinn Cook is. He’s worked for everything he’s got and he deserves every bit of it. Take a look at this:
Now, probably one of the most important people in sports has spoken out. Mike Krzyzewski spoke about how the NCAA didn’t go far enough. He gestured to a picture in which leaders from the NCAA, the NBA, the NABC, AAU, and more, met in a summit in 2005, using it as an example. Coach K said that while the reforms were “well-intentioned”, the NCAA lacked coordination. Many reports say that while the organizations met, both the NBA and USA Basketball, who were implemented multiple times in the proposal, felt blindsided. In addition, he addressed the unchanged rules on communication between coaches and players in the summer months, which hasn’t been solved.
You can read more on Coach K’s comments here, but basically, he appears unimpressed. He also mentions the upcoming Canada trip (four days!). Bleed blue.
Despite the NCAA trying to at least make an appearance to put the students first, the reforms that the NCAA put in place yesterday were not well received by fans or organizations and participants who were reportedly blindsided by the changes. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski wrote a report on NBA and USAB executives’ surprise at the changes, who did discuss the matter, but neither organization believed they had come to any consensus with the NCAA. USA Basketball intends to expand the sport of basketball, not confine it to “elite players” for the sake of determining who is allowed to have an agent. The organization would prefer that this job is left to the NBA instead.
Myron Metcalf spoke of his dismay on ESPN, in addition with SBNation’s Ricky O’Donnell and Duke Basketball Report’s JD King. The changes obviously attempt to address the issues that the FBI’s investigation surfaced, but do not address them. Really, all I can say is that at least they made an attempt. One major issue? Players who want to return to school must have attended the NBA Combine to be permitted to do so, which only includes a handful of players. If a player attended the NBA Combine, the player is likely to be drafted. Look at the list below:
The four players who would have been eligible to return to school this year under new rules: – Rawle Alkins (Arizona) – Trevon Duval (Duke) – Brandon McCoy (UNLV) – Malik Newman (Kansas)