I am very excited about the 2013-14 college basketball season.
There has been a lot of buzz around the top teams. Big Blue Nation is thrilled as John Calipari has a dynamite recruiting class coming in, the best in the nation. Michigan State has a great returning nucleus, including Adreian Payne, Keith Appling and Gary Harris. Louisville will try to go back-to-back, led by Russ Smith, Luke Hancock and Chane Behanan.
One school that has the potential to make some noise and get to the Final Four in Texas is Duke. Before you start calling me Dukie V., think about the team Mike Krzyzewski will put on the floor this season.
Yes, the Blue Devils lost talent with Mason Plumlee, Ryan Kelly and Seth Curry all gone.
Duke will have some new faces blending in with young talent to form an exceptional team. Let's start with the newcomers. Jabari Parker is one of the premier diaper dandies in America and he will have an immediate impact as the Cameron Crazies will go wild watching him. Rodney Hood, the transfer from Mississippi State, showed signs of brilliance as a freshman in Starkville. He will also have an instant impact at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Quinn Cook will be the floor general. The junior from Oak Hill Academy has a career assist-to-turnover ratio better than 2 1/2-1, which is very impressive. He will be among the top point guards in the ACC this season. Rasheed Sulaimon has speed, strength, ability to score from outside and he will help Duke play a more up-tempo style. Tyler Thornton is another veteran who should contribute quality minutes when called upon.
A sleeper to keep an eye on is Amile Jefferson. The 6-foot-9 sophomore will get more opportunities in the lane now that Plumlee is in the NBA. Veterans Josh Hairston and Alex Murphy will contribute as well. This is a deeper Duke squad, one which should make Coach K very happy.
The ability to run and press will make this team special. Add in a newcomer like Matt Jones, a highly-regarded 6-foot-4 diaper dandy from out of DeSoto, Texas, plus the return of Andre Dawkins after a one-year hiatus, and the Blue Devils are the favorites in the loaded ACC. Dawkins will provide outside shooting and instant offense if he returns to his prior form.
Duke will have a number of tests in non-conference play, including a showdown against Kansas in Chicago Nov. 12. Michigan and UCLA are also on the non-conference agenda. I cannot wait to call the Dukies and Jayhawks, with Mr. Parker and Mr. Wiggins in action, baby!
Let's remember that Duke won 30 games last season and did not lose at home.
My friends, I rate Krzyzewski as the number one college basketball coaches in America. He has 957 career W's to back it up. I believe he has a legit contender for another trip to the Final Four and a fifth national championship on his illustrious resume.