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This week has been as exciting and productive as it gets for a college basketball team in the month of November. Our team has focused well in practice and we had a terrific win over Kentucky in Atlanta.
You obviously are always excited to win big games but what we were most proud of was the toughness, togetherness and spirit our guys showed. Going into a game like that with a big-time environment against a well-known program in a familiar place, we try to motivate our guys with stories and video of past Duke players and teams that had success in similar settings because of their emotion, will to win and competitiveness.
We know many of our former players who played in the Kentucky games and championship games in Atlanta are watching, and they’ve set a standard that we’re trying to match on a daily basis. We feel that our Duke family can and should energize every player, coach and staff member, providing support and also a challenge to be at our best and represent our program the right way.
This video shows that connection and relationship we try to cultivate between past and present Duke players: TRADITION IS A CHALLENGE.
After the game, we rolled into Duke around 4:30 AM and Coach K told our guys just before we got off the bus: “This was a vintage ‘Duke’ performance tonight and you guys should be proud.” Coach was complimenting our guys for a tough and united performance that resulted in encouraging and proud tweets from Duke greats like JJ Redick, Nolan Smith and Bobby Hurley after the game. It was an effort that we are looking to build on going forward with our next game Sunday against a solid Florida Gulf Coast team.
Before heading to the gym, I also wanted to share a quote that I always send to the team early in the year and a video from practice that will give you an idea of some of the things we are communicating to our team early in the season.
Thanks for reading…