There isn’t a college basketball team that is hated by more people than Duke University. This is a fact. It’s also a fact that Duke has been very good at college basketball over the years, and if you’re like me (or any college hoops fan) you’ve probably exalted in their most high profile losses. But those losses are so joyful because their players and teams are so good that they lose very rarely. So today, in honor of last night’s game, and one of those Duke losses, I’m rating the players to Duke villains from the past.
If you’re new here, this is how it works:
5 Stars: Out of this world performance. This is a hard to achieve rating and is only reserved for the most impressive or impressionable performances.
4.5 Stars: Very strong performance, packed the stat sheet, provided undeniable intangibles.
4 Stars: A strong performance that falls just short of the standards above.
3.5 Stars: Above average performance, perhaps stands out in one category or one aspect of the game.
3 Stars: Average performance. Also could be a very strong game in one aspect but a very poor game in another such as 15 points but seven turnovers. Could also be that the player played, did their job, but didn’t do much spectacularly.
2 Stars: Below average performance, or we simply have higher expectations for the player on this particular night.
1 Star: Rare, but if a player has a stinker in all aspects.
5 Stars: Mike Krzyzewski
It had to be him. This list wouldn’t even be a list without this guy. The only 75 year old with naturally perfect black hair, Coach K has done it all as a college coach and in the process became a villain of iconic proportions.
I normally wouldn’t put a performance like Jalen Wilson‘s here although it was impressive despite being bad from long range. But three factors are at play here, 1) it’s Duke, always a big game, 2.) KU wasn’t good without him and 3.) 11/25/5 is a really good game. If it weren’t for Wilson’s aggressiveness, Kansas would’ve been cooked. Was it a five star or a 4.5 star performance? Debate, but the Jayhawks just beat Duke, so it’s a five for me.
4.5 Stars: Christian Laettner
How annoying was this guy? Not only did this dude lead the Blue Devils to two national championships, including one over KU, he was also the only college player included on the 1992 Dream Team Olympic roster. If you liked Laettner, you were a Duke fan. No one else did. He earned this position.
Another very strong performance again from Dajuan Harris, finishing with six points and 10 assists. And again, the defense this man plays is exceptional.
4 Stars: Grayson Allen
This serial tripper won a title with Duke in 2015 before his last gasp shot rimmed out against Kansas and he was denied a chance to play for a second. For four years, this guy was public enemy number one for many an opposing fan base. Gotta be the most annoying dude on this list, right?
Gradey Dick didn’t play much in the second half and maybe the lack of playing time sparked something in him because he was excellent at the end, sparking Kansas’s 15-5 run with a three and two baskets at the rim. Finished with 14.
Kevin McCullar is so quiet, but he is low key important to this team. He does so much right and is fundamentally sound. Plus, he was the only KU player that looked competent from long range, going two of four from behind the arc. Finished with 12 points and six rebounds.
3.5 Stars: JJ Redick
Maybe Bobby Hurley should’ve gone here, but remember how annoying Redick was? You couldn’t go two seconds without someone swooning over this guy. The media earned him this star rating.
Zuby Ejiofor played his best game as a Jayhawk, showing off this team’s depth. in ten minutes, he had two points and five boards.
Add in KJ Adams to the mix and KU was solid when banging down low with Duke’s giants. KJ was perfect from the field, going four of four and finishing with eight points.
3 Stars: Zion Williamson
This guy loves basketball so much that he decided to go to Duke for nothing when everyone else under the sun was trying to give him bags of money under the table (allegedly). What an upstanding guy!
Bobby Pettiford was good, but his two turnovers were twice as many as Harris had and Bobby played half the minutes.
Joseph Yesufu played five minutes and had a rebound and a steal.
Ernest Udeh might’ve been a two star if it wasn’t for his four blocks.
2 Stars: A Plumlee, any Plumlee
How many Plumlees are there? No one knows.
No one here.
1 Star: Kyrie Irving
What an idiot.
No one was as bad as this consistent embarrassment.
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