Top 2011 recruit Rivers commits to Duke [video]

Austin Rivers (Doc Rivers’ son) has committed to play for Coach K at Duke. Here’s a look:

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A Duke hater chats with The Scores Report

As we get ready for the Duke/Butler matchup tonight, I thought it would be interesting to get my buddy (and Duke hater) LaRusso on the line to bash the Blue Devils.

John Paulsen: You’re a proud Duke hater, correct?

LaRusso: I am.

JP: What’s the biggest reason you hate Duke?

LR: It seems like, I don’t know if they have a sense of entitlement, but columnists, I guess ESPN, Dick Vitale, just seem to put them up on a pedestal a lot. They’re on TV all the time. They’re a good program — a top of the line program — so they’re going to draw attention. Like me, people hate them or people love them. One way or another they’re going to move the needle. So I think it’s a perceived elitist mentality of how they are so much better than everybody. They seem to get calls, they get more publicity than other schools. So I think that’s the driving factor.

JP: So one article I read listed like five reasons why people hate Duke and a commenter added a few more, so want to list them off and see what you think. So you think that they’re media darlings?

LR: Yes.

JP: They’re often compared to the Yankees, Cowboys and Patriots, and I guess the Lakers in terms of how much attention they get. I don’t like the Yankees comparison because it’s not like Duke can go out and outspend everybody. If anything, Coach K is at a disadvantage when compared with, say, North Carolina, in terms of recruiting because of Duke’s high academic standards.

LR: They do have tougher standards for academics. Some schools make concessions for athletes, I don’t know if Duke does that, it doesn’t seem like it. They always have smart kids. I don’t know if they’re on the same level as the Yankees and Red Sox. That’s all the media talks about. And in football, I’d probably say it’s more Cowboys — I don’t think the Patriots get much love. They’re probably more hated now than loved like they were when Brady first came up and they started winning. It seems to have flipped 180 on them.

JP: Well, we don’t have a local football team in Southern California, and if the Chargers aren’t on. We’re going to get the Cowboys because people either love them or they hate them. But it’s funny to me, because those teams that Duke is compared to — I hate them all. I don’t like the Yankees, or the Patriots or the Cowboys, so the fact that I’ve been a Duke fan since the days of Johnny Dawkins strikes some people as funny. I just gravitated towards the way that Coach K gets his kids to play night in and night out. We’ve talked about this in the past — I really take offense to this whole Yankees argument —

LR: I guess a better way to put it is that Duke is force-fed to us a little too much.

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North Carolina recruit says that Coach K ‘looks like a rat’ [video]

UNC recruits Harrison Barnes, Kendall Marshall and Reggie Bullock were interviewed by DraftExpress as part of the McDonald’s All-American events, and while Barnes and Marshall were diplomatic when discussing their arch-rival, Bullock was not. (Thanks to the SPORTZ ASSASSIN for finding the video.)

Barnes is from Iowa and Marshall is from Virginia, while Bullock is from North Carolina — maybe that has something to do with it.

Is Coach K the main reason everyone hates Duke?

Israel Gutierrez of Miami Herald writes that everyone hates Duke, and it starts with Mike Krzyzewski.

No one wants Duke to win (Duke alumni excluded, of course). Not even a game. Not even a half.

Everyone hates Duke, and we’re not even sure why. For some reason, we know that if the devil had a face, it would have little beady eyes (like Mike Krzyzewski’s). If he had a voice, it would be nasally and annoying (like Krzyzewski’s) and if he had a name, it would be impossible to spell and the sound would follow no laws of language (like, well, you know).

Well, we all know that first part isn’t true. Any successful program/franchise is going to have fans outside of its alumni base and the Blue Devils are no different. Some might call these “bandwagon” fans, but as a 12-year-old back in 1986, I really liked Johnny Dawkins and loved the color blue, so I rooted for them all the way to the final, where they lost to Louisville. (Damn you, Pervis Ellison! And the color red!)

There’s no arguing that he elevated a basketball program into elite status upon arrival. From 1986 to 1999, he reached a ridiculous eight Final Fours and won those memorable back-to-back national championships, when NCAA basketball was still drenched with NBA talent.

But since then, it seems a lot of his colleagues have placed themselves in similar company, and yet, the head Blue Devil remains the most arrogant of the bunch.

To this day, he carries around a superiority complex that doesn’t match the success — at least not in the past decade.

Just last weekend, when he was asked about Duke’s “drought” about not reaching the Final Four since 2004, Krzyzewski offered this ego-heavy response.

“There are two words when you compete that are interesting — `since’ and `never,’ ” he said. “I’m glad we’re in the `since.’ ”

That’s not the most considerate thing to say when you’re about to face a Baylor coach who was on the “never” side of that coin.

But that’s who he is.

Gutierrez uses words like “arrogant,” “superiority complex” and “ego-heavy,” but what is this based on — that quote about “since” and “never”? Really? I’ve heard Krzyzewski interviewed plenty of times, and while he’s justifiably confident (not unlike any of his less-successful peers), he never has come off as cocky, at least not to me. Maybe he tires of the same questions over and over and he’s determined to put those last few tournament exits into perspective.

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Why does everyone hate Duke?

The Week has a piece that outlines five theories why everyone seems to hate Duke.

1. Americans hate monopolies, and love underdogs: Think of Duke as Microsoft, says workplace psychologist Paul Damiano, as quoted in Newsweek. Duke’s basketball prowess, like Microsoft’s software near-monopoly, makes people mad. Americans love underdogs that fight for victory with few resources. Conversely, we hate dominant businesses and sports teams — the New York Yankees are a prime example — on the assumption they buy the best players, or get cushy treatment from the regulators (“aka the referees”). Case in point: Many writers have complained that Duke got easy opponents to help it go far in the tournament, because Blue Devil hatred translates into good TV ratings.

Sure…only Duke hasn’t been to the Final Four in six years. They are still a top 10 basketball program, certainly, but they aren’t the dominant program they were in years past. If that were the case, why doesn’t everyone hate North Carolina or Michigan State? And I don’t like the comparison to the New York Yankees. Duke can’t go around and buy up all the best free agents. If anything, Coach K is at a disadvantage due to Duke’s stringent admission standards.

2. The “Cameron Crazies”: No school has more infamous fans than Duke’s Cameron Crazies, says John Gasaway in Basketball Prospectus. And many Duke haters believe the rowdy — some would say obnoxious — student fans who cram into Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium for home games and relentlessly taunt opposing players give their team an unfair advantage. Or, as a student at nearby arch-rival University of Carolina put it: “When I see those Dookie boneheads shoe-polishing their faces navy blue on television, squandering their parents’ money with their fratty elitist bad sportsmanship antics and Saab stories, I want to puke all over Durham.”

Really, we’re going to ask a Tar Heel fan to comment about the Cameron Crazies? That’s like asking Sarah Palin to comment on Dennis Kucinich’s single-payer health care plan. I suspect even most Duke haters wish that their team had a home court advantage like Duke does. Unfair advantage? Give me a break.

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