With the match-up against Duke this Saturday, a few of us thought we'd have some good fun airing our grievances with the Duke Blue Devils. Is it sour grapes for a team that Tom Izzo is 1-8 against? To that question I reply. "no comment". Have some fun with us and post your grievances in the comments. Let's get that blood pressure up in time for Saturday!
Joe Tuohey: For me, the Duke hate reached the boiling point in the 2012-13 season. I loved that MSU team. The starting 5: Derrick Nix, Adreian Payne, Branden Dawson, Gary Harris, Keith Appling. Nobody knew what to expect from them, since Draymond Green departed the previous year.
Considering how good the B1G was in '12-'13, it was an amazing group. They were a late collapse away from a win at home against #1 Indiana, and a late Trey Burke steal away from a UM sweep. Either would have given MSU at least a share of the B1G title in an incredibly competitive conference. They finished the year as KenPom #9.
So, of course, they drew Duke in the Sweet Sixteen. With the backdrop of three major recruiting battles; one of which was already won by Duke. What I remember from the game was MSU being behind by 1 at the half, and getting jobbed by the refs (a Duke special) in the second half. Payne and Harris combined to go 1 for 8 from three in a 10 point loss. And, of course, Duke then won the next Big Recruiting Battle.
Why won't Duke just go away?!
intrpdtrvlr: Joe's 2012-2013 game is epically frustrating. In the Duke losses, there were certainly years where you looked at the situation MSU was walking into and thought, "Geez, how do we win this one?" That was not the case in the 2013 tournament. On paper, this was a good matchup for MSU. I remember my friends salivating for this one, ready to take advantage of a Duke team they perceived to be softer than normal, shallow on the bench, and ready to be exploited by emerging MSU stars like Dawson, Payne, Appling, and a freshman Harris. Izzo talked about his fondness for that team, how they showed up in every game, and I'm pretty sure he even commented that he wasn't entering the Sweet 16 with the usual talent gap to K and gang. It was also supposed to be the revenge game for stealing Jabari. But it just didn't work out; something was off that night and Duke won anyway with Seth Curry running Gary Harris in circles and nailing everything. Just an awful game.
I keep telling myself I'm not blogging about Jabari Parker's decision anymore, but this seems like a good time to tear that scab again. I obviously hate Duke for being responsible for the biggest recruiting loss of Tom Izzo's head coaching career. Don't believe the revisionist history or the goofy excuses about Branden Dawson. Jabari Parker was Green. From Chicago folks like Kyle Randle to active Spartan players to Drake Harris' father to the countless contacts leaking around East Lansing, numerous people who should know were calling Jabari for the Spartans in the winter, spring, and summer before his decision. Confidence was sky high. Then, just like on the court, some crazy Duke voodoo kicked in and Jabari was holding a blue shirt at a press conference. The salt in all this, and the real source of the hate, is that the only winner who gained added value was Mike Krzyzewski. Jabari never won an ACC regular season or tournament title and exited the NCAA tournament with a first round upset loss (nice commercial). All his season at Duke did was confirm that he was an elite scorer who struggled defensively as he was forced to guard outside his position on many occasions. Tom Izzo missed out on the final piece to turn an already loaded MSU team into a juggernaut of, if not 2014-2015 UK, then at least 2008-2009 UNC proportions. He could have grabbed his 2nd National Championship and cut down nets with Jabari at his side. Instead, Coach K had a super-freshman salvage what would have otherwise been one of the weakest squads of his career. He turned an exceptional player like Jabari into a one-year stopgap and flipped him into an inside connection to get Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor. The opportunity was there for Izzo to put Jabari Parker into the Magic Johnson, Mateen Cleaves, Draymond Green conversation, and instead we got this. Hate. Duke.
Joe: Josh, I'd also like to point out something you said in the comments in the preview for that '12-'13 tourney game:
"I don't want to overblow the recruiting thing but it's hard to do so. MSU and Duke are believed to be two of the favorites for the best point guard and the best center in the 2014 class, who want to play together. I would bet a great deal that both will be watching. This is a very important audition in front of both of them."
Unfortunately prophetic. Could this game could have a similar effect on Caleb Swanigan?
Josh: Boy, I hope not re: Swanigan, but I was JUST about to write something about this on Twitter. I do not feel this is a "house money" game any more the way I would have if we were playing Gonzaga or someone else. When Izzo takes on Duke, there's something extra at stake: recruiting, pride, legacy, etc. There's pressure and stakes now. It would hurt to let K drink our milkshake AGAIN.
In hindsight, I think Okafor/Jones was over when Jabari picked Duke, but it was hard to move on and admit that at the time. Even Izzo hadn't yet.
Joe: One other thing I didn't mention about the '12-'13 loss: at the time, I was working in Atlanta. For former Dukie, GM Danny Ferry. Going into work the next day was NOT much fun.
Can we talk for a second about the endless stream of Plumlees that have flowed through Duke? Are they engineering these dudes in a laboratory?
Josh: Yes! Plumlees! We can't let the Duke Hate Thread pass without mentioning 6/28/2012. Here I am, staying up late, watching the NBA Draft ready to see some contender take Draymond Green as a late first round draft pick. We get to the Pacers at 26. This has got to be near the floor past which Draymond will not fall. I'm sure this will be a great fit; they have a strong nucleus as a title contender and need a versatile guy like Green off the bench. From time spent in Indy, I even have some fondness for the idea of rooting for the Pacers as a second NBA team. Awesome. And who do they pick? Miles Plumlee from Duke! Miles Plumlee, who averaged 7 and 6(!) as a 6'10" senior. Are you ******* kidding me?!?! Over Draymond? Obviously, it worked out for both Miles and especially Draymond, but boy, I was steamed that night and at that pick.
Jeremy D.: Why do I hate Duke?
Well it starts with most Duke fans. Now I'm not that guy that says you can only cheer for teams that you grow up near, I mean I'm a Red Sox fan. I'm also not a guy who says you must go to a school to love them, I mean I bleed green and white but Grand Valley is now collecting money from me on a 2nd degree there. But I do have rules to being a fan, especially of college teams.
Hey Duke fan who is an Alabama football fan, you are the worst. And why do you love Duke? Elitist northeastern kids jumping around an old gym gets your blood pumping? A coach with more motor oil on his head than Gene Keady who looks like an evil Keebler Elf is your ideal coach? Is it Grant Hill? Well ok only if it's because Grant Hill wore the HELL out of the teal Pistons jersey.
You get every call ever. You have Dick Vitale talk about you endlessly when he's broadcasting games that have nothing to do with you. Your school is elite northeastern rich kids taking a 4 year rumsprina to North Carolina. You somehow avoid any NCAA glances when recruits get into your "Ivy" level school and leave after one year. "But our coach you see he played at West Point for Bobby Knight and he represents all that is right about college basketball". No your coach is a psycho, just like most other successful coaches. He has the personality of a dried avocado.
I hate you Duke and I haven't even gotten to your actual teams...yet.
Joe: Last weekend, I went to the movies while wearing my MSU jacket. The kid who took my order for popcorn asked me if I was an MSU fan, and after I said I was an alum, he told me he was a Duke fan.
Why would a kid in Michigan be a Duke fan? I'm so frustrated by this.