Since Tech only plays duke once this season, we better milk it by having two opposing views. First up was the “Tech Hoops” of duke basketball – the duke Basketball Report. Next up is former duke player and ESPN Gameday Analyst, Jay Bilas. Jay also did a Q&A about Hokie Hoops during the off-season. Thanks to Jay Bilas for participating in our friendly Q&A.
Jay Bilas is one of ESPN and ABCâ€™s top basketball analysts and is widely recognized for his thorough knowledge of the game and his professional, clever style. Bilas provides expert color commentary form courtside on college basketball games, and serves as a studio analyst and as the co-host of ESPNâ€™s popular studio show College Gamenight.
Q1: Educate us on this year’s version of the duke juggernaut. What are this team’s strengths and weaknesses?
Jay: duke is really good this season. It is a team with great perimeter strength, and outstanding team defense. duke really spaces the floor, and uses the three point line as a weapon. Coach K has this team really guarding the ball well, and forcing turnovers. The relative weaknesses are interior scoring and rebounding, but bigger teams have to match-up with duke as well. duke has really good depth, an outstanding senior in DeMarcus Nelson, and one of the nation’s best sixth men in Jon Scheyer.
Q2: What past duke team would you compare this year’s squad to?
Jay: I cannot recall a duke team quite like this one. It is really young, and lacks a consistent post scorer. This team is unique.
Q3: Is there anyone from Virginia Tech that you think could give duke fits?
Jay: I would have said Jeff Allen, but he is unfortunately suspended for the game. That is too bad, because I don’t think what he did was malicious. I understand why the league suspended him, because you cannot have the officials subject to physical contact of any kind. But, I was sorry to see it happen to Allen. He is really a good young player. I really respect his game. Deron Washington is such a good and underrated player. With his athleticism and will, he could really cause duke some problems.
Q4: What has to happen for Virginia Tech to beat duke for the third time in five tries?
Jay: I think that Tech’s older players, Deron Washington and A.D. Vassallo will have to really step forward and help handle the ball against pressure. Turnovers are the key, especially “live ball” turnovers. If Tech can hold the miscues down, they will have a chance.
Q5: Where does the sean dockery 45-foot shot to beat Tech in 2005 rank on your favorite duke moments?
Jay:I don’t have any favorite duke moments since I left there. Once I became a broadcaster, I am a fan of the game, not of any one team. That certainly was a terrific shot, but I know how much it hurts to throw everything into a game and have it end like that. Virginia Tech did everything it needed to do to win, and it was a one in a million shot that cut the hearts out of those kids. I really felt for them. I remember Coach K saying how mad he was in 1992 when Sean Woods of kentucky banked a shot in from ten feet to go ahead of duke in the NCAA Elite Eight game (just prior to the improbable Laettner shot). Imagine how mad one would get if a halfcourt shot decided it! There is a fine line between winning and losing sometimes, and that was an example of just how fine that line can be.
Q6: Does greg paulus have any emotional damage from Deron Washington jumping over him last year?
Jay: I doubt it. Deron is a truly great athlete and an outstanding player. You have to take your hat off to him for a great play. Of course, he probably jumped over the hat, too! I know it only took me a few years of intensive therapy to get over getting dunked on by Ralph Sampson. I no longer ball up in the fetal position when his name is mentioned.
Q7: Why do you think everyone else in the ACC hates duke so much?
Jay: I think that “hate” is too strong a word, and frankly, I would consider it to be unacceptable if someone were to voice such an opinion. I am fine with anyone rooting for a team like duke, north carolina or Virginia Tech to get beat in a game. That’s fine, and it is okay to have favorites. However, there is nothing in any ACC program that is worthy of “hatred”. I cannot tell you how much respect I have for the coaches and players at unc, nc state, duke, wake, Virginia Tech and the other programs of the ACC. Those coaches and players all work just as hard, and want to win just as much as anyone else. That is worthy or our respect. There is no place in college athletics for hatred. I am off of my soapbox now!
Niemo: Since he’s off his soapbox, here’s a nice article CBS from last year that talks about why people hate duke… Everybody but Duke fans will understand this column – CBS SportsLine.com
Q8: Walk me through what krzyzewski-ville is like. What goes on in those tents – shooting dice or doing schoolwork? What are the rules?
Jay: I have never been in one, and I have never spent any time there. I played at duke in the 1980′s, and never had to go through all of that stuff. I was not much of a camping guy, anyway. I never got my merit badge for it. If the tent has a mini-bar and room service, then maybe I’d try it. That is my idea of roughing it.