Western Michigan Broncos (5-7) @ Duke Blue Devils (10-1), Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, North Carolina. December 30, 2011, 7 P.M. EST.
WHO ARE THESE CLOWNS? Veteran team with no significant losses from a year ago. Shooting guard Demetrius Ward is viewed as one of the Mid-American Conference's five or ten best players. Point guard Mike Douglas is potentially hobbled for this one. The Broncos - - get this - - actually start a 6-9 guy, two 6-7 guys, and two guards. Throwback!!!!!!!! (To 1998.)
MISSED OPPORTUNITY REPORT: I love it when Sports Information departments send out notes that just cry out for the obviously missing piece of, well, information. Example: we learned that Duke has a 7-1 record against the MAC. That's it. So WHO THE F$%^@#% is the one school that Duke lost to? Sort of an obvious thing to put in there, but then, if you know the general ultracheerleading quality of Duke's media notes, an unsurprising omission. I had to think about this, which was probably silly of me, but the one loss was the season-closing defeat to Eastern Michigan in 1995-1996.
SECOND MISSED OPPORTUNITY REPORT: Demetrius Ward sounds like the name of a guy who should play for Michigan-Ann Arbor, but want a name that really sounds that way? How about Juwan Howard, Jr.? Yes, Juwan Howard has a kid who is of sufficient age to be a Division I basketball player. He played his freshman year at WMU, but transferred out before the season to play for Detroit Mercy. Too bad; this would have given Smellmore and Patrick some awesome fodder for discussion. Now - - raise your hand if finding out that Juwan Howard has a child born in 1992 (1992!!) makes you feel old.
WANT: Quinn Cook to play that well again. Mason Plumlee to continue his awesome consecutive made free throw streak, now standing at two. Lenny E to talk about the awesomeness that is the Maryland, College Park Terrapins.
DO NOT WANT: Any kind of close affair. Any mention of the Tools.
PREDICTION: This is a veteran team, but they've lost seven of twelve and shouldn't mount a real challenge. It's another growth opportunity for a young team, with a quick turnaround for the next game, on Sunday against Pennsylvania.
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