Two years ago the Duke basketball program was in chaos. Coach Mike Krzyzewski had four of his own recruits plus four upperclassmen who had played for Krzyzewski's predecessor, Bill Foster. To say the Blue Devils lacked harmony would be an understatement. When the last of Foster's guys graduated before last season, Duke's playing got tight. Real tight. It amassed a 24-10 record and made the NCAAs. Now the Blue Devils are looking to make even sweeter music this year. Sophomore point guard Tommy Amaker sets the tempo, along with 6'7" senior forward Danny Meagher, who has beefed up to 220 pounds after playing on the Canadian Olympic team. "Danny's a drum 'cause he's always banging people," says guard Johnny Dawkins. In the other corner is 6'8", 235-pound Jay Bilas. One of the soloists is AII-ACC forward Mark Alarie, who was sixth in the ACC in scoring (17.5 points a game), fourth in field-goal percentage (57.5%), sixth in rebounding (7.2) and had 38 of Duke's 79 blocked shots. The 6'5" David Henderson came off the bench to play nearly every position and led the Blue Devils in scoring average over the final three minutes of all games. The key man is Dawkins, the second-leading scorer in the conference (19.4 ppg). "He's the guy who's always out in front for us," says Henderson.
The reliance on only six players was ultimately the Blue Devils' undoing a year ago. The addition of two freshmen of quality, 6'6" Billy King and 6'5" sharpshooter Kevin Strickland, will give them more depth.
The careful reader will have noticed that there has been no mention of a center. That's because there isn't one. But there are big forwards, and if the Blue Devils avoid a major injury, they should again make beautiful music.
November 26, 1984