CountDown to the “CountDown …” – Matt Jones

This Article by Bermuda Bob

SDBB - 2014 Profiles - Matt Jones Collage

Last year, Matt Jones came to Duke as the #22 ESPN Frosh, known for his catch-and-shoot abilities. He got to play in 32 games for just 235 minutes. Many believed he would be just another Duke shooter in the mold of so many greats that roll off fan tongues.  Then came the real world – the regular season.

In the conundrum that was the 2013-14 season, Matt was called on to play stalwart defense and occasionally shoot.  Many wondered if he was going to become one of those players who would be called on to fulfill Coach K’s very different vision for them.  When a player is open to accept that vision, they almost always become better than their wildest dreams.  Obviously, Coach K saw the defensive side of Matt that was just the opposite of his High School career.

There’s an interesting irony to this. You see, Matt’s older sister, Jordan, who plays for Texas A&M, has been the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year and a member of the SEC All-Defensive Team in her Junior year.  She has set a single season record for Assists, and can boast a “Triple Double.”  Obviously, Coach K is hoping that the proverbial apple has not fallen far from the tree.

This Sophomore year will prove to be either a frustration or a fulfillment of Matt’s recruitment.  I say that because he is expected to play behind Senior Quinn Cook, Junior Rasheed Sulaimon, and Frosh Tyus Jones on the depth chart.  Yes, you see where I’m going, another upperclassmen almost automatically subverted to a guy recruited behind him in his position … well almost.  If Matt can continue on the path that Coach K set him on last season, he could be as valuable as defensive guards like Tyler Thornton, WoJo, and Nolan Smith !!!

So, does that diminish his profile ???  I guess I’d answer that with a question.  Did it diminish Lance Thomas while he participated in lifting the National Championship trophy in 2010 ???   Lance came to Duke as a prolific scorer at St. Benedict’s in Newark, NJ.  His transformation was lauded by all, except his High School Coach, who has the temerity to question Coach K’s intentions.  In Matt’s case there is nothing but support from his base, maybe even a bit of sibling competition with his sister.

Since this series of articles are written before the season starts, it is difficult to be absolutely sure what vision Coach K has for Matt amongst his compatriots.  One thing is certain, he brings a comfortable depth to the BackCourt that allows for a flexible rotation.  That flexibility comes from Matt’s original scoring abilities.  Those are like riding a bicycle, so an excellent defensive performance coupled with the ability to shoot always makes him dangerous to the opposition.

My proof is that Matt started four (4) times in ACC competition last season. We all know that Coach K puts a premium on who earns that right.

I am hoping for this to be a building year for Matt.  More game experience, more minutes, more production, and a cementing of his reputation at Duke for the next few years.

Rock On, Matt !!!

CountDown to the “CountDown …” – Marshall Plumlee

This Article by Bermuda Bob

SDBB - 2014 Profiles - PlumTree #3 Collage

In 2011, Miles, Mason, and Marshall all donned Duke uniforms and it became the third time in college basketball history, and first time at Duke, that three (3) brothers were all playing for the same team. In recognition, I created the nick-name “PlumTree.”

So, Mason was “PlumTree” #1, Mason was “PlumTree” #2, and Marshall is #3.  It is in no way a slight or insult in any way, or to any of the guys.  I have the utmost respect for what they have achieved both on the Court and in the classroom.  They are a testament to their upbringing and family values instilled by Leslie, their Mom and Perky, their Dad.

Most folks do not know that there is a “PlumTree” #4, their baby sister, Madeline Lee Plumlee.  She is a 6’ standout VolleyBall star, who plays “Outside Hitter.” This fall, she enters Notre Dame.

Getting back to Marshall, his Freshman year, he was Red Shirted after playing in three (3) exhibition games in China, and CountDown to Craziness.  The idea was that  brothers #1 and #2 could handle the “bigs” assignment, so saving #3’s eligibility for down the road would benefit both Duke and #3.

When Marshall came back to his next year – academically a Sophomore – just before the teams’ first official practice, a Stress Fracture in his left foot was detected.   He was able to come back in December, but only saw limited action in 19 games for a total of 50 minutes.

#3’s performance last season – his Junior Academic year – got him into 30 games, logging 254 minutes. In those appearances, he demonstrated a new versatility.  He pulled down 65 Rebounds, 17 Blocks, and scoring 38 Points.  This was a very optimistic performance and a great surprise only dampened each and every time Coach K pulled him out, only to be marooned on the Bench.

Many times committed fans wondered out loud why #3 was not getting more floor time when each time he played, he excelled greatly.  I recall one game where he blocked a shot, controlled it, made a perfect outlet pass, and hustled the floor to be fed the ball for a thunderous dunk.  A “TV Time Out” ensued, and Marshall was rewarded with a seat back on the Bench … his former chair not yet having begun to cool.   Frustrated fans, like myself, yelled at their televisions in vain.  We lit up Twitter with the equivalent of raised arms, palms up asking the Nancy Kerrigan lament, “Why, Why, Why ???”

Then came, what traditionally minded fans like myself worry about, a Frosh being recruited BEHIND Marshall with the understanding that he – Jahil Okafor – has the presumptive edge as the Starting Center. It makes me wonder what #3 is thinking.

*  –  Was the handwriting on the wall already that Coach K did not have much faith  in his abilities ???

*  –  Would he EVER get the chance to prove why he was recruited ???

*  –  Should he consider transferring to another programme for more playing time as Mike “Silent G” Gbinije and Alex Murphy did when their hopes of significant playing time were dashed ???

One tradition that all the Plumlee gents brought to Duke was an emphasis on academics first and basketball second.  Each being afforded one of the finest educations in America.  So, to that end, it was clear that Marshall was staying for the long run.  I presume that since he has an extra left after this coming season – his academic Senior year – he will go to Graduate School at Duke as others before him have.

So, what reasonable expectations do we have for #3 this season ???

I honestly do not have a clue.  He gives Coach K an excellent option should Jahil Okafor find Foul trouble, or even be platooned with him in times of intense play.  Marshall, unlike his older brothers, is quite comfortable and effective in the traditional role of a back-to-the-basket post-up Center.

I still hold out hope that Marshall will get his time to shine and fulfill the reason for his recruitment. In the many videos and references I have seen of and about him, he seems like a great kid.  So, I’d love to seem him get that chance, and when it comes, I’ll be rooting loudly along with many other fans in great delight !!!

Rock On, Marshall !!!

CountDown to the “CountDown …” – Jahil Okafor

Today’s Profile is by Rowan Shiell  

SDBB - 2014 Profiles - Jahil Okafor Collage

One constant among teams that play in Final Fours is a “Big” that can take care of business on both ends of the court. Sure there are exceptions because quality big men are few and far between, but that’s what Brian Zoubek brought to Duke in 2010, Anthony Davis for Kentucky in 2012, Greg Oden for Ohio State in 2006, and Kevin Love in 2008.

Except for Zoubek, a late developer, all these guys were ranked at the top of their recruiting classes. As a matter of fact, ever since Dwight Howard went straight to the NBA in 2004, and thereafter the “one-and-done” rule was implemented, every big man that was ranked first in his class played in a Final Four except one – Nerlens Noel, who got injured, to be fair.

That’s why expectations are so high with Jahil Okafor’s enrollment at Duke for the coming season. He has all the accolades: Illinois “Mr. Basketball,” Parade National Player of the Year, McDonald’s All American, ESPN Top Recruit among others, and now CBS has named him their Preseason Player of the Year. It may be premature hyping a Freshman such as Okafor, but he is totally OK with it. He seems to embrace the pressure.

“When I step on the court, it really doesn’t matter if I’m a freshman or a senior,” Okafor told CBS. “It’s basketball, and I’ve been playing basketball my entire life. So, I feel extremely confident about going out there and playing against anybody and feeling unstoppable and being just as dominant as I have been in my previous years of playing basketball. So somebody saying I can’t [be National Player of the Year] because I’m a Freshman is kinda ludicrous to me.”

If this was any other player we would point out that “… playing basketball his entire life …” isn’t necessarily a requisite to succeed in college basketball, but when you add Okafor’s physical attributes and talent to the equation, then we can see why this freshman is so confident.

He is 6’10” with a great touch around the basket. Think of a bigger, stronger Jared Sullinger, who was dominant from Day One at Ohio State, except that Coach Krzyzewski doesn’t think there is any comparison to his prized freshman, at least not in the coming season.

“With Jah, you’ll see,” Krzyzewski said. “He’s good, and he’s been accepted pretty much right away [by his teammates] … because there’s nobody like him. There’s no comp.”

Zagsblog took exception to this, pointing out Kentucky’s Karl Anthony Towns, Cliff Alexander who is at Kansas and Myles Turner at Texas as being on the same level as Okafor. They also quoted an anonymous NBA Scout who thinks that Coach K wants to compete with John Calipari in recruiting, and because he can’t get as many recruits as Kentucky does, so he goes full throttle in promoting the ones that do attend Duke, however at the end of all that the Scout agreed that Okafor is indeed a unique talent among his peers.

This is college basketball and every team tries to get the best recruits, so this isn’t exactly a personal battle between Coach Krzyzewski and Coach Calipari.   More likely, Coach Krzyzewski is trying to motivate Okafor, after all, the better the Freshman does, the better it will be for Duke. As he pointed out earlier, no one has higher hopes for Okafor than Okafor. You can’t put any additional pressure, nor promote someone any further, if they are the #1 recruit !

With Duke’s propensity to shoot the Three Pointer, Okafor brings some much needed balance to the Blue Devils with his inside play. Duke has waited a long time for a player like Okafor’s calibre, so, if the team chemistry is right, the coming season will definitely be one to watch.

CountDown to the “CountDown …” – Semi Ojeleye

This Article by Bermuda Bob

SDBB - 2014 Profiles - Semi Ojeleye Collage

Sometime after last season, I recall explaining to someone that Semi’s last name was pronounced essentially the same way you say the name of the harvest wine, Beaujolais Nouveau, swapping the “B” for an “O.”

Then the person asked how to spell his name, and I could not do it any more than I could spell Krzyzewski without a cheat sheet.

For the record, “Semi Ojeleye” is his name, and while I nervously joked that I didn’t know the spelling of his name because he only played 80 minutes last year, the truth of the matter is that I expect him to be a major contributor this season.

Semi (correctly pronounced as “Schemmi”) was born Jesusemilore Talodabijesu Ojeleye in Kansas.  His father came to the USA from Nigeria to pursue an Internship and Residency at Kansas University Medical Centre. His mother is a Registered Nurse.

He graduated Magna Cum Laude, with a 4.0 GPA, as his school’s Valedictorian, and National Honor Society member. He started all four (4) years in High School, averaging 38 PPG, and was lauded as the Parade Magazine Player of the Year, and Gatoraide’s Kansas Player of the Year.

Semi excels in every aspect of the game.  He is an elite defensive player with great rebounding prowess, playing well beyond his size.  He can score both inside and from outside the Three Point Arch. He is also known for his incredible leaping ability, fitness, and strength.

I have always joked that I want to live long enough for “inter-active” television where fellow viewers could hear each other’s rants during the game.  If you owned a television with this yet-unavailable ability, you would have heard me begging and pleading for Coach K to use Semi more last season.  To me, he was the perfect player to come off the bench and make a difference. Instead, Semi got to perfect his splinter extraction prowess.

As is our custom, we try to give readers a well-rounded history of each player we are profiling, thus our collages for each player. Try as I did, I had trouble finding a wide variety of action photos of Semi, and I believe that photographers had the same problem fans did.  By the time it was noted that Semi got on the floor, he was back to pulling splinters.

So, once again this year, I worry that the term “practice player” is already being used to describe Semi like a bad tattoo.   I know the profiles of teams have changed since I first became a college basketball fan decades ago, but I have a hard time with subverting an upperclassman. My compatriot of this site, Ro Shiell, constantly tells me things aren’t the same any more, and I agree with him.   I end up asking the rhetorical question back … “So, why recruit him if you’re not going to play him ???” Therein lies the rub.

Ever since I have been a Duke fan, I have heard the advisory that each recruit has to “buy-in-to” Coach K’s vision for him.  Coach has been known to ask players to become very different type of players than they were when they came to Duke.   Lance Thomas might be the best example. He was an offensive juggernaut in High School, but Coach K wanted him to become a defensive stalwart. He obliged and Duke won a National Championship.   Who could possibly question such results ???

None of us know what Coach K’s vision is for Semi, or if Semi accepts it. I could not understand it if he did not, so I presume he has.

I can tell you that it is very evident that it is on Semi’s mind.  My proof is that he has changed his uniform number from 20 to 30.  The reasoning ???  Well, just about every Duke player to don the #20 uniform, has had rough goings, erratic careers, or even injuries. On the other hand, Seth Curry and Jon Scheyer wore #30.  I rest my case, and obviously his as well !!!

As I did last year, I will take this opportunity to log-in my hope that Coach K will use Semi more this season because I maintain it is terrible to squander the contributions he can make in REAL competition.

I want everyone in the ACC and NCAA to understand that he is:

S-E-M-I     O-J-E-L-E-Y-E

Rock On, Semi !!!

 

CountDown to the “CountDown …” – Tyus Jones

Today’s Article is by Rowan Shiell

SDBB - 2014 Profiles - Tyus Jones Collage

In 2006, Mike Conley Junior and Greg Oden, the top ranked pure Point Guard and Center, respectively, chose to attend college together. They had played on the same high school team, winning three consecutive championships, so it was a slam-dunk to continue playing in college.

These are two players that do not directly compete with each other. One plays inside and the other played on the perimeter. The big man needed the Guard to feed him the ball and the Point Guard needed the Center to finish plays and protect the paint. A symbiotic relationship that saw Ohio State, their college choice, all the way to the NCAA championship game.

It took about seven years before a partnership like this was repeated when Tyus Jones and Jahil Okafor, committed to Duke. Unlike Oden and Conley, they didn’t play on the same high school team. They lived nearly eight hundred miles apart, but they got familiar with each other on the AAU circuit and later cemented their friendship playing for Team USA, according to Duke Report.

It is a wonder why players never make their recruiting a team affair. Kentucky does pull in the top recruits but that is a testament to the coaching staff. An ally on the court and a friend off, it will help make the transition to college go a little more smoothly.

“They’ve been around each other. They understand about playing for something bigger than yourself.” “Said Coach Nate James. “It’s an opportunity to play for something outside your AAU or high school program.  Sometimes guys just don’t get it. By those guys being on that stage and playing for something so much bigger, coming here, obviously, playing with Duke on your chest, that’s pretty big. Right away, they understand they have to work hard and give of themselves.  They have been a joy to be around.”

Ohio State did lose to the defending champions Florida; not saying that this will end the same for Duke, but it would be a significant improvement after the Mercer loss in the tournament.

Tyus Jones is widely considered the key to next season as Duke has many offensive weapons, but are still looking for that one player that could connect the pieces.

“I really just try to play with poise,” Jones told Duke Report. “Being the Point Guard, you really have to be under control, be able to lead your team, so you can’t really be frantic out there.  I feel you have to command the game. I’m really a pass-first Point Guard.

All this is evident in this thirty-seven minute clip.  You can see Jones in his element, warts and all, much unlike a highlight video that normally shows only the best plays.

In the video, he seems so cool he is almost freezing. The ball never stops with him as his eyes are always scanning the court and looking for the next play.  He doesn’t force passes, or over dribble – a crime Duke Fans are only too familiar with. He keeps the game fluid and balances his teammates’ touches.

It is not all great though as he seems to apply his ‘cool’ demeanour on defence, which probably won’t work in college, because a more intensive approach to that department is required. Occasionally, he shows the ball too much and gets stripped (OK, twice!).

However, he is still a work in progress and one can only hope that the kinks in his game can be ironed out by the time the season starts.

Jones models himself after Chris Paul, but he has a lot more in common with Conley than the way they attended college. They are both listed as 6’1” and dribble in the same upright position, head up, except Conley is a southpaw. Though this doesn’t hamper Jones, as he seems to be comfortable finishing or passing with either hand.

When Conley arrived at Ohio State, he had only one Guard to beat for a starting position, just like Jones, even if it was considered a foregone conclusion that he would start.

Jamal Butler was named Ohio’s Mr Basketball coming out of high school. His total Assist record for The Buckeyes was only recently eclipsed by Aaron Craft. As a Sophomore he had averaged ten points and almost five assists and was ready for that expectant leap between the Sophomore and Junior seasons when Conley showed up.

Needless to say, Conley became the Starter, but Butler averaged more than 30 minutes per game that season and was the team’s best free throw shooter.

Quinn Cook is arguably a better player than Jamal Butler, or at least he was projected to be. He hasn’t made a firm mark on his Duke story yet. As the only Senior on the team it is widely speculated that Jones will have to go through Cook to star at Duke, except Jones doesn’t see it this way. As he recently went on record saying, he hopes to play with Cook rather than have him as a rival, according to the Star Tribune.

Having two Point Guards on the floor worked very well for Ohio State, hopefully, it will for Duke.

CountDown to the “CountDown …” – Grayson Allen

Today’s Article is by Rowan Shiell

   SDBB - 2014 Profiles - Grayson Allen Collage

Daniel Ewing is a winner.  He was immensely fortunate to have played with some great players at Duke, but don’t let that fool you, he contributed to his record as one of the best winners in college basketball. On the court he was quiet and efficient while our eyes were trained on his more heralded teammates.

He played with Jay (then Jason) Williams and Chris Duhon, Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Carlos Boozer, the season after they won a Championship.  It wasn’t his time, but he showed promise shooting 45% of his Three Pointers. Later Ewing would be a beacon of consistency while, a legend in the making, JJ Reddick, was finding his legs.

Grayson Allen is no Daniel Ewing.  They may play the same position and are similar in height, give or take an inch, but what they most have in common is they each desired to be a Blue Devil, and their recruitment was just a formality.

The New York Times reports that as a 9th grader, Ewing went to his coach and asked ‘what will it take for him to get on Duke’s radar?’ and after his coach outlined key elements like good grades, and becoming an All American, Ewing went out and affected them.

Grayson Allen wanted to play for Duke as far back as a 7th grader, according to his coach Tommy Holihun.  As a matter of fact, according to Laura Keeley, Allen would have committed on the spot after Coach K’s in-house visit if he had not promised his mother he would think about his decision carefully.

“Growing up, Duke became my favourite team to watch,” Allen said according to Duke Chronicle. “I don’t know what in particular made me gravitate towards them as a kid. I think it’s just the winning nature of it. I’m so competitive.”

If Allen wants playing time at Duke this season he will have to be very competitive as there are many players with a head start on him.  So far he has made an impression.

“He’s been terrific,”  Coach Nate James has said  “He’s one tough cookie. In the drills, he is tenacious. He is like that pit bull that’s been let out and goes at guys no matter how big or how small.”

He may be the least ranked of the current freshmen, but by no means should you expect him to be an afterthought, as he is arguably the most gifted athlete amongst them and is lauded as a terrific shooter.

Matt Jones and Rasheed Sulaimon are the only other shooting guards on the team, but don’t be surprised if Allen fills in at that position occasionally with Quinn Cook or Tyus Jones. One thing about Coach K is that he is very unpredictable when it comes to his roster. Coach could just as easily go with a three guard line-up or four.

Whatever the outcome just know, Grayson Allen is right where he wants to be, competing at Duke and for Duke.

Daniel Ewing won 115 of 138 games he played in four years at Duke. Make that three Sweet 16’s and a Final Four.

If Grayson Allen can emulate this guy, or do better, Duke Fans will be better for it.

– Ro Shiell

CountDown to “CountDown …” – Sean Obi

This Article by Bermuda Bob

Simply Duke Basketball - 2014 Profiles - Sean Obi Collage

Sean is the newest, and 5th, student athlete to transfer to Duke under Coach K.  He comes to Duke from Rice after playing a Freshman season there where he logged eleven (11) “Double-Doubles,” leading his team in Rebounding (26 games) and Scoring (13 games).  He also enjoyed Freshman of the Week honours, and was a member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honour Roll.

He is a wide body, at 6’9” and 270 lbs., and thus having an interior presence.  He is described as having good hands and solid footwork.

As a Red Shirt, having to sit out for a year because of his transfer, he will provide immediate post player presence on the Practice Squad this year.   He also possesses a strong voice that ought to distinguish himself as a leader of Duke’s 2nd Unit.

Sean is from Kaduna, Nigeria, and has only been playing basketball seriously since 2010.   His guardians are Steve and Bobbi Eaggers of Greenwich, Connecticut, who welcomed him to the USA at the age of 15.   He would eventually enroll at Rice University and bragged a 3.3 GPA.  Sean’s sister is enrolled at USC, coming to America the same way he did, thru a sponsor family.

Sean cites Coach K admitting to him, “We want you, Sean. We need you.”  That convinced him that he belonged at Duke.

Welcome, Sean !!!

Rock On !!!

 

CountDown to “CountDown …” – Assistant Coach Jon Scheyer

 This Article by Bermuda Bob

Simply Duke Basketball - 2014 Profiles - Jon Scheyer Collage

Jonathan James Scheyer

“Jon” to all of us, is a well known role player at Duke, having led the 2009-10 team to the last National Championship for the school. Very often called on to switch from his natural Shooting Guard position, he always did so with great aplomb.

During his four (4) years at Duke, his pages and pages of accomplishments, are something I suggest you look up and marvel at when you have the time.

He will always be remembered as a deft shooter from anywhere on the Court, especially from the Charity Stripe. His trademark passing and acrobatic penetrations to the basket made some equate him to “Pistol Pete” Maravich. He produced one of the best Assist-to-Turnover Ratios in the country his Senior year.

After cutting down the Net in Indianapolis, Jon went undrafted but was signed to the Miami Heat’s 19 man Summer League roster for 2010.   As expected, he excelled, but his success was short lived. In July, he was poked in the right eye. The injury tore his eyelid, detached and tore the Retina, and injured the Optic Nerve. The injury also caused him to suffer from incapacitating headaches.

Essentially, with his eye fully healed, Jon got some time in with the Houston Rocket’s D-League squad, he averaged 13.1 Points, 4 Assists, & 4 Rebounds. Then he signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv of the European League and played a year there. He came back to the states, played sparingly in the 76’ers Summer League and for Spain’s Gran Canaria.

As anyone who knows, Coach K keeps tract of his extended family. Understanding the potential Jon could bring to the sidelines, he appointed Jon as a Special Assistant, filling the spot left open when Chris Collins left for the Head Coaching job at Northwestern in 2013. The next year, Jon would be promoted to Assistant Coach when WoJo was named Head Coach at Marquette.

Jon brings plenty to the Coaching Staff, but moreover, as a four (4) year graduate, he understands, along with Jeff Capel and Nate James what fully matriculated players mean to the Duke programme. I’m sure he will be at Duke for a long time, and I doubt if you could find anyone who doesn’t think that it’s a great idea !!!

Rock On !!!

CountDown to “CountDown …” – Nick Pagliuca

This Article by Bermuda Bob

Simply Duke Basketball - Player Profiles - Nick Pagliuca Collage

Today, we profile Duke’s #2 “Walk-On” on this year’s Squad. He is the 6’3” 195 lb. Guard, Nick Pagliuca.

Nick is a Sophomore and embarking on his 2nd year on the squad. In case you’re not too familiar with him, he played more than sparingly last year, but makes a big impact as a Practice Player. Let’s first get to know him, personally.

Nick hails from Massachusetts, and was a National Merit Scholar at The Milton Academy. He is the younger brother of Joe Pagliuca, who was also a “Walk-On” from 2003 thru 2006, playing in 13 games.

Nick is part of an impressive legacy of Duke Alumni. His Dad, Stephen, graduated in 1977, his brother in 2007, and his sister, Stephanie in 2013.

Nick wear the same #45 as his brother.

Dad was a JV player, back when they had such a thing. He is presently a Co-Owner of the Boston Celtics. Nick credits Kevin Garnett – when he was a Celtic – with improving his game. Thanks, too, to Dad for making the introduction.

Some might ask why a student might want to be a “Walk-On” and essentially a Practice Player, thus putting more of a draw on his time.

The answer is that he is a valuable presence at Practice, helping to hone his skills as well as those of his teammates. He is well respected for those contributions, just like so many “Walk-On” players have been before him …

… and like most “Walk-On” players before him, he is a fan favourite, especially with his family connection to Duke.

Rock On, Nick !!!

We’ll be rooting for you this season !!!

CountDown to “CountDown …” – Sean Kelly

This Article by Bermuda Bob

Simply Duke Basketball - Player Profiles - Sean Kelly Collage

Down thru the years, Duke has had many “Walk-On” players, and I’ve always found that each had a very interesting story of how they got there. Well, Sean Kelly is no different !!!

To those of you who do not know him, yes, Sean is Ryan’s baby brother. Well, if you can call a guy who is 6’3” and 195 lbs. a baby at all. You may also know that Sean was the one of the Team Managers for the last three (3) years.

What you may not know is that he is Andre Dawkins’ favourite golf partner. Yes, they are golf buddies, which they took up during Andre’s year off. They were beginners, then became regulars.

Golf is a game that is said to build character because it takes character to understand the interweavings of the game. In the end, the player is always the better for it, when played as a gentleman, and I have no doubt they did so. It was that character that Coach K saw when he decided to add Sean to the Roster as a “Walk On” for Sean’s Senior year.

While at Ravenscroft High School he played basketball early on, but gave it up to concentrate on Baseball his last two (2) High School years.

You can tell the caliber of young man he is by his comment when told he had been chosen to play instead of manage. “You’re talking about maybe the greatest coach of any sport ever. I got to learn from him for three (3) years as a Manager, and now I get to learn from him as a player.”   It is the smart man who looks first to what he can learn, and he will get to do so up-close-and-personal.

Well, Sean will get to learn from practice and from the bench since “Walk On” players traditionally do not get many minutes.

I just wonder how long it will be before the Cameron Crazies begin to chant “Sean, Sean, Sean” as the implore Coach K to give this year’s member of the Kelly family a chance in Cameron on Coach K Court.

Congratulations, Sean !!!

Rock On !!!