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We're half-way through the basketball season, and after being inspired by the events of the season so far, I decided I'd do a reprise of my pre-season open letter. What's the same? What's changed? Will I still force groan-worthy puns on you all? Read on to find out.
To the ACC,
Not much to say here specifically, except kudos on the recovery on losing Maryland. Gaining Louisville hoops after losing Maryland's is like somehow botching a dismount into a more spectacular landing. A nine from the Russian judge on that one.
Injuries are never cool and I hope your guys heal up quick, but I'd be lying if I said the potential for Ryan Kelly to be out for the game against Wake in the Joel doesn't make the game a whole lot more interesting. Is there going to be a seventeenth Plumlee we haven't found out about yet, by the way?
You guys confuse me a little. Or more accurately, I don't know what to make of your situation. Are you really good and preparing to make a run, or are you more like that NIT team recently? Either way, I think the next stretch of games will be extremely telling. And I'll freely admit the potential for hilarity has decreased significantly because Larry Drew II isn't there anymore.
To NC State,
I went from wanting to make jokes about you guys being hilariously overrated to dreading the prospect of playing you twice this year real quick. You guys might just win the league after all, especially with all those Duke injuries. Unless of course another team has a miracle run in them.
Speaking of, where in the heck did you guys come from?! And doing all of this without Reggie Johnson? My goodness. I am begrudgingly impressed. I'm also resigned to Reggie styling on us again if he's healthy by that game. I think that's the thing that's annoyed me most to watch the past few years that didn't involve Duke.
Kindly right the ship against FSU, please and thanks. I want that win against you guys looking as good as possible. Oh and I think Mike Tobey is going to be really good. What is it with you guys and skilled bigs named Mike, anyway?
To Boston College,
Hey, you guys are having an okay year! Then again, where our teams were last year, it's generally a "good year" if there aren't multiple 20 point blowouts. We have one of those, and you don't have any yet, so you're up on us there, though I'll take the win against you guys any day.
To Florida State,
You're another team that I don't know what to make of. You've looked really good at times. You've also lost to Auburn, South Alabama, and Mercer. Jeez guys, even we managed not to do that last one. Yikes.
To Georgia Tech,
You guys look good on paper. Potentially really good, in fact. Then you look at that strength of schedule and it all falls apart. Seriously, that schedule makes the Seth Greenberg-coached Virginia Tech schedules look like Duke's brutal schedule this year. You have one win in the top 100. No other win of yours is even in the top 150. I know, our schedule's been fairly laughable too so I'm not trying to dog you too much, but 327th overall? Oof. We'll see where it ends up, eh?
To Virginia Tech,
What happened? Really strong wins against Iowa and Oklahoma State, then five losses in six games, the only win coming against Bradley. Bradley, by one, in overtime. Was it a "Let's replace Virginia Tech with Boston College and see if anyone notices!" thing? Either way, I shudder to think where you guys would be without Erick Green. Probably somehow worse off than we would be without C.J. Harris, which my mind struggles to comprehend.
Good luck in the Big Ten, honestly, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't kind of hilarious to me that you managed to pick perhaps the one conference that will roll you harder than the ACC. Oh, and you guys switching sides in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge isn't quite as bad as Hulk Hogan dropping the leg on Randy Savage, but it's close.
Kenpom has you winning with a lot of confidence. I'm sure he's 100 percent right. You guys don't need to prepare for us at all. As a matter of fact, play walk-ons for 40 minutes! I'm sure you'll be fine! What? What's reverse psychology? I have no idea what you're talking about.