Work was slow and I was able to leave for Durham early today.  Elliot Clark was going to be here around 3:00, but due to traffic and other things he wasn’t able to get to the house until 4:00.

Backing up, Milly was pretty fussy today and Amanda was pretty beat, as they’re both still sick.  Amanda did get Milly to say “Go Duke,” though, so that counts for something.  Karen, Amanda’s mom, was came to help out, but she got there after I left.

So Elliot and I arrived at the Duke Campus around 7:00 and got some food at the Bryan Center then headed back to Cameron Indoor Stadium to get to our seats, which were next to a couple guys I know from the Duke message board I frequent.

It was a great event.  There were a number of videos to get people hyped, then the championship rings were presented to last year’s team followed by the unveiling of the 2010 NCAA championship banner.  After that this year’s team was introduced, there was the Blue-White scrimmage then a dunk contest.

I’ll post videos of pretty much all of it below, but here are a couple thoughts.  During the scrimmage, I was really surprised by Ryan Kelly and Josh Hairston.  Kelly’s put on some bulk from last season and was able to score both on the perimeter and inside.  Hairston scored literally half of his team’s points (18) on nine of ten shooting in the second half (after they switched up the players).  That’s good, because the only freshman expected to have much impact this year is Kyrie Irving, who was, of course, awesome anyway.  For that matter, I was impressed with how vocal and active Ty Thornton, the other freshman point guard, was, too.

Unlike what I hear about most other season kickoff events, the Duke scrimmage involved defense and they played like it was a real game.  There were other things to take from the scrimmage (like Andre Dawkins hitting some key late shots), but I don’t feel like going that in-depth about a scrimmage.

Andre Dawkins won the dunk contest for the second year in a row.  It came down to him and Miles Plumlee after Mason Plumlee and Irving got knocked out.  Miles probably had the coolest dunk overall, which was where he caught a rainbow kick from Casey Peters.  Dre’s winning dunk was a jump over the 6’7″ Hairston.  I thought Miles would follow it up with a jump over Mason, but he tried twice to jump over the Blue Devil mascot, but couldn’t quite get it to go.

As promised, the videos:

Afterwards we were going to go hang out with a few people from the board, but Elliot wasn’t feeling great.  He drove me to Rougemont on his way (sort of, but not really) to his parents’ house in Hillsboro.  It turned out that my parents had only just gotten home, as my mom’s flight had been delayed.

They showed me the newly-electrified barn, which was pretty impressive.  My dad had done a lot of work to get lights going out there, and I think he was pretty proud of it.  After that we talked in the living room a bit before they went to bed.

Zach Dotsey