The Duke Blue Devils are two games into the 2015 college basketball season, where they’ve beaten their opponents Florida Southern and Livingstone by a combined 109 points, so the last thing you’d think the reigning National Champs would be focused on is being “worthy” of winning. But with a squad that lost four of its five starters from last season to the NBA and graduation, that’s exactly what they are doing – focusing.
“Yeah, I think that each season, each year, it’s a new journey with a new group of guys, because each year the team is not the same. With the rules and guys leaving early, each year’s team is totally different than last year’s team. The makeup is totally different,” team Captain Amile Jefferson said at ACC Operation Basketball Media Day.
“So for us it’s about just instilling the Duke culture in our new guys. I think the goal at Duke is always the same. It doesn’t change. We want to win, and we want to win at the highest level and play for as long as we can, especially when March rolls around. What we’re doing before the season starts and early in the season is trying to be worthy of winning, trying to instill the determination, the heart, the sacrifice that it’s going to take to be worthy of winning when March rolls around.”
So, what does being worthy of winning mean?
“In the off-season as a player, what are you doing to be worthy of winning. In other words, the conditioning you’re doing, how you’re taking care of your body, mentally what you’re doing. Pay the price. Pay the rent. Pay the rent that you need to do to win,” head coach Mike Krzyzewski explained.
And it won’t take long for the rent to come due as the Blue Devils will face Kentucky, November 17th at the annual State Farm Champions Classic.