For the last four years, Duke has used an intrasquad scrimmage, the Blue-White game, to showcase the men’s basketball team almost two weeks after the Blue Devils officially started practice. This year, Duke is sticking with the Blue-White game instead of reverting to a Midnight Madness, but it will be held October 18, the day after practice begins, head coach Mike Krzyzewski told The Chronicle in an exclusive interview Tuesday.
The weekend of October 18 is Homecoming at Duke, and the Blue-White game will follow a home football game against Miami. Given an NCAA rule change, Duke is now able to play an exhibition game in October, and will host a Division-II team over Parents’ and Family Weekend.
“We’re always open to change,” Krzyzewski said. “We used to have [Midnight Madness] on TV and things like that. We had it on TV once, and that’s why we did it. They don’t do that anymore. They’ve changed when you can start practice…. So we’re going to do Blue-White right after [the football game] and see how that is, just to see how it will go.”
Duke last hosted a Midnight Madness in 2003, when it was dubbed A.M. Mayhem and was the product of collaboration between the Department of Athletics, Duke Student Government and the Graduate and Professional Student Council. It was scrapped for the current format in 2004. This year, The Chronicle’s editorial board and a Chronicle sports columnist expressed their opinions about reverting to a Midnight Madness-type event, especially given the recent success of the format at other schools. In fact, Greg Monroe, the top-ranked 2008 center, committed to Georgetown after attending its Midnight Madness.
But this year’s Blue-White should have a different vibe, given the timing. And then again, who would want to see a Blue Devil in sequins, a la Tyler Hansbrough?
For more clips of Coach K’s sitdown with The Chronicle, check back with The Chronicle’s Sports Blog next week, as we start a five-day series with audio from some of his most interesting comments. While you wait, think about these questions: Do you like Blue-White the way it is? Would you like to see a Midnight Madness? How can Duke best capitalize on preseason buzz?
—by Ben Cohen