ESPN To Offer Rare Glimpse At Duke Basketball

Posted by nvr1983 on October 30th, 2010

As we gear up for the upcoming season we will be spending an inordinate amount of time learning about up-and-coming programs and future March Madness heroes. In that vein, ESPN has announced that it will be airing a multi-episode series on the relatively unknown Duke Blue Devils. Perhaps you have heard of them? All kidding aside this is the first time we have heard of Coach K allowing camera crews into Duke’s practices. The “ESPNU All-Access” program will be based on 9 days that ESPN spent with the players and coaches while filming practices, film sessions, and leadership activities (you all surely remember that Coach K is “a leader who happens to coach basketball”) beginning with their Countdown to Crazieness.

He just happens to coach basketball

Perhaps it is a sign of Coach K becoming hip by allowing camera crews to follow him along with the previous insights he offered through his XM radio show and the variety of video content provided by Duke basketball sites about their players. Of course the more cynical fans might point out that Duke is just taking advantage of the media (and ESPN in particular) giving them another avenue to recruit and grow their brand (as if their nationally televised schedule wasn’t enough). In any event, this would appear to draw off of HBO’s wildly popular “Hard Knocks” series that followed a NFL team during their mini-camp and preseason (ESPN also did a similar feature on Alabama, the defending BCS National Champs earlier this year). It’s unclear if they will focus on players on the fringe of being cut from the team or will focus on the team’s more engaging personalities. We are confident in saying that no Duke player will play the role of a Chad Ochocinco and Coach K will not be giving his team a snack speech.

If you are interested in this series, and quite frankly it would be hard for a non-biased college basketball fan not to have at least a passing interest in what like at Duke is like, you can expect to see:

  • Cameras following Kyle Singer and Nolan Smith around campus to see what life is like for the senior stars
  • How Kyrie Irving adapts to life at Duke including attending classes
  • A tour of Duke’s basketball facilities
  • Following around coach K during a practice while he wears a microphone (with FCC-mandated edits)
  • A look at former Duke stars and current Duke assistant coaches Steve Wojciehowski, Nate James, and Chris Collins during practice, films sessions, and at their homes

Coach K hopes this series works out better for him that it did for Nick Saban

Some of the footage will be edited in ESPNU All-Access: Duke Men’s Basketball into four 30-minute specials that will first be aired on ESPNU on November 1st through the 4th with episodes the first two days at 4:30 PM and the latter two days at 7 PM. Other portions of the footage will be seen during ESPNU All-Access: Training Days with the Duke Blue Devilsduring one-hour long specials on November 9th at 9 PM on ESPNU and November 11th at 8 PM on ESPN2. If you happen to be preoccupied at that time there will be numerous opportunities to catch re-runs. I mean ESPN has to make sure the world is aware that Duke has a basketball team, right?

(h/t DukeHoopBlog for the story)

nvr1983 (1324 Posts)


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