Commentary

Will Duke ever shut up?

Not a chance. Which is why the rest of college hoops will be chasing the Blue Devils.

Updated: November 3, 2010, 2:47 PM ET
By Elena Bergeron | ESPN The Magazine

Eye contact -- they're big on that. When Kyle Singler says that his favorite movie is Martin Lawrence's "Black Knight," he finds your pupils, so the claim isn't mistaken for facetiousness. Coach K does it too, from the first time he meets a recruit. Squaring up, he promises always to tell the kid the way it is, about his game, about his life, no matter what. And he demands that every one of his players at Duke do the same: Find the eyes; tell the truth.

It's disorienting and, frankly, a bit weird. But if Mike Krzyzewski says the point is to promote an open dialogue, you can't really argue, even if it can freak out a newbie. Let's be honest: If anyone outside of the team's practice facility were to address a player with such unflinching eye-to-eye contact, he'd likely be asking, "Do you know how fast you were going?"

But disconcerting or not, that's how Blue Devils interact off the court. On it, though, blinded by screens, pivots and defenders' waving hands, they can't rely on eye contact. So they resort to a mode of communication that is equally unrelenting: a steady stream of old-school chatter.