With this post, we're introducing a new feature: Vox Populi, a phrase that translates to voice of the people. The premise: We ask Cameron Crazies for predictions about upcoming basketball games, and then offer some brief commentary. The first entry: predictions for Duke's 9 p.m. Wednesday matchup at Clemson. Feel free to offer your opinions below.
Jie Chen (Trinity, 2009): "I think Duke will win. I think we have the experience this year to handle road challenges, whereas before we might have struggled with them. Everyone is more experienced than they were before. Gerald Henderson is really coming into his own, so I think he will lead us in scoring again. Kyle Singler is always a solid contributor, and Nolan Smith has his ups and downs, but I think he'll have a good game too."
I can't agree more about Henderson. Do take note that, over the last seven games, he is averaging 20.4 points, 2.7 assists and 6.0 rebounds-but don't tell any NBA scouts.
Shilpa Sachdeva (Trinity, 2012): "I expect a lot of out the freshman class, especially Miles Plumlee and Elliot Williams. I think they're going to be shooting out the lights."
Really? I'm not so sure about this one, Shilpa. Williams looked completely lost on the floor in the first half of the game against Virginia, and it wasn't until the very end that he made the Cameron Crazies ooh-and-aah with a great alley-oop pass. Plumlee was a great addition considering Duke's lack of depth in the post, but Brian Zoubek has exceeded expectations at time this year, and Plumlee hasn't proven ready for ACC play.
Chetan Jhaveri (Trinity, 2009): "I think we will obviously come out on top. We're a great team, and I think we showed a lot of grit against UVA. I think we will continue to be strong against Clemson. I thought they [Duke] were really aggressive for the whole game, not just parts of the game like when we lost to Wake Forest. Hopefully Coach K will get them in that type of mindset again. I feel like we live and die with Gerald Henderson sometimes. He really sets the tone for us a lot and so I'd be looking at him. He's a finisher-some of those dunks are pretty sweet, but hopefully the whole team can put in a good effort.
The confidence in Henderson seems to be a common theme on campus, but I really think that it is Singler who Duke lives and dies with. He has led the team for most of the season with points, rebounds and assists and seems to be the steady force behind most wins.
Ethan Settel (Trinity, 2012): "I'm fairly surprised about Clemson's dominance this year. They're normally a pretty bad basketball team, and now they are in the top 10. Still, I think it should be a pretty easy win-I think Wake [Forest] handled them pretty well, and seeing how close we were to Wake in an away game, I have a lot of faith in the team's ability to destroy a weaker team. I think that overlooking Clemson is a fear we should have, though, because they must have done something right to be a top-10 team. You always have to be careful."
Maybe we should have seen Clemson's progress coming. After all, the Tigers did upset the Blue Devils in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament last year.
Samantha Cunningham (Trinity, 2010): "The ACC is always good, so no game is safe. When Wake can lose to Georgia Tech, you've got to be careful. If G keeps playing amazingly though, that will help. He's just turned it on, it's amazing that he can come in every game and just put up double digits-solid double digits-every single game. We'll win by double-digits."
A double-digit win in an away game against a top-10 opponent is pretty bold.
What does everyone else think?
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