The truth about April Fools' Day

When all is said and done, April 1, 2009 could prove to be a changing day in the history of sport.

Gerald Henderson will announce his decision to return for his senior season at Duke.

John Wall will commit to play for head coach Mike Krzyzewski in the hallowed halls of Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The auto industry's crisis will be solved magically when "One Shining Moment" is blasted simultaneously over every public address system in Detroit.

The odds will drop to 3-to-1 that Ty Lawson's toe will be named the NCAA Tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

And John Calapari will finally get what he deserves when he leaves Memphis for Kentucky only to have the Wildcats give the job to Adolph Rupp's ghost instead.

Ah, the joys of April Fools' Day... and pipe dreams.

Have no fear, though, dear readers, for on this, the prankiest and most confusing of days, I have decided to help you separate the truth from the fiction in Duke's future-and yours.

And while you can choose not to believe a thing I say from here on, I'd like to point out I had Michigan State in my Final Four, so I occasionally know what I'm talking about. That, or I am the only person east of Lake Michigan and south of the Mason-Dixon who even knew Kalin Lucas existed. On second thought, it's probably more the latter.

So without further ado, the "truth":

TRUTH: Although many fans were disappointed with last Thursday's loss to Villanova, one can argue that the Blue Devils overachieved this season. They finished 30-7 with their first Sweet 16 appearance since 2006. If you removed the "D-U-K-E" stitching from the jerseys and were left a team that lacked a true point guard and strong interior play, making it to the second weekend would have been considered an accomplishment.

I'm not saying high expectations for the Blue Devils are unwarranted or even that criticism isn't. Questions over recruiting, utilization of the bench and player development are all legitimate, but an ACC title and a Sweet 16 finish aren't too shabby.

TRUTH: Gerald Henderson would be foolish to stay another year at Duke. There's too much personal risk in not leaving: the millions Henderson would lose out on by not playing professionally next year, the chance of injury and consequent precipitous fall in draft value, and not being able to compete against the world's best players in NBA practice.

I've heard a lot of people throw out the "Matt-Leinart-Big-Man-On-Campus" theory. Who could turn down an extra year of college fun and another shot at a national title?

The fact of the matter is, however, Leinart didn't even take the title his senior season (on a team designed to win in a sport more conducive to preseason favorites running the table) and the following year's draft was much stronger than the one he would have entered as a junior.

The same goes for Henderson in that NBA money is guaranteed now, and there's no skill he could acquire here that he wouldn't develop better under an NBA coach.

The romantic notion of returning to Duke as a hero is farfetched, no matter how well Henderson might play, because a national title is never a sure thing.

TRUTH: If Duke were to land John Wall, it would be huge, particularly in light of recent high-profile snubs from the likes of Brandan Wright and Greg Monroe and the team's need for a point guard.

I would be surprised, though, if Wall came to Duke. Apparently, Wall had a great meeting with Krzyzewski Sunday (it can't hurt when one of the best coaches in America shows you game film of Jason Williams and says you can become him if you commit). But I just don't have enough faith in the fairness of college recruiting or in Krzyzewski's willingness to go out of his way to accommodate a highly-touted freshman in the way another coach might.

TRUTH: Last, but certainly not least, "Friday Night Lights" was extended for two more seasons Monday. This might be the best move in the history of television, second only to the change from black-and-white broadcasts to color, and is much bigger news than Gerald Henderson, John Wall and the Final Four combined.

Although I believe these truths to be self-evident, I also know they needed to be shared with those who might have felt tricked into thinking otherwise. At least you know one friend isn't out to get you this April Fools Day. Though you might want to look up from the paper instead of reading this as you walk through the quad.

You never know if you're about to be pranked-or see the nation's No. 1 recruit passing by.


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