Duke University's basketball team won the national championship in both 1991 and 1992, an amazing feat, since winners of the NCAA tournament virtually never repeat. After a brief recap of the 1991 tourney, with special attention to the Blue Devils' defeat of University of Nevada at Las Vegas, considered one of the best teams of all time, Brill, past president of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, concentrates on the 1992 season. His strength lies in analyzing the personalities of coach Krzyzewski and of the players, and showing the interaction among them. His focus is on the two main cogs: Christian Laettner, one of Duke's top sports heroes, and Bobby Hurley, the small point guard from New Jersey who served as the field general. And he shows coach Krzyzewski as a master psychologist, smoothing ruffled feathers and massaging wounded egos. An excellent sports analysis. Photos not seen by PW. (Jan.)
Over the years, Duke's basketball program has gained a reputation on and off the court as one of the nation's finest. This chronicle follows the Blue Devils through their two consecutive NCAA championship seasons, concentrating on the myriad pressures confronting a coach and players who are expected to win at nearly every turn. Coach and head mentor Krzyzewski emerges as a master motivator, able to focus his players on the challenges ahead instead of laurels past. Included are accounts of a memorable postseason contest against Kentucky and an issue of a much different kind: the unfounded rumors of a star player's sexual preference. Mainly, the story demonstrates how the right mix of talent, determination, guidance, and good fortune can lead to lofty accomplishments. For popular sports collections.-- William H. Hoffman, Ft. Myers-Lee Cty. P.L., Fla.
The 1991-92 Duke University Blue Devils were in a unique position to repeat as NCAA basketball champions. Most of their key players returned from the team that had upset powerful Nevada-Las Vegas the year before in the title game. Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, and Grant Hill were all stars in their own right, and coach Mike Krzyzewski is universally respected as one of the game's premier coaches. As any fan knows, Duke was successful in their repeat bid, and this in-depth analysis of the season shows why. There's too much play-by-play reportage and too little insight into the fragile chemistry so crucial to championship teams, but what's included is generally well written and intelligent. Fans will particularly enjoy the account of how the team's twelfth man was chosen from among the nonscholarship student body, and the poignant story of trainer Max Crowder, who died of cancer during the season. Eight pages of black-and-white photos round out this solid effort.