Whispers From Cameron

With the hoops season slowly creeping closer, TDD goes inside Cameron for the latest on the progress of the returning upperclassmen and the incoming freshmen. While many expect a down season in Durham, don't tell that to this bunch.

One of the things that gets fans excited before the start of the basketball season is the early talk on what to expect from the guys in the upcoming season.

Last year, TDD brought you the scoop on how good Luol Deng was going to be, how much weight and strength Shavlik Randolph had gained and what to expect from some of the other members of the team.

Well, we've gone back to our reliable sources close to the basketball staff and gotten some more early whispers on this year's team.


Word out of Cameron Indoor says that DeMarcus Nelson is down to 3% body fat. And if any of you don't realize how hard it is to get that lean -- just ask Michael Jordan, who played at about 5-6% in the height of his career with the Chicago Bulls. Three percent is virtually unheard of, but Nelson is just that.

Our source says that Nelson has lost some weight, while keeping his muscular physique, and is currently checking in at 195 pounds. He reportedly measured a 40 inch vertical a few days ago as well.

"He's just an elite athlete," says our source. "He can score and is just so physical on both ends of the court. There's no question that he's going to be an integral part of what we're doing as he gets acclimated to the college game."

And as for his fellow freshman roommate David McClure?

Reports are GLOWING so far in Durham. In fact, the 6-6 forward from Stamford, Conn. is gaining fans at a rapid rate, not only on the staff, but the team as well.

Sources say that McClure could be the biggest surprise of the season for the team. They're calling him an "underrated athlete" and one of the most popular guys in the gym during pickup game time. The staff really believes that he will be a key contributor this season.

"He's really going to surprise," says our source.


So, with Chris Duhon having graduated and Shaun Livingston opting for the NBA Draft -- will the ball be placed in the hands of Sean Dockery?

It seems so.

The once highly touted Chicago schoolboy should have a chance to play a huge role as a junior this year in Durham. Word on the street is that the 6-2 defensive star has certainly put in the time during the offseason.

"Sean had a great summer," said our source. "He worked hard all summer and knows that this will be a great opportunity for him to step up and be a leader. The staff really believes in his abilities."

Dockery comes off a sophomore campaign where he was used primarily as a backup to Duhon and he was very serviceable as an effective on-the-ball defender. He was second on the team last year with 56 steals last year and chipped in 3 points-per-game.

He's reportedly very excited to increase his role this year, and his goal is to be the starting point guard.


The Duke basketball staff is really excited about the possibility of 6-foot-9 Shelden Williams having a fabulous season. In fact, rumors are circling that the 255 pound junior could opt for the NBA after the season is complete. And that may even be the plan.

Judging from his numbers last year -- Duke fans might as well come to accept that this could be the last season of seeing "The Landlord" in Cameron Indoor.

Williams led the team, as well as the entire ACC last season in blocked shots at a clip of 3.00 per game. The big guy also averaged 12.6 points and 8.5 boards per game. So, one can expect the Duke center to pick up where he left off.

And then some.

Folks watching him in action over the summer tell TDD that he's really benefited from playing against fellow junior Shavlik Randolph in the offseason and that he's started to hit the 15-16 footers with much more consistency then he did at this team last year. He's also started to develop a consistent jumphook in game situations.

Expect Williams to contend for ACC Player of the Year Honors and he's a likely candidate for National Defensive Player of the Year as well.


Though he may be more infamous than famous, Duke has added former wide receiver and ACC Tournament Championship veteran Reggie Love to the roster for the upcoming season.

Love, who bested former North Carolina center Brenden Haywood in the 2001 ACC Tournament title game, was cut by the Green Bay Packers and has returned to school to finish up a double major. He has a year of eligibility remaining, and is expected to be able to spell the Blue Devils in the post.

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