Posted: Sunday March 28, 1999 07:30 PM
Battier has emerged offensively this season.Jamie Squire/Allsport
Stat to note
|Battier has taken 36 charges this season.|
Duke's whole game starts with defense. From the day Mike Krzyzewski stepped onto campus 19 years ago, that has been understood about the Blue Devils, and there may be no better student than Shane Battier.
The sophomore from Birmingham, Mich., is a defensive maven the likes of which legends are made.
Battier leads the Blue Devils this season with 36 charges taken and 65 steals, and he is second on the team with 43 blocked shots. With his height, long arms and quickness, he can cover anyone on the floor from the point guard position to center.
Krzyzewski has gone so far as to label Battier one of the most fundamentally sound defensive players to ever play at Duke. That's heady praise considering Duke has had numerous defensive players of the year in Coach K's 19 seasons.
But the cerebral Battier has emerged offensively in the second half of this season, providing the Blue Devils with yet another potent offensive weapon. He exploded against Maryland in midseason for 27 points in a rout of the then-No. 7 Terps and has not looked back since.
He has scored in double-figures in four of Duke's last seven games, and what truly makes him dangerous is his ability to score from outside while often matched up with the other team's power forward.
March 25, 1999: Ricky Moore, Connecticut
March 25, 1999: Morris Peterson, Michigan State
March 24, 1999: Chris Carrawell, Duke
March 23, 1999: Michael Redd, Ohio State
March 22, 1999: Kevin Freeman, Connecticut
March 18, 1999: Eduardo Najera, Oklahoma
March 15, 1999: Eddie Shannon, Florida
March 12, 1999: James "Scoonie" Penn, Ohio State
March 11, 1999: Doug Gottlieb, Oklahoma State
March 10, 1999: Shawnta Rogers, George Washington
March 9, 1999: Michael Jordan, Pennsylvania