Was Duke's Early Spring Practice A Good Idea?
As most ACC teams wrap up spring practice with their annual spring games, one school has been done for more than a month.
Duke University completed its spring schedule with a spring game on March 1. Spring practice started Feb. 7, just more than one month after the Blue Devils lost to Texas A&M in the Chick-fil-A Bowl (Dec. 31). Head coach David Cutcliffe told reporters he scheduled the early spring practice to keep the Blue Devils' momentum going following their 10-win season in 2013. He also said that the six-month layoff between the spring game and the first game of the season should help with the team's momentum and with avoiding injuries.
Still, Duke's early practice could do the opposite. The Blue Devils will have an extra month and a half off between the end of spring practice and the start of summer camp than every other ACC team. Instead of forgetting things between the end of the 2013 season and spring practice, the Duke players may have to re-learn things with only one month until the season. This is where Duke's large number of experienced players like Anthony Boone could benefit the Blue Devils. One would hope that more experienced players will retain information despite the longer layoff.
Duke does not release an attendance figure for the spring game, but a solid crowd for a school of Duke's size could be seen in the stands watching the game based on pictures on Duke's website. That's just proof that a winning team always attracts a crowd.