Dear Luke, Write Something Relevant This Week. Please.

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Luke Winn is a writer for CNNSI. I like the guy, I really do…that’s what makes writing this post so difficult. You see, Luke writes the College Basketball Power Rankings for CNNSI and I’ve had a problem with them for almost the entire season. /

I know what you’re thinking, another ‘Dookie’ unhappy with Duke’s spot in a poll. Oh no, that’s not it. Mr. Winn has always been fair & balanced in his rankings. In his last rankings (last Thursday) he had Duke at #8. Personally, I’d give them #7, but I’m bias.

My problem is, CNNSI has always been my favorite rankings to read (compared to ESPN, CBS, FOX and YAHOO) because it was the one that gave the most information; a tidbit, a stat, maybe a back story always involving the current team or a recent/upcoming game. Of course every now and then he’d veer off with something not really relevant to the team in the rankings, but there’s nothing wrong with that occasionally.

This season though, for whatever reason, Luke seems to phone it in when he gets to Duke. Sure he writes something, but it’s usually some pointless story that has ZERO, I mean zero to do with the current Blue Devils team in his rankings.

Shall we take a look back at what he’s given us? Lets start with the most recent.

2/26 (Duke #8) – Two weeks after Coach K shook up his lineup by throwing in a seldom used freshman into the starting lineup, Luke tells us that there are lots of videos of Duke players traveling, most posted by a Terps fan. Thanks, we never knew.

2/19 (Duke #12) – As the Devils continue to fall in the rankings (at the tail end of their 2-4 stretch), Luke informs us that Duke’s two 2009 recruits are two white dudes. No mention of UNC’s two twin white recruits coming in next year in their post though. However, he does give us some disappointing Nolan Smith stats, so this week was not a total waste.

2/12 (Duke #8) – He spends an entire paragraph talking about his goose bumps he got prior to the Duke/UNC game, that is until Coach K made his rat face and Singler elbowed Hansbrough. Now even though this post tells us almost nothing about the team and/or the game, if this wasn’t the norm for Luke, I’d be able to live with this one.

2/06 (Duke #5) – A full posting about some tax expert bitching about the effects of Obama’s executive compensation caps (I don’t recall Duke taking bailout money)? Why is it relevant? Who knows. Luke does sneak in the fact that Coach K’s team is 2nd in defense, which is better than former Duke assistants; Dawkins and Brey. While it was just a sentence about Coach K (and Duke’s D), I was ecstatic. I learned more relevant info in that one sentence, than I learned in the last five Luke Winn postings (as you’ll soon see).

1/29 (Duke #4) – After a Duke rally came up short in the final seconds against Wake Forest, Luke used Duke’s spot to write about…James Johnson of Wake Forest. Ones wonders why he didn’t use the Wake Forest ranking to write about James Johnson.

1/22 (Duke #1) – The Blue Devils are number one! Even Luke’s got something to say about this team, right? Wrong. He uses the space to inform use that Reggie Love finished 4th in Gawker’s Obama poll. Thanks Luke, my life wasn’t complete until I knew that bit of information.

1/15 (Duke #3) – Despite a solid 15-1 start, Luke still has little to tell us about these Blue Devils. Instead, he decides to rant about the NCAA’s new 10-day window for players to make final decisions about the NBA. Although I completely agree with Luke on this, save it for a column, buddy.

1/08 (Duke #3) – Okay, we had a couple weeks off, Duke just defeated Davidson, so there’s got to be plenty of Duke related stuff to discuss. Nope.  Luke has only one thing on his mind; White Lobster, baby. He spends the entire space writing about the Davidson guard and Van Gundy’s reaction to the White Lobster.

12/18 (Duke #12) – Luke decides the subject this week will be Gene Chizik. Who? Exactly. He is Auburn’s new head football coach. You see, some unknown writer in Alabama compared that hiring to Coach K’s hiring in 1980. You get it? Kryzewski is hard to pronounce. Chizik is hard to pronounce, thus Auburn will win three championships. My only question is…why is this pointless Auburn info in my Duke post?

12/11 (Duke #13)HERE IT IS, FINALLY! Luke Winn actually tells us something relevant about this current Duke team. It only took a defeat to Michigan to get it. He informs us that Duke struggled against the three and shot the three poorly, which is basically unacceptable in Luke’s eyes when you have Paulus, Scheyer and Singler. God bless, Luke. Sure the info isn’t riveting, but I’ll take what I can get.

So as you can see, it has been nearly three months since Luke Winn has given us any relevant information about the Blue Devils. Just for fun though, let’s see how he did prior to 12/11.

12/04 (Duke #3) – After beating Purdue, Coach K talked about the four best players in college basketball. None are Blue Devils, but that’s okay. Luke at least uses the list to pivot to Duke’s solid perimeter  defense against Purdue.

11/26 (Duke #4) – He doesn’t tell us anything about the team, instead informing us abut the combination of Duke lovers and haters in MSG. It’s early in the season.

11/19 (Duke #5) – Without a doubt, Luke’s first posting was his best post. Why? He touches on Duke’s point guard situation, with the senior Paulus being replaced with the second-year guard, Nolan Smith. Even though only three games had been played, Winn was slightly concerned about Smith’s assist-to-turnover ratio. However, he goes on to say:

"“Which leads one to believe that a third guy, Mr. Jon Scheyer, is Duke’s best point-guard option in high-pressure situations. He’s too good of a scorer to play the position full-time, and Duke likes have him run Redick-esque cuts along the baseline to create shots, but Scheyer’s 5.5-to-1 assist-to-turnover is the most impressive part of his portfolio.”"

How about that? Even thought he said Scheyer was “too good” to play the point full-time, the man deserves some props. Luke, without even knowing it, basically predicted what Coach K would/should do nearly four months later, putting Scheyer at the point. Now this is the kind of info we expect from Mr. Winn at a near-weekly bases.

Come on, Luke. We got faith in you.