Duke basketball legend praises the intensity and passion of key role players

Duke basketball (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

A former Duke basketball legend, Christian Laettner, praised the passion and intensity of Blue Devil role players Joey Baker and Jordan Goldwire.

Following Duke’s 98-96 overtime victory over North Carolina on Saturday many former Blue Devil players took to social media to express their amazement and joy of the victory over the Tar Heels.

However, one of the most iconic players in the Duke basketball program didn’t make his feelings known until Sunday evening.

Christian Laettner took to Twitter to show his appreciation for Jordan Goldwire and Joey Baker and how the two are the perfect teammates and players to represent what Duke basketball is all about.

On Saturday night, Goldwire and Baker were both on the floor during Duke’s miraculous comebacks in the second half and overtime.

While Laettner might not have the whole ‘Twitter thing’ down, his message is clearly received by all of Duke Nation:

Baker played 15 minutes against North Carolina and was just 1-of-5 from the field, but finished his night with three points, three rebounds, three assists, and a steal while Goldwire played 22 minutes and only scored two points on 1-of-3 shooting with three rebounds and two steals.

Duke does not rely on Goldwire and Baker to shoulder its scoring load, rather to play outstanding defense and bring energy off the bench, something they both did in the Blue Devils’ comeback.

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In his sophomore season, Joey Baker has played in 21 games, starting two, and averages 6.1 points and 1.0 rebounds per game on 43.4 percent shooting from the field, 41.9 percent from 3-point range, and 91.7 percent from the free throw line.

Baker’s passion for Duke can be shown in numerous cases but none better to point out than his nose-to-nose meeting with Louisville’s Darius Perry after he and Cassius Stanley got tangled up earlier in the season.

Goldwire has proven to be one of the most underrated guards in the ACC, specifically on the defensive end as the junior does a lot of the ‘dirty’ things for Duke throughout the game.

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The Georgia native has played in 23 games, starting ten, and averages 4.0 points per game, but really makes his worth known with 2.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.7 steals per game.

In hopes of bringing a sixth National Championship back to Durham, Joey Baker and Jordan Goldwire will play large roles in that quest, but first things first as the Blue Devils host No. 8 Florida State on Monday night at 7:00pm EST on ESPN.