Duke basketball program reveals recruiting weapon unlike any other

Duke basketball (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball animation should help attract even more five-star recruits.

The Duke basketball creative team drew mixed reviews from Countdown: The Movie on Friday night (below, for those who haven’t yet watched). This served as a replacement to Countdown to Craziness, the annual celebration that energizes the fanbase for the season ahead.

Some of the grumpier fans on social media and message boards complained that some segments were borderline cringeworthy.

Plenty of others, however, viewed every single minute as nothing short of a cinematic masterpiece, outside of their desire for it to have been significantly longer than 35 minutes:

But no matter which side of the fence folks sat, it seems most everyone was in agreement that the film’s creators exhibited total animation domination in the Brotherhood Big Splash portion.

After all, the following tweet, showing the lyrical Duke basketball cartoon, garnered more than four times as many likes as any tweet from the official Kentucky basketball account during the Wildcats’ Big Blue Madness event, which aired around the same time:

Plus, while a few viewers expressed disappointment over the 2020-21 Duke basketball team poster not including the actual faces of the players, the movie’s narrator, former Blue Devil sensation JJ Redick, pointed out his own envy while introducing the superhero-themed advertisement titled “Hoop Heroes”:


Now, it’s hard to argue against the notion that Duke completely crushed the animation in introducing each Blue Devil Hoop Hero and absolutely nailed the selections, which perfectly matched each’s primary talents and personality traits (full segment starts at 27:40 mark in the movie, and the recap segment appears in the tweet below):

  • Freshman combo guard DJ Steward as GVO, emanating “good vibes only” to the Blue Devil world
  • Freshman combo forward Jalen Johnson as Aviator, raising his fist to lift off toward a hoop in a faraway galaxy
  • Freshman power forward Henry Coleman as Hank the Tank, shattering evil with every step while carrying a giant shark on his shoulders
  • Freshman point guard Jeremy Roach as Bolt, zipping through time so fast that his entire introductory clip requires only a split second
  • Freshman center Mark Williams as Superstretch, extending his immeasurable wingspan to swat away threats to his space
  • Freshman combo forward Jaemyn Brakefield as Slasher, carving up foes in an effort to restore peace to the Duke basketball universe
  • Sophomore stretch-four Matthew Hurt as Iceman, putting a freeze on opposing forces by emitting the ice in his veins
  • Sophomore small forward Wendell Moore as Sir Dubs, instantly delivering a bright ray of sunshine into anti-UNC hearts with just his right hand
  • Second-year walk-on guard Michael Savarino as The Source, reminding all Blue Devils to use the magical floor slap that the early teams under his grandfather, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski, patented decades ago
  • Second-year walk-on forward Keenan Worthington as Sentinel, standing firm on the sidelines to help keep watch over #TheBrotherhood
  • Junior wing Joey Baker as Bullzeye, hanging out downtown always ready to shoot a trident trifecta to help save Duke
  • Fourth-year walk-on guard Mike Buckmire as Professor B, offering guidance and wisdom to young Blue Devils from the bench
  • Grad transfer big man Patrick Tapé as Visionar, always working hard to crystallize the shared team goals
  • Senior combo guard Jordan Goldwire as Multiplier, disorienting offensive attackers by appearing all over the backcourt in an attempt to set in motion an impenetrable defense

Potential rewards from the unmatched Duke basketball creativity

Expect many of the above superhero nicknames to stick throughout the season and beyond.

Expect many of these nicknames to boost individual marketability, leading to the Blue Devils outearning the competition next season when student-athletes are first able to profit off their name, image, and likeness (NIL).

Expect that to catch the attention of five-star preps and other aspiring Hoop Heroes in the recruiting galaxy for years to come.

ALSO READ: Father of elite recruit talks Blue Devils fandom, more

Seriously, at the very least, the Duke basketball program should go ahead and form an entire animation department in order to produce one 30-minute Saturday morning cartoon per week across the entire season.

Besides, with no fans in the stands this go-round, this type of ingenuity might well be a key to the program recouping some lost revenue.

Furthermore, come the morning of Feb. 6, the fanbase’s youngins and grumps alike will surely want to know just how many helpless rams Hank the Tank thinks he can fit on his shoulders, should the rookie need to come in and protect the Blue Devil home base against a Tar Heel attack that night.

Related Story. 20 concerns about 2020-21 Blue Devils. light

Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more Duke basketball news and views.