Monday, March 2, 2009

Much to admire about Paulus

Greg Paulus is not a great defender.

He isn’t strong enough to penetrate and score, and he’s not a great assist man for a point guard.

But as he prepares for senior night Tuesday at Cameron Indoor Stadium, there’s a lot to admire about Paulus, even though he’s been relegated to a backup role as a senior.

For some reason, even in this reduced role, Paulus is the Duke player opposing fans most enjoy taunting. Why?

- Because he chases loose balls into the stands.

- Because he flops to draw fouls.

- Because he made himself into a dangerous 3-point shooter when it turned out he wasn’t a traditional penetrate-and-kick point guard.

- Because he has fought through injuries for his entire career and never complained.

- Because he made six 3-pointers in eight attempts to lead Duke in scoring last season at North Carolina.

- Because he’s the kind of guy you love to have on your team, even though you can’t stand him when he’s your opponent.

Paulus’ jersey won’t hang from the rafters in Cameron, but he has scored more than 1,100 points in his career. And the true measure of his value to the team can’t be measured in statistics.

Duke has been fortunate to have him. – Ken Tysiac