While the Duke Blue Devils look forward to the NCAA Tournament, the program got some great news about next year today when the nation’s premier high school floor-slapper announced his decision to play in Durham.
Bradley Grayson, out of Marshall High School in Spokane, Wash., led the nation in floor-slaps this season with an eye-popping 38.2 per game.
“I’ve seen some great floor-slappers in my day,” said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “But this kid is the best. His faux intensity is amazing.”
Krzyzewski’s excitement is not unfounded. Scouting services rave about Grayson’s floor-slapping.
“You can literally feel the floor shake when Grayson slaps it.” – Scout.com
“Dust the floor for prints after any game – you’ll find his hand prints on 95-percent of it.” – Rivals.com
As Krzyzewski continues to search for answers as to why his once-feared program has become a rather easy out each March, Grayson’s commitment comes just in time.
"You know, we really need to get back to how Duke basketball was a decade ago,” said the coach. “Guys like Greg Paulus and Jon Scheyer flop and complain and make ridiculous faces like any other great point guards we have had here, but we just don’t have players who slap the floor the way Steve Wojciechowsi or Bobby Hurley did. Those guys would come in after games with their palms bleeding. If that’s not the mark of good defense, I don’t know what is.”
Hubert Davis, a current college basketball analyst who played 12 years in the NBA and is a 1992 North Carolina graduate, says he agrees a dearth of floor-slappers is indeed Duke’s biggest problem.
“People laugh at it, but that’s the point,” said Davis. “You’re dribbling down the court, and all of a sudden, some toolbag starts slapping the floor in front of you. You start laughing at him. It gets you off your game. You almost feel bad for the pathetic little guy. And that gives them an advantage.”
Grayson says he hopes to come in and make an immediate impact.
“I’m just going to keep working on my floor slaps,” he said. “And Coach K has sent me some tapes to watch on how to flop. Basically, it’s just if my man gets within six inches of me, I hurtle backwards through the air like I’ve stepped on a land mine. Beyond that, I’m just staying out of the sun as much as possible. Got to keep that melanin down, you know.”