Practices officially won’t start until Oct. 3. The first game still is more than seven weeks away. But Thursday was Duke’s team photo day, and players in home white jerseys were milling around the practice courts.
Half-court shooting contests were in abundance. So were iPhones and iPads, as players found ways to kill time in between shoots. And once it was their turn in front of the camera, everyone tried to put their best foot forward.
Or, in Quinn Cook’s case, best feet up. The lone scholarship senior, posing in between freshmen Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor, tried to sneak up onto his tip toes – a veteran move that was called out by photographers. Later, when taking a solo portrait, Cook got a crash course on hand modeling, taking instructions on how to lay his fingers on his face ever so softly.
As the assistant coaches, walk-ons and support staff played pick up on a nearby court, the players began to file out, their photo obligations for the day done, the jerseys soon to be put away. But they’ll be back soon, not tucked away out of sight at the practice center, but out on display at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
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The team’s first public unveiling will come Oct. 25, at Duke’s version of midnight madness. Just one month to go.