Duke Basketball Playbook

Bill Miller and Alan Silber, Duke graduates of 1960, have been producing and distributing the Duke Basketball Playbook since the 2009-10 Championship Season. For years prior to that, it was just casual email exchanges about each game between two friends, who love Duke and the game of basketball.  Over time, friends received copies and forwarded it to their friends.   When Torrey Glass (’74) started distributing the blog to the Hilton Head Duke Alumni Club, the readership expanded exponentially to a following of  hundreds alumni, fraternity brothers, friends, and friends of friends who were Duke fans as well as some basketball fans who just liked the analysis. As the readership expanded, the writing became less casual. There were drafts, edits, and re-writes. The project became a passion, which nourished both craft and friendship. 

Up until 2020-2021, Bill wrote the opening section and Alan wrote further commentary under the heading “Alan Adds”. In 2020, Bill decided to retire.  They disseminated the sad news to start 2020-21: “Welcome to the 12th and weirdest year of the Duke Basketball Playbook. Bill is retiring from DBP”

Bill’s announcement:

“When Juan Manuel Fangio, the great race car driver who both drove and spoke with rare precision, retired, he simply said: “The joy is gone and I am tired.” Of course, I am in no way comparing myself to Mr. Fangio; however, for a variety of personal and professional reasons that’s pretty much how I feel.  As much as I have enjoyed sharing my thoughts about Duke Basketball (after several early season  improbable wins  calling the 2017-18 team Marvin and the Miracles was my favorite), it has been the unflagging enthusiasm of my classmate and close friend Alan Silber who has been the driving force for Duke Basketball Playbook. He will continue filing.”

Alan Adds:

“I take my text from Wynton Marsalis on a most necessary asset in jazz (and life): “adjust to changed circumstances with a minimum of fuss.”  We do have just a few changed circumstances in 2020.  For example, no fans will be in Cameron this season. And, unthinkably for me, no Bill.  Nevertheless, forward with a minimum of fuss.”

Bill Returned Almost Immediately

Fortunately, Bill could not stay away (for more than a few minutes).  His joy and energy returned and synergy flourished!  Bill and Alan continue to produce the DBP — in a slightly different format.  Now Bill opens with “CliffsNotes”, shorter, pithy and insightful; followed by Alanalysis, a more in depth statistical oriented overview of each game. 

The DBP also moved into modernity.  Laramie (Alan’s daughter) and Jeanne (Laramie’s mom) joined the team as dynamite editors (eliminating most of Alan and Bill’s mistakes), proof readers, and comedians.  [The editing takes about four hours; the comedy is infinite].  Distribution moved to Google Groups.  The DBP is a passion for the four of us now and continues to nourish craft, family and long standing valued relationships.  Bill and Alan (and the Editorial Board) hope you enjoy THE DUKE BASKETBALL PLAYBOOK!