first_imgAvery johnsons smiles at alabama podium.avery johnson alabamaFormer NBA point guard and head coach Avery Johnson was recently hired to take over the reins of the Alabama basketball program, which has reached just one NCAA Tournament in the past nine seasons. Johnson has a tall task ahead of him, but he has lofty goals for his new squad, saying during his introductory press conference his program will try and live up to the standard set by Duke, the 2014-15 national champions. “Duke University, that’s the standard for us here at the University of Alabama and our basketball program,” Johnson said. “The way they play defense and offense. The way they move the ball, that’s the standard. Nobody else is the standard. That’s the standard. Duke University. That’s why I’m here.”If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, it also makes for good publicity in this case. Judging by its Instagram post this morning, the Duke program is using Johnson’s quote to its marketing advantage.An obvious, but savvy move by Duke. We’re sure Johnson isn’t the only coach looking to get his program on the level of the Blue Devils but it’s easier said than done.last_img

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