Duke's Mormon Monster
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA -- He's 6-foot-10, 265 lbs and when he
comes off the bench at Duke basketball games, the Cameron Crazies (a
Duke fan club) start chanting "The monster's out of the cage." And
Matt Christensen then fills his role: to spark's Duke's team back
into its game.
But Christensen says his role isn't that difficult, "I do the easy
things out there," he said. "My role is to bring energy and emotion
to the game, get rebounds, play good defense, set screens and help
make my teammates better. When I was younger, I lived for moments
when I could make a dunk or block a shot. But some of the things I do
now probably are more important to the team than flashy plays."
He wasn't brought "out of the cage" much in past years for a variety
of reasons. A member of Duke's team since 1995, his fragile knee
joins have kept him from many games. He also took two years off to
serve and LDS mission to Germany and red-shirted one year. And, since
he's playing on a high-profile team, its no surprise that he has
often been in the shadows behind more physically talented teammates.
Last year it was his knees that kept him from performing well and
sometimes kept him off the court altogether. So in the off-season,
Christensen had arthroscopic surgery that he says has made a big
difference. "The difference is pretty spectacular," he said. "I never
thought the knees would feel this good. I haven't had to have them
drained. I haven't had to wear a brace. I haven't missed practice. I
still take anti-inflammatories, and I apply heat to them before each
game and ice afterward."
In last Saturday's game against San Diego State, Christensen came
"out of the cage" and even became a dominant factor, snagging nine
rebounds in his 14 minutes of play and boosting the Blue Devils to a
But, unlike many in college basketball, Christensen isn't pinning his
career hopes to making the NBA. Infact, his achievements on the court
are outweighed by those off the court. He is on the Dean's List, and
not because of an easy schedule. He is working on two majors (yes,
two), in civil engineering and in economics, neither in fields known
to be easy or for a lot of athletes.
But while that may be surprising for many basketball players, it
isn't surprising if you consider Christensen's father. Clayton
Christensen was also a basketball player, at BYU, before he earned a
Rhodes scholarship and earned a DBA (Doctorate in Business
Administration) from Harvard Business School. He now teaches at
Harvard Business School and is best known for his 1997 business
bestseller, "The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause
Great Firms to Fail."
'Monster' unleashed for Devils
Greensboro NC News &Record 1Jan02 S2
By Larry Keech: Staff Writer, News &Record
More about "The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail" by Clayton M. Christensen at Amazon.com