Duke University is almost synonymous with great basketball. It has had one of the best basketball programs in the country for more than three decades, winning three national championships and appearing in 10 Final Fours since the NCAA tournament field expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
But one of the best attributes of Duke's basketball teams has been its academic success. Many alumni use Duke's top-flight education to embark on impressive careers after hanging up their basketball sneakers.
Senior guard Greg Paulus has been a fixture on every Duke squad since the 2005-2006 season, scoring more than 1,000 career points and dishing out more than 400 assists. He's also been the ACC All-Academic team three times and an Academic All-American twice.
Being a Division I athlete at a major program is tough. How do you balance schoolwork and hoops?
I usually set up a schedule for myself each week, getting some help from my academic adviser with upcoming papers, tests, and assignments I have due. Then, I just prioritize and try to set aside time to get those tasks done.
Where do you go when you need to buckle down and get some work/studying done?
I come to the K Center. It's nice and quiet; you get room there. I know if I stayed in my apartment, then I'd find something else to do.
Do you have a set group of things you have to have with you when you need to work, like an iPod or fooddrink? and
I don't usually drink soda, but when I need a caffeine kick for a long night, that's usually my go-to.
What's your daily routine like?
We usually have one to two classes in the morning, then practice in the afternoon, depending on our schedule. Nighttime is just dinner and getting some work done.
Why did you pick political science as a major?
I was really interested in it, especially with all the current events and the presidential race. I thought that was very interesting. I took classes in other things—history, math, science—but that was where I felt I could learn the most.
What kind of career path do you plan on taking once basketball finishes for you?
I'd like to play for a little bit longer, and I'm really interested in going back to school or being a coach. Those are some things I'd like to accomplish.
What kinds of things do you like to do away from the court?
On campus, I like to go see other sports teams play. I have friends on the other teams, and I like to go and support them when I can. Other than that, I just hang out at my apartment, play some video games, watch movies, and take naps.
It's probably tough to get a lot of reading done during the hoops season, but what's your favorite book?
I haven't had a chance to do much reading during the season outside of class work. The last book I read was The World is Flat [by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman]. That was for one of my business courses.
Last question: What's your schedule been like now that the conference and NCAA tournaments are here and school keeps going? Does the increased basketball workload affect your schoolwork, and how do you dealt with the change?
The spring semester is tough because you do more traveling than you do in the first semester. You have to have good communication with your professors to say, "Hey, I'm going to miss a few days this week." You could have to do that a couple weeks in a row with the ACC and NCAA tournaments, so being organized and having times to meet with them to catch up on things is probably the biggest thing I've learned over the past few years.