Laettner, a standout at power forward for Duke from 1988-91, excelled thanks to a free-wheeling offense that allowed players to break down defenders with one-on-one moves.
North Carolina played a different style during Lang's youth. The Tar Heels ran set offenses and did most of their damage in the halfcourt. Not much fun to emulate. And difficult to accomplish unless nine of your closest friends are nearby.
Somewhere, in some backyard of a home in the Tar Heel state, some kid is probably imitating current Duke power forward Shane Battier. Lang has become an ACC star of his own at UNC, but little has changed in the way the two Tobacco Road rivals go about their business.
"We're a little throwback," Lang said. "I believe it's more old-fashioned. It's something that has worked."
The Tar Heels and Blue Devils meet Thursday with first place in the ACC on the line. Considering UNC's 17-2 overall record and 7-0 mark in league play, an old-fashioned style has worked for the Tar Heels.
It also has worked against Duke.
UNC forward Jason Capel said he could think of only two teams in the country that start a conventional power forward like Lang, who is 6-foot-11, and a center like 7-footer Brendan Haywood.
Those two particular teams -- Stanford and Illinois -- gave Duke fits this season. Illinois lost 78-77 to the Blue Devils on Jan. 28, and Stanford handed Duke its only defeat with an 84-83 win on Dec. 21.
Stanford's duo of Jarron and Jason Collins, who are 6-11 and 7-0, respectively, combined for 24 points and 21 rebounds against the Blue Devils.