It is going to be here before you know it. The college basketball season is right around the corner and Phenom Hoops wants to take their shot at previewing teams around the country for this upcoming season. All throughout the upcoming weeks, we will be previewing teams for this upcoming season, so be sure to check out all the latest talk.
Duke Blue Devils
Record: 13-11 (9-9 ACC)
Points per game: 76.0
Rebounds per game: 35.5
Assists per game: 16.3
Points allowed: 71.3
Top Performers 2020-21:
Points per game: Matthew Hurt (18.3)
Rebounds per game: Matthew Hurt (6.2)
Assists per game: Jordan Goldwire (4.0)
Field goal percentage: Mark Williams (66.4)
There is no getting around it… The Blue Devils brought in talent with their freshmen class. The first one that comes to mind is 6’10 Paolo Banchero, who many have pegged as the ACC Player of the Year and potentially one of the top picks in the upcoming draft. The young man is gifted, that is easy to see and with his blend of size and skillset, Banchero brings tremendous playmaking ability to go along with his athleticism. There is no doubt that he will be a big part of Duke’s future. But you don’t want to forget the other firepower they have coming in AJ Griffin, Jaylen Blakes, and Trevor Keels, all of which will provide scoring power at multiple positions. Banchero leads the way but this is another talented recruiting class they had coming in.
Mark Williams controlling the paint
Williams took some time but boy did he finish strong. Overall, starting 15 games and seeing action in 23 games overall, the 7-footer really started to show just how much of a force he could be. In his final six games, Williams averaged 16.7 points and was a dominant force on the boards. Williams has moved up the boards for many and this could be the breakout year for him, as it gives the Blue Devils a true rim-protector and scoring threat down low.
Will Wendell Moore break out this year?
Coming into Duke, many outlets had pegged Wendell Moore as a one-and-done type prospect but it took some time for the young man to adjust to the bright lights (but he still had a few terrific showings). Many thought his sophomore year would be his breakout year and even though he averaged 9.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.7 assists, it still didn’t feel like he had a true breakout year. Now as a junior and being one of the more experienced/talented players on the roster, could this be the year for Moore? Being more of a consistent scorer and bringing a bigger outside threat from three are two areas that Moore could improve in but he has the talent to do so. He could be one a breakout candidate for this season in the ACC, along with sophomore Jeremy Roach. Both of which are ones to watch but Moore brings leadership and understanding of what is needed from the coaching staff.
Key Stat to Watch
The Blue Devils struggled from the free throw line. Duke shot 69 percent from the line, which ranked 13th in the ACC. Moore is the only player returning that shot over 80 percent from the line and should be an area to watch improvements in.