Simply Duke Basketball – Introducing Duke’s Frosh: #12 Derryck Thornton

SDBB - #12 Derryck Thornton

As Coach K’s Freshmen-laden roster prepares for their first exhibition game on Friday night against Florida Southern, we’d like to introduce you to Duke’s Frosh for this season.

We’ll do it by the numbers … jersey numbers, that is.

So here is Ro’s next Profile … #12, Derryck Thornton

Duke will have only one prototypical Point Guard on the roster this season, and that will be Derryck Thornton.  Thornton skipped his Senior year of High School, but he turned 18 last May so he should be mature enough to step into this role.

He is a quick player that can finish with either hand in the Paint, preferably on floaters, and has a very good midrange jumper.  He has great vision, but if his teammates aren’t aligned with him, it can result in multiple turnovers. 

Where does Duke need him ???

Duke has a major vacancy at Point Guard and they are hoping that Thornton is the answer. A Point Guard is very crucial, especially this season where there is a shorter Shot Clock.

Coach K didn’t exactly anoint his as a Starter at the recent press conference but Thornton is crucial none the less.

Who does he remind us of ???

Best Case Scenario:  Thornton’s biggest strength is his ball handling ability, which reminds us of Kyrie Irving.  He also is just as quick.  Irving only played 11 games for Duke, due to injury, but he was exceptional from Game One.

Worst Case Scenario:  Quinn Cook is credited for setting the tone for last year’s team, however his transition to college basketball was as fluid as a ship in bad weather.  Thornton will have to be good from Day One as the only Point Guard.

Conclusion …

Thornton will no doubt thrive best in a run-and-gun atmosphere and Duke certainly has the pieces for that. More often than not, opponents dictate to most college basketball offenses, which means there will be plenty of Half-Court Sets, especially in ACC play.

Thornton will have to learn fast as he is already behind, being one of the later arrivals on campus due to his finishing up the requirements for his early enrollment.

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Thanks for reading !!!

Watch for our next Frosh introduction right behind this guy.

We welcome your comments, either here or on our Twitter site:

@SimplyDukeBB

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Introducing Duke’s Frosh: #5 Luke Kennard

SDBB - #5 Luke Kennnard

As Coach K’s Freshmen-laden roster prepares for their first exhibition game on Friday night against Florida Southern, we’d like to introduce you to Duke’s Frosh for this season.

We’ll do it by the numbers … jersey numbers, that is.

So here is Ro’s next Profile … #5, Luke Kennard

In basketball it helps to be as versatile as can be, but if you can master one skill very well it will take you a lot further, especially if it is shooting.   Luke Kennard can shoot the ball very well, but he is also a versatile player. At 6’5” he has great size for a Shooting Guard.  He is more of a combo Guard accustomed to having the ball in his hands.

Where does Duke need him ??? 

Kennard’s role was all set until Grayson Allen blew up in the NCAA Tournament.  Now it isn’t so certain.  As a shooter there will always be a place for him in Duke’s offense, but Matt Jones and Allen are likely ahead of him in the depth chart, at the moment.

One position where Duke can use him in is as a ball handler/backup Point Guard.  Even though he is a great shooter he can also handle the ball and was accustomed to being the main facilitator on offense for his high school team.

Who does he remind us of ???

Best Case Scenario:   The obvious choice is Jon Scheyer, who came to Duke as a Shooting Guard and, out of necessity, became the lead Guard during his Senior year, when he led to Duke the 2010 National Championship.

Luke Kennard is a little more athletic and will throw it down if given just enough space.

JJ Reddick is not a bad comparison either, in terms of shooting, but Kennard is much further ahead as a Freshman in terms of scoring off the dribble.

Worse Case Scenario:    Andre Dawkins

Our Take … 

At the moment Kennard may be the odd man out, but given the opportunity he will flourish.  If he isn’t given a starring role from Day One, he will make his mark with the Duke faithful by season’s end.

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Thanks for reading !!!

Watch for our next Frosh introduction right behind this guy.

We welcome your comments, either here or on our Twitter site:

@SimplyDukeBB

 

 

Introducing Duke’s Frosh: #2, Chase Jeter

SDBB - #2 Chase Jeter

As Coach K’s Freshmen-laden roster prepares for their first exhibition game on Friday night against Florida Southern, we’d like to introduce you to Duke’s Frosh for this season.

We’ll do it by the numbers … jersey numbers, that is.

So here is Ro’s Profile of #2, Chase Jeter …

 

Chase Jeter is 6’10” and about 230 pounds and can play either Center or Power Forward.  He runs the floor very well and can finish plays around the basket.

Where does Duke need him ???

Duke needs a low post target to balance the abundance of outside shooters they currently have.  Seniors Amile Jefferson and Marshall Plumlee can score in the Post, but at this stage their consistency is questionable.

We expect Jeter to be given every opportunity to fulfil this role.

Who does he remind us of? ???

Best Case Scenario:   A quicker more agile version of Shavlik Randolph, who is able to stay on the court avoiding foul trouble. Randolph was a great Post scorer but a liability on the other side of the court.

Who remembers him going 6-for-6 against UConn’s front line during the 2004 Final Four game ???   Jeter has a similar length, better defensive awareness, and is no doubt much quicker.

Greg Monroe is another player Jeter is being compared to, though Monroe is a lefty.   The former Georgetown star was one of the best passing big men in college basketball during his time.   One can see Jeter blossoming into something similar especially with the talent Duke has on the perimeter.

Worst Case Scenario:    Josh McRoberts.

Our Take …

At the season opening press conference Coach K said that, “… low Post scoring will be more opportunistic than with Jah, where it is planned.”   So basically they won’t be running as much set plays to the Post as they did last season with Jahlil Okafor.   So, if Jeter wants to stay on the court he will have to rebound, set screens and take advantage of every opportunity that comes his way to score.   The better he performs, the more likely it is that his role will expand.

His Take …

“I just want to bring effort to the table,” Jeter said, “… running the floor, rebounding, scoring in transition, scoring in the paint, blocking shots.”

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Thanks for reading !!!

Watch for our next Frosh introduction right behind this guy.

We welcome your comments, either here or on our Twitter site:

@SimplyDukeBB