Duke Open Practice Observations

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  • BlueDevils00 Sep 30, 7:54 a.m.
    Sports Legend

    The open practice was awesome to see. The team did nothing special, basically just ran a normal practice. You could tell Coach K was in command and was determined to use the limited practice time to make the team better, not necessarily run a bunch of alley oop drills for the fans (which I actually liked -- we need to gel more than anything.)

  • BlueDevils00 Sep 30, 7:54 a.m.
    Sports Legend

    1) Jabari Parker is amazing. He is a legit 6'9" and strong, runs the court like a guard, shoots like a guard, handles the ball like a guard, but defends the post and blocks shots like a center. He is the best Duke player I've ever seen in person. He looked like a polished NBA player (no exaggeration). He hit numerous fadeaways, 3pt shots, pull-up jumpers, emphatic dunks and alley oops, and blocked a couple shots with the game (scrimmage) on the line.

    2) Quinn Cook has improved. He looks lightning quick, with a real handle on the ball and vision in the back of his head. He made numerous highlight reel passes to Jabari for slams, and also looked like he improved his ball pressure dramatically.

    3) Rodney Hood is the real deal. He cramped up so we didn't get to see him scrimmage, but he is 6'8" guard with a silky smooth game. His jump shot is pure, his ball handling is well above-average, and his athleticism is thru the roof. We haven't had a player with his versatility/size/athleticism since Grant Hill.

  • BlueDevils00 Sep 30, 7:56 a.m.
    Sports Legend

    4) Amile Jefferson is meat and potatoes. He clearly has put on 20+ pounds and looked strong out there. In post-defense drills, he was able to body up stronger players like Hairston and Plumlee.

    5) Sulaimon, Dawkins and Jones will all battle for playing time at SG. It shocked some people last week when Coach K announced he's only set on 4 starters (Cook, Parker, Hood, Amile). I am sure Sheed will start, but Dawkins was the 6th man during the scrimmage and looked MUCH quicker and intense than 2 years ago. You can tell he has made an effort to change his body type, looking much more lean. Sheed was explosive and could be one of the best guards in the country. People are sleeping on Matt Jones - I for one, but I think he will get minutes here and there. He is tall (6'5") and quicker than I thought. He hit numerous pull up jumpers and looked comfortable doing so.

    6) Plumlee, Murphy still have room to grow. Plumlee is huge, but you could tell he had missed time in the offseason. He did have a sick dunk in the lane over 2 guys, though. He will grow into a serviceable backup Center and key when we play teams with elite big men (Michigan - Mitch McGary). Murphy looked improved. He struggled with his shot but showed intensity and a good focus. It he continues to work hard he could earn minutes at backup PF (he played mostly at PF it seemed like).

  • BlueDevils00 Sep 30, 7:57 a.m.
    Sports Legend

    7) Semi Ojeleye is built like a Mack truck. He has the body of an NFL running back. His 4-year ceiling at Duke is extremely high. Again, this is a type of player that we have not seen at Duke in the last 10 years. Think a taller, stronger Gerald Henderson (obviously needs to work on his game, but as far as body type and athleticism - that is an accurate analysis)

    8) Thornton and Hairston are Thornton and Hairston. Tough, experienced, valued leaders of the team and will probably be the first two players off the bench (with Dawkins).

  • Tizu Sep 30, 8:00 a.m.
    Sports Legend

    Thanks for the info! This is good news. I wish I could have been there to see it. I plan to go to several games this year, so I'll get to see them up close and personal.

    Looking forward to it!

  • BlueDevils00 Sep 30, 8:19 a.m.
    Sports Legend

    Yeah man, I'm so excited! This team will run like K's Olympic squads -- no true back-to-the-basket post man, but tons of interchangeable parts, ready to adapt to whatever the game dictates. During most of practice, they pressed full-court with all 5 players the entire time, immediately after each made basket.

    This season is going to be a blur! We will play like an NBA team, with NBA talent. Ready for a HUGE 2013-14 season!

  • The Swoffinator Sep 30, 9:48 a.m.
    Pro

    Cheaters never win.

  • Tizu Sep 30, 10:22 a.m.
    Sports Legend

    Cheaters never win.

    — Posted by The Swoffinator

    I'm sorry but this post is about Duke, not UNC.

  • BlueDevils00 Sep 30, 10:37 a.m.
    Sports Legend

    Cheaters never win.

    — Posted by The Swoffinator

    another username?!!? every time UNC loses he gets a new name. wow.

  • BluedevilLIFER Sep 30, 11:04 a.m.
    Rookie

    Great information and thanks for providing some insight on the open practice. I planned on going but family weekend at UNC-W prevented me from going. Very hyped about this year. I hope the team as a whole can stay healthy and gel. Looking forward to the return of Dawkins and I hope he can become productive. Can't wait to see Parker and Hood in action. You said Hood cramped up....are there any health concerns moving forward for him or does he seem to be completely ready for full throttle?

  • backpainfaker Sep 30, 11:09 a.m.
    Pro

    the cheerleaders are even uglier than last yr.

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COL 3
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MIL 2
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TOR 5
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