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New Year’s Resolutions: Duke Blue Devils

Dec 26, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT

Alabama Duke Basketball

Over the course of the holiday week, we at College Basketball Talk will be detailing what we believe will be the New Year’s Resolutions of some of the nation’s most talented, most disappointing, and thoroughly enigmatic teams. What can we say, we’re in a giving mood.

Who else made Resolutions? Click here to find out.

WHAT DOES DUKE PROMISE TO DO MORE OF?: Rebound the ball with consistency.

  • Why it will happen: Although the Blue Devils don’t have a lot of traditional post players that receive consistent minutes, they do have plenty of players — at multiple positions — that are willing to fight on the glass. Jabari Parker is undersized at the four from a rebounding standpoint against certain forwards, but he has at least six rebounds in all but one game this season and hovers near double-figures many games. Quinn Cook, Tyler Thornton and Rasheed Sulaimon are also adequate-to-above average rebounders at guard and Amile Jefferson has received more minutes lately and averages five rebounds per game in 16 minutes of action. The Blue Devils are 259th in rebounds per game so far this season but have outrebounded their last three opponents — including Michigan — after their loss to Arizona at Madison Square Garden.
  • Why it won’t happen: No matter the effort, the Blue Devils are going to be undersized against many of the opponents they face on the interior. Josh Hairston (1.9 rebounds in 14.8 minutes per game) will still get minutes inside for Duke as one of the team’s more experienced interior defenders but he doesn’t rebound at a high level and never has throughout the course of his career. And do the Blue Devils really want their go-to guy on offense spending so much energy fighting on the glass? That’s the question Duke will face with Parker as the season wears on.

WHAT DOES DUKE SWEAR THEY WILL DO LESS OF?: Rely so heavily on Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood.

  • Why it will happen: Rasheed Sulaimon finally showed some signs of life against UCLA after not even appearing in the Blue Devils’ win over Michigan and adding Sulaimon as another scoring option besides Parker, Hood and Quinn Cook would be huge for the Blue Devils. If Sulaimon is coming out of his early-season funk after his eight-point, five-rebound, four-assist performance against UCLA, it alleviates the offensive pressure put on Parker and Hood and gives opposing teams the nearly impossible task of defending four double-figure perimeter scorers.
  • Why it won’t happen: Would you want to go away from this dynamic duo? Parker is a potential National Player of the Year after his stellar opening to the season and Hood is a potential All-American that isn’t very far behind Parker from a production standpoint. Plus, both of them are shooting ridiculous percentages from everywhere on the floor. Both Parker and Hood are shooting 55 percent from the field and both of them are at or above 77 percent from the free throw line and at or above 43 percent from beyond the arc. Not only are Parker and Hood scoring at a high clip, but they’re doing so in an efficient manner. Why go away from what’s working?

  1. imwhitewolf - Dec 26, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    One person you overlooked on the offensive end is Andre Dawkins. He is capable of a 12 to 18 point out burst. He has shown that over his career. He is a young man who came to school a year early to help fill a position that Duke was sorely lacking at and then had to deal with the death of his sister. I hope he continues playing this season the way he has started. He deserves it. Thank you Andre.

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