Thursday, May 9, 2013
Newcomers pivotal to Duke's success?
By Luke Lapinski
Last week, we noted that the hype surrounding Jabari Parker may actually not be quite as feverish as it was 12 months ago. But we also discussed how that doesn't change the fact that he's a phenomenal talent with immense upside. In fact, Duke will be banking much of the 2013-14 campaign on that upside.
it's not just Parker making his way to Durham though. Mississippi State transfer Rodney Hood figures to be leaned on quite a bit as well. The former top 50 recruit (No. 31 overall in 2011) averaged double figures in his one season with the Bulldogs, and should see solid minutes for a Blue Devils team that will be without Ryan Kelly, Mason Plumlee and Seth Curry from its 2012-13 roster.
Losing that much experience and talent has put Mike Krzyzewski in a position where he needs the new guys to step up quickly. Fortunately for Duke fans, players like Quinn Cook and Rasheed Sulaimon are still around to help the transition along. And the fact that the nation's No. 7 recruiting haul also is coming to town -- including two other top 100 prospects beyond Parker -- doesn't hurt either. Our own Paul Biancardi has more on Matt Jones (No. 36 overall) and Semi Ojeleye (No. 40).
Paul BiancardiTwo more key additions
"At 6-4, Matt Jones is a serious 3-point threat with the size to see over defenders. He is excellent off catch-and-shoot sets and has improved his ability to put it on the floor. Jones has perfect form as a jump shooter. He played some point guard in high school, but he's a true 2 with deep range and accuracy. Semi Ojeleye is a strong and athletic small forward with an excellent 3-point shot, especially when his feet are set. All three guys have good basketball IQs and understand the nuances of the game. That will help them play sooner. While Parker is the only likely starter, Jones and Ojeleye have the potential to be contributors off the bench in their first season."