I see several keys to the game for Duke against Kansas, the first of them being taking and hitting good shots. Duke can’t expect to shoot the high percentage it did against Davidson but it will need to make Kansas pay attention to it’s shooters. Duke will need to use the same ball movement to get those good shots and to also open up opportunities for Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood to drive the lane or to take mid-range jumpers. Duke will give up size in the paint so rebounding will be at a premium for the Devils. With no clear answer for Joel Embiid in the middle Duke will have to run every chance it gets to neutralize the effectiveness of the big man. As raw as Embiid is, he has the ability to give Duke fits down low. Duke will have to put a body on Wiggins if they are to prevent being on the wrong end of a sports center top10 play. Wiggins is fast, and jumps like he’s on a pogo stick but Duke can prevent him those second chance put back dunks by sticking to box out fundamentals. If not, well, you’ve seen the tape of the youngster. Guard play will be extremely important for Duke, if Duke is smart with the ball and the assist numbers are high I see Duke winning comfortably but if this game gets sloppy and Duke does not utilize its maturity at the guard spot it could be a long night and a nip and tuck type of game.
The x-factors for Kansas could be Wayne Selden. Dude is a hulk of a guard, he has an NBA body and it will be difficult for Duke guards to score over him and to rebound if Selden does his job. Joel Embiid, raw talent and NBA size, if Duke gets out to the races hopefully they can neutralize his effectiveness.
X-factors for Duke: Amile Jefferson. If Jefferson can be is wormy self and get rebounds and easy opportunities he could be huge for Duke. Also for Duke Quinn Cook, Cook will need to set up his teammates and also pick his spots for scoring opportunities. If he makes good decisions Duke wins.
Chase Jeter (https://twitter.com/chasejeter04) is a heady player, don’t let the 6’10 size fool you he is athletic and the comparisons to Tim Duncan are warranted in terms of style of play and skill-set. He is 6’10 but not at all defined by height alone, his size is just one weapon, his best is his brain. They say you can’t teach height, but you also can’t teach court awareness. Jeter displays that, and reacts quickly to feeling the defense on his back and is capable of delivering precision passes to interior teammates or back to guards and quickly re-posting.
Good rebounder and can make a living putting back misses but his game is constantly evolving and he continues to add nuances that college coaches love. He had great touch around the rim and is expanding that touch out toward mid-range. The arc of his progression is one reason why Coach K and the Duke staff deemed him worthy of an offer.
I caught up with recently offered Class of 2015 power forward Chase Jeter, and this is what Chase had to say.
Duke Blogger: Was it Coach K that called with the offer?
Chase Jeter: Yes, sir, it was.
DB: And which coach has been the principal recruiter for you?
CJ: The people I’ve talked to the most are Coach K and Coach Wojciechowski.
DB: What do you think are the strengths of your game right now?
CJ: Definitely my post work, being able to turn around and hit the midrange shot, and also my face-up game.
DB: What do you feel that you want to work on most in your game? What do you feel needs more work for you?
CJ: Being assertive on both ends of the floor and adding strength.
DB: What style of play do you think best suits your game right now?
CJ: I feel like I can find my niche in either a quick transition program or a program that slows down and runs an organized offense.
DB: Is there a player that you emulate or pattern your game after right now?
CJ: At this point right now I’d say Tim Duncan, and based on the future, going past college I’d like to work on some Kevin Durant signals, I’d like to have Kevin Durant aspects to my game. They don’t really show right now, but I work on a lot of things that would get me to that level.
DB: Has Coach K mentioned how he’d like to use you at Duke should you end up there?
CJ: He said that I’d be a very versatile player, and that I’d do a good job of extending the defense in the program.
DB: Definitely, I can see that as well. The way Duke plays this year, you can plug in different pieces, every player can do a lot of different things, and I can definitely see you in that role.
CJ: Yeah, yeah, definitely.
DB: What is it that you like about Duke, personally?
CJ: First off, the history. Also, me and Coach K, and Coach Wojo, we’ve developed some good relationships, they’ve developed good relationships with my family. I like the way the guys have a certain passion with way they play every game. Just to watch those guys, the way they play, it just seems like they love what they do and they’re a part of something special.
DB: What other schools have shown interest in you so far?
CJ: Kansas, North Carolina, Michigan, USC, Morgan, Notre Dame, UNLV.
DB: A lot of big names, very nice.
DB: Aside from basketball, what does Chase Jeter like to do for fun?
CJ: I mean, usually, my source of fun is basketball, but when I’m not playing basketball, I like to like to hang out with my friends. We go to the mall, the movies, we like to go hang out. We collect shoes. It sounds like little girls, but we collect shoes and stuff, we grew up trying to get new shoes, trade shoes, and all that kind of stuff.
DB: That’s pretty popular amongst basketball players nowadays. Not so much in my day, but now, yeah, basketball shoes are hot items.
DB: I appreciate your time, man. Good luck, thanks for the time. Congratulations on the offer, man, it’s real good news to hear that Coach K offered you, that’s awesome.
CJ: Thank you, it means a lot to me.
DB: Alright, man, you take care, I look forward to seeing more on you.
CJ: Okay, definitely, you have a good one.
DB: You too, take care.
Wow! Could Duke be more efficient in this game? Probably not. I had a bit of a twitter tif with a kid who claimed Duke only schedule soft opponents. Real basketball fans know that Bob McKillop and Davidson are far from cupcakes. Duke handled a veteran group in Davidson with out much problem. Duke exploded for 111 points, 59 at the half. There was no one guy for Duke in fact there were several.
Starting with Jabari Parker who was sharp and made it look so easy in his first official game as a Blue Devil. Parker scored in a variety of ways inside, outside mid-range. Coach K can put this guy anywhere on the floor and good things are going to happen. If this kid is going to get better I fear for the competition especially the guy that has to check him. As good as advertised and maybe better. Parker ended the game with 22 points on 8-10 shooting and 3-3 from distance. The only issue I had with Parker was on the defensive end but he is a work in progress and part of what he will be learning from the Duke staff this year in preparation for an NBA career.
Rodney Hood also scored 22 and to honest I cannot really nail down a position for him, he’s a guard in a forwards body, but also is a forward with guard skills. He’s just a player and plays well, his game is under control and measured. He, like Parker, can score all over the place but his game is suited in my opinion mid-range to paint. Hood is also a gifted facilitator and passer and this makes this team completely versatile and dynamic. The only issue I had with Hood’s game was free throw shooting, and it’s hard to say how good Hood will be at the line, he went 2-4, he will need to shoot a high percentage because he will be the benefit of many trips to the line this year.
The two more surprising offensive juggernauts for Duke were Quinn Cook and Rasheed Sulaimon. Cook after a less than stellar pre-season turned it up and turned it on scoring 21 points and dishing 8 assists. Cook having that kind of balance bodes well for Duke. It means that in his adjusted role, Cook is comfortable and knows when to put the ball in a teammates hands and when to put it on the floor. Its the diffidence between being a college point guard and a possible professional point guard. Rasheed Sulaimon did not play in Duke’s last exhibition game and many thought that perhaps he was in some sort of Coach appointed dog house. While Sheed didn’t start he did finish and had a helluva game, scoring 20 points and going 6 out of 9 from the field. Sheed also grabbed 7 boards which is also a great sign for Duke who will need guards to rebound to make up a lack of size down low.
Some pluses for Duke is depth, everyone played and for the most part played well, Alex Murphy got some shine and hit a three, pulled down a couple of boards and played some good defense. If Duke can get get consistent play from its bench then this will be an amazing year for the Devils, they will be able to play the hurried pace that Coach K is demanding this year and with no discernible drop off. Another in the plus category was the red hot shooting Duke put on display. Duke would shoot 70.4% from the field in the game which is unheard of unless you are playing NBA Jam. Duke was also efficient with the basketball, only turning it over 4 times in the game and forced Davidson into 10 turnovers.
Where Duke will need to improve and I feel funny saying it after a 111-77 but Duke will need to come together on defense. While they seemed to do a little better at getting into the passing lanes I worry about defending down low and plays at the rim.