I preface this by saying not too much can be gleaned from a 20 minute scrimmage but that being said Duke goes hard. What struck me about this team is the size. I’m a short guy but I’ve been around teams before, these guys are just plain big. They are clearly ready to face some competition aside from each other and you can see there are still some kinks to work out. These guys have to learn how to play together obviously and there are roles that are shifting and how quickly the learning acumen is for the players will determine how good they are and how early they achieve it. Another thing that stuck out to me is versatility, the team that won the scrimmage played Tatum, Jefferson and Jeter together – that’s HUGE. When you throw in 6’6 Luke Kennard (yes he’s grown since freshman year) and 6’5 Matt Jones..yikes.
Tatum is that dude, period. He’s going to seek out his shot, there is no timidity in his game. He and Jackson both have a solid mid-range game to draw on when the 3-point shots are not falling. Those are shots they should be able to get whenever they want. Seeing Jayson after being switched on and matched up with a traditional guard (Jackson) he did not hesitate to exploit the matchup. That should be a recurring theme this year. Tatum knows what his mission is.
Jackson has good instincts as a point guard, the pick and roll should be his game and he seems to be a pretty darn good shooter from mid-range on out. Strong and bigger than I expected. Good frame and athletic as hell. (12 points)
Gavin is that energy guy as expected, obviously hard to judge his worth in a 20 minute scrimmage but he’s got that quick second jump, active on defense and as I thought previously he could be that pick-and-pop guy.
Marques was solid, had a couple of nice moves in the paint, but inside points were tough to come by. The talent is there, he may face his toughest competition in practice with Amile there.
Jack White is not a skinny kid, he’s solidly built and man I knew he could shoot but that shot looked flawless. Not sure how much time he gets but no matter what Duke will not want for 3 point shooting.
It had been revealed and talked about previously that Amile would bring the ball up and he did just that. It could be a very interesting strategy for Duke if he pulls bigs away from the middle. It was also fun to watch him work in dribbling during warm-ups.
Grayson was his usual bull in a china shop self, hit a couple of off-balance 3’s. This year will clearly be an adjustment for him more than most. The point guard position will be one to watch. He and Jackson played together in the backcourt but lost handily to the White team.
Jeter didn’t get many opportunities but the ones he got he either covered or was fouled. Those are positive developments.
Matt Jones handled the point guard spot for the winning team. I didn’t see anything deficient in his handling of the ball or the offense. Even against pressure from Jackson.
Kennard was on, hit some threes and seem to be playing a very relaxed game. That’s a good thing. I was hoping to see more ball-handling but it didn’t materialize in this scrimmage.