It’s clearly way to early to make assessments on where players are only 4 months removed from Duke’s last game, a loss to Kansas in the Elite 8 and still 2 months away from Countdown to Craziness (Duke’s annual team introduction and scrimmage). We can however look at how Duke performed in their 3 Canadian exhibition games and make some notations on what needs to improve from that early abridged look. Here is a player by player analysis.
Antonio Vrankovic – Vrankovic is clearly much improved in a lot of areas, while he is probably not going to your day 1 starter he could very well make it a 3 headed monster at the center spot for Duke. He most definitely is an extremely hard worker and does the rebounding dirty work. Vrank also managed to score 8 points in both of the final 2 games in Canada. He also shot better from the free throw line than both Barrett and Williamson at 66%. If Vrankovic can work in finishing plays in the lane and catching the ball better off of the pass he can be a very important role player for this team. Hopefully the next few months of working with the guards will pay off and he can develop some fluidity in his game offensively. Defensively he’s big and strong and seems to have dropped weight, at least visually, from last season.