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You don’t have to watch too much film on Caleb Foster to see his value. If you happened to watch Foster lead Notre Dame to the Division I State Basketball title, you witnessed the chip on his shoulder, his competitive fire and his nose for the goal, but you also witnessed his maturity and his leadership. Foster’s 33 points broke the CIF State Division I record that had been held by Michael Manning of Oakland’s Castlemont since 1981. Foster earned all-area player of the year honors from the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Daily News after leading Notre Dame to their first state championship beating Granada. He was also named to the MaxPreps All-America Team while averaging 21.4 points per game.

It’s easy to just say that Caleb Foster is an elite scorer with the ball, but there is so much more to the 6’4″ point guard’s game than just the ability to make tough shots — which he does very well. Foster brings size to the position and the ability to score at all three levels for sure, but the most exciting facet of his game for me is the pace at which he plays. He’s not a guy you can speed up and he’s fine to go quick but has no problem letting a play develop, which makes him invaluable in pick-and-roll situations. He has the patience to be a playmaker and earlier in his career was more of a prototypical pass-first guard. Those instincts didn’t leave, and now that he’s married them with a potent offensive arsenal, Duke is getting a lot in the freshman guard.

Foster has become quite adept at using his body to both create space to get to his spots and also use it to his advantage on his finishes at the rim. Much stronger than his frame appears, he can both absorb contact and redirect his drives when the need arises. His ability to slither past defenders with potent euro-steps and post moves will serve him well at the next level, but the ability to get others good shots off of those situations will make Duke a very tough team to defend. His improved outside shot will be perfect for the Blue Devils as well, and he should get plenty of opportunities with the abundance of offensive talent that opposing defenses need to be mindful of. He’s not a guard you can play off of and allow to shoot, and playing him too closely opens up a world of hurt on his drives for defenders as well.

Caleb brings to the table things that Duke has prioritized consistently over the past decade: versatility, confidence and competitiveness. He can be a plug-and-play guy at either guard spot and could flourish in a three-guard lineup situation as well. Often noting the sacrifices that his parents made to put him in a position to be where he is, it’s very clear where that fire and determination comes from. These are exciting times in Durham in the backcourt for sure.

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