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How Good Will Trevon Duval Be?

If he’s truly great, Duke could be in for quite a ride.

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FloSports: FloHoops City of Palms Basketball Classic- Showcase
Dec 21, 2016; Ft. Meyers, FL, USA; IMG Academy Ascenders guard Trevon Duval (1) controls the ball around Patrick School Celtics guard Marcus McClary (0) during the first half at Suncoast Credit Union Arena.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Si’s Joan Niesen has a column up arguing that Trevon Duval is not just Duke’s most important recruit but that “[t]he 6’3”, 191-pound point guard is the best guard in the class of 2017, and he’ll arrive in Durham as the best player at his position on the Blue Devils’ roster. “

It’s an audacious thing to say but it might be true, particularly since the only significant upperclassman is Grayson Allen.

Only time will tell how good he is.

Point guard is a funny position in some ways. Look at Duke’s great ones - Tommy Amaker, Bobby Hurley, Wojo, Chris Duhon, Jon Scheyer, Tyus Jones - you have to give a pass to Hurley and Scheyer, who had career-ending injuries, but Duke’s point guards haven’t necessarily done well in the NBA (Jones is still early in his career so we can’t say yet in his case).

It’s not a big surprise though. Look around.

Sidney Lowe, Butch Lee, Jimmy Black, Othell Wilson, Mateen Cleaves, Khalid El-Amin and you could list dozens more who were great in college but barely scratched in the NBA.

The ideal point guard is talented and really grasps the game on a high level but the talent level in the NBA is dramatically higher. That’s why a guy like Jones, who was phenomenally smart at Duke, was drafted 24th behind less accomplished point guards like Emmanuel Mudiay Denver/#7), Cameron Payne (OKC/#14), Terry Rozier (Boston/#16) and Delon Wright (Toronto/#20).

The thing about Duval is he might be the most physically gifted PG Duke has ever had. Some people think his athleticism is in a class with that of Russell Westbrook but he’s also said to be a really smart point guard.

That’s pretty rare. In fact we’d argue that great talent is much more common than a great intelligence for the game and that the combination is exceedingly rare.

If Duke has that in Duval, then it has lightning in a bottle.

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