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Jeff Capel On Alex O’ Connell’s Start

The skinny kid from Georgia is getting better fast.

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CORAL GABLES, FL - JANUARY 15: Duke guard Alex O’Connell (15) plays during a college basketball game between the Duke University Blue Devils and the University of Miami Hurricanes on January 15, 2018 at the Watsco Center, Coral Gables, Florida. Duke defeated Miami 83-75.
Photo by Richard C. Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In case you were wondering, Jeff Capel talked a bit about why Duke chose to start Alex O’ Connell over Trevon Duval.

It comes down to three things: 1) defense, 2) O’ Connell has been getting better and working hard and 3) when things don’t go well, Duke makes changes.

Duval is a gifted player but his defense isn’t there yet and in the last seven games he’s had 25 turnovers, some of which we’re sure irritated Coach K who has harped in the past on the difference between omission and commission.

And usually this time of year he tinkers with the lineup anyway.

O’ Connell is an intriguing player. He’s still rail thin - 6-6 and just 171 - but he’s smart and deceptively athletic. By next year he’ll have gotten a lot stronger if not a lot heavier and it’ll be fun to see what he’s capable of. Right now he’s build like Jon Scheyer or going back maybe Doug Collins, who played guard when no one much used 6-6 guards.

Strength is going to radically changed O’ Connell’s game.

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