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This Look At Vernon Carey Misses Some Things

He’s more skilled than people realize

North Carolina v Duke
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 07: Vernon Carey Jr. #1 and Cassius Stanley #2 of the Duke Blue Devils celebrate after their win against the North Carolina Tar Heels and at Cameron Indoor Stadium on March 07, 2020 in Durham, North Carolina. Duke won 89-76.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Here’s a pre-draft look (weird thing to say in October, right?) at former Blue Devil Vernon Carey.

It focuses on his size and middling athleticism, which is understandable. At 6-10 and 270, Carey is pretty thick.

It also focuses on his role at Duke, which saw him primarily play inside. This was for a couple of obvious reasons.

First, there wasn’t anyone else who could really do it and he certainly could. And second, with Tre Jones, Joey Baker, Cassius Stanley, Alex O’ Connell, Jordan Goldwire, Matthew Hurt, Jack White and Justin Robinson, Duke had plenty of guys who could shoot but only two guys who could play in the post.

Of the two, Javin DeLaurier was a fine defender but limited offensively and foul-prone. So it was Carey by default.

However, people forget, as we have pointed out, what coach Mike Kryzyzewski said before the season, that despite his size, Carey had been primarily a perimeter player in high school and they were having to teach him how to play inside.

The two points people are overlooking?

First that Carey can shoot. We saw a bit of it at Duke, but obviously it wasn’t needed that much.

And second, that he’s a fast learner. It’s kind of forgotten because he succeeded at a high level, but there was concern that he didn’t really have much of a post game. He learned it so quickly and so well that people forgot that he only just learned it.

He can do various things to improve his athleticism but he’ll never be an elite athlete. However, he can bring three point shooting and smart interior play and of course he’s powerful. We’d love to see a team like Boston, San Antonio or Miami pick him up because they’d know how to develop him into a real force.