Duke has the latest in its off-season profiles of Blue Devils and this time it’s Vernon Carey.
If you saw the first exhibition game, you saw that Carey was nervous and tentative.
Didn’t last long.
By the time Duke faced Kansas, Carey had become a force. KU’s Udoka Azubuike was a heck of a first opponent. Yet Carey held his own on both ends.
In the next game, against Colorado State, Carey scored 11 and had three rebounds, and then turned into a reliable double-double.
It’s particularly striking since the general consensus was that Carey didn’t really play on the inside in high school. He was mostly a perimeter player.
Here’s what the Chronicle had to say: “Two words: freshman phenom. Vernon Carey Jr. was among the most dominant diaper dandies in America this season, providing a consistent interior presence on both ends of the floor. He displayed a refined offensive skill set throughout the year, and often gave the Blue Devils a reliable option to turn to in crucial moments. In the low post, the South Florida native utilized a bevy of moves to his favor, particularly quick spins and drop steps.
“Carey also proved to be a viable threat from 3-point range, as his 38.1 percent mark created matchup issues in the pick and roll for opposing defenses, despite its small sample size. Defensively, while he sometimes picked up quick fouls in the post when not given sufficient help, Carey proved to be an adept shot blocker from the weak side. Ultimately, his developed defensive consistency complemented his stellar offensive skill set.”