Although Duke has become well-known for recruiting one-and-done players, not everyone who has come to Duke lately is on the fast track to the NBA.
Jack White, Quinn Cook, Amile Jefferson, Nolan Smith, and on this year’s team Christian Reeves, were brought to Durham to develop and grow.
And so was the subject of the Chronicle’s latest profile, Jaylen Blakes.
Blakes was a bit erratic last year and didn’t play all that much. His offense was unpredictable and while defense was where he had a chance to contribute early, he wasn’t quite there yet.
He may get there yet.
As the Chronicle notes, “Blakes is a defensive playmaker whose high energy makes him an emotional engine for the team. Patrick Beverley of the Los Angeles Lakers brings that same vigor. Beverley makes his money by being gritty on defense, diving for loose balls and setting his teammates up for success. This season, Blakes will have the opportunity to continue bringing those same intangibles to the Blue Devils.”
Clearly last year he wasn’t able to get serious minutes. This year though, with a season under his belt, he has a much better chance at getting on the court.