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A Nice Piece On Jaylen Blakes

Duke’s sophomore guard is stepping up in a big way

Delaware v Duke
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 18: Jaylen Blakes #2 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after a dunk against the Delaware Blue Hens during the second half of their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on November 18, 2022 in Durham, North Carolina.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

One of the nicer surprises of this young basketball season is the play of sophomore Jaylen Blakes.

He’s been an absolute rock on defense and on offense, he has learned a lot of discretion. He’s seeking out smarter shots than he did last season and his defense at times is just stunning. When Jon Scheyer uses him and Jeremy Roach at the same time Duke’s pressure is going to be unreal.

In the article, the Fayetteville Observer’s David Thompson talks about Blakes’ high school coach Joe Mantegna and how he sold Duke on Blakes.

He told Scheyer that Blakes was a four-year player and a future captain. Here’s what he told Scheyer: “Hey man, I’ve got a special kid here. I know you’re going to have a bunch of one-and-done guys, but you may want to look at him as a future Duke basketball captain. He’s a four-year guy. A culture carrier.”

Watching him develop should be a great pleasure not just this season but next as well.