Dariq Whitehead has been drawing raves for some time now but over the last year or so, it’s really amped up. It’s too early to start talking about the draft really, but that never stops anyone from doing it.
The danger is that you find guys who peaked in 11th grade and who never live up to their reputation. Duke has had a few of those, notably Joey Beard, Ricky Price and Chris Burgess, all of whom came to Durham with great reputations they never quite justified (Beard and Burgess left Duke fairly quickly, with Beard staying one year and Burgess two).
On the other hand, for most people, playing basketball doesn't last for that long and all three have moved on to productive lives.
That’s less likely to be a problem for Whitehead. Check out what this profile says about him:
Entering his freshman season at Duke, Dariq Whitehead has extremely high expectations. He was arguably the top player in his high school class last season, showing off a unique blend of explosiveness and size. It’s rare to see such a great athlete be so smooth with the ball in his hands.
“Not only does Whitehead have good positional size, but he’s also got a solid wingspan. As such, he should be able to guard multiple positions at the next level...When it comes to scoring, [he] should have no problem getting to the rim and finishing through contact. He’s also got a smooth jumper, although his release is somewhat slow at this point...he’ll likely need to get the ball off quicker...Whitehead does have a high release point and good elevation, which should play to his advantage. He’s also shown flashes of scoring in the midrange as well.”
If he has a reliable three point shot and can be as versatile a defender as it seems he can, Whitehead’s future is unbelievably bright.