Duke released video from a scrimmage held on September 29th and it’s a lot of fun. There are a lot of good points. Obviously the video is selective, so we don’t see what bad points there might have been. Still, there’s a lot of good stuff here.
Kyle Filipowski, who was fully medically cleared recently following his summer hip surgeries, looks great. He’s shooting well and is mobile. He makes some neat passes too.
Ryan Young is doing the Ryan Young type things that endeared him to Duke fans last season. He’s not an immense talent but he’s about as smart a guy as you could hope for on your team.
You’ll see Jaden Schutt pick off a pass and head down court for a slam dunk, something he didn’t really get a chance to try last season.
In one play, Caleb Foster drives into the lane on a break and does something unusual: he turns around. Most guys won’t do that and our guess is you have to be very confident and have a keen spatial awareness to do that. It was pretty interesting to say the least. He also put a pretty swift move on Schutt later in the video.
As we’ve seen so often already, Jared McCain has a real swagger. You see it here too. He’s got a tremendous amount of confidence for a young guy. Hopefully he can maintain that. As we’ve said before, the guy has some real power in his thighs, which is bound to be useful.
TJ Power plays with heart and hits a nice three, but at this point, guarding Filipowski may be a stretch for him. He’ll be fine in the long run, but he may have to grow into his role a bit.
Christian Reeves had some solid minutes, including one play at first we thought was bad but then realized was pretty good: he was out of position to block Ryan Young (bad) but he didn’t overcompensate by reaching in in an attempt to block (good). At another spot, he gets a rebound and takes it back up for a dunk. Nothing spectacular except for his grasp of fundamentals: he didn’t make the classic big man mistake of bringing the ball down. Nicely done!
Jaylen Blakes is somewhat quiet here but always good: he makes a number of smart decisions. He didn’t always do that as freshman and was better about it as a sophomore until his injury.
Also, it’s possible we missed him, but it looks like Mark Mitchell sat this one out.
One more note: some of the guys are noticeably bigger. Our guess is that Tennessee left an impression after beating Duke in the NCAA Tournament and the less powerful Blue Devils have collectively decided not to lose that way again.
This is not a comprehensive review but everyone looked pretty solid. However, as noted, this is full of the positive and we don’t see much negative. And that’s fine - it’s basically a release for fans so we can see the team in action. We’ll have a much better idea of everything else soon enough.