This past week was an interesting one for Duke basketball’s fans and players. On the one hand, the Blue Devils took care of business at Clemson, but on the other they lost a key road game to N.C. State. They also saw an encouraging game from Amile Jefferson, but only because Ryan Kelly is injured.
You learn at a very early age that nothing is guaranteed and all it takes to lose a career, season or game is one missed step, missed shot or accident that sidelines you. Kelly learned that the hard way and although Jefferson’s performance against the Wolfpack was solid, the loss of Kelly might be something that the Blue Devils struggle to move past.
This week’s edition of the Rookie Report sees a bit of a shakeup at the top that has been in the making for a while now. With the No. 1 spot being put up for grabs, one player siezed the opportunity and earned himself yet another headline shoutout.
So without further adieu, here is this week’s Rookie Report.
1) Amile Jefferson
Amile earned himself a lot of praise this weekend for the defensive effort he put up while guarding one of the ACC’s premier players, C.J. Leslie. Of Leslie’s 25 points, only a handful came against Jefferson with the young man also looking like a solid offensive option as well.
In the team’s win over Clemson earlier in the week, Jefferson broke his three-game scoreless streak by netting five points to go with three rebounds and a steal in nine minutes of action. Against N.C. State, Jefferson broke through with 10 points, four rebounds and two blocks in 12 minutes before succumbing to some dubious foul calls.
Now that we’ve seen what Amile can do, expect to see more of him — and maybe a few No. 1′s — before the season ends.
2) Rasheed Sulaimon
By default. Sulaimon struggled mightily this week shooting an appalling 1-for-15 from the field including 0-for-5 from three and 4-for-6 from the free throw line (0-for-2 against Clemson).
This was a troubling showing from Sulaimon who has a been a key player all season. The one redeeming quality? He did a good job on Scott Wood in the second half of the State game.
3) Alex Murphy
Again, by default. Murphy outscored Marshall Plumlee 2-0 this week with a basket on 1-for-1 shooting against Clemon before playing three stat-less minutes against State.
4) Marshall Plumlee
Five minutes in two games. No statistical contribution besides two missed free throws against Clemson.
Tough week to be a freshman in Durham.