It’s often not a fool’s errand to draw out intra-squad rivalries to gain major insights into a basketball team’s prospects. Since the arrival of that insane countdown, the task has become even more arduous: a fantastic recruiting tool, player focus and a whole event, extracurriculars that can distract itself from the action of the game.
We definitely saw that Friday night.
The 16-minute scrimmage we were treated to was more notable for what it didn’t have than what it had: namely Duke’s two most touted freshmen (Derek Lively and Darrick Whitehead) and any consistent outside shooting. There were a few highlight plays and the most impressive player may not see the Blue Devils court this season.
However, the event officially marks the start of the season, and in turn the start of the hot take cycle. Some of these are huge responses given the circumstances, others not so much. Among the most famous are:
Christian Reaves will be an impact player for Duke…one day. With that “one day” warning, this is for sure It is not an overreaction. The Revs took advantage of Lively’s absence, showing better-than-expected defense and solid control of his seven-foot frame, creating opportunities in transition and outside the box created by Jeremy Roach. Reaves still plans to redshirt this year, but fears in some corners of the fanbase regarding the lack of a true center in the 2023 class have been justified by Reaves’ performance. Second-year Reaves, likely backed by sixth-year Ryan Young, is a good fit for the 2023-24 team at No. 5.
Shooting outdoors will be a problem. This is the big one. Excessive anxiety Coming from Friday night’s action. Yes, projected sharpshooters Jaden Schutt and Jacob Grandison went a combined 0-for-7 from deep, and yes, no one except Roach made more than one shot from beyond the arc. But this type of brokering is expected not only because of the chaos, but also because the players are more concerned with the number of the opening dance than the game itself. Take shooting numbers with a large grain of salt.
Tyrese Proctor will be a first round NBA draft pick. It’s not certain though. It is not an overreaction As he combined his rumored performance in practice with that of Cameron on Friday. Proctor was the clear leader of the White team, showing a knack for getting to the lane (he shot 3-for-3), making good three-pointers, and also had the biggest highlight of the night with a nice juke move. Easy layout:
Proctor seems like the type of player who can create his own offense, something some fans in particular worry about:
Duke will struggle to score without Darrick Whitehead. Whitehead’s presence was definitely missed, but I think so Excessive anxiety For one simple reason: Proctor and Roach were on opposite teams. If this Duke team stays healthy and plays a more traditional “starters off the bench” blue and white game, we could see the nightmare that Roach and Proctor’s backcourt can cause for opposing teams. Both can shoot, both can penetrate, both can pass. Opposing defenses will find it difficult to key in on both Duke guards, especially with a healthy Lively (mostly benched just in case) and Duke’s shooting spree.