For those who haven’t seen Duke freshman DJ Steward play yet, he gave a self-scouting report on what to expect.
“I’m a combo guard,” he said, “can play on and off the ball. I can shoot it pretty well, attack and playmake. I play great defense.”
As is often the case, the easiest way to get a sense of a player is to find another well-known guy who has a similar style.
“The players I get compared to are Lou Williams, CJ McCollum and then a little Ja Morant,” he said.
That’s an impressive group. Williams is a three-time NBA Sixth Man of the Year. McCollum won the NBA Most-Improved Player. Morant was this year’s NBA Rookie of the Year. All three averaged at least 17 ppg this season.
“They’re pretty big, you know?” Steward said. “Those are great players. Just them saying I could potentially play like them or even better is actually amazing.”
Steward is one of a large group of freshmen on this year’s team. They’ll blend with the returning players and give Coach K plenty of options for a starting lineup, much like last year, when the lineup was constantly shifting.
“It will be fluid,” Steward said of the starting five. “I forgot who said it, but there’s 11 players who could potentially play big minutes. That starting lineup could pretty much change game to game. You just never know.”
Steward thinks he’s blended in with his new teammates well in a short period of time.
“In the locker room, I’ve mixed in with pretty much every teammate really well,” he said. “I can connect with them in some sort of way. It’s actually great talking to just anybody. It’s how I move in life. I just move positively, always smiling, just having a positive attitude about everything.”