In Duke’s seven games between Jan. 13 and Feb. 6, freshman forward Jaemyn Brakefield had a total of 20 minutes, including two DNPs and no more than five minutes in any game.
Since then, he’s seen his playing time jump, logging 59 minutes in Duke’s three games since that stretch.
With his increased minutes, his production has also skyrocketed. He’s scored 24 of his 69 points on the season in the last three games, blocked five of his nine shots and pulled down 15 of his 47 rebounds. He’s also doubled his assists output for the season in the last three games.
In his most recent game, Brakefield hit 5-of-8 from the field for 11 points—his first double-digit scoring game since Dec. 16. He also had the game-winning points on a reverse layup in Duke’s 66-65 win over Virginia.
“We just knew that once they went up, we just had to remain calm and stay in the game,” Brakefield said of Duke’s comeback against UVA. “We knew we were always in the game. Making those plays, that’s why you come to Duke – just to make plays like that. And that’s Duke basketball.”
Coaches often say that, by the end of their first season, first-year players are “no longer freshmen.” Brakefield feels like he’s ready to get moved up on the seniority hierarchy.
“I’m 20 years old,” he said. “I’ve been playing high-level basketball for awhile now. As the season progressed, my game progressed, so just being out there, I’ve felt more comfortable. And tonight, I was just flowing. The past eight days, we’ve just been really together, and it’s been great.”