Duke associate head coach Jon Scheyer warned that this year’s team might be different from recent ones.
“I think with this team we’re still figuring out lineups, rotations and all that,” he said. “We don’t necessarily have a guy we’re just going to throw ball to—a Zion Williamson guy or Marvin Bagley or even Vernon (Carey) last year—where we’re going to throw inside and most of the time, we’re going to come away with two points or maybe even three points.”
It will take a little more teamwork and effort for the Blue Devils to generate points.
“Matthew (Hurt) has been a terrific scorer,” he said. “He’s just scoring a different way. Understand it’s going to be a different team in that respect. You watch the NBA Playoffs. You need to score together. We’re going to need to do that differently this year. The post presence of just throwing the ball inside—Mark (Williams), Pat (Tape), those guys are going to be really good, but we’re probably going to be scoring in different ways, not just throwing the ball into the post.”
“That’s going to be something for us to figure out. I don’t necessarily call that a weakness. It can be a strength. Our shooting is very good. We’re going to have good, old-fashioned Duke basketball—a lot of picks, shoot a lot of threes, get offensive rebounds.”
One player who could have a role in finding different ways to score is freshman Jalen Johnson.
“Jalen, there’s no question he’s got ability. He has talent,” Scheyer said. “Jalen’s just figuring out, because he can do so many things—he’s not like exactly a four or a three or a five. I think his game is just figuring out, ‘What’s my base? What are my go-to’s?’ He’s refining that. He’s working on it, working on it every day, particularly in half court. That’s something for him to work on. He’s going to be a guy that can play everywhere for us, really, but we just need to help him find out, ‘What’s your base?’ and we can go from here. He’s been fun to work with. He’s done a really great job. His passing—if you’re Joey (Baker), DJ (Steward) or whoever, you like being on his team, because he’s going to find you.”