2012--13 RECORD 30--6 ACC 14--4 (2ND) WHAT'S BACK MINUTES: 57.7% POINTS: 45.2% REBOUNDS: 52.8%
This is an article from the Nov. 18, 2013 issue
Few coaches stockpile high school All-Americas like Mike Krzyzewski, so unlike many of his peers, he hasn't had to rely on transfers. He has, however, made exceptions for a few exceptional players: Roshown McLeod (who came from St. John's), Dahntay Jones (Rutgers) and Seth Curry (Liberty) became All-ACC performers. Enter Rodney Hood, a 6'8" swingman who, after sitting out last season following his transfer from Mississippi State, is so impressive that the coaching staff named him a co-captain, along with 6'2" senior guard Tyler Thornton. "There were many times last year when Rodney was our best player in practice," Krzyzewski says.
With Hood operating on one wing and 6'8" freshman phenom Jabari Parker working the other, the Blue Devils will return to the press-and-run style that characterized some of Krzyzewski's best teams in the late 1990s and early 2000s. That change is necessary because Duke lacks a reliable post presence. (The last of the three Plumlee brothers, Marshall, is a 7-foot sophomore who had just 11 rebounds in 50 minutes last year.) "This is not going to be a conventional team," Krzyzewski says. "It will be a team that uses the full court offensively and defensively."
During his one season in Starkville, Hood averaged 10.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists. He was named to the SEC's all-freshman team, but he tended to float on the perimeter. Since then he has packed on more than 10 pounds of muscle, weighing in at 215. "I'm inviting more contact than I used to," he says. "That's why I came to Duke. I knew I'd get pushed every single day."
After a year of all practice and no play, Hood says, "I'm chomping at the bit." No doubt his fellow thoroughbreds feel the same way. When the season begins, these Blue Devils will be ready to hit the ground running.
Projected Lineup (2012--13 STATS)
PG QUINN COOK*
JR. 6'2" 11.7 PPG 5.3 APG
SG TYLER THORNTON
SR. 6'2" 3.6 PPG 2.2 APG
SF RODNEY HOOD‚Ä†
SOPH. 6'8" 10.3 PPG 4.8 RPG
PF JABARI PARKER‚Ä°
FR. 6'8" 18.4 PPG 10.4 RPG
C AMILE JEFFERSON
SOPH. 6'9" 4.0 PPG 2.9 RPG
G RASHEED SULAIMON*
SOPH. 6'4" 11.6 PPG 3.4 RPG
G ANDRE DAWKINS¬ß
SR. 6'5" 8.4 PPG 2.1 RPG
‚Ä†2011--12 MISSISSIPPI STATE STATS
‚Ä°HIGH SCHOOL STATS
¬ß2011--12 DUKE STATS
ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH STEVE WOJCIECHOWSKI
SI How good is Jabari Parker?
SW He does so many things you can't teach. We'll allow him to bring the ball up the floor, and other times he'll be our main low-post target. It's rare to give that type of responsibility to a freshman, but he has the ability to handle it.
SI How will the lack of size inside affect how you'll play?
SW The last few years we were really big on the front line with guys who are now in the NBA. We don't have that type of player, but we have a lot of interchangeable parts. We also have more depth. That's pretty exciting because you can be more creative.
SI What do you think of the new-look ACC?
SW I can't imagine a better conference. We're playing at the Carrier Dome and at Notre Dame—and then we still play our traditional rivals. It helps in recruiting because recruits want to play the best schedule.
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