Duke Basketball: 2012-13 Projected Statistics for Key Players

Josh BackmanContributor IIIJune 11, 2012

Duke Basketball: 2012-13 Projected Statistics for Key Players

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    The Blue Devils have a multitude of key players for next season; some have been in Durham for quite some time, while fresh faces come about this upcoming season. Along with several rising players increasing their roles, there are also ones who unfortunately will have decreased responsibility for the Blue Devils.

    Duke is heading into the 2012-13 season with plenty to prove after a disastrous ending to last season's loss to Lehigh in the Round of 64. If Coach Mike Krzyzewski and his players desire to move forward, everyone on board must live up to expectations and follow their roles.

    Here are the projections regarding statistical numbers for Duke players who will be part of the rotation. Some will surprise many in the ACC. However, some unfortunately will disappoint the Cameron Crazies.

Quinn Cook

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    2011-12 Statistics: 11.7MPG, 4.4PPG, 1.9APG, 1.0RPG

    Duke was taught a serious lesson after their humiliating defeat to Lehigh; they need a natural point-guard. Quinn Cook is one of the scarce amount of true point-guards on the Blue Devil's roster, which will lead to an increased role.

    Expect his playing time to increase rapidly throughout the season as Coach-K realizes how valuable his toughness at the 1-position will be. It's unsure if he will start the season, but he definitely will take over the reigns by tournament time.

    2012-13 Projected Statistics: 27.5MPG, 7.5PPG, 3.5APG, 1.7RPG, 1.8SPG

Mason Plumlee

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    2011-12 Statistics: 28.4MPG, 11.1PPG, 9.2RPG, 52.5FT%

    Mason Plumlee is a physical specimen. He contains the size, strength, athleticism and ability to dominate. After his upcoming senior season, Mason will probably be a first round selection in the 2013 NBA Draft.

    Regarding his senior season, he should put up very similar numbers to last year, but he will have more consistency. Plumlee's vital improvements in order to get Duke over the hump do not necessarily involve his skill set but his improvement as a leader. As a senior, he will need to replace his older brother, Miles Plumlee, as that backbone in the frontcourt of the Blue Devils.

    Plumlee really needs to improve on his free throws, which will lead to more points.

    2012-13 Projected Statistics: 29.3MPG, 13.0PPG, 9.0RPG, 64.0FT%

Marshall Plumlee

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    2011-12 Statistics: DNP (Redshirt)

    He's the youngest of the three Plumlees, but he might have the most natural ability. Marshall is a freak athlete and was a redshirt surprisingly as a freshman. Even though that move is common in college football, it's extremely rare for a McDonald's All American like Marshall Plumlee to be red-shirted.

    However, a year to develop was beneficial for the young Plumlee. With the departure of brother Miles, Marshall Plumlee should have a legitimate role as Duke's center.

    Marshall might lack significant minutes initially, but he will eventually become an important player as the season progresses and a cornerstone for the next four seasons.

    2012-13 Projected Statistics: 21.2MPG, 6.8PPG, 7.2RPG, 1.2BPG

Ryan Kelly

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    2011-12 Statistics: 25.9MPG, 11.8PPG, 5.8RPG, 44.4FG%

    Ryan Kelly is just a basketball player; he can shoot, rebound, has size and hustles. His outside shooting services allow the Blue Devil's to stretch the court, leaving the court open for other shooters and slashers.

    Kelly will probably be the starting power-foward for Duke in the season opener, but he will not make a huge leap in production. To be honest, Marshall Plumlee is destined to overtake Kelly's starting spot when Coach Krzyzewski feels he is comfortable to start for an ACC contender.

    Ryan Kelly isn't going to have a down-season; it's just that he will not be needed to carry the offense for the frontcourt with the addition of Marshall Plumlee and new-comer Amile Jefferson.

    2012-13 Statistics: 24.0MPG, 10.6PPG, 6.0RPG, 46.2FG%

Tyler Thornton

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    2011-12 Statistics: 21.1MPG, 4.1PPG, 2.0APG, 37.5FG%

    Tyler Thornton is not a great shooter, but Duke is not relying on him to be an elite scorer. If he can run the point guard position along with Quinn Cook, this should help cure Duke's substantial weakness.

    Him and Cook will be fighting heavily for the starting spot, but Cook should win it. However, Thornton will still have an immense role for the 'Devils. His point guard ability will be needed because after last season, it's doubtful that Coach-K will want Seth Curry anywhere near playing point. So even though Thornton will not be the starter, he will need to distribute the ball to the scorers.

    Tyler Thornton should play well next season. His stats probably will not demonstrate his importance, but he will have an impact every game.

    2012-13 Projected Statistics: 24.4MPG, 5.0PPG, 3.2APG, 39.0FG%

Andre Dawkins

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    2011-12 Statistics: 22.4MPG, 8.4PPG, 2.1RPG, 40.0FG%

    Andre Dawkins is an outside shooter, and he's an incredibly streaky one as well. Just as Duke lived and died by the three last season, so did Dawkins. After a 6-9 performance from behind the arc against Florida State, he did not even hit one in three of his next four games after that.

    There have been questions regarding if Dawkins will redshirt or even transfer from Duke. He's already said he will stay at Duke, and he assumingly will finish his last season this year.

    He will be Duke's sixth-man, and being started over by freshman Rasheed Sulaimon might bother him. Inconsistency will still be there, but so will the production

    2012-12 Statistics: 26.8MPG, 10.3PPG, 2.6RPG, 42.3FG%

Rasheed Sulaimon

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    2011-12 Statistics: 27.8PPG (High School)

    Rasheed Sulaimon is an excellent scorer from the shooting-guard position; he can shoot and attack the rim with force. Duke fans probably think that's similar to what was said about Austin Rivers last year, but he's very different.

    Sulaimon is going to be a starter from day No.1. His skill set will compliment the Blue Devil's very well. He's most likely the second option on offense with Seth Curry being first. Duke has many shooters this season, but few can create their own shot. Sulaimon is one who can. That will be valuable down the stretch of games.

    The ACC should keep an eye on him because he's a hot candidate for ACC Rookie of the Year. At the least, he will be an ACC All-Rookie player.

    2012-13 Projected Statistics: 31.4MPG, 12.5PPG, 5.0RPG, 2.5APG

Seth Curry

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    2011-12 Statistics: 30.2MPG, 13.2PPG, 2.4APG, 2.6RPG

    Even though Seth Curry, younger brother of Stephen Curry, had a promising junior campaign, he had to play point-guard majority of his 30.2MPG. This hurt his scoring output. Quinn Cook and Tyler Thornton will have enough experience now to play all 40 minutes of point guard combined which will direct Curry back to the position he plays, shooting guard.

    Curry has already demonstrated at a lower collegiate level when he's given the keys to an offense that he can run the show well. Shot attempts will increase, and more points will be produced from Seth.

    Although undersized, he's a great competitor. He will have have the most production out of any returning player, understandingly so for his beneficial situation.

    2012-13 Projected Statistics: 34.0MPG, 17.2PPG, 2.0APG, 3.3RPG

Alex Murphy

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    2011-12 Statistics: DNP (Redshirt)

    Alex Murphy had a very similar season to Marshall Plumlee; both decided to redshirt their first season arriving to Durham, North Carolina, in order to develop their games and also to avoid losing a year of eligibility on a team where they wouldn't have received many minutes.

    Murphy is a combo-foward who possesses elite athleticism, creating fantastic dunks in transition. Coach Krzyzewski has him more of a developmental project than to be an impact forward for the 'Devils.

    He'll get his feet wet in the ACC this year, but expect him on the bench in bigger matchups such as NC State, Miami and North Carolina.

    2012-12 Statistics: 13.3MPG, 3.1PPG, 2.5RPG

Amile Jefferson

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    2011-12 Statistics: 19.9 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 2.7 SPG (High School)

    It took Amile Jefferson, superstar forward, until the very end to decide where he will be playing his basketball at the next level, but Duke should be relieved that, in the end, he's going to be playing at Cameron Indoor.

    Jefferson is 6'7" who can play both forward positions. He has a long body and obtains unusual athleticism; both allow him to play the power forward at 6'7". Even though he can assist the Blue Devils right away as a freshman, he needs to be polished. He also should try to build up about 20 pounds his sophomore year.

    Jefferson will either be given heavy minutes in the beginning until Coach-K cuts the rotation down for the tournament, or Jefferson will improve steadily, leading to more minutes. Either way, Jefferson is not a one-and-done player.

    2012-13 Projected Statistics: 19.5MPG, 6.5PPG, 4.3RPG, 1.2BPG