Rodney Hood's arrival at Duke brings a ton of anticipation and excitement. Everyone was saying the sky was falling, but following the commitment of Amile Jefferson and Hood's timely transfer, Duke's stock has shot through the roof!
One of the most surprising things that has been said since the transfer became official was that Hood is supposed to be the next Ryan Kelly. I couldn't disagree more. The statement itself is laughable, and I am going to explain why.
If you want to compare the two, you have to call Hood an athletic, more aggressive Ryan Kelly (Here is a complete look at Hood's complete skill set from DukeReport.com).
No one is going to say that Rodney Hood is better than Ryan Kelly right now. If they do, they are more than likely on bath salts. Ryan Kelly is a beast and has the ability to be First Team All-ACC next year. However, Hood has a much higher ceiling.
Rodney Hook and Ryan Kelly share one similar stat: They can both shoot the three. Kelly didn't get a lot of playing time his freshman year, so for a fairer comparison we will look at his junior year to Hood's first.
In a side-by-side comparison, Hood made much more of an immediate impact for his team. While Kelly was all but a ghost his freshman year, Hood got a ton of playing time.
Last season Kelly averaged 25.9 minutes, 5.4 rebounds and 11.8 points per game. Hood averaged 32.8 minutes, 4.8 rebounds and 10.3 points per game. Numerically, Kelly wasn't a beast, but his importance was evident, as Duke struggled without him down the stretch.
Duke looked out of sync and was a different team without Kelly on the floor. Hood was important to MSU, but Kelly was simply more important to his team.
If you watch tape of both players, they really have different skill sets.
Rodney Hood is an aggressive and lanky forward that can put the ball on the floor. He is often at his best when he is slashing through the paint. Not afraid to hit the turnaround jumper, he is simply more of an NBA-type of forward. He is the type of athlete that Duke rarely gets.
Ryan Kelly is the intelligent player that can strike another team's weakness, shows great range and is an incredible shooter if he can get his feet set.
The most surprising stat that you will find between the two will be the three-point shot. Last season Kelly hit 40 threes while shooting at 40 percent from behind the arc, and Hood hit 47 threes at a 36-percent rate. Kelly is the better shooter of the two, but Hood certainly can hit his share of shots.
In the end, the addition of Hood is an incredible pickup for Duke. You can expect him to play a pivotal role next year as the blue and white teams battle on the practice floor. Hood will push Kelly each and every day at practice and will make him better.
At the end of the day, Hood not only makes Kelly better, he makes Duke better and could be the person that helps hoist another banner in the rafters at Cameron.