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This isn’t a stat per se, but this accolade will a good measure for which player contributed the most to Duke’s season.
I’m predicting Ryan Kelly as the season MVP.
It’s a little unorthodox, but the fact of the matter is that he serves as the player that has the potential to launch Duke into the national spotlight. First of all, when he got hurt at the end of last season, Duke lost two of the three games he missed.
Secondly, while Mason Plumlee might seem to be a strong MVP candidate, you know what you’re getting from Plumlee. He should average a double-double but he hasn’t shown enough offense to be able to carry the team entirely.
Kelly, on the other hand, has the ability to not just score 20 points, but he could go off for upwards of 30. In fact, last season Kelly was frequently pushing point totals close to 20 and ended up averaging more points per game than Plumlee.
In short, while Seth Curry and Mason Plumlee are known commodities, Ryan Kelly still hasn’t reached his ceiling. If he can add greater consistency to his scoring threat, he becomes an offensive weapon that opposing teams simply can’t effectively match up against.
A monster season from Ryan Kelly would spell a monster season for Duke. If Duke is going to contend for a National Title, then Ryan Kelly is going to have to play like an NBA lottery pick.
Here’s to hoping he does.