Pitch: You’ll rack up rebounds and develop an outside shot.
Right now the scouting report on Looney is that he’s a monster rebounder. He’s a 6’8” forward with boatloads of athleticism and enough strength to compete in the paint. Wherever he goes, he’ll make an impact on the boards, but at Duke, he’ll distinguish himself even more.
In 2014, Duke may or may not retain the services of Rasheed Sulaimon, but they will have Matt Jones, Alex Murphy, Grayson Allen and other perimeter players. Not all of those three-pointers go in, and the resulting rebounds will be up for grabs. Looney’s ability to slice toward rebounds would be highly valuable at Duke and give him eye-popping stats for a future in the NBA.
Going to Duke would also benefit Looney by allowing him to address the weakest part of his game.
Currently the biggest knock on Looney is that he doesn’t have a consistent long-range shot. If any school likes shooting from the outside, it’s Duke. As a Blue Devil, he’d be the beneficiary of quality coaching and he’d be surrounded by good shooters past and present.
Given his size, Looney will need to develop the ability to score from outside the paint. Duke offers the type of offense that will allow him that space to develop. Programs like Michigan State and Georgetown are more likely to stuff Looney inside. At Duke, he’d be encouraged to become a more versatile player.
Looney has the talent to eventually play in the NBA, but he needs to demonstrate a diversified skill set at the college level. Duke’s system and coaching style suit that development. Hence, a commitment to Duke would be in Looney’s best interest and obviously would benefit the Blue Devils.