The Duke basketball team has used a number of different lineups during the 2013-14 season.
With a deep bench, Mike Krzyzewski has settled into a starting lineup that doesn’t necessarily feature the team’s five best players. This means the starting five typically isn’t the unit that Duke uses down the stretch in close games.
In looking at the most impressive stat for each of Duke’s starters, it’s important to remember two of the starters are role players who don’t receive the majority of the minutes at their positions.
However, each starter does play a key part in the team’s success and has some type of impact on the game.
Here is the most impressive stat for each member of the starting lineup.
Though Tyler Ennis at Syracuse has received a tremendous amount of attention for being possibly the best point guard in the ACC, Quinn Cook has outperformed the Syracuse point guard in nearly every major statistical category, including assists.
Cook is averaging 6.1 assists per game, which leads the ACC, and he’s one of the biggest reasons the Blue Devils have been one of the most offensively efficient teams in the country.
He’s grown a great deal during his career at Duke and has done a wonderful job of distributing the ball to all the offensive weapons around him this season.
Part of the reason Jabari Parker, Rodney Hood and Andre Dawkins have been so dangerous on offense is the fact that Cook is able to get them the ball in positions where it’s easy to convert.
Tyler Thornton has never been known for his offense, but he knows when to make the most of his opportunities.
He’s also one of Duke’s starters who doesn’t receive the bulk of the minutes at his position, as those go to Rasheed Sulaimon and Andre Dawkins.
According to Sports-Reference.com, the senior guard for the Blue Devils has a true shooting percentage of 65 percent. True shooting percentage measures shooting efficiency and takes two-point field goals, three-point field goals and free throws into account.
While he’s primarily on the court for his defense and toughness, Thornton has developed a knack for making clutch shots and keeping defenses honest with his outside touch.
For a wing player who takes a wide variety of shots, Rodney Hood is extremely accurate.
According to Sports-Reference.com, the 6’8”, 215-pound forward has an effective field-goal percentage of 60 percent, which measures two-point and three-point attempts and accounts for the fact that three-point shots are worth more.
Not only is Hood very dangerous when he attacks the basket or uses his mid-range jump shot, he’s also been very strong from beyond the three-point line, making him extremely difficult to defend.
He’s averaging 17.9 points per game, and the 60 percent effective field-goal percentage shows he’s not requiring many shots to have such great productivity.
Josh Hairston doesn’t do many things that show up in the stat column.
Honestly, it’s tough to come up with many things Hairston does well, regardless of whether they show up in a stat column or not.
Similar to Thornton, the senior forward is part of the starting lineup but then gets replaced by someone off the bench, primarily Amile Jefferson.
Hairston averages 13.9 minutes per game, and it’s probably a good thing for the Blue Devils it’s no more than that. His lack of rebounding productivity and inability to offer an offensive threat in the paint makes him a liability more than anything else.
For a freshman to step in and average over 20 points during the first 14 games of the season is remarkable.
For Jabari Parker to accomplish this considering all the hype and attention he’s received is nearly unbelievable.
The 6’8” forward from Chicago, Ill., has been as good as advertised and leads the team in scoring at 20.4 points per game.
His collection of offensive skills are incredible for a player his age, and it’s easy to see why so many scouts and recruiting analysts have compared him to Carmelo Anthony and Paul Pierce. Duke is a team built around an attacking offense, and Parker is the primary weapon in that attack.