Jabari Parker ended all speculation about his immediate future Thursday when he elected to enter the NBA draft, but he is not the only potential lottery pick from last year’s Duke team (which makes that loss to Mercer all the more confusing, but that’s a story for another day).
Rodney Hood also turned heads in NBA circles with his 2013-14 season, and according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv and NBA.com, he will be joining Parker in the draft:
While Hood just recently decided, it seemed as though head coach Mike Krzyzewski saw this decision coming in comments he made in March to The Chronicle’s Daniel Carp.
"I wish we had him for more than one year, because the growth that he's had in this year is terrific, and it's because he wants to be coached and he takes responsibility," Krzyzewski said.
Hood’s stats and status as a second team All-ACC performer in his one season at Duke partially indicate why he will be heading to the Association.
He finished with nightly averages of 16.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists behind 46.4 percent shooting from the field, 42 percent shooting from behind the three-point line and 80.7 percent shooting from the free-throw line. He also only turned the ball over 1.5 times a game, which was particularly low given how much he was used in Coach K’s offense.
However, the numbers don’t fully do Hood justice as an NBA prospect.
He often defended the opposing team’s best player when he was on the court, which can take a physical toll when you are asked to play a major factor on offense as well.
With the ball in his hands, Hood could post up smaller defenders, attack the rim against slower ones or shoot over the top if he was given too much space.
Martin Rickman of Sports Illustrated feels like the two-way impact player will be a pleasant surprise for whichever team drafts him:
If we want to find an area that needs improvement, Hood has the tendency to go left the vast majority of the time when he attacks the rim, but few players could actually stop him when he did that. Hood would also benefit from some added strength before he is tasked with defending NBA small forwards.
Still, the fact that Hood is a tremendous offensive player and solid defender is more than can be said about the majority of prospects, even in this loaded class. His athleticism and versatility (Hood can play either small forward, shooting guard or even some power forward) are also appealing.
Mechanically, he will thrive in individual workouts because of his high release point on his shot, fluid motion when attacking the rim and ability to hit set shots or shots off the dribble.
Draft Express has Hood going No. 22 to the Dallas Mavericks in its latest mock draft, but he could very well play his way up to lottery status by the time the draft arrives. He has a perfectly suited skill set for individual workouts, and the fact that he played a year under Krzyzewski will likely help in pre-draft interviews.
Some team that needs scoring in the draft will take a flyer on Hood in the middle of the first round.
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