Duke 2013-2014 Position Previews : Center

Grant Halverson

The Duke boys finish their positional breakdowns for next year with a speculative look at the 5 spot.

Scott - Tariq Black isn't coming, so the 5 (on defense) will be played by committee, depending on the other team's personnel: Jefferson, Hairston, Parker, Plumlee. Obviously, if Plumlee can become what his oldest brother was as a sophomore, that will be a massive help, but I just have trouble counting on a big man with foot problems who hasn't really shown anything yet. I think Jefferson will get the most at the 5 with Hairston in there to bang and give 4-5 fouls a game. Parker is going to have defend the 5 some. It's just fact. This all goes out the window if Plumlee can provide a positive contribution and give us 15-20 minutes a game. Duke is going to be small next year. But I also think Duke could be similar to Memphis 2008 team, with better wings and not nearly as good of a PG -- and that's not a slight on Quinn, but, y'know, Derrick Rose was a half decent college PG, so it's tough to compare.

McLeod - I’ll pretty much echo Scott’s comments. With Black out of the picture, the only real “if” is whether Psycho3 (is that going to catch on??) can be a real contributor a least on the defensive side. Don’t think we’ll need him offensively, even for rebounds, but will def need him to be able to get up and down the court and play decent D on the opposing center. Both will require mobility that we haven’t seen from Marshall due to injury or, perhaps, lack of it in general. I think MP3 can play a game similar to Zoubek, but I don’t think the rest of the 2013-2014 team will complement that the way the 2009-2010 team did…

I definitely see Hairston playing some at the 5 as well. I wonder if when Amile comes in he wouldn’t play the 4 and Parker would slide to the 5. Amile seems to have more of a slasher game on offense than back-to-the-basket. If Parker has some of that game, maybe he goes to the 5 with Amile (or Murph) in the game.

Bart - 1) Send Marshall a Get Well Card - I am really dubious about Marshall's ability to contribute consistent and productive minutes after spending virtually the entire summer not being able to stand on both feet, much less improve his overall game. I see him being used solely as a stop-gap measure in those few instances when Duke faces opponents with a player who is just too big for Amile or Josh to handle or when those two have gotten into foul trouble. I would be very surprised if he averaged more than 10 minutes per game.

2) Send Amile a Get Swole Card - He's got the length and defensive instincts to handle the 5 position on defense but has got to add at least 20 pounds of muscle ( he was listed at 197 last year) in order to be effective. As McLeod mentioned, this position doesn't have to contribute a lot offensively. We need rebounding and post defense and I think Amile can adequately provide both of those for 25-30 minutes per game.

3) Jabari? - I don't see him playing the 5, and especially not when Amile is in the game. I haven't heard anything about Jabari's defensive prowess and, quite frankly, he is too valuable on offense to risk asking him to defend the 5 at the college level. Both Amile and Jabari have similar physical measurements, with the notable exception of body-weight ( 240 to 197), so if Amile improves on that front, there's really no reason to put Jabari in that position. I could imagine a scenario where Jabari slides over when Jiggy comes in, but I tend to think they'll just ask Josh to make his 5 fouls last at least 15 minutes and play 'em tough.


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