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Duke 2013-14 Position Previews : Power Forward

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The BvB Duke brain trust weighs in...

Guy Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Bart : The power forward is a tough position to parse. Duke has 3.5 of them in Jabari, Amile, Josh and Semi. Jabari is a classic stretch 4, while Amile and Josh are classic low post bangers. so, much like the SF position, the look and style of the team on the floor will drastically change when Jabari goes out. That is unless K thinks it makes more sense to have Semi play the stretch 4 behind Jabari, because it will provide more continuity. I actually think this is the most likely scenario. You could easily make the argument that Semi's game is more similar to Jabari's than anyone else on the team. He's got the body to bang, but loves to score from outside. He lacks Jabari's offensive polish and a couple of inches in height, but other than that, they are a lot alike. I could easily see Semi picking up more minutes here than at SF, but i imagine only foul trouble and fatigue will get Jabari out of any games.

Scott : This is pretty much Jabari's position. I don't see a lot of minutes over the course of the year, if any, where more than two of Jabari, Semi, Amile, Josh, Marshall or (if he comes) Tarik Black are on the floor at the same time. And any of those other guys (other than Semi) when on the floor with Jabari will be taking the 5 spot. If Tarik Black shows up, that may allow more minutes for Amile at the 4 as a true PF to spell Parker some. I also still think we will see small lineups where Hood is the 4 by default where he is on the court with Parker, and some combo of Sulaimon, Dawkins, Cook and Thornton. Hood has the height to do this in college, but I don't know if his defense will allow too much of this except against smaller teams. In games where the other teams 4 is really active offensively, I could see K switching up the defense and having a guy like Hairston guard the 4 while Parker lazes away on the 5. But in the end, Jabari is next year's starting power forward, and his backups are essentially any of our other forwards/centers. When Jabari sits, that backup will depend on who the rest of our guys on the floor are.

Alex : No question in my mind that Parker is the starting PF next year, even though his 'true' position (certainly at the next level) is small forward. It's curious in some ways that Jabari picked Duke knowing the personnel in place and that he would be playing more 4 than 3. But I think besides all the normal selling points, probably the thing that is the most convincing is the lack of true position in a lot of Duke's offensive sets. He will be free to spend as much time on the perimeter as he wants and can take smaller guys trying to guard him inside. He will be a true matchup nightmare. I think Bart could be on to something with his Semi at the 4 theory. If A) we don't get Black or B) MP3 is not healthy then that theory is going to have a lot more legs - since it would only be a 2 man rotation of Josh and Amile at the 5 spot. If either of those pieces do come through, then I would certainly see Amile getting some minutes at the four next season. He is a hard worker and instinctual rebounder. Plus you gotta love how he always seems to get the ball in the basket. I'm really excited to see his growth next season with a few months to add some bulk.

McLeod : Like the SF position, the PF position seems to have an easy short answer and a lot of if’s and but’s to the long answer. Conventional wisdom will say it’s Jabari’s spot with Amile and/or Hairston backing him up. With all the hype around this kid, a lot of focus will be on him and this position. If he delivers as promised, it will be hard to keep him off the court. That said, keeping him on the court could mean moving him to the SF or the C spot. Jabari has talked about playing C in some of his interviews, so if Psycho 3 can’t produce in the post, or if his recent foot surgery slows him down, we may well see Parker at the C spot and Amile/Hairston at the PF. But, if Tarik Black shows up in Durham, that would probably cement the C spot and give Duke a more traditional look.