The two biggest reasons that Duke is once again considered a Final Four threat and a favorite to win a very strong ACC are incoming freshman Jabari Parker and rising sophomore Rasheed Sulaimon.
But two players won’t be enough to get the Blue Devils all that far in a season that many believe is as strong talent-wise as any in recent memory.
Enter Rodney Hood. The 6-foot-8 small forward was once a five-star recruit coming out of high school and averaged 10.3 points and 4.8 boards as a freshman on Mississippi State before transferring to Duke. He sat out all of 2012-2013 as a redshirt and was expected to have a huge year with the Blue Devils.
And hopefully, his Achilles’ won’t get in the way of that.
At the tryouts for the World University Games, Hood injured the Achilles’ in his right foot. The seriousness of the injury is not known, but most seem to be cautiously optimistic. Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com is reporting that Hood’s injury was not in the same realm as the Achilles’ injury that sidelined Kobe Bryant, meaning that it’s not obvious he ruptured the tendon. Andy Glockner of SI.com was at the trials last night and spoke to Hood afterwards. He wrote that Hood “left the gym on crutches as a precautionary measure” but that he “didn’t seem to be in any great distress”.
We’ll update this story when more information is known.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
Florida freshman will miss the season with stress fracture
Bassett will require surgery in his right foot and his projected recovery time will be four-to-six months. The injury will force Bassett to redshirt the 2016-17 season.
A three-star recruit coming out of Oldsmar Christian in Florida, the 6-foot-9 forward wasn’t expected to be a big contributor during his first year with the Gators, but his loss does hurt some of the team’s frontcourt depth. With John Egbunu, Devin Robinson, Justin Leon and Kevarrius Hayes all returning, the Gators should have plenty of players to use in the frontcourt this season without Bassett.
Once Bassett is healthy and able to play next season he showed good athleticism and an ability to hit the glass hard while he was in high school. Bassett should be able to join Florida’s rotation as an energy defender and rebounder right away.
Iowa State lands four-star Class of 2017 guard Lindell Wigginton
Iowa State has its point guard of the future as four-star Class of 2017 prospect Lindell Wigginton pledged to the Cyclones on Friday.
The 6-foot-1 Wigginton is regarded as the No. 40 overall prospect on Rivals.com as the Canadian has spent the last few seasons at powerhouse Oak Hill Academy. With an ability to play both guard spots and defend a few spots, Wigginton is a valuable addition to head coach Steve Prohm’s ballclub as Wigginton could help replace Monte Morris after he exhausts his eligibility.
Wigginton is going to need to improve his consistency on his perimeter jumper, but he’s a good pull-up scorer who can make plays for himself or others off the bounce. Iowa State’s Class of 2017 recruiting haul now includes Wigginton, four-star wing Terrence Lewis and three-star guard Darius McNeill.
This commitment is huge for Prohm as Wigginton is the most highly-regarded recruit that he has landed with the Cyclones. With Prohm’s point guard history with guys like Isaiah Canaan at Murray State and Monte Morris now with Iowa State, Prohm did a nice job of finding his next young guard to mold for the future.