This year’s Duke team is younger than what we usually see in Durham. That’s tough, because everyone’s still learning how to play the right way. It’s also a great opportunity, because everyone’s still learning how to play the right way.
That means a clever coach can introduce a new style of play without as much resistance.
Exactly how Mike Krzyzewski has changed his team won’t be obvious until we get to see them in person, but the Hall of Fame coach himself admitted his squad is changing things up, following a convincing 103-67 exhibition victory over DII CIAA champs Bowie State today.
“The older guys are learning and aren’t teaching as much,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said of having a young team. “When you have older guys who’ve played a system that you’ve played, you put younger guys on the spot. We’re all learning this new way of playing, a faster way of playing.
Mississippi State transfer Rodney Hood had an auspicious season debut at Cameron Indoor Stadium, leading the Blue Devils with 19 points and 8 rebounds. Jabari Parker also stood out, tallying 16 points and five assists. Amile Jefferson and freshman Matt Jones scored in double figures as well.
It’s intriguing to hear Coach K talk about a faster way of playing. In recent seasons, the ball often went inside to a back-to-the-basket big man on most possessions, even if it came back out to the perimeter later in the shot clock. In this exhibition, the starting lineup was a more mobile five: Parker, Hood and Jefferson were teamed with Quinn Cook and Rasheed Sulaimon for the opening tip.
The new lineup will meet a stern test early on. The Blue Devils take the floor against Davidson on November 8th, then travel to Chicago to take on Kansas on November 12.
Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.
Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.
Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.
South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.
They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.