Two Duke players were predicted to be top five scorers at their position for the upcoming college basketball season, but one was surprisingly left off.
Bleacher Report recently released an article predicting the five best scorers at each position for the 2016-17 college basketball season. Two incoming Duke freshman made the list, but we were surprised one upperclassman was left off.
Marques Bolden is projected to be the fifth highest scoring center in the NCAA for the upcoming season. He committed to Duke as the top-ranked center in the incoming recruiting class and was the only freshman listed among the top scoring centers. Bolden averaged a double-double of 20.5 points and 10.3 rebounds at De Soto High School, and while he’s not considered as great offensively as former Blue Devil Jahlil Okafor he can still be a force in the post.
Freshman Jayson Tatum was selected as the fourth best scorer in college basketball at small forward for the college basketball season. The incoming Blue Devil was ranked as the #2 overall recruit and dominated in high school averaging 29.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game for Chaminade College Prep. The 6-8 forward can score in a wide variety of ways, scoring in the post, shooting from mid-range, and extends to the three point line. Tatum has also received numerous accolades including recently winning the prestigious Gatorade Male Athlete of the Year award.
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Surprisingly, rising junior shooting guard Grayson Allen was left of the list to be among the top scoring SGs next season. Allen led the Blue Devils in scoring last season and was one of the most improved scorers in the country as a sophomore. The NCAA shooting guards selected instead of Allen were Peter Jok (Iowa), Elijah Brown, Jr. (New Mexico), Markelle Fultz (Washington), Marcus Evans (Rice), and Zeek Woodley (Northwestern State).
Grayson Allen’s 21.6 points per game last season was the 15th best average in the NCAA last season and finished 5th in total points with 779 regardless of position. His total scoring was higher than all the shooting guards listed and his points per game average was higher than Jok (16.1), Evans (21.5), just below Brown (21.7), and Fultz is an incoming freshman with no previous college basketball experience. Duke will be adding a lot of talent this year so Grayson Allen ‘s role may be reduced, but it’s still unclear why they left off one of the top returning scorers in the country.
Freshman Harry Giles could have also been considered at power forward, but he’s coming off his second ACL tear that kept him off the court this past year. The Blue Devils recently announced their non-conference schedule and will kick off the season on November 11th against Grand Canyon. Duke Men’s Basketball will head into the season with title expectations and the team will need significant contributions from Bolden, Tatum, Allen, and everyone else on the team in order to compete for the championship.