Duke Basketball: Tre Jones set to direct Duke’s high-powered offense

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Duke basketball freshman Tre Jones has been given the keys to the offense and could be the key to the Blue Devils’ success this season.

Tre Jones can be the five-star recruit that people sometimes forget about in the Duke basketball team’s star-studded freshman class. But the point guard from Apple Valley, Minn., is the catalyst for the Blue Devils’ high powered offense.

Mike Krzyzewski has chosen to utilize a fast-paced five-out motion offense. NBA teams like the Boston Celtics and defending champion Golden State Warriors execute this offense to perfection.

This offense, though, can make teams dare the Blue Devils to shoot their way out of the defense.

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This was seen early in the exhibition game on Tuesday night as Virginia Union decided to defend with a 2-3 zone. In the first few minutes Duke struggled with the zone and tried to shoot themselves out of the zone from the three-point line.

Duke was able to beat Virginia Union’s defense by not letting them get set up. Whether on a make or missed bucket, Duke would quickly get the ball to Jones. He would then look up the floor for his teammates running the floor and beating the defense.

Jones’ court vision was on display multiple times as he passed to his open teammates. R.J. Barrett was on the receiving end of these passes a few times. Barrett was able to get an open three-pointer and dunk because he ran the floor and Jones found him often early in the first half.

Jones was also able to show off his passing ability in the open floor. These passes were seen as he would find the open teammate after attacking the defender as seen in the video captured by ESPN’s official Twitter account.

However, Jones doesn’t only run Duke’s offense in an efficient manner — he also is a great on-ball defender. He is great at applying pressure and jumping passing lanes. He makes life difficult overall for the opposing point guard.

When Krzyzewski was asked about Tre Jones compared to his brother, former Duke basketball player Tyus Joneshe replied, “Tre can really play defense.” Krzyzewski compared Tre Jones to past Duke guards Tommy Amaker, Bobby Hurley, Steve Wojciechowski, and Chris Duhon.

Duke won against Virginia Union in their first exhibition game, 106-64. Jones finished the game with 21 minutes, 6 points, 9 assists, and 2 turnovers. Look for Jones to be a key piece to Duke’s offense throughout the 2018-19 season.

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Duke’s last exhibition game is on Saturday, Oct. 27, against Ferris State. The game can be watched on ACCN Extra or streamed on the Watch ESPN app at 4:00 PM ET.