Some surprises: Ranking Duke basketball’s 10 key players thru 20 games

Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball guard Tre Jones (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Sophomore. Guard. Tre Jones. 2. player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. 434

  • Games played: 18
  • Games started: 18
  • Minutes per game: 33.7
  • Points per game: 14.9
  • Rebounds per game: 4.0
  • Assists per game: 6.8
  • Steals per game: 2.1
  • Blocks per game: 0.4
  • Field goal percentage: 44.2
  • 3-point percentage: 36.4
  • Free throw percentage: 71.2
  • Grade: A (96)

Duke basketball sophomore point guard Tre Jones came back this season for one overriding reason: to do like his older brother, Tyus, and win a national championship as a Blue Devil.

Through 20 games — the exact halfway point if Duke is to complete the mission while adding another ACC Tournament title along the way — he’s definitely proven his stellar play as a freshman was neither a fluke nor just a result of playing alongside three phenomenal athletes in Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, and Cam Reddish.

ALSO READ: The 100 greatest Blue Devils under Coach K

Though his turnover average (2.8) has nearly doubled from last season, largely as a result of Jones having no choice but to create his own shots more often, his assists have also seen a bump: 5.3 to 6.8. So too have his points: 9.4 to 14.9. The same goes for his 3-point percentage: 26.2 to 36.4.

Meanwhile, his defense has remained as deadly as ever, averaging 2.1 steals and infinite headaches for opposing point guards.

Top all that off with the fact that Jones has obviously taken another sip or two of the clutch juice his brother used to chug in Durham, as the Apple Valley, Minn., native has made play after play down the stretch in all of Duke’s close wins this season.

And if the latest outing from the 6-foot-3, 185-pound co-captain is any indication, his best days as a Blue Devil are still to come. With his eight assists and zero turnovers against Pitt, per Duke basketball’s official Twitter account for stats, Jones added to what was already a Duke record with his seventh career game dishing out seven or more assists without a single turnover.

Though not ranking Jones No. 1 here wasn’t easy, some massive “Tank” feats made it impossible to do so…