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 forward Matthew Hurt (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Matthew Hurt. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Freshman. Forward. 4. player. 434

  • Games played: 20
  • Games started: 17
  • Minutes per game: 22.7
  • Points per game: 11.3
  • Rebounds per game: 3.9
  • Assists per game: 1.0
  • Steals per game: 0.5
  • Blocks per game: 0.9
  • Field goal percentage: 50.9
  • 3-point percentage: 42.3
  • Free throw percentage: 73.1
  • Grade: B+ (89)

At times this season, Duke basketball freshman stretch-four Matthew Hurt has looked like anything but a five-star who at one time ranked as high as No. 4 on the 247Sports 2019 Composite and wore the tag of a future lottery pick.

At other times, though, the 6-foot-9, 215-pound Rochester, Minn., native has put on the type of magic scoring shows many expected to regularly see when he arrived in Durham.

Yet Hurt’s occasional disappearing act on offense is not the primary concern. After all, he’s hit 18 of 39 attempts from 3-point land across the past eight games — all against conference foes, mind you — suggesting he’s finding his rhythm. Furthermore, as of late, his passes, putbacks, and limited mistakes — riding a streak of three games without a turnover — show he’s figuring out how to excel as an offensive weapon at this level.

The chief concern regarding Hurt is his defense against those bigs who both outweigh him by more than 20 pounds and enjoy far greater athleticism. Also, as was clearly the case in Duke’s 79-72 loss at Clemson on Jan. 14, during critical moments, he sometimes has a tendency to stand around and watch — particularly in transition, whether on offense or defense.

Overall, though, taking into account his hot hand from downtown and growing offensive repertoire in a Duke basketball jersey, Hurt still has the potential to put a hurting on opponents in February, March, and possibly into April.