Duke basketball rising sophomores ready for larger leadership roles

Duke basketball forward Matthew Hurt (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Duke basketball forward Matthew Hurt (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

The rising sophomores on the Duke basketball team, Wendell Moore and Matthew Hurt, are ready to take on a major leadership role after experiencing the highs and lows of a college season.

Duke’s latest social media series, The Brotherhood Connect, has brought together some of the best past and present Blue Devils, in addition to a special appearance by Mike Krzyzewski in which he revealed a donation to North Carolina Foodbanks.

However, in the latest episode, Director of Basketball Operations Nolan Smith was joined by the ‘upperclassmen’ of the Blue Devils, Jordan Goldwire, Joey Baker, Wendell Moore, and Matthew Hurt.

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The group of players discussed how they are staying safe, what it felt like when the season was canceled, memorable moments from the past year, and what they are trying to improve on next season.

Matthew Hurt and Wendell Moore, the rising sophomores of the group, gave some of the best answers, and Blue Devil fans will be thrilled at what the two will be doing ahead of the 2020-21 season.

Moore is looking to become more of a leader both on and off the court and help the incoming freshman adjust to the college game, very similar to what Tre Jones did with the North Carolina native this past summer.

The 6-foot-6 wing is also looking to adjust to the speed of the game and slow things down in order to let the game come to him instead of trying to force everything, which is where Moore got in trouble with unforced and unnecessary turnovers.

Wendell Moore averaged 7.4 points. 4.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 2.4 turnovers per game in his freshman season.

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As for the rising sophomore from Minnesota, Matthew Hurt also knows where he must improve in order to take his game to the next level.

The forward wants to get stronger and quicker for next season, something that was a major problem in his freshman season, as well as expand his offensive game in order not to be as inconsistent as he once was.

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Similar to Moore, Hurt also said that he wants to be more of a vocal leader to help the newcomers entering Durham.

The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 9.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game on 48.7 percent shooting from the field and 39.3 percent from 3-point territory.

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With a very inexperienced roster, Duke will be leaning on its rising sophomore to carry a portion of the load next season, something that hasn’t happened too often in the recent history of Blue Devil basketball.