Three Duke basketball champs for Joey Baker to study this summer

Duke basketball wing Joey Baker (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Duke basketball wing Joey Baker (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball assistant coach Nate James (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Nate James. 2. player. 434. Pick Analysis. Forward. 1996-01. Scouting Report

Duke basketball champs for Joey Baker to study this summer: NATE JAMES

In a similar fashion to Joey Baker, Nate James was not exactly poetry in motion. A tad herky-jerky. A bit stiff. In terms of positives, like Duke’s former captain and current assistant coach, Baker is unselfish; furthermore, he exhibits a sure stride when attacking the basket in addition to both the assertiveness and aptitude to help direct traffic while roaming the wing.

What Baker lacks when sizing him up to James, though, is obvious: bulging biceps, triceps, and other-ceps. But to be fair, Baker is by no means puny and even comes equipped with naturally broad shoulders that could one day look James-esque.

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However, to improve upon his measly 0.9 rebounds per game last season and come anywhere near the 5.2 that James averaged as a senior, Baker could use some extra hours in the weight room this summer. Not only would Baker benefit from the added bulk when battling for boards, but he would also draw more fouls (see his 91.7 free throw percentage) and encounter fewer roadblocks when driving through the lane.

Unfortunately, likely due to James averaging only 8.3 points across five seasons while essentially serving as a role model for all future Duke role players, there are no available mixtapes showcasing the 6-foot-6, 200-pound small forward’s individual highlights. No worries. That’s just a perfect excuse to relive the team highlights — including key contributions from James — that amounted to a memorable 22-point comeback in a 2001 Final Four win over Maryland:

OK, it’s now time to unveil the third and final former Duke basketball player for Joey Baker to take notes on before November arrives…