One incoming Duke basketball freshman we should not be sleeping on

Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

Let’s talk about a Duke basketball newcomer not being talked about enough.

“Don’t count me out.” Four simple words typed into a teenager’s Twitter profile. Being a Duke basketball fan and new passenger aboard the Twitter Express, I honestly have to admit I don’t usually give much credit or attention to teenagers’ words.

This youngster is different, though. Different in almost every aspect of his life. While most high school seniors struggle to find a destiny, this teen knows his. While most high school kids search for a somewhat decent school, this young man was courted and fawned over by one of the best schools ever conceived.

The man is Jaemyn Brakefield, the destiny is the upper echelons of basketball, and the school team whose uniform he will don is our very own Duke Blue Devils. When looking at his game, it is very easy to see why Mike Krzyzewski wanted him in Durham.

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First of all, Brakefield has THUNDEROUS (the caps are not a typo) dunks. I don’t know who to feel worse for, the poor souls unfortunate enough to be between him and his target or the targeted rim itself, which will surely need a minute to collect itself post-dunk.

Brakefield has a very solid passing game and what seems to be guard-like handles, not to mention a smooth shooting stroke. For the 6-foot-8, 210-pound power forward from Huntington Prep (W.Va.), the aforementioned shot may have gotten him the late look from our beloved Coach K.

Brakefield fits the profile of a successful Duke basketball power forward

Anyone with eyes the last few years can tell that the GOAT values stretch-fours who can give bigger post defenders fits. Brakefield seems to have that in his arsenal; furthermore, he has that uncanny ability to drive and finish with Cartman-like authority around the hoop.

My biggest X-factor for Brakefield, who ranks No. 40 on the 247Sports 2020 Composite, being the steal of this stacked recruiting class is his attitude. If you watch his high school highlights, he lets defenders know when they just got baptized.

More times than not, in the bare-knuckle boxing league that most people call ACC hoops, attitude is about 90 percent of the battle. Those of us who puked our way through Duke’s 113-101 loss to Wake Forest earlier this year can attest to that.

Circling back to the teen’s Twitter post seems like a dandy way to wrap up this public service info. Having done the deep dive into his game, I’m forced to take the young man at his word, and I’m going into the 2020-21 season fully counting on Jaemyn Brakefield.

The four-spot may be a bit crowded with returning sophomore Matthew Hurt and incoming potential lottery pick Jalen Johnson, but I have faith that Brakefield will play an important role.

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Whether that be playing time or pushing the other challengers in practice, you can be sure he will bring that same intensity and passion to the Blue Devils. And for a coach who put more store into those two aspects than most other coaches, you have to think that bodes well for Jaemyn Brakefield going forward.

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