Duke basketball’s top 10 role players of the last decade

Duke basketball (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Andre Dawkins
Andre Dawkins (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

The best Duke basketball role players since 2010: Andre Dawkins

Pick Analysis. 2009-14. 4. Scouting Report. Andre Dawkins. player. 434. Guard

Andre Dawkins had a great Duke basketball career considering the many challenges he faced. Dawkins skipped his senior year of high school to join the Blue Devils for the 2009-2010 season. Duke had lost Gerald Henderson to the NBA Draft, and Elliot Williams, who came on strong toward the end of his sophomore season, transferred to Memphis to be closer to his mother. Then just a couple of months into the season, Dawkins’ sister tragically passed away from a fatal car accident on the way to see one of his games.

Despite the challenge of playing college hoops after his junior year of high school and dealing with personal tragedy, Dawkins played a huge role for Duke during his freshman season. He was Duke’s only guard off the bench and knocked down 36 three-pointers in just 12 minutes per game. Dawkins had some big moments off the bench in Duke’s ACC championship game victory over Georgia Tech. He also knocked down two clutch 3-pointers in Duke’s Elite Eight win against Baylor.

Dawkins was an important piece of the bench on Duke’s 2010 championship season but accepted a much bigger role the next year. He nearly doubled up his points, minutes, and made 3-pointers from his freshman to sophomore season.

The 2011-12 season was the best of Dawkins’ Duke basketball career. He hit a deep game-sealing 3-pointer to narrowly beat Belmont in the first game of the season. He then followed that up with a 26-point performance in MSG to beat Michigan State in the first-ever Champions Classic (which also gave Coach K his 903rd career victory). Dawkins also had a stretch in January where he knocked down five three’s against Clemson and seven three’s against Wake Forest.

Over the course of Dawkins’ career at Duke, his role became very clear: shoot the ball. Dawkins had a pure shooting stroke, and when he got hot, he rarely missed. He never developed into a guy who could consistently create his own shot or become a No. 1 scoring option. Dawkins was primarily a catch-and-shoot scorer throughout his career. He was a great guy to pair along with guards like Nolan Smith and Austin Rivers who could easily penetrate and find Dawkins for open shots.

Dawkins always had shot-making ability, but his defense is what prevented him from ever being a major factor at Duke. He struggled to keep ballhandlers in front and became a guy opposing teams would target on the defensive end. Dawkins sat out the 2012-13 season for personal reasons and then returned for the 2013-14 campaign but saw his minutes get nearly cut in half. He had some good shooting nights that season but never played more than 28 minutes in a game that entire year.

Dawkins was one of the best pure shooters to ever come through Durham. At any time, Dawkins could go off on a 3-point barrage. He was always a guy you could never help off of, and when he got hot, there really wasn’t much that defenses could do. Dawkins also had some sneaky athleticism. His go-to dunk was the one-hand throwdown with the right hand.

Andre Dawkins went on to play in the G-League for a few years but never made it to the NBA. It is unclear what Dawkins is up to these days (outside of being an avid Duke basketball fan on Twitter).