Best left-handed Duke basketball players of the past decade

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Duke basketball

Duke basketball forward Rodney Hood (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)

Who are the five greatest Duke basketball lefties since 2010?

Duke basketball has seen an unusually high number of high-profile lefties across the past 10 years. So let’s rank the top five but begin with a couple of honorable mentions…

HONORABLE MENTION No. 1: Rodney Hood

Back when Rodney Hood first announced that he would be transferring from Mississippi State, he quickly became one of the most coveted players on the transfer market. He played just one season for Mississippi State but played well enough to draw attention from the Duke coaching staff. Hood also played with Duke for just one season but proved enough to the NBA scouts that he was worthy of playing at the next level.

To be completely honest, Rodney Hood had a rather forgettable one season in Durham. He was largely overshadowed by Jabari Parker, but Hood was a great running mate to Parker and a good second scoring option for Duke in the 2013-14 season.

Hood had a good year statistically and helped Duke win 26 games. He scored over 16 points per game and shot over 46 percent from the field. Hood had a smooth jump shot with an extremely quick release. He also had the ability to create his own shot and at times was a very efficient and reliable scoring threat. Plus, Hood had the ability to handle the ball and the athleticism to finish above the rim.

Rodney Hood had a solid one year with Duke basketball, but he was a key part of a team that did not fulfill the expectation. Hood became more of a jump shooter than an all-around scorer. He at times fell in love with the 3-point shot, and when his shot was off he would continue to shoot. It is a good aggressive approach, but it wasn’t always exactly what Duke needed.

The main reason why Hood will not go down in Blue Devils’ history as one of the all-time greats is due to his poor performances in some of Duke’s biggest games during the 2013-14 season. Hood shot just 4-for-12 in Duke’s loss in the ACC championship against Virginia. He followed that game up with 6 points on 2-for-10 shooting in a stunning loss at the hands of Mercer. In my opinion, the first-round loss to Mercer was one of the worst losses in Duke basketball history.

Rodney Hood may not have the same legacy as some other Blue Devils, but he and Jabari Parker formed a very deadly one-two punch. Hood was a top 10 scorer in the ACC and was also one of the most efficient outside shooters in the conference. He had some big scoring nights and at times when he got hot, he was nearly unstoppable.

Hood had just five games where he did not reach double-digit scoring. The most memorable Rodney Hood performance that sticks out in my mind was the regular-season finale at home against North Carolina. Both Hood and Parker had big games, and Duke cruised to a victory over its archrival.

There was no shortage of skill and potential when Rodney Hood was suited up in a Duke basketball jersey. He was a difficult guy to match up with due to his combination of athleticism, ball-handling ability, and athleticism. If not for the subpar performances in meaningful games, he may have cracked the top five here.

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