Is Duke basketball freshman Jeremy Roach a rising star?

Duke basketball (Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports) /

As Duke basketball sees growing pains, Jeremy Roach looks ready to blossom.

Despite the Duke basketball team losing its first conference game, there were still a few bright spots for the No. 19 Blue Devils (5-3, 3-1 ACC) on Tuesday night. The brightest spot of all was the play of freshman point guard Jeremy Roach.

The former five-star recruit has been playing well recently after a slow start to the season, and in the 74-67 loss at No. 20 Virginia Tech (10-2, 4-1 ACC), Roach set his new career-high with 22 points.

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Roach has emerged as a reliable scoring option plus Duke’s primary ballhandler and initiator of offense. He is currently shooting just below 50 percent from the field and has already shown the ability to consistently get by his primary defender. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Virginia native is a little undersized, but his explosiveness and soft touch around the rim certainly make up for it.

What is most encouraging about the play of Roach is that he seems more comfortable running the offense and has steadily improved in his decision-making. Turnovers have become less problematic for him, and he seems far more confident in his scoring ability.

Right now, Roach is more of a scoring guard than a pass-first guard. The Blue Devils will need him to be more of a facilitator as the season goes on, but at the moment, Duke desperately needs his scoring.

Speed, quickness, and potential to be an elite Duke basketball point guard

There have been times this season where Jeremy Roach is able to get into the lane at will. He is also a very dynamic guard when he is going downhill or running out in transition. As he becomes a more consistent pull-up jump shooter, along with his floaters and runners, he could easily be a player that scores around 20 points per game.

Roach’s 3-point shot is still a work in progress, but he is at least a capable shooter to the point where defenders have to step out and respect him.

In order for Duke to contend and hang around the top of the ACC standings, Roach will have to play like one of the best point guards in the league. He is one of the few players on the Blue Devils roster who can create his own shot and consistently get by his defender.

If the 19-year-old Roach can continue to be a reliable scoring option, then that could really open up the Duke basketball offense.

While it is certainly way too early in the season to make an accurate judgment, it is likely that Roach could stick around Durham for more than one season. The Blue Devils currently do not have any point guards signed to next year’s recruiting class.

Jeremy Roach may get some interest from the NBA, but it seems highly unlikely he would get drafted high in the first round. This season will provide him with valuable experience that will certainly make him a star next year if he does decide to return to school.

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