Duke basketball: Newcomers with promising futures after opening night

Duke basketball team huddle (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball team huddle (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball guard Jaylen Blakes (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

Jaylen Blakes

  • 8 points, three rebounds, one assist

Okay, I’l admit it. This one is kind of cheating.

While not technically a newcomer, Jaylen Blakes averaged 4.5 minutes per contest last year, and never played more than 5 minutes in any conference game.

So while Blakes is one of the two scholarship returnees from last season, it seems like he is a newcomer in terms of contributions, and contribute he did.

Blakes played a career high 21 minutes on Monday night, coming off the bench and providing an instant scoring spark for the Blue Devils.

The sophomore guard tallied 8 points, knocking down two big threes early into the game as he showed off an improved shooting stroke.

Blakes also displayed a good ability to get to the charity stripe, attempting the most free throws of any Blue Devil.

A former three-star recruit out from New Jersey, it now seems clear why Jon Scheyer wanted Blakes to be a member of his roster.

Blakes improvements on the offensive end along with his tenacious defensive effort will be very important for Duke basketball.

If Blakes can play at this level for the rest of the season, he will help be improve incredible depth in a backcourt that already features Jeremy Roach, Tyrese Proctor, Jacob Grandison and will soon add Dariq Whitehead when he returns.

Blakes, along with the rest of the Blue Devils, will look to get their second win this Friday when Duke takes on USC Upstate at 6:30 p.m.

Next. Jon Scheyer makes first major coaching decision. dark