Duke basketball: Isaiah Evans will make Cameron Indoor Stadium explode next season

The 5-star commit has been on a tear in the high school postseason

Ohio State v Duke
Ohio State v Duke / Lance King/GettyImages
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Isaiah Evans recently wrapped up his high school season and, as he prepares for his transition to college, Duke fans are excited about the 2024–2025 season. It promises to be one filled with intensity and banter.

Evans isn’t just a player. The 6-foot-7 dynamo wing is known for his prolific scoring, bulldog mentality, and legendary trash talk. He’s a walking embodiment of confidence and style that sets him apart from Duke recruits, past and present.

Throughout his senior season, he tormented opponents, boasting an impressive 27.1 points per game and securing North Carolina’s Mr. Basketball for the second straight year. His arrival in Durham promises to inject much-needed attitude and flair into the team.

The comparison between Isaiah Evans and Brandon Ingram, a former Duke sensation turned NBA star, is not merely coincidental; it’s deeply rooted in their physical resemblance and on-court prowess.

Evans boasts a physique reminiscent of Ingram, but while their physical attributes draw immediate attention, Evans recognizes the necessity of bulking up to withstand the rigors of college-level basketball. This additional mass will prove invaluable as he navigates the demanding landscape of collegiate play. Still, it will become even more crucial as he transitions to the NBA, where the physicality reaches another level entirely.

Duke’s imminent shortage of wing size is remedied with the addition of four wings standing at 6-foot-6 or taller for the upcoming season. This injection of height addresses a deficiency, considering the current average wing height of about 6-foot-3.

Isaiah Evans epitomizes explosive scoring, whether in transition or half-court sets. Fueled by his exceptional athleticism, indomitable spirit, and relentless drive, he consistently dismantles opposing defenses. His perimeter skills are top-tier, anchored by a lethal jump shot, expert execution of one-to-two dribble pull-ups, and a remarkable ability to shoot over defenders.

As he progresses beyond high school, Evans’s ability to adapt to increased physicality, exhibit maturity, and execute strategic play will be pivotal for sustaining his success at higher competition levels.

Another facet of his game that shines brightly is his unwavering confidence. This unshakeable self-assurance empowers him to take on any shot with conviction. This trait positions him perfectly to assume a primary scoring role at the wing spot at Duke, where his fearlessness and reliability will undoubtedly make a significant impact.

Translation: I expect him to lead Duke in scoring.

He scores at the rim at a high rate due primarily to his length, ability to extend over defenses, and various finishing skills. As mentioned before, bulking up will help him tremendously as he enters Duke next season, where players will challenge him at a much higher rate and with much more length than he’s seen in high school.

He has excellent slashing potential, which can open up off-ball scoring opportunities — cutting to open spaces on the court and his ability to catch and shoot over length opens up his middle game, similar to Kevin Durant’s.

If I were to scrutinize any aspect of his game, it would be his ball-handling. His slight right-hand dominance can make him predictable for defenses, emphasizing the need to refine his skills to be equally proficient going left. Moreover, he tends to stand too upright at times, hampering his explosiveness when attacking the rim. He could unlock his full potential as a driver by maintaining a lower stance and unleashing his agility and power on the court.

He showcases a repertoire of moves off the dribble and in catch-and-shoot situations. His length, height, and agility make him a formidable matchup for any defender. He can halt on a dime and pull up for a shot.

As Duke refines its wing versatility, Isaiah Evans’ arrival heralds a new era. His electrifying style of play and scoring prowess promise to elevate the Blue Devils, igniting excitement with every possession and leaving fans cheering for more.

Evans possesses all the essential attributes to excel as a defender at the next level. He is poised to emerge as a pivotal asset within Jon Scheyer’s defensive scheme, characterized by a switch-everything approach. Recognizing he will be a freshman with much to absorb, Evans will be surrounded by defensive-minded teammates and incoming first-year students such as Cooper Flagg and the recently committed 7-foot-2 center Khaman Maluach.

It will be pivotal to integrate into Duke’s high-pressure man-to-man defensive system. Fortunately, this supportive cast is expected to expedite his development and seamless integration into the team’s defensive schemes.

It will be critical for him to integrate into Duke’s high-pressure man-to-man defensive system. He must put in maximum effort and show that he can guard at the college level. With his length on the perimeter, he’ll have ample chances to disrupt passing lanes, generate steals, and contribute effectively to the overall team defense.

As Evans gears up to embark on his collegiate odyssey, his imminent arrival at Cameron Indoor Stadium promises to unleash a whirlwind of excitement, reigniting the fiery attitude and swagger synonymous with donning a Duke jersey. Amidst the electrifying gameplay and relentless passion, don’t be surprised if you catch a glimpse of a crock pot simmering with anticipation in the stands.