Jared McCain proves he's more than just a 3-point shooter for Duke basketball team

The freshman showed more than his shooting stroke against Miami

Feb 10, 2024; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Jared McCain (0) reacts after
Feb 10, 2024; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Jared McCain (0) reacts after / Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Jared McCain entered Duke with the reputation as an elite 3-pointer shooter, but the freshman has shown he can do much more than just shoot during his rookie season in Durham.

McCain, coming off a 35-point performance against Florida State, started quick with a 3-pointer for the Blue Devils' first field goal of the game before his shot was no longer falling, missing his last four shots.

So, what did he do? Adjust.

Duke was in the midst of creating separation in the first half during its game against Miami on Wednesday night and McCain got the ball at halfcourt, made one crossover, and exploded.

The former McDonald's All-American was quickly on his way down from the rim after an eye-popping dunk that capped off a 13-0 run for the Blue Devils, pushing the lead to 29-14.

It was the only other field goal he made in the first half after his opening triple and finished with just seven points on 3-of-9 shooting in the 84-55 victory.

“Every single game I feel like I can come out and make every shot. It’s just the confidence I have in myself and my work ethic," McCain said on Saturday after his performance against the Seminoles.

"I love playing against away crowds. It’s always fun playing against away crowds, getting the crowd going. Whenever they’re booing you, you know you’re doing something right. It was exciting.”

Named as the ACC Rookie of the Week, McCain is averaging 13.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game on 40.1-percent shooting from 3-point range, however, it's the rebounding numbers that are the most impressive.

McCain recorded at least 10 rebounds in four of five games for Duke entering its matchup with Seminoles and pulled down four boards in that victory before adding five rebounds to his total against the Hurricanes.

"His defense has just come such a long way too. And for freshmen, that's the hardest adjustment," Jon Scheyer said recently.

"Some people call it dirty work, we call it winning plays – when you crack in on the weak side to block out a big, he does all that stuff."

Jared McCain and the No. 8 Blue Devils (21-5, 12-3 ACC) will look to keep making those winning plays as it will enter Saturday's (2:00 p.m. ET, ESPN) matchup in Winston-Salem against Wake Forest (17-9, 9-6 ACC) on a 5-game winning streak, including a victory over the Demon Deacons during that span.

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