Redshirt sophomore Rodney Hood and senior Tyler Thornton have been named team captains for the 2013-14 season, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced at a preseason press conference Friday. Hood and Thornton are both first-time team captains for the Blue Devils, who open the season with an evening practice Friday.
Hood, a transfer from Mississippi State, is widely regarded as one of the top wings in the country. He was tabbed as a preseason honorable mention All-America by USA Today and has quickly established himself as a locker room leader for the Blue Devils. As a freshman in 2011-12, he earned SEC All-Freshman Team honors after averaging 10.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game for the Bulldogs. Hood becomes just the third sophomore to be named team captain at Duke. Josh McRoberts and Greg Paulus were named team captains, along with DeMarcus Nelson, as sophomores for the 2006-07 season.
“It means a lot to me to be named captain, just for the coaching staff and my teammates to have that much respect for me,” Hood said. “I’ve just got to be me and continue to lead the younger guys and lead by example. Coach doesn’t want me to do anything I haven’t been doing. That’s one of the reasons I am captain, leading by example and helping my teammates when they’re in need. I’m not going to try to create a new identity just because I’m playing now.”
Thornton has been a consistent presence in the Duke rotation throughout his career in Durham. The Washington, D.C., native is a hard-nosed defender with knack for making big plays at key moments on either end of the floor. Thornton enters his senior campaign averaging 3.1 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game in 104 contests (28 starts).
“It’s an honor, especially with the list of guys who were captains before me,” said Thornton, “This is my senior year, and we’ve got a great team that can do a lot of amazing things. It’s an honor to be a captain and be a leader of these guys.”
Duke hosts an open practice to the public Saturday, Sept. 28. A 90-minute portion of the practice will also be broadcast live on GoDuke.com from 10-11:30 a.m. The Blue Devils play the annual Blue-White Scrimmage Friday, Oct. 18 as part of Countdown to Craziness as well as exhibition contests against Bowie State (Oct. 26) and Drury (Nov. 2) before opening the season Nov. 8 at home against Davidson.