Duke Report

Who Should Start at SG for Duke This Season?

jones-sulaimonBefore the season, many felt Rasheed Sulaimon would automatically be penciled in to the other backcourt spot with Quinn Cook.

However, as Duke began to practice, Coach K would only say that Jabari Parker, Rodney Hood, Amile Jefferson, and (probably) Quinn Cook would be guaranteed in the starting lineup. This left many to wonder if Coach K was trying to give Rasheed added motivation in practice to secure his spot, or was Andre Dawkins really pushing him for a starting position. We know Dawkins took the year off and worked hard in the offseason on becoming a more complete player on both ends of the court.

Both players have struggled in the Blue/White scrimmage, as well as the first exhibition game against Bowie State. Neither have had the performance to say they have locked up the starting SG spot this season. Some (including myself) have felt the spot would rotate between Sulaimon and Dawkins depending upon their performance in practice and in previous games. But could someone else sneak in and take the starting spot from both of them?

One person not many gave much thought to as far as getting playing time this season was Matt Jones. A lot felt he may get sparse minutes here or there, but nothing significant. However, after his play during the Blue/White scrimmage, as well as against Bowie State, it may be time to consider him for the starting spot. He can play both guard positions, we know he can shoot the three as well as drive to the lane, and the real key is he takes pride in his defense. In just 20 minutes of play against Bowie State, he scored 15 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, only one turnover, as well as had an assist and a steal.

Dawkins and Sulaimon combined in 32 minutes of action to have 11 points, 0 rebounds, 3 turnovers, and 3 assists. Sulaimon did most of his damage from the FT line where he went 6-7, while only shooting 1-5 from the field. Dawkins only shot 1-7 from the field, including 0-6 from three. It was a surprise that Dawkins only played 9 minutes in the game, most of which came late in the second half with the game well in hand.

Is it a case of Dawkins and Sulaimon putting too much pressure on themselves to perform well? Both have had their struggles in the past well documented. Or is it simply a case that the freshman is a much better fit with this style of offense?

Who do you think should be the starting SG this season?