Jeremy Roach has learned from the growth of Duke basketball legend Tre Jones.
In terms of numbers, point guards Jeremy Roach and Tre Jones were almost identical to Duke’s newbies to basketball. You were decent. Well, not great. Roach averaged 8.7 points per game last season, and its predecessor averaged 9.4 points per game in 2018/19.
Neither is untypical for a fresh-faced lead guard in the first year under head coach Mike Krzyzewski. And if you look at the surrounding talent every year, it becomes clearer: it is traditionally more democratic than dictatorial to take the point of view at Duke.
Blue Devil Point Guards are the Pete Rose’s from College Hoops, the table-makers for the rest of the line-up, the Diet John Stockton’s, who put on Duke Blue.
Think of Tom Brady around 2001.
Roach and Jones were risk averse because they had to be; it had as much to do with them as it did with their teammates, given the fighting on the pitch that everyone experienced early on. They hovered 30 percent out of the 3-point range and no one seemed to gain confidence in his jump shot.
But Jones, the 2019-20 ACC Player of the Year, made what was likely a small leap in its second season – mostly to those on the periphery – and should be the case study for Roach, the soon-to-be Blue Devils. Be the sophomore watch that showed enough promise as a freshman to be more reliable as a returning starter for Krzyzewski and Co.
An inconsistent newbie to Duke basketball
After Tre Jones in the Duke No. 3 basketball jersey, Jeremy Roach scored six times more than 10 points in the first nine games of the season. Shortly afterwards, it hit the tired newcomer wall, the now cliché, and only hit that mark six times later in the year.
In two consecutive conference games earlier in the calendar against Louisville and Georgia Tech, Roach failed to score, attempting a total of six shots for a group that was short of ammunition.
He was too reluctant. High profile programs offer anything but the position of point guard, so in 2021-22 the Blue Devils have almost every reason to believe that they are once again national competitors.
Expectations as a sophomore duke basketball
Duke Basketball’s return to the top depends on Jeremy Roach’s improvement this off-season. No exceptions, one restriction: numerically it will hardly be perceptible.
Unlike Tre Jones’ second campaign, Roach is unlikely to get more than 16 points per game, neither the sole distributor nor the best defender on the ball, but he has the ability to be all of these to some extent. However, to what extent will determine the skills of a team, which depends heavily on the score of the newbies.
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The safe bet is that the top Blue Devils recruit and five-star newcomer Paolo Banchero will lead the team in the standings. He is accompanied at Duke by the 2021 McDonald’s All-Americans AJ Griffin and Trevor Keels, who are shrinking the proverbial cake by biting Roach and the other returning players.
Hence, Roach’s play should be measured in terms of efficiency.
As a freshman, he had a player efficiency of 11.7 while Jones registered 15.4 in his freshman year as a Blue Devil. Granted, one team consisted of two first-team All-Americans in Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett, and one failed to win the NCAA tournament. Apples-to-oranges, sure, but how else can a team get deep into March if not for a high-quality, orderly watch game?
Take Baylor and Gonzaga, the two heavyweights of the last Final Four. As their main guardians last season, Jared Butler and Jalen Suggs had a PER of at least 22, twice as much as Roach as a freshman, and each had a usage rate of at least 24 percent, compared to Roach at 17.9 percent for one less. than-adequate Duke basketball team.
In other words, Krzyzewski would have had no problem getting the ball back into his hands, but the reward didn’t improve the team’s performance much.
That is the point.
Jones’ PER increased from Duke from 15.4 to 21.2 from year one to year two, and its usage rate increased from 15.1 to 24 percent. This is further evidence of its effectiveness and the need for Roach to mimic today’s San Antonio trail, even if it saves an increase in usage rate.
For example, as a sophomore student, Roach could achieve a usage rate of 20 percent and a PER of 20, which would ensure his recognition as a high-level point guard.
But let’s say his usage rate stays where it was in his first season of college, and his PER almost doubles. What that would mean for the young Blue Devils is this: Jeremy Roach would affect the game to a limited extent, but also be the ball in his hands playing late in the games when efficiency improves.
But how did that come about, the more than gradual leap from a guard that was overwhelming in number even with limited responsibility?
Study a lot of Tre Jones.