Freshman Javin DeLaurier is one of Duke's best athletes with the ability to play either forward ...

Duke men's basketball 2016-17 player preview: Javin DeLaurier

Javin DeLaurier

  • Year: Freshman
  • Height: 6-foot-10
  • Position: Forward

Game breakdown: DeLaurier's skill that pops out the most to people is his motor. The freshman is capable of doing many things on the floor, but the common thread between every position he plays is how hard he plays. The forward figures to be a solid defender in college due to his lateral quickness, and DeLaurier’s ability to elevate quickly off the ground makes him an above average rebounder.

With his athleticism and physical tools, the freshman can be tough to stop at the rim and is even more dangerous on the fast break. DeLaurier averaged 21.9 points and 12.9 rebounds per game as a high school senior, but the Shipman, Va., native will be hard-pressed to find shots this season. Although DeLaurier has a respectable jumpshot, the freshman will not find himself on the perimeter often. He is unlikely to see the court much this season, but will certainly use this year to refine his game for the future.

Role on the team: Despite coming to Duke as the 44th-ranked player in his class, DeLaurier has received little attention this fall. With the Blue Devils especially deep at the wing positions, DeLaurier does not figure to get consistent minutes throughout the season. The freshman will have to impress in his limited time on the court and use his defensive prowess to stand out.

One potential scenario that could push DeLaurier into the rotation is if classmate Harry Giles’ injury keeps him out for an extended period of time. DeLaurier has the potential to play both forward positions and has the size to step into the Duke frontcourt if needed. His rebounding ability and high motor make him the perfect fit off the bench for the Blue Devils, but seeing the court in big conference games remains a long shot for the freshman.

NBA Comparison: Although DeLaurier still has a lot of developing to do before performing at a high level in college, the freshman’s game is reminiscent to that of Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon. Both DeLaurier and Gordon are very aggressive and versatile players that allow them to contribute from different spots on the floor. Like Gordon, DeLaurier struggles when facing the basket on offense and is a below average perimeter shooter. After getting by with raw athleticism during his most of the time at Arizona, Gordon has slowly developed an offensive repertoire, and DeLaurier will need to do the same to make an impact on the next level.

Projected Stats: 2.5 PPG, 2.2 RBG, 0.5 APG 

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