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Luke Kennard is the only Blue Devil that has scored in double figures in all 11 games this season.

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Duke men's basketball player of the week: Week 5



Luke Kennard

The statline:

Tuesday vs. Florida: 29 points on 11-for-16 shooting, three assists, two steals and one rebound in 38 minutes

Saturday vs. UNLV: 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting, five rebounds, four assists and three steals in 34 minutes

The good: Kennard continued his consistent play in both games this week to retain the Blue Zone's player of the week honors. The Franklin, Ohio, native was the fifth-ranked Blue Devils' leading scorer with 29 points against Florida and combined with Amile Jefferson and Jayson Tatum to score 75 points in Duke's 84-74 win. Against UNLV, Kennard was second on the team only to Grayson Allen’s career-high scoring night with 16 points. Kennard has scored in double figures in all 11 games this season and is shooting 52.0 percent from the field, a dramatic improvement on 42.1 percent clip as a freshman last year.

The sophomore guard has proven to be a rare constant for a Blue Devil team that has been plagued by injuries this year. Even with the return of freshmen Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden for the last three games, Kennard has continued to be Duke's primary scoring threat.

The bad: There aren't many negatives to take away from Kennard's play this week, but with top recruit Harry Giles set to return from a knee injury next week, Kennard may not have as many opportunities to score in the future. Between Giles and Allen—who looked healthy for the first time all season with 34 points against the Runnin' Rebels—Kennard will constantly have to work to get the ball in his hands as one of the top scorers for the Blue Devils and in the nation.

The bottom line: Kennard has never failed to impress this year when Duke has needed him and has probably secured a position in the starting five even when Giles returns. Whether Kennard can last as the team's leading scorer is yet to be seen, but he will continue to be an integral factor for the Blue Devils as a dangerous and efficient weapon from the perimeter.

Honorable mention: Allen’s game against Florida left a lot to be desired, with only six points on 2-for-10 shooting, but he helped move the ball with eight assists, finding Kennard open on the 3-point line multiple times after driving into the paint. The preseason All-American rebounded with his career night Saturday against UNLV, shooting 12-for-16 from the floor and 6-for-9 from downtown. After battling turf toe for the first month of the season, Allen moved around the floor with ease and elevated for a few highlight-reel dunks. The Jacksonville, Fla., native finally looked like the explosive playmaker that averaged 21.6 points per game last season, and he could add another dimension to Duke's attack if he stays healthy for the rest of the year. 


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