Carter looks to fill the void in the frontcourt for Duke.

Duke men's basketball 2017-18 player previews: Wendell Carter Jr.

 Wendell Carter Jr.

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

Game Breakdown: After Duke struggled inside the paint for the last two seasons, Carter provides  size and agility down low that could take pressure off the Blue Devils' perimeter shooters. Carter has the ability to post up in the paint and has a strong ability to finish his shots. While the Atlanta native is a dominant post presence, his ability to stretch the floor will also be crucial. Carter is also capable of draining from midrange and beyond the arc. He displayed his range and agility during both Countdown to Craziness and the exhibition matchup Friday.

Role on the Team: It seems as though Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski has elected to start Carter alongside fellow freshman Marvin Bagley III in the frontcourt. Thus the Blue Devils will likely stick with at least two big men at all times with sophomores Marques Bolden and Javin DeLaurier coming off the bench, at least in the early going. 

After Duke lost outside threats Luke Kennard and Jayson Tatum to the NBA, if Carter is able to knock down his shots with consistency, it will help spread the floor for the Blue Devils, create more open looks and likely earn him more minutes. 

NBA Comparison: Carter can be compared to Boston Celtics center Al Horford. Also 6-foot-10, Horford has been dominant in the paint throughout his career, averaging nearly a double-double at 14.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest. Like Carter, Horford also has shown the ability to stretch the floor and over the last three seasons he has become somewhat of a threat from beyond the arc. Horford has shot 35 percent from downtown over his career—if Carter can do the same, he’ll create space for himself to have even more success offensively.

Projected stats: 9.3 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.3 APG

Stay tuned to the Blue Zone for our continuing player previews with freshman Trevon Duval  tomorrow. Previous players previewed include Jordan Goldwire, Alex O'Connell, Jordan Tucker and Gary Trent Jr. 

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