Stock Watch: Hood rebounds in a big way

The bell has rung and the Blue Zone stock exchange is back in business. Each week The Blue Zone will look at whose stock is on the rise and whose stock has taken a hit from the week in the Duke basketball world.

Bull Market—Trending Up

  • Rodney Hood: Rodney Hood was trending down a week ago, but he rebounded in a big way this week, averaging 27.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in the two-game stretch. Hood shot 58.8 percent from beyond the arc in the process. The redshirt sophomore has shown flashes of being the best player on this Duke team—yes, even better than Jabari Parker—and this week was the most definitive case he's made yet. Hood seems to up his game to another level when things aren't going the Blue Devils' way, and with the team slipping to No. 16 in the AP Poll, Hood has plenty of reasons to elevate his game.
  • Pittsburgh: Syracuse has been getting most of the ACC newcomer attention, and deservedly so. But Pittsburgh has been just as impressive as the Orange. The Panthers are now sitting at 11-1 and are undefeated in the ACC. The team's sole loss comes against a Cincinnati team on a neutral court, and the Bearcats are sitting just outside the top 25. Senior Lamar Patterson has been fantastic for Pittsburgh, scoring 17.3 points per game, grabbing 4.5 rebounds and doling out 4.4 assists. Pittsburgh's real shot at gaining the attention it deserves comes in two weeks, when the Panthers travel to Syracuse for their first test against a ranked team.
  • Ryan Kelly: Ryan Kelly has emerged as a key rotation player for the Lakers in the last few weeks. Since Christmas Day, Kelly is averaging 17.5 minutes per game. His minutes figure to continue rising as forward Shawne Williams—a stretch-four who had started a number of games for Los Angeles earlier this season—was waived this week before his contract became guaranteed. Kelly's arrow is pointing up, and he should continue to get more and more looks if the Lakers continue to slip out of the playoff picture in a very difficult Western Conference.
Bear Market—Trending Down
  • Duke seniors: Head coach Mike Krzyzewski wasn't messing around after Duke's loss to Notre Dame. Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton were both relegated to the bench in the Blue Devils' 79-57 victory against Georgia Tech at home Tuesday. Hairston's slashed minutes aren't difficult to figure out. The big man has struggled in many aspects of his game this season, averaging just 1.5 rebounds per game in 13.3 minutes. Tyler Thornton's fall from grace was not as easy to see coming. The Washington, D.C. product played a paltry six minutes in the win. That was the fewest minutes Thornton had played since March 20, 2013, when Duke defeated Michigan in the NCAA tournament. Both players figure to see a little more minutes moving forward, but the slide in the rotation is something to take note of.
  • Memphis Grizzlies: This week the Memphis Grizzlies waived former Duke guard Seth Curry. But it is not the waiving that has the Grizzlies trending down. Instead, Memphis' stock is sliding because they had Curry wait in Memphis for three days to ultimately not offer him a 10-day contract, as the plan reportedly was in the first place. The delayed departure made it such that Curry missed the NBA D-League Showcase in Las Vegas. Curry would have suited up for the Santa Cruz Warriors, the same team that he played for earlier this season. Should Curry play well with Santa Cruz over the next few months, he should get an opportunity on a 10-day contract sooner rather than later.
  • North Carolina: The Tar Heels must be the most inconsistent team in college basketball. North Carolina opened ACC play with a couple of losses to Wake Forest and Miami, with the Hurricanes game coming on its home court. At least for now the Tar Heels seem to be sorely missing P.J. Hairston. It's too early to close the book on North Carolina's season however. The Tar Heels lost their fifth game on Jan. 10 last season, and were still a team nobody particularly wanted to face in March.
  • Jabari Parker: Expectations have been unfairly high for Parker this season, as the freshman from Chicago defied all odds and emerged as perhaps the best player in college basketball. This week, Parker crashed back to earth. In the last two games Parker has averaged 9.5 points on 27.3 percent shooting—just 1-of-7 from deep. Parker is most assuredly too talented to stay in his funk for too long, but nonetheless his stock is slipping this week.


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