- Year: Sophomore
- Height: 6-foot-10
- Position: Forward
Game Breakdown: Despite coming to Durham as a top-50 recruit last fall, DeLaurier had a quiet freshman year. He played in just a dozen games with no starts, and outside of three made buckets on opening night, the Shipman, Va., native had just six field goals all season long in 85 minutes.
But come his sophomore season, DeLaurier should have plenty of opportunities to show off his defensive and rebounding abilities. At 6-foot-10 and 231 pounds, the young forward has not only the size to physically dominate opponents, but also the speed and athleticism to outrun them. Although DeLaurier is not known as a 3-point shooter—just one of his nine field goal attempts last year came from beyond the arc—he can knock one down from distance every once in awhile. Along with Marvin Bagley III, Wendell Carter Jr. and Marques Bolden, DeLaurier will help Duke control the paint on both ends of the floor.
Role on the Team: Although he got his first-ever start in Saturday's exhibition contest against Bowie State, expect DeLaurier to come off the bench for the Blue Devils to start the season. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski has made it clear that his preferred top lineup will be the four freshman—Bagley, Carter, Trevon Duval and Gary Trent Jr.—around Grayson Allen. Still, DeLaurier should play crucial minutes and very likely will be Duke's 6th man, spelling Bagley and Carter.
With the versatility to play both the 3 and the 4, DeLaurier gives Krzyzewski options to go with either a bigger and rangier group or smaller and quicker lineup and not lose much size. Don't necessarily expect the sophomore to put up a ton of points, though.
The Blue Devils have a ton of scoring options and instead, DeLaurier will be vital on the defensive end with his ability to cover multiple positions and switch on ball screens. Also look for DeLaurier to relentlessly crash the glass—he could be Duke's leading rebounder this year.
NBA Comparison: A talented defender with a knack for collecting boards, DeLaurier fits the mold of Portland Trail Blazer—and former Wake Forest—forward Al-Farouq Aminu. In his NBA career, Aminu has averaged just 7.1 points and 5.7 rebounds a night, but this year, his numbers on the glass have jumped to better than 8.0 rebounds per game. At 6-foot-9 and 220 pounds, the ex-Demon Deacon is built similar to DeLaurier, and although neither will ever be their team's top candidate to shoot from 3-point land, both are capable shooters from long distance.
Projected Stats: 7.0 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.2 BPG
Stay tuned to the Blue Zone for our continuing player previews with sophomore Marques Bolden tomorrow. Previous players previewed include Jordan Goldwire, Alex O'Connell, Jordan Tucker, Gary Trent Jr., Wendell Carter Jr., Trevon Duval, Marvin Bagley III and Jack White.
Get The Chronicle straight to your inbox
Signup for our weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.
A junior from just outside Philadelphia, Mitchell is probably reminding you how the Eagles won the Super Bowl this year and that the Phillies are definitely on the rebound. Outside of The Chronicle, he majors in Economics, minors in Statistics and is working toward the PJMS certificate, in addition to playing trombone in the Duke University Marching Band. And if you're getting him a sandwich with beef and cheese outside the state of Pennsylvania, you best not call it a "Philly cheesesteak."