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Duke men's basketball 2018-19 player preview: Jordan Goldwire

Jordan Goldwire may struggle to find playing time this season.
Jordan Goldwire may struggle to find playing time this season.

Jordan Goldwire

  • Year: Sophomore
  • Height: 6-foot-2
  • Position: Point Guard
  • Last year's statline: 1.0 PPG, .9 APG, .321 FG%

Game Breakdown: Last season, we barely saw much of Jordan Goldwire. Playing understudy to Grayson Allen and Trevon Duval—a pair of guards who beat out Goldwire by every metric—the Norcross, Ga., native found himself on the bench far more than on the hardwood. However, Allen and Duval are gone, leaving a possible opening for Goldwire as a possible backup to star freshman point guard Tre Jones.

In the limited minutes Goldwire played, he showed himself to be more of a distributor than a play maker—and for good reason. Undersized and boasting poor shooting abilities at best, the Duke sophomore knocked down just 26.3 percent of attempted threes and went a measly 9-for-28 from the field. Although Goldwire's ability as a ball handler shows promise—he committed just seven turnovers over 26 games played last year—his inability to generate much offense on his own will hold him back from getting big minutes this season.

One area where Goldwire shines, however, is on the defensive end. With Jones out due to injury, the reserve point guard spent quite a bit of time on the court and showed off a high defensive acumen. Goldwire notched seven steals across three contests. If the sophomore Blue Devil can prove he can knock down an outside shot with consistency to compliment his work on defense, an argument can be made to give Jones a break and let Goldwire run the floor.

Role on the Team: Unfortunately for Goldwire, it's hard to see him having much of a role given Duke's current roster composition. Although R.J. Barrett does not have the same ball handling skills as Goldwire, Blue Devil head coach Mike Krzyzewski has shown that he trusts freshman to run the point when Jones steps off the court due to Barrett's scoring ability and solid passing. Fundamentally, Goldwire is too much of an offensive liability for Duke to play for meaningful minutes despite his talents as a distributor.

At most, Goldwire is likely to average about three minutes a contest this season, taking to the floor either in garbage time or when both Jones and Barrett need a breather.

NBA Comparisons: Goldwire's purpose on the team isn't to be a sharpshooter, but rather to distribute to his teammates and cut close for the odd basket as well as hold his own on the defensive end. The Lakers' Rajon Rondo  plays an analogous role for Los Angeles.

Coming off the bench behind Lonzo Ball, Rondo has avoided being the focal point of the Lakers' offense. Instead, he primarily feeds to Los Angeles' heavy hitters like LeBron James and Brandon Ingram. Similar in stature to Goldwire at 6-foot-1 and 186 pounds, Rondo has notched three steals and 21 assists across three games.

Projected Stats: 1.3 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 1.6 APG

Stay tuned to the Blue Zone for our continuing player previews with Antonio Vrankovic tomorrow. Previous players previewed include Justin Robinson and Joey Baker.


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