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Duke men’s basketball 2018-19 player preview: Javin DeLaurier

Javin DeLaurier will be a key component of Duke's interior defense.
Javin DeLaurier will be a key component of Duke's interior defense.

Javin DeLaurier

· Year: Junior 

· Height: 6-foot-10

· Position: Forward

· Last year’s statline: 3.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 0.6 BPG

Game Breakdown:After averaging only 7 minutes per game his freshman year, DeLaurier stepped up in his sophomore season to play more than 12 minutes a game and act as the sixth man. The Shipman, Va., native was crucial in aiding Duke on defense, crashing the boards and playing minutes when Duke’s big men Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. got into foul trouble.

DeLaurier is first and foremost a defensive powerhouse. His agility and hustle on defense kept Duke in the game in the 2017-18 season, and will ensure his playing big minutes in big games this season, even if it’s off the bench. DeLaurier had 131 total rebounds last season, behind only Bagley, Carter and Gary Trent Jr. The 234-pound forward excelled in offensive rebounds, coming down with 54 that was a crucial aspect of Duke’s second opportunity offensive game. 

The then-sophomore added 19 blocks and shot 64 percent from the field—the highest on the team. DeLaurier had a career high 13 points against South Dakota in the first half of last season, and saw consistent game time throughout the Blue Devils’ NCAA Tournament run, where he went 2-for-2 with three rebounds and two turnovers in 13 minutes.

Role on the Team:With Grayson Allen gone, DeLaurier has found his place on the team as a captain, but not the fifth man on the floor. While he was in talks to be a part of the starting five in the preseason, center Marques Bolden has seemed to taken that spot, joining the four freshmen starters—Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, Tre Jones, and Cam Reddish. 

Bolden and DeLaurier boasted similar stats in minutes, field goal percentage, assists and points in the 2017-18 season. DeLaurier is also comparable to Bolden in stature, with the center weighing in at 250 pounds at 6-foot-11. The two may be played interchangeably, with DeLaurier seeing some starts if the inconsistent Bolden begins to struggle. Even off the bench, DeLaurier has proven himself to be a reliable player and, on a team of younger players, will be the vocal leader the team needs on and off the court. 

NBA Comparison:Despite being a power forward and more of a post player, his combination of size, rebound ability and lower scoring makes the Brooklyn Nets’ Ed Davis a solid NBA comparison for DeLaurier.  The former Tar Heel averaged 5.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks in the 2017-18 season. While not a consistent starter, the 6-foot-10, 225-pound power forward has averaged 20.6 minutes of playing time in his 10-year career. DeLaurier has similar stature and ability to play in the post and come down with rebounds. Additionally, his capability of making shots despite not taking many makes him comparable to Davis.

Projected stats:4.4 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 0.8 BPG 

Stay tuned to the Blue Zone for our continuing player previews with junior Marques Bolden tomorrow. Previous players previewed include Justin RobinsonJoey BakerJordan Goldwire, Antonio Vrankovic, Jack White and Marques Bolden.