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Duke men's basketball 2018-19 player review: Cam Reddish

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Reddish scored 22 points against Louisville Feb. 12, including a game-tying three that was one of the season's signature moments.

Cam Reddish

Season breakdown: While Reddish showed flashes of brilliance along the way, the five-star recruit's lone season in a Blue Devil uniform was riddled with inconsistency. For every 25-point outburst in which everyone thought the No. 3 overall recruit was finally breaking out, there was another single-digit scoring performance coming just around the corner. 

The first example of this phenomenon occurred in early December, when Reddish dropped 23 points on an efficient 8-of-15 night from the floor against Stetson. The Norristown, Pa. native then followed that game up with a five-point disappearance against Hartford in which the 6-foot-8 forward shot 2-of-12 from the field. A few weeks later, Reddish put up another 23-point showing against Florida State, including a buzzer-beating three to secure the 80-78 win. After that contest, however, came a nine-point, 3-of-12 night against Virginia.

Overall, Reddish just couldn’t find his role in the offense behind R.J. Barrett and Zion Williamson—the only two players in his high school class ranked above him. With his counterparts commanding the paint, the Westtown School product was relegated to a floor-spacer role. But Reddish proved inconsistent in that department as well, shooting a meager 33.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Nevertheless, the soon-to-be NBA lottery pick was certainly one of Duke’s clutchest shooters all season long. From his three that shocked the Seminoles to his game-tying trey at Louisville to yet another last-minute shot from downtown in the NCAA tournament against Central Florida, Reddish never failed to disappoint when it mattered most. Furthermore, the lengthy forward proved to be a solid defender, placing third on the team with 1.6 steals per contest.

Results relative to expectations: Overall, Reddish’s final stats appear similar to the Blue Zone’s season projections, outside from a drop in assists that resulted from far fewer on-ball opportunities than expected. But one statistic remains missing from both stat lines above—his 35.6 percent mark from the field. That number is a good representation of Reddish’s knack for settling for bad looks as well as his inability to finish in traffic, two habits the 19-year-old must get rid of as he moves into the professional ranks. 

In the end, Reddish’s season was far from a bust. He hit big shots when it mattered, played good defense and—at times—showed the talent that made him one of the top recruits in the country. The weaknesses everyone saw all season were the same criticisms that surrounded the freshman entering the year. But for someone thought of as a future NBA All-Star, Reddish’s failure to work on eliminating those weaknesses as his lone season in Durham progressed left fans hungry for more.

Stay tuned to the Blue Zone for our continuing player reviews. Previous players previewed include Justin Robinson, Joey Baker, Jordan Goldwire, Jack White, Alex O'Connell, and Marques Bolden.

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