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Duke men's basketball 2019-20 player preview: Javin DeLaurier

<p>Javin DeLaurier could see big minutes in crunch-time if Vernon Carey Jr. doesn't live up to his potential.</p>

Javin DeLaurier could see big minutes in crunch-time if Vernon Carey Jr. doesn't live up to his potential.

Javin DeLaurier

Year: Senior

Height: 6-foot-10

Position: Forward

Last year’s statline: 3.8 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.3 BPG

Game Breakdown: In September, DeLaurier was named captain for the second year in a row along with Tre Jones and Jack White. After testing the NBA waters by declaring for the draft over the summer, the senior forward decided to return to Duke for the 2019-2020 season. DeLaurier saw major growth during his junior campaign by averaging career highs in points, rebounds and minutes while appearing in all 38 games for the Blue Devils.

DeLaurier's role last year fluctuated over the course of the season with the Virginia native stuck behind former Duke center Marques Bolden in the rotation. While Bolden was dealing with injury trouble later in the year, DeLaurier capitalized on the opportunity and showed signs of potential that should encourage Blue Devil fans going forward. In Duke's Elite Eight loss to Michigan State, he delivered his best performance yet, going 5-for-5 from the field and finishing with 10 points and 11 rebounds. 

With a limited offensive skillset and a serious problem with foul trouble, DeLaurier has never managed to make a consistent impact as a starter during his first three seasons. However, his aforementioned size and athleticism give him all the tools to be a solid defensive anchor, and his experience should make him a useful option late in games. 

Offensively, the Saint Anne's-Belfield product has been limited to shot attempts in the paint, shooting 74.7 percent from the field last year. DeLaurier attempted to stretch the floor multiple times at last week's Countdown to Craziness, and while he didn’t convert any of his attempts, his willingness to shoot could be a sign of an expanded offensive repertoire.  

Role on the Team: In his final season in Durham, DeLaurier should share frontcourt minutes with incoming freshmen Vernon Carey Jr. and Matthew Hurt. The incoming five-star recruits are more offensively skilled than their senior captain and there will be games where both freshmen start over the senior, but DeLaurier should get multiple starts at the four and five throughout the season. 

DeLaurier’s size and skillset makes him an option to take minutes at center, but his athleticism gives head coach Mike Krzyzewski the choice to put him at the four in bigger lineups. If either Carey or Hurt struggle defensively, Krzyzewski will immediately look to DeLaurier as an experienced inside presence to keep the Blue Devils steady. 

Pro Comparison: One NBA big man that shares a similar game to DeLaurier is Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jordan Bell. Both possess above-average athleticism for their size, making them effective defenders and rebounders. Additionally, the two make their offensive impact around the basket. Bell might be a more talented and polished player, but he can serve as an example of DeLaurier’s potential in his senior season. 

Projected Stats: 5.5 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 18.4 MPG

Stay tuned to the Blue Zone for our continuing player previews. Previous players previewed include Michael Savarino, Keenan Worthington, Mike Buckmire, Justin Robinson, Jordan Goldwire, Joey Baker, Cassius Stanley, Alex O'Connell and Jack White.

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