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Film room: Analyzing Duke men's basketball graduate transfer Patrick Tapé

Patrick Tapé brings experience and a strong inside presence to a young Blue Devil squad.
Patrick Tapé brings experience and a strong inside presence to a young Blue Devil squad.

Another year, another new crop of men's basketball players coming  to Durham. In this series, we will analyze film on each of Duke’s  signees and transfers for the 2020-21 season. Previous film rooms  include Jalen JohnsonDJ Steward, Jeremy Roach and Mark Williams. Let’s continue with Duke's graduate transfer, Patrick Tapé:

Duke men's basketball has historically relied upon the recruitment of elite high school players to fill out the team's rotation but one of their newest additions to the 2020-21 roster does not fit the typical mold: Patrick Tapé. Tapé, a Columbia University product,  represents the first graduate transfer head coach Mike Krzyzewski has welcomed to Durham.

Tapé sat out last season to preserve his eligibility while recovering from a toe injury, but his most recent film from 2018-19 shows a highly skilled big man who is willing to take on anyone down low. At 6-foot-10 and 220 pounds, Coach Mike Krzyzewski will look to Tapé to generate valuable offense in the upcoming season. A quick look at his Columbia tape portrays a fluid post scorer and Tapé's 11.3 points per game in his last full season gave the Lions a steady dose of inside scoring. He’s not just unafraid to back down opposing defenders in the paint, but he actually thrives under close contact because of his ability to finish with either hand close to the basket.


Duke also seeks to fill a void in rebounding that hasn't been a problem in recent years given the talents of Vernon Carey Jr., Zion Williamson, Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. Fortunately for Krzyzewski, Tapé's size alone provides a rebounding advantage and his 5.9 boards per game in 2018-19 are a good indicator of future rebounding success.

The most significant criticism of Tapé is his lack of a perimeter game. He's a bona fide post threat but lacks the willingness to take outside shots, only attempting and making one three in three years of play. With spacing coming at a premium in college basketball nowadays, it's unclear how much time Krzyzewski will allow a non-shooter to be on the floor during conference play. Duke fans should also be wary of Tapé on the defensive end given his high foul rate of 2.8 per game. 


It’s unlikely that Tapé starts this season, but make no mistake— Krzyzewski brought in this experienced forward to play significant minutes and provide leadership for a young team. Expect Tapé to be a significant role player off of the bench this season when the younger bigs need a breather.

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