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Film room: Analyzing Duke men's basketball forward Henry Coleman III

Coleman figures to be a key piece of the puzzle in the Blue Devil front court.
Coleman figures to be a key piece of the puzzle in the Blue Devil front court.

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 Johnson, DJ Steward, Jeremy Roach, Mark Williams and Patrick Tapé. Next up, we take a look at energetic forward Henry Coleman III.

Much like the fish that Henry Coleman III reels in when he’s not on the basketball court, Duke used some bait of its own to secure the 6-foot-8 power forward. The connections Coleman made with the players and coaching staff were enough to lure the Richmond, Va., native away from his home state schools.

Coleman plays like an old school power forward with some new-age basketball skills mixed into his bag of tricks. While the majority of Coleman’s points will come from around the basket, he has flashed the ability to go coast to coast and pull up from 3-point land. He has excellent control of his large frame and his hands make him a reliable target in the paint. 

On the other end of the floor, Coleman will likely be crucial to Duke’s defensive efforts. Conference play gets especially physical down low and the Blue Devils bid farewell to three of their top rim protectors from a year ago. Fortunately for Duke, Coleman plays physical and just his size alone will make him a viable option to aid Patrick Tapé and Mark Williams.

Arguably the most exciting thing about Coleman is the passion he plays the game with. He’s shown he can often snag rebounds he has no business getting through his persistence during the entire possession. That passion spills over to his actions off the court, as Coleman has taken to posting a positive scouting report on his fellow incoming Blue Devils via Twitter.

What will be interesting to watch develop is Coleman’s court vision with the ball in his hands. He has a good sense of spacing when he is creating a passing lane but ACC opponents will not give Coleman a free run to the rim once he is fed the basketball. If Coleman can polish this skill, he will find himself on the court more often than not.

As far as how the former four-star fits with the rest of the Blue Devils, it is anyone’s guess as to how head coach Mike Krzyzewski will choose to use him. Coleman can serve as a small-ball center if Krzyzewski opts to go with a faster, offensively-inclined lineup. In the event of a need for several interior players on the court, Coleman can slide back to his normal position at power forward and complement Tapé and Williams down low. 

Coleman’s talent is undeniable but the way he will be utilized this season is murkier. Regardless, expect to see a fair share of Coleman’s fiery style on both ends of the court. Besides, a guy with his intensity typically finds a way to become an impact player.


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