As the calendar shifts to November, it is becoming apparent that basketball season is on the horizon. That means that it is for our player previews of every member of Duke men's basketball. Let's get started with Mike Buckmire:
Last Year’s statline: 0.3 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 0.1 APG
Game breakdown: One of two seniors on this year’s team, Buckmire looks to finish his Duke career with more opportunities to showcase his strongest play. Buckmire appeared in eight games in the 2019-20 season, doubling his total from his first two seasons. In his few minutes last year, the suburban Philly native attempted five field goals, converting one. He doesn’t demand the ball, but isn’t afraid to take advantage of defenses at the rim, and he is aggressive on defense and likes to run the break after getting a rebound.
His most notable play from the latest campaign was a testament to his overall play style and selflessness: up against Notre Dame, he caught a long offensive rebound and drove to the hoop, but instead of putting up a difficult layup, he attracted the attention of other defenders to clear the way for a picturesque pass leading to a Justin Robinson slam. He always plays hard and will be sure his minutes this season will be can’t miss Buckmire action.
Role on the team: Buckmire will be the guy that head coach Mike Krzyzewski gives point guard duties to late in blowout victories yet again. He earned the late game role since he is reliable with the ball and has a knack for finding the right play. Though he often is brought off the bench for late-game minutes, Buckmire’s unmatched energy makes him a glue piece in the locker room and a Crazies favorite when on the floor. Without fans in attendance at most of Duke’s games this season, it will be important for the players, especially Buckmire, to make noise on the sidelines and rally his teammates.
Now as one of two seniors, alongside fellow backcourt leader Jordan Goldwire, he will also serve as a mentor to the younger players. As Duke has embraced the one-and-done strategy, it is paramount that the upperclassmen who choose to stay in Durham can contribute in meaningful ways—Buckmire is the definition of the humble senior leader this especially young squad needs.
NBA comparison: Cory Joseph
Sticking with the same comparison as last year here. Buckmire and Joseph share the same team-first approach to every minute on the floor, and neither need the ball in their hands to make an impact. Having only attempted one three-pointer in his college career, it’s hard to tell what the sharpshooter abilities of Buckmire look like, but he, like Joseph, can certainly make the deep shots every now and then. Now they both also share the quality of being a veteran leader with the ability to spark the team both on and off the floor.
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Projected stats: 1.2 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 0.4 APG, 3.0 MPG