As November nears, it is becoming apparent that basketball season is on the horizon. That means that it is time for our player previews of every member of Duke men's basketball. Next up is junior Michael Savarino. Read the previous previews here: Stanley Borden, Spencer Hubbard and Keenan Worthington.
Last year’s statline: 0.5 PPG, 0.5 APG, 2.0 MPG
Game breakdown: Michael Savarino is the embodiment of a small guard. While he plays the position well, the strongest part of his game comes from beyond the arc. He hasn’t yet been given the opportunity to show this skill off in-game, but he regularly displays his shooting prowess in practice and warmups, just as he did at Durham Academy.
Savarino finds himself in a unique spot with his relatively small size, making it difficult at times to get all the way to the basket through taller paint players. His role as the primary playmaker may not be his strongest trait, but his on-court movement could allow him to get some open shots.
Role on the team: This season will likely be similar to last, in which he only enters the game in blowout situations. Luckily for him, however, Duke should be coming into this year with a strong roster, so there may be a few more of those situations than there were last year.
His main role on this roster will likely boil down to the mental side of the game, in which he can hopefully provide his teammates with encouragement and energy as Duke looks to push for a title in head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final season. While this role doesn’t usually get recognized, it is hard to put a value on how much a player can feed on the energy of a supportive bench.
NBA comparison: Gabe Vincent
Gabe Vincent seems like the ideal ceiling comparison for Savarino. Similar to Savarino, Vincent has a decent 3-point shot, and his role with the Miami Heat comes in the same form, as Vincent sees time primarily in garbage time or if injuries begin to pile up. Regularly, however, Vincent finds himself on the bench giving players input and advice for the game at hand.
Projected stats: 0.5 PPG, 0.5 APG, 1.0 MPG
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