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Takeaways from Duke men's basketball's first summer scrimmage

Jeremy Roach looked polished in Duke's summer scrimmage highlights.
Jeremy Roach looked polished in Duke's summer scrimmage highlights.

The Blue Devils released a mostly uncut video of their first 5-on-5 scrimmage Tuesday afternoon. Freshmen Dereck Lively II, Kyle Filipowski, Dariq Whitehead and Jaden Schutt teamed up against Mark Mitchell, Jeremy Roach and Ryan Young. Based on the scoring shown in the clip, Roach's side won 27-24 in a back-and-forth contest. We have reviewed the tape, so here are our main takeaways from this very early footage of the 2022-23 squad.

Young showing aggressiveness

The graduate student and former Northwestern forward showed what it means to hustle and play fiercely right out of the gates. He is shown setting hard screens and making smart runs to the rim from the top of the key and goes after loose balls hard. He forced a jump ball when he ripped at the ball from Filipowski and drew a charge on a Whitehead rim attack. 

His 6-foot-10, 240-pound frame helped him gain good position in the paint and his strong finishing around the younger but taller defenders in Lively and Filipowski will surely help develop their defense and toughness as the summer practices continue.

Roach picking up where he left off

Roach, now entering his junior season, improved immensely from his freshman year to his sophomore year—having some more NBA-ready talent certainly helped. But here he is entering year three as a de facto captain and the most experienced Blue Devil, and it shows on the floor. He averaged 11.8 points and 4.0 assists in his five NCAA tournament games after seeming to improve in each successive game all season. Almost four months removed from Duke's last competition, his ball handling and passing vision looked excellent, and he was a good communicator on both sides. 

Several clips from the scrimmage show the 6-foot-2 Virginia native torching the defense—the first on a no-look feed to Young down low. Later on, Roach breaks down Whitehead from 18 feet out for a smooth jumper and then drives through graduate student Kale Catchings and around the outstretched arm of Lively for a difficult layup.

Freshmen looking raw

It is still just July, so it’s hard to expect a lot from the 18-year-olds who have just recently stepped foot on campus and are in the process of improving strength and conditioning. However, the scrimmage revealed some aspects of some of the first-years’ games that have plenty of room for improvement. 

The first and most glaring that fans will be likely to pick apart is the bigs’ strength inside. While the aforementioned Young did an excellent job of using his personal bag of skills to maneuver through them, Filipowski and Lively could put on some more muscle to better contest opposing bigs. Lively looked outmatched by the slender Christian Reeves when posting up, but he and Filipowski made up for it with good positioning on the offensive glass and a few blocked shots of driving guards.

Filipowski must also become more cautious of his ball control—and as someone who played a point-forward position in high school, he cannot be lackadaisical with his dribbling against defenders lower to the ground.

Schutt—the No. 71-ranked recruit in the class—was one of the stars of the scrimmage. As an outside threat, he did an excellent job of filling the lanes and spotting up for threes—which looked confident and consistent in terms of form.

Offensively, we didn't get a whole lot from Whitehead aside from a pull-up jumper on a fast break and an offensive foul. He looked prone to getting broken down defensively and on several occasions lost his man—one coming off a high-awareness pass fake by Young to pull him inside and free up graduate student Max Johns for an open three.

Some absences and new faces on the bench

Graduate student Jacob Grandison was seen on the sidelines but did not see action—likely as he finishes recovery from a shoulder injury he suffered in March—while Tyrese Proctor (Australia) and Stanley Borden (Portugal) were away in international competition.

While Proctor and Borden were absent, the sidelines did feature two other faces whose positions with the team are unclear. Bates Jones, a member of the 2021-22 Final Four team and recent master’s degree recipient, and Daniel Begovich, former Stanford basketball player, were both standing alongside players in a pair of possible off-court assistant roles. 

Micah Hurewitz | Sports Managing Editor

Micah Hurewitz is a Trinity junior and a sports managing editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.


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