Film room: Analyzing Duke men's basketball forward Kale Catchings

<p>An impact player at Harvard, graduate transfer Kale Catchings is looking to provide the veteran talent Duke needs.</p>

An impact player at Harvard, graduate transfer Kale Catchings is looking to provide the veteran talent Duke needs.

A new era of Duke men's basketball is on the horizon, and with it comes an almost entirely new roster. In this series, the Blue Zone analyzes film on each of the Blue Devils' new signees and transfers for the 2022-23 season. First, let’s take a look at Kale Catchings:

Duke has been known to bring in a lot of young talent, and head coach Jon Scheyer has ensured that his roster will have skill in the 2022-23 season. But having talented players isn't all it takes to win championships—the Blue Devils need players with college basketball experience. Luckily for them, they're getting that with graduate transfer Kale Catchings. 

The Harvard product is a 6-foot-6 forward that averaged 9.1 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in his senior season. After four collegiate years, it’s safe to categorize the O'Fallon, Mo., native as a strong, versatile forward that’s consistent on both sides of the ball. Though he may not have been Harvard’s top impact player, he was a player the team looked to when closing out games. The forward shot just under 50.0% from the field and started in all 24 games he played last season. 

There’s no doubt that he’ll add some real value to Scheyer’s talented lineup. A significant source of his competitive advantage is how agile he is given his muscular stature and build. The following clip illustrates Catchings’ ability to blow by defenders, then swiftly take the rock to the hoop with power. If he plays like that on the hardwood, the forward will add even more force to Duke’s already-deadly front court this upcoming season.

But again, the Harvard transfer has many tools in his toolbox and it turns out that he’s a quality option from outside of the paint as well. Last year, Catchings shot 36.5% from beyond the arc. The following clip demonstrates his smooth stroke when the ball leaves his fingertips. He became more of a volume shooter in his last year in the Ivy League after primarily playing in the paint in his earlier years. Catchings' newfound comfort and confidence from downtown will be essential for taking down competitors.

Catchings’ highlight reel for his years at Christian Brothers College High School is also exemplary of the tricks the older version of himself may have up his sleeve. In the clip below, the forward is always in the right spot around the court, making him a formidable rebounder and a tough on-ball defender. There are also several times in the video when Catchings pickpockets the ball handler and then powerfully drives to the rim. One detail is worth noting—it's hard to find areas of the game where the graduate transfer does not make a difference.

The forward is a stealthy player that will meaningfully contribute to Duke's offense and defense. There’s no doubt that the impact player’s experience will provide needed relief in the frontcourt when coming off the bench.


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