Duke men's basketball 2022-23 player preview: Jeremy Roach

Junior Jeremy Roach is Duke's captain this season.
Junior Jeremy Roach is Duke's captain this season.

As basketball season quickly approaches, the Blue Zone takes a detailed look at Duke men’s basketball’s 2022-23 roster, with a preview of each player. Previously, we’ve highlighted Stanley Borden, Spencer Hubbard, Max Johns, Kale Catchings, Ryan Young, Christian Reeves, Jaylen Blakes, Jaden Schutt, Tyrese Proctor, Mark Mitchell, Kyle Filipowski, Jacob Grandison, Dariq Whitehead and Dereck Lively II. Last but not least, let's look at captain Jeremy Roach:

Jeremy Roach

Year: Junior

Height: 6-foot-2

Position: Guard

Last year’s stat line: 29.4 MPG, 8.6 PPG, 3.2 APG

Game Breakdown: There is no more anticipated return for the Blue Devils than captain Jeremy Roach, who decided to stay Durham for his third season with the program. With his speed and agility, Roach is a strong driver to the basket. He can perform well in one-on-one and pick-and-roll situations, taking advantage of a switch and getting past defenders to get to the rim with ease. If the opposing defense sends help, the junior is able to utilize another skill in his basketball repertoire: his passing. Roach can set his teammates up for baskets as well as score them himself, making it difficult for the opposing team to defend when he has the ball.

Last season, Roach captured the hearts of millions of college basketball fans. His role in the lineup varied throughout the season until the NCAA tournament, where he solidified his spot in the starting five. In the tournament, Roach averaged 11.8 points, 3.0 assists and 1.4 steals in 35.2 minutes per game. In Duke's Sweet 16 matchup against Texas Tech, the Leesburg, Va., native scored 15 points, tying his second-highest total for the season. His best showing came in the ACC tournament quarterfinals against Syracuse—Roach scored 19 points, including five three-pointers, to lift Duke into the next round.

However, Roach’s shooting has been streaky at best as he averaged only 41.0% from the field, 32.2% from three and 76.2% from the line as a sophomore. If the 20-year-old can improve his shooting, it would add another dimension to his game and help spread the offense. His assist-turnover ratio of two last season indicates that Roach can further improve his decision making this year.

Role on the team: Jeremy Roach was named captain and will be the starting point guard this season. With plenty of experience and increased minutes, he should be the driver of the offense and primary decision maker for the team. There is new talent as Duke brings in the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation, but the presence of Roach should keep this team grounded and provide a familiar face that the coaching staff can rely upon. Given that this is head coach Jon Scheyer’s first year in charge, Roach could play a greater role as both step into their respective leadership positions. He will likely be the primary ball handler and most likely first option during big moments. This will give the Blue Devils an anchor for difficult fourth quarter situations.

NBA comparison: Possibly the best NBA comparison for Roach is Miami point guard Kyle Lowry. With the most experience on the roster, Roach understands the dedication and consistency it takes to go far into the postseason. While there are a few differences, as Roach is faster and Lowry has a more consistent shot, the Blue Devils need Roach’s leadership above all else to guide this team back to the Final Four, just as the Heat need Lowry to help them return to the conference finals.

Projected stats: 33.0 MPG, 10.5 PPG, 4.7 APG


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