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. First, let's check out Stanley Borden:
Last year’s statline: 1.0 RPG, 1.0 MPG
Game breakdown: Borden was an interesting figure when he got to campus last year. The big man from Istanbul had averaged 24.4 MPG, 6.2 RPG and 7.6 PPG on the Portuguese U20 National Team during its time in the FIBA European Challengers. Borden did not commit to Duke for basketball and instead walked onto the team, using his experience in Europe and towering height to earn a roster spot.
He wreaked havoc in the European tournament, as his imposing height forced double teams and created space around the perimeter for his teammates. But Division I college ball is a whole new level. His height may have put him on the roster, but it didn’t get him many minutes, with other more seasoned big men like then-sophomore Mark Williams outcompeting him for time on the floor. As a result, Borden came off the bench for just one singular minute against Lafayette last year, recording an offensive rebound.
Role on the team: Now coming into his second year, Borden will likely face similar competition for minutes. There are a lot of strong big men on the team already, with 7-foot-1 Dereck Lively, 7-foot Kyle Filipowski and 7-foot-1 Christian Reeves all beginning their inaugural seasons in Cameron Indoor Stadium this year. Unless Borden can prove to new head coach Jon Scheyer that he can ball with some of the best talents in the college game, it will likely be another season spent on the bench for him.
But with age comes experience, and as Borden is almost certainly not planning to declare for the NBA draft anytime soon, he can look to develop his game surrounded by elite players and an equally elite group of coaches. He can add value as a leader and a veteran on a team that works with a revolving door of one-and-dones and maybe see some minutes on the floor as a result.
NBA comparison: Houston Rockets center Boban Marjanović has a very similar playing style to that of Borden. Marjanović uses his 7-foot-4 height and 7-foot-10 wingspan to tower over his opposition and grab rebounds before anyone else can even reach them. Both Borden and Marjanović rely on their height and length to sit under the basket, grabbing rebounds and making easy layups and short jumpers. In his season with the Mavericks last year, Marjanović averaged 4.3 PPG and 1.7 rebounds on a 5.6 minute average per game. If Borden manages to get any minutes at all, this is around where we can expect him to sit too.
Projected stats: 0 PPG, 0 RPG, 0 MPG
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