With Duke’s season officially in the books, the Blue Zone breaks down each player's season, including comparisons to their preseason projections. We already looked at Jaylen Blakes, Jaden Schutt, Jacob Grandison, Ryan Young , Mark Mitchell, Dariq Whitehead, Tyrese Proctor and Dereck Lively II. Next up is Kyle Filipowski:
This year’s stat line: 15.1 PPG, 8.9 RPG, .7 BPG, 29.1 MPG
The Blue Zone's projected stat line: 9.2 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.3 BPG, 22 MPG
Season breakdown: In what was at times an up-and-down season for the Blue Devils, freshman Kyle Filipowski was one of the most consistent sources of offense and a centerpiece of the team. When fellow freshmen Dereck Lively II and Dariq Whitehead, both higher-ranked recruits than Filipowski, battled injuries and struggled to score, the 7-foot center came through.
The Westtown, N.Y., native quickly found his place in the Duke offense, setting a school record by putting up double-digit points in the first 12 games of the season and tacking on a double-double in his first three. Filipowski’s season high in points came against Virginia Tech Jan. 23, where he scored a monstrous 29 on 9-of-17 shooting from the field.
Filipowski was such a lethal player because of his capacity to shoot from multiple levels. He shot a respectable 28.2% from behind the arc, which was enough to force other teams to respect his deep shot. His height also made him a formidable presence on defense, and when paired with Lively, the two were one of the tallest power forward/center combinations in the country.
Results relative to expectations: Before the season began, the Blue Zone had Filipowski as a player with a sizable, but not quite as significant, impact. Filipowski outscored and outrebounded expectations, and he saw more time on the floor than predicted. He was a huge difference-maker on a team with high expectations and star power.
Filipowski’s consistency on both ends of the floor was one of the key factors in Duke’s success this year, and while he would likely be selected in the NBA draft should he choose to leave the Blue Devils, he has expressed some interest in returning. If he stays, he’ll arguably be the most important player on the court next year.
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