Duke men’s basketball is adding an exciting new class of signees and transfers for head coach Jon Scheyer’s second season at the helm, and the Blue Zone is here to analyze film on each of the incoming Blue Devils. We have already looked at Jared McCain. Next up is Neal Begovich:
The latest addition to head coach Jon Scheyer’s roster and the only transfer to date, Neal Begovich joins Duke’s second-ranked recruiting class as a graduate student from San Francisco. Committing to the Blue Devils almost two months ago, the former Stanford Cardinal will look to add a veteran presence to the squad after spending the past four years in the Pac-12 conference.
A 6-foot-9 forward, Begovich was an unrated recruit coming out of his high school years at St. Ignatius College Prep, where he led the Wildcats to the West Coast Athletic League title as a junior. Under his guidance during his senior season, St. Ignatius reached the CIF Central Coast Section quarterfinals. For his performance, Begovich earned prestigious honors that included a nod to the San Francisco Chronicle All-Metro team as well as selections to the Bay Area News Group All-Area and the San Francisco Examiner All-City teams.
The Bay Area native went on to redshirt his first season at Stanford before shooting a perfect 3-for-3 from the field in three games played while averaging 2.3 points and 0.3 rebounds per game as a redshirt freshman. He continued to come off the Cardinal bench over the course of his career, playing in four games as a redshirt sophomore and eight games as a redshirt junior while earning two starts. Begovich closed out his chapter at Stanford with 3.1 minutes and 1.1 points per game on 42.9% shooting.
Although it is unlikely that he will make an instant impact on the court for Duke, competing for minutes behind forwards Mark Mitchell, Sean Stewart and TJ Power, he will certainly aid in the development of the team, especially with his size and knowledge of the collegiate game.
While he fills the role of another big man after the decommitment of five-star recruit Mackenzie Mgbako in April, Begovich provides shooting prowess from all over the floor. His great positioning and delivery through his shot makes him a threat from range, which could force his Blue Devil teammates to improve their perimeter defense when practicing against him. Watch the San Francisco native create a shot for himself and nail a three-pointer for his first career bucket as a Cardinal against North Carolina A&T.
The forward, however, is not only good from range but also excellent off the glass on both ends of the court. Watch this sequence of him from his sophomore year of high school, where he blocks in the paint, finishes from the post and secures an offensive rebound for a tap-in.
While at Duke, Begovich has the potential to provide a veteran perspective and vital leadership when it comes to developing the young gun forwards that make up Scheyer’s squad. What’s more, he will find a homecoming of sorts in Durham, where his older brother and fellow Stanford alum, Daniel Begovich, is a graduate assistant for the team. He may not see many minutes on the court over the course of the season, but the younger Begovich’s presence and collegiate experience will round out a talented roster.
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