As the beginning of basketball season is near, the Blue Zone provides a detailed preview of each player on Duke men's basketball's 2023-24 roster. We've already looked at Stanley Borden, Spencer Hubbard, Neal Begovich, Jaden Schutt, Christian Reeves, Jaylen Blakes, TJ Power, Ryan Young and Sean Stewart. Next up is freshman guard Caleb Foster:
Last year’s stat line: N/A
Game breakdown: The only North Carolina native of head coach Jon Scheyer’s 2023 recruiting class, Caleb Foster is a true guard if there ever was one. The Blue Devil newcomer transferred to Notre Dame High School in Southern California for his senior season, where he faced tough competition and did not disappoint. Foster can shoot mid-range shots off the dribble and is near automatic for a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer.
Combining this shooting ability with elite ball handling and a willingness to drive the basketball creates an extremely tough matchup for opposing defenses, especially once you factor in his passing abilities. The Harrisburg, N.C., native finds teammates easily, which will take away the other team’s ability to double team him. With the myriad of sharpshooters on the Duke roster this season, a quick guard like Foster, who can drive and dish the rock while still threatening a shot, is a nightmare matchup for a defense.
Role on the team: Although his talent is undeniable, Foster will likely come off the bench this season. Senior guard Jeremy Roach and returning phenom Tyrese Proctor are locked in at starting roles, while fellow freshman Jared McCain also provides some competition for a spot in the lineup. With forwards Kyle Filipowski and Mark Mitchell also being near-guaranteed starters, there is likely only one slot up for grabs among the other 11 players.
That does not mean Foster won’t find himself with consistent minutes, however. He is a tall guard that will be an extremely effective backup for Roach and Proctor, a great option to play while resting starters during the middle of games. Moreover, his scoring prowess is very attractive for Scheyer heading into a season with heavy championship aspirations.
NBA comparison: Watching Foster’s game, the similarities to 2020 first-round pick Tyrese Haliburton are undeniable. The Indiana Pacer shoots 3-pointers extremely well and is another big guard who scores at a high rate. While in college at Iowa State, Haliburton was not the primary scorer on the team as a freshman but blossomed into an elite player during his second year, a career arc that is very plausible for Foster. While the expectation for the Blue Devil to become like the Oshkosh, Wis., native is a lofty one, it is certainly not out of the question, especially if he continues to play at a high level. With his effective scoring, Foster will likely play a contributing role on a Duke team with big goals for the season.
Projected stats: 17.3 MPG, 6.5 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 1.8 APG
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