Duke men's basketball 2023-24 player preview: Christian Reeves

Christian Reeves is one of five returning sophomores on the Blue Devil roster.
Christian Reeves is one of five returning sophomores on the Blue Devil roster.

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 and Jaden Schutt. Next up is sophomore center Christian Reeves:

Christian Reeves

Year: Sophomore

Height: 7-foot-1

Position: Center 

Last year’s stat line: 3.2 MPG, 1.5 PPG, 1.0 RPG

Game breakdown: Standing the tallest on the team, Christian Reeves returns to Duke following a freshman campaign where he saw very little action. After deciding not to redshirt his first year, the Charlotte native saw just 3.2 minutes a game over 13 contests. Following the season, he underwent left ankle surgery and is now back for another go-round in Durham. The departure of star center Dereck Lively II to the NBA puts Reeves in line to see more action as a sophomore, but the return of graduate student Ryan Young and classmate Kyle Filipowski will be a limiting factor. 

The Oak Hill product can be a force down low for the Blue Devils this season, and the lanky weapon has the potential to make an impact on both ends of the court. With a fresh ankle and the same energy and optimism as last year, Reeves’s performance will come down to playing time.

Role on the team: Depth. Duke’s roster is filled with stars this year, and Young and Filipowski will get a lot of action ahead of Reeves. However, this can be another year of growth and experience for the big man. Working with his teammates and spending time learning from head coach Jon Scheyer will only be beneficial to Reeves for the future. The sophomore will be crucial in practice, and his positive attitude and grind mentality will help contribute to the strong team culture and chemistry. 

NBA player comparison: In a league seeing decline in use of the traditional five, NBA teams rely on a breadth of offensive powers in their big men. Not all centers have these abilities, but their influence and aptness is utilized everywhere. Recent Phoenix Suns pickup Bol Bol offers this skillset, and Reeves is no different. Standing at a similar 7-foot-2, Bol saw a slower start to his time among the professional ranks before posting career-high numbers in almost all categories last year after a trade to the Orlando Magic. Reeves might experience a similar jump in production this season, and his power as a big man, like Bol, can yield positive results if used more. 

Projected stats: 4.6 MPG, 2.1 PPG, 1.0 RPG


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