Duke men's basketball 2023-24 player preview: Spencer Hubbard

<p>Spencer Hubbard is returning for his third season with Duke basketball, but this time as a scholarship player.&nbsp;</p>

Spencer Hubbard is returning for his third season with Duke basketball, but this time as a scholarship player. 

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. Up next is returning guard Spencer Hubbard: 

Spencer Hubbard

Year: Senior

Height: 5-foot-8

Position: Guard

Last year’s stat line: 0.3 RPG, 0.3 SPG, 3 MPG

Game breakdown: From landing one of the top recruiting classes in the country to the returns of senior guard Jeremy Roach and sophomore forward Kyle Filipowski, Duke basketball has made big headlines this past offseason. Yet, amidst the anticipation to the 2023-24 season, one remarkable story has flown under the radar. After two years as a walk-on, senior guard Spencer Hubbard was deservingly awarded a full-ride scholarship by head coach Jon Scheyer last month. In his announcement to the team, Scheyer praised Hubbard’s competitiveness and tenacity, before his exuberant teammates mobbed Hubbard in celebration.

The Los Angeles native possesses a unique skill set that may prove useful this season. Although Hubbard’s diminutive height may seem like a disadvantage, his low center of gravity has allowed him to develop elite dribbling skills and agility. Whether by crossing over slower defenders or craftily assisting his teammates, Hubbard will look to use his exciting repertoire to awe Blue Devil fans whenever he gets an opportunity to shine.

Role on the team: Hubbard has not been given much playing time over the past few seasons. The former walk-on only saw nine minutes of action last year, and failed to score a single point. Given that this year’s Blue Devils are loaded at almost every single position, Hubbard may once again struggle to see the court. 

Nevertheless, Scheyer and his coaching staff clearly believe that Hubbard can be a valuable asset for the team. Even if he doesn’t get many minutes, the Harvard Westlake product’s remarkable work ethic will push his teammates to work harder in the weight room and on the practice court. Also, now in his third year on the team, Hubbard can take advantage of his experience by mentoring his younger teammates, many of whom may face the first challenges of their basketball careers during a grueling season.

NBA comparison: While he won’t produce jaw-dropping dunks like Zion Williamson, viciously protect the rim like Dereck Lively II or gracefully hit contested jump shots like Jayson Tatum, Hubbard’s game does resemble that of former ACC star Jose Alvarado. 

Despite standing at only 6-feet, Alvarado has recently made a name for himself in the NBA because of his quickness and energy plays. Both Hubbard and Alvarado have a remarkable ability to effortlessly glide past defenders and finish using quick handles. Alvarado is a pesky defender as well, and Hubbard has provided this at practice against some of Duke’s other guards. 

Projected stats: 0.1 PPG, 0.2 APG, 1 MPG


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