Veteran Backcourt Quietly Leading Duke
It’s hard to believe that Duke could be both overlooked and underrated. But that might be the case this year as the Blue Devils aren’t seriously being talked about as a Final Four contender.
Take note, however, of their underrated backcourt which features Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith, who are the key to the Blue Devils’ success.
Scheyer may be the most overlooked player in the country. The 6’5” senior is quietly second in the ACC in scoring (19.6 points per game) and has a ridiculous 5:1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Besides running the offense, Scheyer is a great shooter (39.5%) from outside and leads the ACC in free-throw percentage (90%). More important than his scoring is Scheyer’s ability to be the floor general. He is the director of the ACC’s leading scoring team (84.3 points per game).
Smith, Scheyer’s backcourt mate, brings a different dynamic to Duke. He is the team’s most athletic player and he is the point man for the Blue Devils extended pressure defense. Smith is no slouch, averaging 18.2 points per game. The 6’2” junior is more of a slasher and attacks the basket shooting nearly 50% from the field.
Together Scheyer and Smith are the most efficient backcourt in America. If both continue on their current pace, there is no reason the Blue Devils will not be a major factor come March.