When looking at this years Duke Basketball team and their 3-0 start there are many things which stand out. Marvin Bagley III is clearly as advertised with concern to the hype. And Grayson Allen? Well, he is back to All American form dropping a career high against Michigan State.
Then there is the depth on the front line where Wendell Carter Jr. is a double-double waiting to happen and Javin DeLaurier constantly shows off his motor and ability to be involved. Yes, everywhere you look, there is improvement and more togetherness than at this time a season ago.
One major factor is what is happening at the point guard position and the play of Trevon Duval. His skill set was on full display against Michigan State where he tallied 17 points, 10 assists and 6 steals.
Those numbers are majorly impressive as is the fact that Duval is currently ranked 3rd in the entire nation in assists averaging 10 per contest. And he is dishing those dimes with a tad over a single turnover per game.
Granted, his assist ratio is aided by the play of Grayson Allen of late. But it must be noted that his ability to run the point allows for Allen to be comfortable in playing off ball on the offensive end. In fact, the chemistry between Allen and Duval is already evident and it should get even better as the season progresses.
Duval also has very active hands as evidenced by the fact he is tied for 7th in the nation is steals. He has the ability to not only disrupt passing lanes, but pressure the ball forcing the hand of his opponent to date,
As good as the freshman has been to date, there are areas he needs to put the work in. His outside shot is inconsistent and teams will dare him to shoot if that continues, But when he puts the ball on the floor for drives, he makes things happen,
There was one point in the second half where Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski was clearly unhappy Duval forced the issue. That play resulted in the ball going the other way where instead of padding a late lead, the Spartans got back into the game, albeit not for long.
There will be a learning curve, even for the most talented of players. Duval can get better and it will be fun to watch Krzyzewski teach him the game even if it is for a single year in Durham.
Make no mistake about it, the key to drive this Duke team are in hands of Duval. And so far, he is doing a good job with how he is utilizing the talent around him.
You can watch Duval and this years Duke team again tonight when they take on Southern in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The game tips at 7:00 on the ACC Network via ESPN.