The goal of the Skills Academies is to instill fundamentals into the next generation of top players. Each academy focuses on strength and conditioning and skill development. In addition to the on-court instruction the players also get to hear from the NBA athlete and the coaches on life lessons and what it takes to make it at the next level.
Miles is the Blue Devils lone senior leader this season and he hopes to break out during his final year at Duke. The eldest Plumlee has showed flashes of his tremendous upside in the past and he seeks consistencyand has an opportunity to start for and lead a young team.
His brother Mason, is projected as one of the NBA's top picks, so many are expecting him to leave after his upcoming junior season. Mason holds the key to the Blue Devils success in the paint for the upcoming campaign. In short, he needs to improve upon his numbers for he will get more touches with the departure of Kyle Singler.
Another player many are pointing to as a player that should improve the most in the off season, is Seth Curry. If Duke can get him to perform anywhere close to the way he did against North Carolina in Cameron this past season, it will spell trouble for the opposition.
Dawkins is a player who could blossom as well in that he has more than just the ability to knock down the three point shot. Dawkins can be a good defender with work over the summer and he has the athleticism to guard guys other roster players can't.
Incoming freshman Austin Rivers will take his show on the road to Chicago for the Kevin Durant Skills Academy which takes place from June 26th to the 28th. Rivers will be expected to contribute from day one at Duke being one of the most hyped and talented players in last seasons high school class.
Rivers is expected to be a leader in his first year at Duke and he will seek to be a better player off ball while refining his defense. One of the few knocks on Rivers is that he could and will have to be a better on ball defender, especially in the Duke system.
Then of course, there is the upcoming trip to China and Dubai where Duke will be able to take their entire team, freshman included. As I have stated in a previous premium article, Duke will get 10 full practices before the trip and unlimited time while on the journey.
The incoming freshman can make the trip in that they will be in summer school with some arriving on campus late this month and all by June. And this is good for a team with a mix of four freshman and a handful of vets for they need seasoning while Coach Krzyzewski seeks chemistry for the coming year.
Several Blue Devils are expected to participate in the Jerry Stackhouse N.C. Pro Am on the campus of North Carolina Central this off season. However, the aforementioned trip to China is apt to alter and or shorten their appearances.
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