Starting with this article, I’ll be doing a deep dive into each of Duke’s six 2020 recruits. I’ll be starting with Jeremy Roach, Duke’s projected starting point guard for next season, and the future at the position for the Blue Devils
First off, I really love the maturity that Roach brings to the floor. He plays with poise, he’s a good leader on the court, and he controls the game. This maturity should really help Duke in big games, Roach won’t make costly mistakes down the stretch. He’ll help to keep the Blue Devils calm in late game situations, and he can hit some big shots as well. Here’s an impressive stretch he had against fifth ranked DeMatha. First, he makes a clutch and one through contact to take the lead with just over three minutes to play. He then proceeds to hit a dagger three from near half court with under a minute to play. CLUTCH.
Adding on to his ability to control the game; Roach is a very good pick and roll ball handler. He uses screens well, especially for someone of his age. He has patience in pick and rolls, with the ability to hit jumpers, find the roller, or get to the rim. However, Roach does have some difficulty finishing against length. Occasionally, Roach tries to force shots against traffic in the paint when he would be better off finding a teammate. Here’s an example of Roach hitting a three point jumper out of a pick and roll. He calls for the screen, shows patience in waiting for the screener to get set. He comes around the screen, realizes that the screener’s defender stayed in the paint, and rises up for the three point jumper.
Here’s another impressive play by Roach out of a pick and roll. The defense hedges on the screen, and Roach impressively splits the two defenders before making an impressive no look pass to a cutter.
Roach is also pretty solid in transition. He uses his quick feet to put pressure on the defense. In this clip he quickly takes the ball down the floor, hesitates, then quickly drives to the rim. The change of pace was extremely impressive.
Defensively, Roach is very good as well. He’s pretty strong for being 6’2’’, and he uses that to his advantage. Against Sierra Canyon last season he did a good job when defending 6’7’’ wing B.J Boston. Granted, Boston isn’t the strongest wing, but it’s still impressive considering the 5 inch height difference between the two five star’s. Beyond that, Roach also has some solid defensive instincts. He often jumps passing lanes off the ball, and he’s quite pesky on the ball as well. Here’s an instance where Roach uses his quickness to catch up to Boston after being screened, and getting the steal followed by a transition finish.
Overall, Roach is a very well rounded guard that does a little bit of everything. He’s quick which allows him to get to the rim and make plays. He plays smart, and with poise as well. However, he is a little bit inconsistent as both a shooter and as a finisher but consistency should come with time. That being said, Roach makes his presence felt beyond the stat sheet which is one of the reasons that I’m so excited to see him play for Duke. He just makes a bunch of smart, winning plays that set him apart from most high school and college point guards. At Duke, I expect him to be a key player for two years (possibly one) before going to the NBA.
That wraps up this player breakdown, next up is Jaemyn Brakefield.
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