This is the second in a six part series that dives into the strengths and weaknesses of all six members of Duke’s 2020 freshman class. In case you missed my first deep dive, here is the Jeremy Roach breakdown. In this player breakdown we will be taking a look at four star power forward Jaemyn Brakefield.
Versatility is one of the calling cards of Duke’s 2020 roster, and no player embodies that better than Jaemyn Brakefield. He truly is a do it all forward that you can put in so many different spots. Currently, his best spot is at the four. But, he can certainly function as a small ball five at the college level, and long term he could end up playing primarily at the three. Not only is he positionally versatile, but he also possess a versatile skillset. At 6’8” he does so many different things. He’s a solid passer, a solid shooter, and a really good athlete. Here’s an impressive sequence where he shows off an impressive handle for someone of his size followed by a nice pass to the rolling big man.
Then here’s an impressive example of his shot creation, and shot making ability. Against five star 2021 forward Moussa Diabate, Brakefield hits a step back three.
In this clip, Brakefield showcases his explosiveness, posterizing the 7 foot Prolific Prep defender Saba Gigiberia. This is the element of his game that has Duke fans most excited. I cannot wait to see him do this to someone in Cameron.
The most glaring weakness in Brakefield’s game is his inconsistency. On both ends of the floor, Brakefield’s impact kind of comes and goes. At his best, he’s really solid at both ends and is a high level shooter. However, too often Brakefield disappears from games. He’s a streaky shooter. And, when he’s not dialed in, he’s just not very good defensively or rebounding the ball. This clip shows that defensive inconsistency as he gets blown by without showing much effort.
Despite his inconsistencies, Brakefield is still a strong prospect with high upside. He’s incredibly versatile with skill, and athleticism. I’d expect him to be at Duke for three years before leaving for the NBA.
That wraps up this Duke freshman breakdown, next up is Mark Williams.
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