Duke usually has had a “big three” that led them in their most successful seasons. The 1991 and 1992 teams had Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, and Grant Hill. The core of the 2001 championship team was Jay Williams, Mike Dunleavy, and Shane Battier. When they won the National Championship in 2010 they had Jon Scheyer, Kyle Singler, and Nolan Smith. This past year they had Mason Plumlee, Seth Curry, and Ryan Kelly. If history shows us anything about Duke, it’s that they need at least three players to step up for them this season.
Duke basketball will have to find three players to step up and play consistent minutes when the team needs them. They lost every one of their big three from a season ago, so they will have to replace them this season. This will be a struggle. To find a new big three and have the other players accept that they are not one of them will be the key for Coach K.
It would make sense for Quinn Cook to be part of the big three, because he was a big part of last year’s team. Cook means a lot to this team, but he has a good backup point guard and he will be asked to set up the big three more than anything else. He will have to run this team and make sure everyone is doing their part. He will be more of a coach on the court than anything else. They will still need his leadership but he will have to distribute the ball.
The next potential member of the big three for Duke and will be the most important to this team’s success is Rodney Hood. They will have to rely on him every game and he will have to play his best for Duke to reach their potential. He will be one of the players who can create his own shot and they will rely on his offense throughout the season. He will have to make big plays both offensively and defensively and he has played with them in practice for a year so he should be used to playing with most of the players on the Blue Devils team.
The other big player for Duke Basketball this season is Jabari Parker. He is only an incoming freshman, but he is ready to play at the college level. He can get his shot whenever he needs to and he can play bigger than 6-foot-8. He might have to be the guy in the post for this team, he is a small forward but he might be the best post player for this team. They will rely on him offensively and defensively as well, but hopefully he will have a couple games that he can get used to the college game before they have a close game.
The last contender for a spot in the big three for this year at Duke is Rasheed Sulaimon. He will have a crucial role this year. He is a player that has been here before and did very well last season. He will have a bigger role because of the departure of Seth Curry and will be asked to do many of the things Curry was asked to do. He will have to make open shots to spread the defense and move without the ball. Hood and Parker can create their own shots and have the offense run through them, so Sulaimon will have plenty of opportunities to play off of them.
These players will step in to be the new big three at Duke. Most of their games this year will be dependent on how well they play. Some games Cook will be able to bail them out with his play, but for the most part this year will be a success or failure because of Hood, Parker, and Sulaimon.