The Duke Blue Devils will be entering the 2013-14 season with three of its top scorers from last season gone. That hasn’t tempered expectations in Durham though as the Blue Devils will enter the upcoming season ranked fourth in the nation thanks to the import of a few exciting young players headlined by top recruit Jabari Parker. However, it could be Rodney Hood that emerges as Duke’s biggest threat this season.
Hood transferred over from Mississippi State where he played one season and averaged 10.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and two assists per game as a freshman. Hood becomes just the fourth player to transfer to Duke in Mike Krzyzewski’s 33 years as a head coach and Hood certainly has the ability to become one of the best players Krzyzewski has ever had the privilege to coach.
Hood was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and has the size at 6-foot-8 and 215 pounds to battle down low and the athleticism and speed to play the wing. Hood also possesses the ability to drain the three as he shot 36.4 percent his freshman year at Mississippi State. Essentially, Hood is the perfect player for Krzyzewski’s system, a player who can be physical inside but has the ability to create match-up nightmares for opposing teams with his outside game and quickness.
The Blue Devils will search for an identity early on in the season and will look to see which players step up to fill the voids left by the departures of Seth Curry, Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly. Hood could be that player and should be able to step into the rotation immediately after spending last season learning the system. His emergence would also take a lot of pressure off of Parker to perform immediately.
Hood is the perfect player in the perfect system and he should have the kind of season that reflects that. Duke can be a great team and could make a championship run. If they do, Hood will be a huge part of that.