Lots of things are smooth: silk, pick-up artists, the cliché phrase “like a hot knife through butter” works as well. And then there’s Rodney Hood of Duke. He is overshadowed by Jabari Parker‘s incredible play, yet Hood has put up fantastic stats of his own. Hood is averaging 18.9 points (on 56 percent from the field 45 percent from three), 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. He’s the 7th leading scorer in the ACC. He’s playing at an All-American level, yet one Sports Illustrated article aside, he’s being ignored by most of the media.
Part of this may be because the last time we saw him he was on the dysfunctional Renardo Sidney dominated Mississippi State Bulldogs team in the 2012 season. He was a modest role player with that group, and anything he did was inevitably overshadowed by a weak-willed coach and an uncontrollable “star”. Most players on that team were written off because of the extreme dysfunction surrounding the Bulldogs. He was on the Freshman All-SEC team, but after the shenanigans with the Bulldogs that year decided he needed to transfer; and lucky for Duke he selected them as his destination.
Hood is just as important to Duke’s success as Parker. Both are nightly threats to produce 30, 10 and five, but it is Parker who the media gravitates towards— freshmen are the hot item, the next big thing. Hood is a redshirt sophomore who produces at a fantastic clip and goes unacknowledged by many. During games it seems that he’s hardly scoring, yet upon checking the box score there he is with 15 points and three rebounds midway through the second half. The guy is incredibly smooth and incredibly good.
While many haven’t seemed to notice Hood, NBA scouts are taking notes. Draftexpress.com has him as the last pick in the lottery at No. 14. He’s been steadily creeping up various draft boards for the last month and next season will make one NBA team very happy as a versatile two guard. Hood is a great player and because he’s so smooth no one seems to realize it.