Duke’s Blue Collar Worker… Gary Trent Jr.

By Jack Drapkin

If the Duke Blue Devils were to succeed this year, it was to be on the backs of senior guard Grayson Allen, point guard Trevon Duval and/or the freshman frontcourt tandem of Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. Gary Trent Jr., was expected to have a prominent role, however there were no guarantees that he would even start at the beginning of the season. While everyone has had the spotlight at times, Trent Jr. has been bringing his lunch pale to work and getting it done while no one is watching.

I’ll be the first to admit, I was worried about Gary. After a promising exhibition campaign and first two games of the season, Trent Jr. could not buy a bucket from the outside. However, despite his shooting struggles he remained active and engaged on the defensive end of the court. He seems to be okay doing his work out of the spotlight and is comfortable not receiving the credit. Not only does this help tremendously with this Duke team, but it also allows Gary to show NBA teams that he can do the same things for them too.

As a defender, Gary Trent Jr. moves his feet well and has active hands. It’s not as though Gary has had a tremendous number of steals or blocks either. He just is always in the right spots on the court, and that kind of accountability is what a coach is looking for. This is part of the reason why Trent Jr. is averaging over 31 minutes a game for Duke, Coach K can trust him.

On offense, Gary Trent Jr. has a diverse repertoire of moves and can score from all three levels of the court when he has it going. He has a great three-point stroke and will need to knock them down more consistently in ACC play. While not the most explosive athlete, his heady play allows him to find openings in the defense and get a step on defenders, like his game-tying and-one drive against Texas.

Look for Trent Jr. to be wearing his hard hat all season long, doing the dirty work while no one is watching.

 

Duke Lands Trent Jr.!

By Jack Drapkin

Duke has added another commitment in the 2017 class, interestingly enough on the same day as Kentucky no less. Gary Trent Jr., rated as a top-15 player by ESPN is the latest high profile recruit to commit to Duke. Formerly of the same school that produced Tyus Jones, Apple Valley High School, Trent Jr. has transferred to Prolific Prep in an attempt to face more high-quality competition.

This was a big get for Coach K and his staff as the only other commitment until this point was fellow shooting guard Alex O’Connell. Trent Jr. however, is a much more complete and dynamic player and with his size at 6’5″ 205 lbs,  should be entertaining to watch in the college game (most likely one season). His power and defense will be enjoyable for Duke fans to watch even if his jumper is not going down. And anyways, who knows who this guy will be playing with when the ball rolls out at the start of next season!