3 Key Duke Players to Watch in March Madness

These three Blue Devils will decide on how far Duke will go in the NCAA Tournament.
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Kyle Filipowski

The sophomore star is certainly the most recognizable name at Duke. A likely lottery pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, Filipowski will have plenty of eyes on him during the NCAA Tournament. He needs to put together strong performances to make his case to be one of the best players in this draft class.

We all know that Filip can score. He stretches the floor, hits jumpers from the outside, takes it inside, and scores in the paint. Moreover, he can handle the ball at the top of the key and run an offense with his passing. His offensive skills are undeniable.

What he needs to prove, however, is that his offensive production can turn into team success.

One shocking statistic about Filipowski is that there is an inverse correlation between how much he shoots and how likely it is for Duke to win. In six games the big man took at least 17 field goal attempts, Duke has only won once, and that came against a weak Georgia Tech side.

In both losses against North Carolina and the ACC upset against NC State, Filipowski took over 17 shots.

It's not like he isn't effective on these shots and this is less about him than it is about the overall Duke offense.

When things get bogged down, the ball movement becomes an afterthought and the team waits for Filipowski to take over. The emphasis needs to be more on ball movement and dynamic perimeter play, led by McCain, Roach, and Proctor.

The Blue Devils look their best when they share the ball and when Filipowski is the offensive hub more as a passer and screener. He will get his buckets as he is an extremely talented player, but it can't come at the expense of the overall health of the offense.

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