Unfortunately, Steve stole a lot of my thunder in his ballot here, as we were thinking much along the same lines for this upcoming season when we made our ballots last week. You can also check out Dave’s projections here.
Ovie Soko. I don’t feel good about this pick, but I’ll take Soko as the leading scorer for the upcoming season above Colter. While Colter was forced to carry the load last year as a freshman PG, he won’t be this year. The Dukes add in Ovie Soko from UAB for the 2013-14 season, and Soko could easily wind up being the leading scorer in addition to best overall player. If Colter makes the jump to being a better distributor of the ball in addition to a scorer, a jump I think he will make both with experience and better overall weapons around him, Soko will be the leading beneficiary and leading scorer.
Best Defender: Jeremiah Jones
In what figures to be a team that may still struggle defensively as a whole, Jeremiah Jones is to me easily the best defender of the bunch. Jeremiah’s overall commitment to defense as well as his overall vastly underrated athleticism make him the best defender overall, even if it doesn’t show on the stat sheet in terms of steals and blocks. His length makes it hard to get around him, and his leaping skills are also very good going for boards and for altering shots. His footwork on defense improved as the year went on last year to where he was rarely out of position for on-the-ball defense. If he keeps improving, he has a shot at the all-defensive team if the A-10 coaches look at true defense rather than rewarding statistics of steals and blocks.
Top Frosh: Isaiah Watkins
My guess is that the 6-8 Watkins beats out Jordan Robinson to start the year. From reports, Watkins has a more developed overall game than Robinson, as Watkins can shoot from outside, dribble well for a big, and even create his own shot a little whereas Robinson is more of a true inside player. Also, Watkins was the more highly sought after recruit, as Watkins chose the Dukes over Florida State, Villanova, and Iowa State per Adam Zagoria. At this point in Duquesne athletics, if a player is good enough for Florida State and ‘Nova, he’s probably good enough for the Dukes.
Breakout Candidate: Tra’Vaughn White
Why nobody is overly talking about White I don’t know. He was the JUCO leader in scoring last year, and fits in perfectly at the off guard in Ferry’s system. I see White as the starter from day one and a 12 point per game guy if the Dukes go as uptempo as I think they will this year.