Coach K To Build Duke Team Around Rodney Hood And Jabari Parker

Mike Krzyzewski

The start of college basketball season is right around the corner and many programs participated in their first practice yesterday including Mike Krzyzewski and his Duke Blue Devils.

While a lot of the focus on this upcoming season has been on the arrival of number two overall recruit Jabari Parker, some may have forgotten about Mississippi State transfer Rodney Hood, who Kryzewski said many times last year was the best player on the team.

H/T: The Charlotte Observer

“Rodney, every day last year … he handled that situation unbelievably well and many times was our best player. Being the best player with a blue shirt and no pressure on you, we’ll see now with a white shirt and pressure on you what happens. I think good things will happen.”

When senior guard Tyler Thornton was asked who the best player on the team was, he also spoke highly of the redshirt sophomore.

“Rodney (Hood),” Tyler Thornton said Friday, after Duke’s first official practice. “It’s a no-brainer.”

“That guy, I didn’t know he was that good,” said Jabari Parker, echoing Thornton’s praise of Hood. “Being in practice, his jump shot is so pure.”

Coach K also said that Parker, who fractured his foot last year, is getting back to 100% after playing injured his senior year in high school.

“He’s starting to feel his athleticism again,” Krzyzewski said of Parker. “He has a chance to get better. A lot better once he learns how to play defense and understand that he has this freedom of movement where he’s not positioned, where he can play all over the floor.”

Don’t expect this to be the Duke team we’ve seen in recent years. Coach K will be putting the most athletic group a guys on the floor in almost ten years.