Will Andre Dawkins find his consistency?
Andre Dawkins has always been a talented player, but has lacked the consistency to be a great player. In 2011-12, Dawkins last season of play, Dawkins averaged 8.4 points per game in 22.4 minutes of playing time, while having four games where he scored over 20 points per game. While this is impressive, he also was held scoreless six times, including four of his last six games. Dawkins will have to be more consistent this season if he expects to see consistent minutes on a Duke team with an extremely talented back court.
After Dawkins good, but inconsistent season in 2011-12, Dawkins decided to redshirt last season to grieve the loss of his sister. His sister passed away during Dawkins freshman year, and Dawkins break finally gave him time to come to terms with the death. While it is unknown whether it did make a difference for Dawkins, it is difficult to play a sport with something else on your mind. This may have caused part of his inconsistencies, but it is unknown whether it truly did.
After a year off, it will be big to see if Dawkins inconsistencies have decreased. Being a pure shooter, highs and lows are expected in production but not to the extent Dawkins did. 70 percent of Dawkins shots in 2011-12 were three pointers, which helps explain his inconsistency. Dawkins will never be a great ball handler, but a one dribble pull up would add a huge element to Dawkins game. Also, scoring in transition, which will be an emphasis for Duke, will allow Dawkins to get easy buckets that will prevent scoreless games. Duke’s up-tempo style and Dawkins shooting more twos instead of threes should help Dawkins to add consistency to his scoring numbers.
There will be a tremendous amount of pressure on Dawkins to be consistent this season. Duke lacks seniors, and Dawkins will need to be a leader on this team. Dawkins is not known as a vocal person, so he will need to lead by example by his great play. He also has the pressure of another great shooter, freshman Matt Jones, which could take his place. Dawkins will have the upper hand on the job, especially early on, but he will need to play well in order to keep the job. If Dawkins struggles for a few games, Jones could take his spot and never look back. There is a lot of pressure for Dawkins to succeed and he will need to step up to the call.
This is a huge senior season for Dawkins. As a freshman, Dawkins won a National Championship backing up Jon Scheyer, Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler at guard. Dawkins will be backing up a completely different group; Quinn Cook, Rasheed Sulaimon, and Rodney Hood, but his role will be the same. He will need to provide athleticism, defense, and most importantly shooting off the bench. Although Duke has a player who could fill Dawkins role, they would benefit greatly from Dawkins having a great season. Luckily for Duke, I believe Dawkins will become a more consistent player and provide Duke with a great shooter and scorer off the bench.