Friar Basketball

A Look Behind the Improving Numbers of David Duke and Nate Watson

Duke at TCU

An ugly showing at the Maui Invitational overshadowed terrific starts to the season for Providence College’s two most experienced players.

After the Friars were blown out by Indiana and Alabama (and came within a missed Davidson layup of walking away from the tournament 0-3) most were looking at what was wrong with the Friars, not what was working.
Still, it was difficult to ignore the strides made by Nate Watson and David Duke, even amid the struggles. A convincing road win at TCU only magnified the progression of Ed Cooley’s talented inside-out duo.

Duke seems to be putting it all together in his third season at PC. His numbers are outstanding:

*19.7 points per game, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 45.9% from the field, 80% at the free throw line, and over 46% from deep.

Yet they don’t truly capture the extent to which Duke’s game
has grown. Cooley and his staff are leaning on Duke heavily. He is Providence’s leading scorer, and has slid over to point guard when Jared Bynum needs a break with relative ease. Duke is averaging 20 possessions per game this season, a mark only reached by three players in the Cooley era — Vincent Council, Bryce Cotton, and Ben Bentil. That’s up a full seven possessions per game for Duke, and he’s taking full advantage.

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