Feb. 9, 2005
When you think about the best guards across America — and this year college basketball is loaded with many prime-time perimeter players — one name worthy of consideration is J.J. Redick.
In fact, Redick is a legitimate candidate for national player of the year.
Redick has been incredible shooting the basketball throughout his college career at Duke ... but now he is much, much more. The junior guard has added to his game and can score in a variety of ways.
|J.J. Redick leads Duke in scoring, free-throw percentage and minutes per game.|
He has really improved his all-around game, becoming more solid at taking the ball to the basket and converting. His aggressiveness in driving to the hoop causes headaches for opposing defenses.
Redick also has tons of heart and desire.
Just look at last week's Duke-Wake Forest game, when he hit three 3-pointers in the final 2:14 to rally the Blue Devils.
Redick put on a special show, scoring 33 points overall and playing all 40 minutes. While the Blue Devils ended up falling 92-89, it wasn't because of Redick.
After the game, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said, "His desire to win could not have been exemplified in any higher fashion. He was magnificent. His demeanor was the key to bringing us back."
Entering Wednesday night's game against North Carolina (ESPN, 9 p.m. ET), Redick has scored 20 or more points in 12 of his past 13 games. That's consistency, baby!
Redick is sixth in the nation in scoring (22.8 ppg) and fifth in the nation in free-throw percentage (93.2 percent). He leads Duke in both categories and also in minutes per game (36.5).
Yes, Redick recently missed three free throws in the first half of a 100-65 home win over Virginia Tech. Duke students started chanting, "Fix the rim, fix the rim!" They thought something had to be wrong with the hoop, baby, because Redick is usually automatic from the foul line!
He is still the best free-throw shooter of all-time in Division I basketball.
But Redick is more than just a shooter — he's become a great all-around player and a genuine All-American, baby!
Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979. Send a question to Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.