Draft Lead

The Curious Case of Cam Reddish

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Coming out of high school, Cam Reddish was rated the number three player in the nation and part of Duke’s historic 2018 recruiting class. Reddish started the year off hot, torching Kentucky for 22 points. He then scored in double figures in his next six of seven games, eclipsing 20 points two more times. But then, Reddish hit a wall.

Reddish’s Struggles

In his next six games, he scored under 10 points four times. The other two times he only had 10. In this six-game span, Reddish shot 23% from the field. He looked completely lost on the court and started forcing bad shots to try to get himself going. People began to wonder what happened to Reddish. Was he injured? Did he make the wrong choice going to Duke? Was he just not good? Many began to label Reddish as the only disappointment in this star studded Duke class.

Staying the Course

Reddish, however, did not give up. He channeled his frustrations into the defensive end of the court. Reddish averaged the most steals on a team that gets the second most steals per game in the NCAA, despite playing the 5th most minutes on the team. He locks down the players he’s guarding and alters shots at the rim. Reddish also never allowed his emotions to show. He constantly played with effort and intensity and would get animated for his team’s success. Reddish refused to quit at a time when many other freshmen would’ve backed down and felt sorry for themselves.

Reddish Returns

Reddish’s perseverance paid off. He hit a three late in a close game against Texas Tech to put Duke up six, showing flashes of the talent he had along the way. Then, against #13 Florida State, Reddish finally broke out. He had 23 points on 60% shooting including the game winning three with 2.8 seconds left. Reddish finally looked ready. He was back.

In the end, Cam’s slump might help him. Most freshmen hit “the freshman wall” at some point. Cam’s however came a little earlier than the usual mid-January stereotype. Scouts can easily forgive his scoring struggles. In high school, however, the biggest questions about Cam were his attitude and defense. He more than proved that he can persevere and be an elite defender during his six game slump. He stayed with his teammates, locked down opponents, and never gave up. Reddish even proved he’s got the clutch gene, knocking down two of the biggest shots of Duke’s season.

If Reddish’s scoring is truly back, his slump may make him seem like an even stronger draft prospect. What team wouldn’t want a long and athletic hard-nosed scoring machine with great defensive instincts and ice in his veins? I fully expect Cam Reddish’s draft stock to recover soon.

The Duke product is back in action Saturday against #4 Virginia.

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