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The word Duke basketball coach Jon Scheyer uses to describe Blue Devils guard Jared McCain

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DURHAM – Warrior. 

Duke basketball coach Jon Scheyer used the word after the Blue Devils’ loss at North Carolina and again Monday night. 

Scheyer is describing freshman guard Jared McCain, a sharpshooter from California who has emerged as an all-around menace for the ninth-ranked Blue Devils (19-5, 10-3 ACC). 

“I think he’s a guy that will do whatever it takes to win, at any cost,” Scheyer said after Duke’s 77-69 win against Wake Forest, the Blue Devils’ 25th in a row against the Demon Deacons (16-8, 8-5) at Cameron Indoor Stadium. 

McCain has lived up to his reputation as a knock-down shooter, but now he’s picking up steam as a rebounder.

The 6-foot-3 McCain has become one of the top rebounding guards in the nation with double-digit boards in four of the last five games, including back-to-back double-double performances. He had 17 points and 10 rebounds against the Demon Deacons.

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Prior to this five-game stretch, McCain had two games with double-digit rebounds in the first 19. 

“He’s got a great nose for the ball,” Scheyer said. “He’s one of those guys that makes plays within the play.” 

What Kyle Filipowski, Mark Mitchell said about Jared McCain’s rebounding 

Because Duke has a smaller lineup this season with three guards surrounding 6-foot-9 Mark Mitchell and 7-footer Kyle Filipowski most of the time, “gang rebounding” has become an emphasis for Scheyer’s Blue Devils. 

Mitchell and Filipowski continue to lead Duke in rebounding, but they’re starting to notice McCain’s increased intent and production on the glass. 

“We actually joke with him that he’s stealing our rebounds,” Mitchell said with a smile. “. … I’ll be right there and he comes out of nowhere and grabs it.” 

Filipowski went a step further, dishing out high praise to his freshman teammate.

“Jared’s probably the best guard rebounder I’ve seen, ever,” Filipowski said. 

Why Jared McCain is grabbing more rebounds for the Blue Devils 

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Duke basketball’s Mark Mitchell, Kyle Filipowski talk Wake Forest win

Following Duke basketball’s win vs. Wake Forest, Kyle Filipowski and Mark Mitchell weighed in on the Blue Devils’ performance.

When asked what makes a good rebounder, Jared McCain highlighted three key elements. 

“Soccer legs make a good rebounder, being able to box out, and just a want-to to get the rebound,” McCain said. 

“. … I feel like I can just find ways. I like when they try to box me out, I can make a move and I feel like I’m playing football or something. I just see the trajectory of where it’s going and what side it’s coming off of.” 

McCain is consistently checking each of those three boxes. 

Strong legs. Check. Boxing out. Check. Want-to. Check. 

“I think I just want it more,” McCain said. “I’m just doing whatever the team needs to win, and sometimes – most of the time – that’s rebounding and getting more possessions. I just want it.” 

Staff writer Rodd Baxley can be reached at rbaxley@fayobserver.com or @RoddBaxley on X/Twitter.

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