Wendell Carter says Duke players will show more in NBA than in college
Carter, who played one season with the Blue Devils, highlighted several aspects of head coach Mike Krzyzewski's vaunted system - such as the 2-3 zone they played for most of the season - that held back the individual talents of star players for the greater good.
"I think even my teammates, all my teammates, weren't able to show all their strengths," Carter told Nick Friedell of ESPN. "That's just the college life. You buy into whatever college you go to. You do whatever you got to do to help the team win.
"I think, not even speaking for myself, but all my teammates, we're going to be able to show a lot more that we can do at the next level with the spacing on the floor, the fact that it's the NBA. It's not no-zone like how we were playing (at times), but it's a lot more space on the court."
Krzyzewski is undeniably one of the greatest coaches in the history of college basketball, but as Carter pointed out, the style of play differs between the amateur and professional ranks. There's more spacing and more pick-and-roll play in the NBA, whereas collegiate programs mostly focus on system-based offense.
Carter was still able to establish his value despite playing in a restrictive system. The 6-foot-10 pivot averaged 13.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks while shooting 56 percent from the field on a talented Blue Devils squad that included another projected lottery pick in Marvin Bagley III, along with Grayson Allen and Gary Trent Jr., who are also expected to be selected in the upcoming NBA draft.
Duke's 2017-18 season ended in the Elite Eight of March Madness with an overtime loss to Kansas.