Duke Blue Devils’ DJ Steward Reveals He Modelled His Game After 2020 NBA ROTY Ja Morant

Published 05/08/2021, 6:00 PM EDT
Jan 23, 2021; Louisville, KY, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard DJ Steward (2) passes the ball away from Louisville Cardinals guard David Johnson (13) during a NCAA basketball game at the KFC Yum! Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Utterback-USA TODAY Sports


The Duke Blue Devils are one of the best colleges in the country when it comes to player development. With their one and done approach, they aim to help their players by offering them the tools of the trade within a year.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

So after just one season, players leave for the NBA. DJ Steward, one of their best players from the 2020-21 season is now taking a similar step.

Although he had little success with the Blue Devils, Steward feels he is now ready for the NBA. He has declared for the 2021 Draft and is likely to be a late 1st-round pick.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Despite playing more shooting guard this season, Steward wants to be able to play point guard too. In fact, he is modeling his game after a young and exciting point guard from the NBA.

Apr 2, 2021; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) handles the ball against Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jordan McLaughlin (6) during the first half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

During a recent interview, Steward revealed that he was modeling his game after Grizzlies star Ja Morant. He said, “We have the same body type.

“We both play with a little flash. He has a lot of confidence. He can score well from all three levels and I love how he gets all of his teammates involved.”

Steward also mentioned that he feels his “natural position is point guard” and he can play well there too. At 6’2, Steward is undersized to play as a shooting guard so this move could be for the best.

From Duke Blue Devils to the NBA, can DJ Steward transition well?

On paper, Steward’s stats from the 2020-21 season don’t stand out. He averaged 13 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game. Those are decent numbers for a second scoring option.

He shot 42% from the field and 34% from three, both which are likely to see improvements as he enters the NBA. College players hamper their FG% with poor shot taking which improves as they mature in the big leagues.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Although he wasn’t able to showcase his playmaking ability a lot, Steward is an underrated passer who can pick out the open man smartly. If he works on this skill, he will be a valuable combo guard to any team that drafts him.

He is a great athlete and can finish adeptly at the rim. His athleticism helps him on defense too, but he needs to work on that front as well.

Steward has the potential to a solid backup guard in the NBA, and he will be one to watch out for in the 2021 NBA Draft.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

‘Could Feel the Love’: New Recuit AJ Griffin Reveals What Drew Him to Joining the Duke Blue Devils

about 1 month ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Aaron Mathew

1629 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT