by Brian Horace
The term motor is often used in the context of sport. Does this guy have a good motor? Coaches and scouts generally make a determination about a players motor and that generally follows them throughout their career. In the case of Marques Bolden his motor has been questioned for two years now at Duke. No one has ever denied that the 6’11 center has the ability and talent to affect both ends of the floor but some have wondered if he has the drive. In defense of Bolden, who came into Duke with expectations of being a one-&-done player, injuries have curtailed his ability to he effective at Duke thus far. As Duke continued to recruit, rumors of Bolden’s departure either to test the NBA waters or to transfer were always abound. Bolden, however, has chosen to stick it out at Duke and this season presents a golden opportunity to improve his play, his stock and the perceptions.
When Bolden has managed to get time on the court he has done well, he has just lacked continuity – he needs to be able to string together consistent performances but moreover consistency in terms of health. Regardless of the past Coach K and the coaching staff seem to have faith in Marques Bolden – whether that faith is out of necessity or rooted in the fact that they know what Marques can do, time will tell.
Coach K has made it clear that he expects Marques Bolden to be one of the best big men in the country in this, his junior year and with a lineup much more suited for his strengths, the spotlight will be solely placed on him. Duke will need a presence underneath the basket both on offense and defense and Bolden has shown flashes of being the man – the minutes will be his to eat. Bolden averaged only 4 points and 3.6 rebounds a game in 12.9 minutes a game this past season but his opportunities were limited with 2 first round draft picks in Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. perched into Dukes lineup. If Marques can stay healthy he has a chance to feed off of a lineup of good facilitators who will draw defenses and are all adept passers.
It’s a do or die season for Bolden and Duke fans are hoping he stays in the lineup and off of the injured list.