Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 9/17/13
All the reports say Rodney Hood is back to full speed after his Achilles injury.  This is a good sign for the Duke Blue Devils because he is going to be one of the focal points for this team in the 2013-14 season.  Duke fans should be excited about this news because it makes them a Final Four contender this season. The timing is great for him to come back, because it gives him enough time to get back in to shape and play with the team.  He has played with most of the players on the Blue Devils team except for the incoming freshmen. He needs to bond with them, especially Jabari Parker, because they both will be starting this season.  He should have enough time to get ready for the season and get a feel for all the players on the team. They have almost two months until the beginning of the season so Hood should be ready to be a starter in game one.  Hood will be a main contributor along with Rasheed Sulaimon and Parker.  They will need all three to use their athleticism and use how difficult they are to match up against to offset the lack of size for the Duke Blue Devils. Hood is one of the most experienced players on the team and Duke will be looking to him for leadership this season.  Hood and Quinn Cook will have to lead this team, but Duke will look to Hood more for his offensive efficiency.  Hood being fully healthy is a good sign for the Duke Blue Devils.  They have been hit with injuries the last few years and need to stay healthy this season.  Hood brings an added dimension to this team and he will be able to help this team during the rough times at the beginning of the year.  He doesn’t just bring offensive efficiency; he also brings a good defender who can guard multiple positions. Duke fans should be excited by this news knowing that everyone is ready for the season and can see what this team can do.  Besides the post positions they should have most of the advantages in every other positions on the court.  This should be an exciting and fun season to watch what this team can do because they don’t have their traditional dominant low post player.  They will have to rely on getting to the basket and getting out and running this season. The expectations for this team are just as high as any other year.  Fans will be looking for a Final Four bid and if everything goes right for them this year a National Championship.  With a healthy team this Duke squad should be competing for championship whether or not they have a lower post player on the court or not.  This year they will look to their athleticism rather to a low post player or running the offense for their success.  This team is different than Duke teams in the past but just as capable to winning a National Championship.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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