Martins Abele: Year In Review

By Steve DiMiceli

It would be difficult to argue any Duke was more of a let down this year than Martins Abele. When he was ruled eligible, there was much rejoicing and we thought he would immediately fill a void. When we actually got to see him play, it all went out the window at least in the short term.

What he did well

I think one of the more interesting points about Abele is the stuff we expected him to do poorly he did just fine and the areas we expected him to be great at, he did poorly. Most argued that he would not be able to keep pace in the up tempo Ron Everhart system and really he did fine running the court. He cleared space for his teammates on defensive rebounds. He had some ability to put the ball on the floor with his back to the basket.

What he didn't do well

In 21 minutes of action, Abele didn't grab a single rebound himself. He was not particularly strong receiver of the ball whether rebounding or taking a pass. He was often out of position defensively and was not quick enough to make up for it. I felt like he fouled on almost every defensive set. Of course, there was his trouble in the classroom.


Abele went from wildly exciting to almost completely overlooked. It would not be out of the question that he turns it around, I just am not sure he has enough time to do it. Abele has only two years of eligibility remaining and having to sit out this season on a transfer red shirt would have been a blessing in disguise regardless of eligibility issues. Clearly, hindsight makes that choice easier.