Height: 6’ 7”
Weight: 220 lbs
Position: Small Forward
Hometown: Newark, NJ
DOB: August 1, 2004
Dariq Whitehead is a good offensive freshman small forward for the Duke Blue Devils. Limited to just 20 out of the season’s first 28 games this year, he is averaging 8.6 PPG and shooting 41.0% from 3-point range in 21.1 MPG. Considered to be a high lottery pick by many analysts at the beginning of the season, Whitehead’s stock has since fallen as he has struggled to live up to his pre-college hype. If he decides to enter the draft, he most likely will fall in the mid to late 1st round.
Recruiting and Early Career
Originally from Newark, New Jersey, Whitehead played high school basketball for Montverde Academy in Montverde, Florida. Arguably the best high school player in the 2022 class, Whitehead was a consensus 5-star recruit and ranked #1 overall by Rivals.com, #2 overall by ESPN.com, and #3 overall by 247sports.com.
He was named the 2021-2022 MaxPreps National Player of the Year, the 2022 Naismith Prep Player of the Year, and the MVP of the 2022 McDonald’s All-American Game.
Whitehead committed to play for the Duke Blue Devils, representing the 2nd top recruit landed by then coach-in-waiting John Scheyer. He also received serious offers from Florida State, Kansas, and the NBA G-League. Whitehead noted that Duke was the school of his dreams, specifically that he loved the types of players they recruited and the school’s style of play established under Coach Mike Krzyzewski.
2022-2023 Season Struggles – Injuries and Limited Minutes
Unfortunately, the 2022-2023 season has not gone as expected for Whitehead, who has been severely hampered by injuries. Playing in just 20 out of Duke’s first 28 games, he has struggled to get into a groove with the Blue Devils. He has started only 6 games this season so far and is playing only about half a game on average.
Whitehead’s disappointing freshman season has led to speculation that he may choose to return for his sophomore season, attempting to secure a higher draft status more befitting of his incredible shooting talent.
How Old is Dariq Whitehead?
Whitehead is one of the youngest players in college basketball and will end up playing the entire 2022-2023 season as an 18-year-old. He won’t turn 19 until August 1, making it possible that he could be one of the youngest players drafted in the 2023 NBA Draft at 18 years old.
Dariq Miller Whitehead Brother
Dariq Whitehead’s older brother, Tahir, played in the NFL for 10 seasons from 2012 to 2021 with the Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders, Carolina Panthers, and Arizona Cardinals. During the 2016-2017 NFL season, Tahir was 3rd in the NFL in solo tackles with 99. He played collegiately at Temple University for 4 seasons, initially starring on special teams before establishing himself as a starting defensive player.
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What you will find on a Dariq Whitehead NBA Draft scouting report
Whitehead missed 8 games due to injury. In his games played he’s proven to be a reliable shooter from long distance. Coming off the bench except for 6 games Whitehead is primarily a catch & shoot small forward that also puts the ball on the deck and plays defense. The Duke Blue Devils are 15-5 when Whitehead plays.
Whitehead’s biggest strength and most valuable skill set is the ability to knock down shots from long distance. Playing to his strengths are what guides him to the areas of the court where he does most of his damage. He’s a good long distance shooter and most of that damage is primarily done with a fluid stroke especially his fantastic catching & shooting.
After catching & shooting Whitehead’s second most valuable offensive skill set is putting the ball deck to create his shot. One way he creates off the bounce is by attacking with in & outs starting from beyond the three point line. From there Whitehead is able to beat his defenders and pick his spots. His pull up jumper from the elbow is natural and smooth.
Whitehead also has the ability to attack past closeout defenders, pull up or continue to drive and get to the basket.
Attacking the basket
Curl cuts, straight line drives and changing direction with spin moves are all utilized when Whitehead penetrates. Defenders have to respect his shot and Whitehead takes advantage of this. His ability to shoot makes it easier for him to attack past one-on-one and closeout defenders to drive and kick or get to the basket.
At the rim Whitehead attempts to finish with both hands. But this areas of his game is a work in progress. He’s just not a great finisher at the point in his career. Finishing when contested or challenged has been a struggle for him this year.
A make the extra pass in a half court setting type of player. Plus his vision and ability to find teammates with bounce or lob pass in transition is reliable.
Whitehead’s defense is also reliable. His potential to be a really good defender is easy to see. From his quick reactions to moving his feet a notable defensive effort is present.
His defensive efforts can be seen while he’s playing some good on ball defense. Whitehead does a good job of sliding his feet to cut off penetration. Plus he stays with in striking distance and quickly gets off his feet to contest shots well.
At the next level
Whitehead has the potential to be a very good 3 & D wing that reliably knocks down long range shots, free throws, and competently defends In the NBA. His long wingspan gives him the potential to be an above-average defensive player.
Plus he’ll be able to create his shot by putting the ball on the deck for the midrange pull up or getting to the basket. Finishing around the rim will be a struggle for him. He’ll occasionally go to the line. But when he does you can expect him to bury his free throws.
If Whitehead sticks to his strengths he has a good chance of eventually succeeding at the next level.
Dariq Whitehead Stats: 2022-2023 Season
2022-2023 Season and Beyond
It is difficult to project where Whitehead will fall in the 2023 NBA Draft due to his surprisingly disappointing 2022-2023 season with Duke. Some draft projections have him in the 15-20 pick range in the 1st round, while others have him falling to the late 1st round, early 2nd round range.
Whitehead’s best option at this point is to consider potentially returning for his sophomore season, allowing him to reestablish himself as a projected top 5 or top 10 pick. He could benefit from a successful 2023 NCAA Tournament showing, where Duke, though not as good as previous years, should have a decent seed.
But if he does enter the draft from this point on all we can do is watch and see if Whitehead can reach and full fill his potential to be a very good 3 & D wing that reliably knocks down long range shots, free throws, and competently defends In the NBA.
- Mitchell and Dariq Whitehead both connected on shots from beyond the arc and Duke remained in control, 37-28, at the final media timeout of the …
- Duke lost the first game between these two teams 78-75, but only had freshman Dariq Whitehead for half of the action that night in late January.
- Duke is 13-3 this season with the above combination of starters. Although some folks may find it odd that former five-star recruit Dariq Whitehead is …