Carey Jr.
Position: C
Height/Weight: 6-10 / 270 lbs
School/Club: Duke
Status: Freshman
Birthday: 02/25/2001

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About Vernon Carey Jr.

Vernon Carey Jr. is a physical lefty center who emerged as one of the most imposing interior players in the ACC as a true freshman at Duke.  The son of long-time NFL lineman Vernon Carey Sr., Carey Jr. was an early bloomer which showed as he dominated the 2017 FIBA U16 Americas Championship averaging 14 points and 6.2 rebounds over only 15.6 minutes per game for a United States team that cruised to a gold medal.  Widely regarded as one of the top-5 prospects in the high school class of 2019, he missed the McDonald’s All-American Game and Jordan Brand Classic with a minor injury but was able to make an appearance in the Nike Hoop Summit following his senior year at NSU University School (FL). 

Facing lofty expectations as he headed to play for Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, he averaged 17.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game while scoring with elite efficiency to earn All-ACC 1st Team and Freshman of the Year honors.

  • An imposing 6-foot-10 center with an intimidating 270-pound frame, wide shoulders, and a 7-foot-1 wingspan, Carey certainly looks the part of an NBA big man.  A powerful athlete who is more comfortable moving bodies inside than sliding on the perimeter, he competes with steady energy and physicality.
  • Playing a significant role as the Blue Devils’ focal point inside, Carey did the majority of his scoring creating one-on-one in the post, but also contributed with his effort level changing ends, moving off the ball, and crashing the glass.  Scoring with great efficiency, his ability to finish through contact and draw fouls in bunches made him one of the more productive freshman scorers at the power conference level last season.  Pretty coordinated with the ball for a center, Carey also flashed some potential as a shooter even if his touch from the perimeter is early in its development.
  • Providing some rim protection in spots, Carey proved far more comfortable defending inside and rebounding his area than moving his feet away from the rim on the defensive end.

Defensive Analysis

  • A physical defender, Carey did much of his best work defensively guarding opposing big men in the post.  He allowed 0.672 points per post up possession [77th percentile] giving up little ground on the block. 
  • Not especially agile guarding away from the rim or long to protect the rim consistently, Carey nonetheless had some positive moments flashing a nose for the ball inside. 


  • Averaged 17.8 points (third in ACC), 8.8 rebounds (third) and 1.58 blocks (fifth).
  • Led the ACC and ranked 20th in the nation in field goal percentage (57.7).
  • Tied for 19th in the nation and was second in the ACC with 15 double-doubles.
  • Posted seven straight double-doubles, the fifth-longest streak in Duke history.
  • Recorded 10 games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, third most among players in power conferences.


  • Physically imposing presence in the paint.
  • Very mobile and agile for his size.
  • Uses a variety of spin moves in the post.
  • Shows potential as a perimeter shooter.


  • A member of the National Junior Honor Society in high school.
  • Father, Vernon, played eight NFL seasons as an offensive lineman with the Miami Dolphins.
  • His grandfather Vincent Carey was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps. His grandfather Vincent Banks played basketball at Oral Roberts.


“He’s so big, so strong, so athletic. He has great instincts at both ends of the court. He blocks shots, gets defensive rebounds, runs the floor extremely well. He can dunk the ball in traffic or shoot a nice little jump hook. ... He’s got the full package.”

-- Miami coach Jim Larranaga

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Scouting report provided by Carl Berman and Basil Dougan of NetScouts Basketball