Ducas delivers for Gaels in hot start to the season

ANOTHER Aussie who is excelling in the NCAA system in the past few months has been Alex Ducas, with the guard off to his best start since joining the collegiate system.

Now in his fourth season with the Saint Mary’s Gaels, Ducas has started the year in red-hot scoring form, with a career-best average and improved efficiency from the field, which has resulted in his side winning their first five games of the season.

At six-foot-six, Ducas offers height at the shooting guard position, and has proven to be a dynamic scorer for the Gaels. He can score at all three levels (inside, mid-range, three-point) and has been quite a weapon for Saint Mary’s in the first few weeks.

Ducas started the season in slow-ish form, producing just 10 points on 33 per cent shooting from the field, which is about what he averaged last year. However, he has improved greatly as the season has gone on, producing points totals of 14, 11, 14 and most recently 20 in the triumph over the Hofstra Pride on Sunday.

In that match, Ducas was the match’s leading scorer as the Gaels claimed a thumping 76-48 win, and shot extremely well from behind the arc. Six of his seven attempts from downtown were successful, as Saint Mary’s looked to get the ball in his hands from behind the arc.

While he was not as efficient from inside the arc, Ducas has shown in the past that he can score the ball going downhill, and can evade the defence off the ball. This was reflected in his NBL Next Gen Testing results back in 2018, where he was able to rank in the top six for the Pro Lane Drill, which tests the agility of the athlete. Ducas uses his strength here to get free around the perimeter, and his smooth shooting motion allows him to nail the jump shot more often than not.

While not the quickest off the dribble, Ducas can still get to the rack downhill with his composed dribbling action and cool head at the rim. Defensively, he does not rack up the biggest stats, but still has the size and agility to stay in front of the opposition at the perimeter, at least long enough until his teammates in the frontcourt can rotate over to help.

Ducas has also donned the green and gold for Australia, most recently participating in the FIBA Asia Cup and the Asian Qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup. While he did not register as many points, at just 22 years of age, there is still plenty of growth in his game, and he should continue to see international action in the years.

A highly touted Aussie prospect that has thrived in the college environment, Ducas has been extremely impressive in his opening matches of the 2022/23 season. Now at his most developed, the two-guard appears set for a breakout season for the Gaels.

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