Once again, the Blue Devils will have a new look with new names on the court this upcoming season. Bringing some key pieces back but also adding another impressive Top-5 recruiting class, Duke should yet again start in the Top-25 rankings. It will be interesting to see how this team meshes early on. Let us get an early look at the roster for the Blue Devils here.
The Blue Devils lost some key seniors last year that contributed on the floor and Coach K will have a few rising seniors that should be able to contribute at some level. Jordan Goldwire started 15 of the 31 games for Duke, averaging 4.7 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. He not only had a +2.6 assists/turnover ratio but also found a lot of success in his last eight games, shooting nearly 54 percent from the floor. He provides depth at the guard position, a defensive presence for the Blue Devils, and experience.
Patrick Tape, a grad-student, transferred into the program and looks to bring production as well as experience but time will tell how he adjusts to the level of play in the ACC. However, last year, tape averaged 11.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, playing in 27 games and shooting 67 percent from the floor.
These two will be the main contributors and will be depended on with their experience on the floor.
Player that could make a jump
This is an interesting category to look at for Duke because you have a few options that you could look at. The option that many would pick is former 5-star power forward Matthew Hurt, who many picked as one of the top players in the conference last year to start. However, the rising sophomore struggled with consistency, showing at times flashes of his game (22 points vs. Miami, 16 points vs. Louisville, 25 points vs. Boston College) but only averaging 9.7 points and 3.8 rebounds in 31 games. Outshined by Vernon Carey last year, Hurt has a chance to show why he was so highly-ranked coming into Duke.
Others could look at rising sophomore Wendell Moore, who played in 25 games and averaged 7.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.9 assists last year. Moore has a ton of talent, showing that he can be aggressive and finish inside and get to the free-throw line. He had some impressive performances vs. North Carolina (17 points, 10 rebounds), Wake Forest (25 points), and at the 2K Empire Classic. With a year under his belt, Moore has a chance to have himself a big season.
The first two would be obvious choices but don’t sleep on Joey Baker, who played a key role off the bench last year. He will be a junior this season and played in 28 games, starting three of them. He averaged 5.0 points and was a threat from deep, shooting nearly 40 percent from three.
Incoming freshmen class
Another impressive class for the Blue Devils, many of these will certainly have a chance to make a name for themselves at the college level. Jeremy Roach and D.J. Steward have a chance to make an early impact playing at the guard position, while Jalen Johnson is a small forward that headlines an impressive class and should see the floor as well. All bring a unique ability to impact the game for the Blue Devils. Mark Williams brings size down low at the center position, while Henry Coleman brings versatility and strength to the floor, along with a great motor. Jaemyn Brakefield brings size and ability to score on multiple levels, with the ability to handle and be an offensive threat.
Roach and Steward have a chance to make a big mark as guards with the lack of depth at those positions, but Jalen Johnson is a 6’8, strong-bodied versatile forward that can play with the ball in his hands but also play multiple positions. Also, Brakefield could be intriguing as well with his size but also to step out and create off the dribble; he has the ability to be a unique scoring threat for the Blue Devils.