10 Bold Predictions For Duke Basketball This Season


Mar 31, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Quinn Cook (middle) sticks out his tongue as he huddles with teammates in the second half during the finals of the Midwest regional of the 2013 NCAA tournament against the Louisville Cardinals at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Every season there is always some type of storyline that rests above all. In my opinion, the one this year was when Ryan Kelly came back strong after his injury. Last year’s headline was when Austin Rivers hit the game-winner against North Carolina. I’m not planing on making predictions “that” bold, but I do have my 10 bold predictions for this upcoming season.

1.) Jabari Parker will be a star: This may be predicted by many, but I believe Jabari Parker will be a star. I expect Parker to start right out of the gates, and be a force to be reckoned with. Expect him to dominate the College Basketball landscape.

2.) Matt Jones will have a strong freshman campaign: Personally, I think Matt Jones is being overlooked by a majority of media members and opposing fans. Us Duke fans realize how good Jones can be. Let’s remember that Jones is ranked as the sixth-ranked player at his position by ESPN. He will not be someone you want to sleep on.

3.) Duke will win the ACC: The ACC is going to be decent at best next season. I think our main challenger will be North Carolina, just like every other year. Miami would have been competitive, but Shane Larkin’s move to the NBA really hurts. I don’t think it will be easy, but I think we will when the conference.

4.) The Duke-UNC rivalry will split: As most years, I think the Duke-UNC rivalry will split. I think we will win our home game and then lose on the road. I don’t expect either team to take both games. Expect the Battle of Tobacco Road to be very close and evenly matched this season.

5.) Duke will make it to the Elite Eight…at least: Well, we made it last season. If Louisville didn’t use Kevin Ware’s injury for motivation, then I believe we would have made the Final Four in route to a National Championship. We’ve been disappointed in March Madness before, but I think we’ll at least make it to the Elite Eight this season.

6.) Rodney Hood will be the missing piece to the puzzle: We have needed a player like Hood for a long time. Who can’t use a stretch-forward that is athletic? I believe Rodney Hood will get it done. Even though I doubt he’ll bring up crazy numbers, I still have the belief that he’ll be a huge help to this team.

7.) Josh Hairston will provide strong leadership: Who doesn’t possibly like Josh Hairston? This guy is a true emotional leader. Don’t expect him to bring up a huge stat-line, but he will keep this team together. We need to have a leader for this year’s three freshmen, and he is the man.

8.) Rasheed Sulaimon will be much improved: Sulaimon had an awesome freshman campaign for the Blue Devils. He was a “go to” scorer and showed unbelievable maturity for his age. He is also going to try out for the Team USA U19 team. He’ll hopefully go up against top-notch competition and improve as a player.

9.) Quinn Cook will be strong at the point guard spot: Cook is now entering his junior season at Duke. He’s been a great player through his first two years, but he will step up this season. Point guard play is crucial for any team’s success, and he will surely bring that.

10.) Bench depth will not be an issue for Coach K: This season, Coach K will have at least ten (yes ten) guys that can compete for significant playing time. If a player gets in foul trouble, then we will see great relief from our bench. I expect bench depth to be one of the reasons we will win the ACC.