Forward Amile Jefferson was officially approved for a medical redshirt and will be eligible to return to Duke next year.
The Duke Men’s Basketball team just received some great news heading into next season, with power forward Amile Jefferson officially ruled eligible to return to the Blue Devils next season. Jefferson fractured his right foot in December after appearing in only 9 games and applied for a medical redshirt to gain an extra year of eligibility from the NCAA.
Amile Jefferson’s return will provide a huge boost for the Blue Devils, who were already expected to have one of the top teams in the country next season. For his college career, Jefferson has averaged 6.1 points and 5.7 rebounds for Duke and was expected to play a bigger role this season before the injury. The 6-9 forward was averaging a double-double last season chipping in 11.4 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.
Jefferson’s return will be a key factor for Duke next season for several reasons. First, he will add leadership to a young team with five talented incoming freshman. He and rising senior guard Matt Jones will be returning team captains from last year and can provide veteran leadership and national championship experience.
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He will also add depth to the frontcourt for Duke joining Chase Jeter, Sean Obi, Harry Giles, and Javin DeLaurier as forward on the roster. Jefferson’s presence will also be key for Giles, who was at one point the top ranked recruit in the 2016 class but also missed a most of his senior season due to a knee injury. Both forwards will be spending the summer recovering from their respective injuries in order to be ready to play when the season starts in the fall.
Coach K may also expect Jefferson to add toughness to the team similar to the role that Marshall Plumlee played in the post last season after Jefferson went out with the fractured foot. Amile Jefferson was one of the top rebounders in the country last season when he was still healthy, and is currently sixth in school history for total offensive rebounds with 227 for his career.
Additionally, Amile Jefferson has the ability to switch between playing power forward and center which will help him fit into different lineup combinations and play the position-less style of basketball and Mike Krzyzewski wants to implement next season with a roster full of versatile guards and forwards.
Duke Basketball has not made an announcement yet on if Amile Jefferson has been cleared for basketball activities or how long it will take his foot to heal. We will keep you posted on Jefferson’s progress as the Blue Devils prepare for the upcoming season next year.