The Big Lead ranked the best 50 players in the NCAA for the upcoming 2016-17 college basketball season and four Blue Devils made the list and three made the Top 10.
The Big Lead recently compiled a list of the 50 best players in college basketball for the 2016-17 season based on their NBA potential, individual talent, on how vital they will be to their team’s success. Duke is widely projected to be the top team next season, and Blue Devils Frank Jackson, Grayson Allen, Jayson Tatum, and Harry Giles were all named among the Top 50 players in the NCAA.
Freshman guard Frank Jackson was ranked as the 37th best player in the NCAA. Jackson was a 5-star recruit who was regarded as one of the top high school scorers in the country last season. The 6-3 guard is expected to play a big role for the Blue Devils this year and could possibly start at point guard for Duke after the transfer of Derryck Thornton.
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Shooting guard Grayson Allen was the first of three Blue Devils ranked in the Top 10, coming in as the 8th best NCAA player. Allen was one of the most improved players in the country last season leading Duke with 21.6 points per game. He was named to the 2015 NCAA Tournament Final Four All-Tournament Team after playing limited minutes as a freshman and was a 2016 All-American and a finalist for the Wooden Player of the Year award last year.
Versatile wing Jayson Tatum was ranked as the 5th best player in college basketball for the upcoming season. He will also be expected to play a huge role for the Blue Devils stepping in for #2 NBA pick Brandon Ingram. Tatum was honored as the top male high school athlete overall for any sport.
Lastly, incoming freshman Harry Giles was ranked as the best player for the upcoming season. Giles was ranked as the #1 player in the incoming recruiting class. He is recovering from a torn ACL which caused him to miss his senior season, but expects to be ready and 100% by the time the season starts in November.
An arguement could be made for several more Duke Men’s Basketball players to make the list, with the top ranked center prospect Marques Bolden joining the incoming freshman class. Additionally, forward Amile Jefferson was averaging a double-double in points and rebounds before a foot injury cut his season short last year.
The expectations for Duke Basketball are sky high for next season with the Blue Devils adding the top-ranked freshman class and the talent returning to the team. Duke will kick-off the season with Countdown to Craziness held on October 22nd before starting the regular season hosting Grand Canyon on Nov. 11th.