Duke Basketball Drops to No. 18 in Latest Polls

The Blue Devils fell out of the Top 10 of the national rankings for the first time this season after back-to-back road losses to ranked ACC teams.

After suffering two losses last week, Duke Basketball fell out of the Top 10 for the first time this season. The Blue Devils were the preseason No. 1 team in the country and favorites to win the 2017 national title, and dropped to 18th in the latest national polls.

Duke suffered back-to-back losses on the road against Top 25 conference opponents last week. The Blue Devils fell 88-72 at Florida State and 78-69 at Louisville. It was a tough stretch for the Blue Devils without two extremely important pieces to the team. Duke Basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski is out up to four weeks as he recovers from back surgery. They were also without starting center Amile Jefferson, who suffered a bone bruise in his right foot and was out for both games. No timetable has been set for Jefferson’s return, but the Blue Devils are expected to be cautious after last year’s fracture.

Many Duke fans may feel the season is over with the team’s recent poor play, but there’s still no reason to panic. Duke is missing one of the top players in the country who was averaging a double-double with 13.6 points and 10.1 rebounds. The team is also without the winningest head coach in college basketball history who is expected to return next month. Both are also key leaders for the team with valuable experience, which Jeff Capel and the combination of Harry Giles, Chase Jeter, Marques Bolden, and Javin DeLaurier cannot replace.

Duke will be back in action on Saturday after a rare full week off between games. The Blue Devils will return to Cameron Indoor Stadium for a much-needed home game as they host the Miami Hurricanes. We’ll be watching to see what kind of changes interim head coach Jeff Capel implements during the week as well as how the inexperienced group of forwards progress.