Duke Basketball: How many 2019 recruits do Blue Devils need to snag?

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Duke basketball
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Duke basketball /
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With no surefire stud likely to return to Durham next season and only one 2019 commitment in the bag, the 2019-20 Duke basketball roster still needs some serious attention.

As long as the Duke basketball coaches attract one-and-done prospects, reloading will continue to be a necessity from one season to the next. And that will be the case once again after the upcoming season.

Of the 12 scholarship players on the current roster, senior center Antonio Vrankovic will automatically leave due to the expiration of his eligibility. Three other automatic departures, barring an unforeseen miracle, include freshmen Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, and Cam Reddish (all predicted to be high lottery picks in the 2019 NBA Draft).

Other losses could include someone who feels compelled to transfer and freshman Tre Jones — though based on his play in the Blue-White scrimmage and one exhibition game, he seems to be at least a two-year college player.

This equates to eight players, at the max, returning to next year’s squad. That number could be as low as six if Jones leaves for the NBA and one player transfers. Now, adding in the lone 2019 commitment, five-star forward Wendell Moore, that leaves the Blue Devils with anywhere from seven to nine players to comprise its 2019-20 roster.

And that’s certainly not enough.

So, at a minimum, head coach Mike Krzyzewski and his staff will need to pick up two more commitments. Again, that’s at the bare minimum. To be safe, they will need three. To be a legitimate contender for a title if Jones leaves, they may need four.

Is four even possible?

It is, and they could all be five-star prospects ranked in the top six of the 247Sports Composite, although that best-case scenario looks highly unlikely at the moment. What looks to be more realistic is that Coach K and Co. add one or two of their current five-star targets and possibly their lone four-star target. And that means at least another offer or two may need to be made.

The next slide contains a brief summary of the recruitment of each of the current targets and the chance that the Blue Devils have to snag them, according to the 247Sports Crystal Ball.