Some surprises: Ranking Duke basketball’s 10 key players thru 20 games

Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

With 20 games down and up to 20 more to go, it’s time to stack up this season’s 10 Duke basketball main contributors by their overall contributions.

Overall, the 2019-20 Duke basketball team’s 17-3 start (7-2 ACC) deserves a B+ grade, which is also the average grade of the 10 players in the regular rotation. So who grades the highest? Lowest? Where do the other eight fall in between? And why do I need to grade and rank them all in the first place?

Well, tackling the last question first, I don’t. But I did. One reason is that competition among the team is healthy. Another reason is rankings are fun, at least for the person who gets to decide the order. Also, I woke up today and decided there is nothing I’d rather do than exactly this. So there you go.

Plus, Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski has consistently distributed playing time to 10 Blue Devils this season, thereby begging for a top 10 ranking (granted, injuries have sometimes limited the number to eight or nine, and the bottom-tier guys’ minutes have been on the decline as of late).

The criteria for their placements here consist of the number of games they have played and started plus five averages — points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks — as well as shooting percentages (field goal, 3-point, and free throw). Additionally, I have factored in signature moments, immeasurable intangibles, and my own sense of trust as a fan when watching them compete.

Unfortunately, someone had to be last. Fortunately, though, No. 10 could have as many as 20 games remaining to change my mind. Now, let’s begin…