Where do things stand?
Based on the previous slide, the projected depth chart at this very second would have the Duke basketball staff only utilizing 11 scholarships for next season (with Vernon Carey Jr, Tre Jones, and Cassius Stanley going pro). That obviously opens the door to a number of different things, including potential graduate transfer additions or even a reclass from a 2021 recruit like Jonathan Kuminga.
An important thing to remember is that despite Duke basketball fans’ constant craving for each incoming freshman or each rising junior or senior to be the next big thing, not all of them are going to turn into stars. Part of what makes the very best teams so good is that each player excels in his own role. If each player stars in his specified role, Duke will be among the best teams in the country like usual.
With that said, even if we take an extremely conservative approach to who’s staying and who’s leaving, Duke again lines up to be one of the top five teams in the country. There’s really no other way to spin that; so if you find one out there where Duke is not listed in the top five, go ahead and toss that one in the trash.
The Blue Devils won’t have the inside-out offense that they had this year with Jones and Carey Jr., but they’ll have shooters that will space the floor, they will have certified bucket-getters in DJ Steward and Jalen Johnson, and they will largely operate with a four-out, one-in type of philosophy. The combo of Jeremy Roach and Jordan Goldwire in the backcourt should have fans drooling defensively.
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All that being said, what it takes for a season to turn from a “contending” one to a “dominant” one often revolves around players returning. If the Duke basketball coaches were to get lucky and snare another season out of the likes of Stanley or Carey Jr., you are then talking about the clear-as-day favorite for the 2021 National Championship.
We’ll have to wait to see how things shake out, but Duke basketball fans should be awfully excited about the upcoming season!
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