Duke basketball roster looks set after freshman claims two will return

Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

According to one outbound freshman, two members of his Duke basketball class are sure to stick around for at least another year, so now the roster appears complete.

Typically, only when Duke basketball underclassmen are passing on becoming surefire draft picks do they announce returns for the next season. Neither Wendell Moore nor fellow freshman forward Matthew Hurt fit that criteria. So it’s possible that neither one officially says anything to the public and instead just comes back (Moore did hint at such back in March).

And now they may have even less reason to make any fuss about their decisions.

Per 247Sports Duke writer John Watson, freshman guard Cassius Stanley, who declared for the NBA Draft on Tuesday, told reporters during a call on Friday that Moore and Hurt will be sophomores in Durham.

This news came hours after Stadium insider Jeff Goodman reported that center Vernon Carey Jr. — another of the four scholarship freshmen who helped the 2019-20 Blue Devils to a 25-6 overall record (15-5 ACC) — will join Stanley and sophomore point guard Tre Jones by pursuing a pro career.

Moore, who averaged 7.4 points last season and started 11 games, as well as Hurt, who averaged 9.7 points and started 22 games, could be in line for fulltime starting gigs in their second Duke campaigns. However, incoming rookie forwards Jalen Johnson, Henry Coleman, and Jaemyn Brakefield all rank inside the top 50 on the 247Sports 2020 Composite and also figure to be in the mix.

Also among the top 50 are the other Duke basketball signees: point guard Jeremy Roach, combo guard D.J. Steward, and center Mark Williams. Meanwhile, there’s no reason to think senior combo guard Jordan Goldwire and junior wing Joey Baker won’t also compete for significant playing time and starting nods. Ditto for graduate transfer Patrick Tape in the paint.

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No offers are on the table to other 2020 recruits or grad transfers. There doesn’t seem to be a need for more either. Therefore, the 11 guys above — in addition to senior guard Mike Buckmire plus walk-ons Michael Savarino, Keenan Worthington, and Cason Pierce — look to be what Mike Krzyzewski will have at his disposal when his 41st season at Duke tips off against Michigan State on Nov. 10 at the Champions Classic.

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