Future Duke basketball gem already feeling strong Brotherhood vibes

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

With an extremely young Duke basketball team on tap for next season, it looks as if the expected newbies have made a real effort to get the bulk of the bonding process out of the way beforehand.

On Thursday, SI recruiting insider Jason Jordan published an article pointing out the dead heat between the Duke basketball program and North Carolina for the ACC’s No. 1 incoming class (the rival 2020 crops rank No. 2 and No. 3 in the country, respectively, with almost identical ratings that are just a smidge behind Kentucky’s haul).

In the article, Jordan noted what four-star power forward Henry Coleman said about his group of Dukies-to-be, who all signed early in the fall:

“With our class it’s like, we’ve got whatever you want. Inside, outside or whatever, we’re strong all over. The best part is that we’re all already like brothers. The Duke Brotherhood is a real thing.”

Coleman will by no means be the star of the show in Durham next season. Nor will he likely ever be the headline attraction as a Duke basketball player. But that doesn’t mean his words aren’t important. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

The 6-foot-8, 240-pound Richmond native, who serves as Trinity Episcopal School’s student body president, appears to have all the necessary brain cells, maturity, charm, and vocal cords to potentially be the voice both in the locker room and on the court for several squads to come. In other words, fans might as well learn now that what comes out of Coleman’s mouth matters; after all, his tweets, interviews, and such sure have made it seem like Duke’s success truly matters to him.

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Plus, of the six top 50 signees comprising the Duke basketball class — the others are five-star point guard Jeremy Roach, five-star combo guard D.J. Steward, five-star small forward Jalen Johnson, four-star power forward Jaemyn Brakefield, and four-star center Mark Williams — Coleman represents the best bet to become a four-year Blue Devil.

Sure, Coleman’s game may look a little rough around the edges. But his determination to succeed is evident from what appears to be the 20 or so pounds of lean muscle he’s added across the past year, seemingly in preparation to lessen Duke’s projected shortcomings in the paint next season. Here’s a quality, in-depth, no-sound breakdown of Coleman’s strengths and weaknesses from the Duke Update YouTube channel this week:

In addition to the 2020 class, Mike Krzyzewski and his staff will welcome Columbia graduate transfer Patrick Tape, a 6-foot-10, 235-pound big man with promise. The seven newcomers are set to join five returning scholarship players: sophomore small forward Wendell Moore, sophomore power forward Matthew Hurt, junior wing Joey Baker, senior combo guard Jordan Goldwire, and senior point guard Mike Buckmire.

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