The most obvious cause for concern in Durham next season is inexperience. Of the 11 scholarship players likely to see any time on the court, just two, senior Jordan Goldwire and junior Joey Baker, will have played at least two seasons in Durham. A third upperclassman, graduate transfer Patrick Tape, has NCAA experience but just one game against ACC opponents.
The last Duke basketball squad to be so young and inexperienced took the floor in 2017-18 when senior captain Grayson Allen played alongside five freshmen and two sophomores. That Blue Devils team lost eight games. Two seasons prior in 2015-16, seniors Marshall Plumlee and Amile Jefferson, junior Matt Jones, and five underclassmen fell to defeat 11 times (seven of those in conference).
In each of the Blue Devils’ five championship seasons, at least four upperclassmen contributed 10 minutes per game or more. And only one of those squads, the most recent title team in 2014-15, had more than two freshmen see meaningful time as starters or primary reserves.
Inexperience is not the only cause for concern in Durham, however…