Duke basketball: The next great starting five for Coach K

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball (Photo by Peyton Williams/Getty Images) /

Pacifying the abundance of talent will prove a challenge for Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski next season, but who should get the starting nod at each position?

There are six scholarship freshmen heading to Durham this fall. There is also a graduate transfer traveling south from New York City. And there are four returning Duke basketball players who have seen significant minutes on Coach K Court. There is depth at each position on the floor, so decisions will abound for Mike Krzyzewski and his assistants.

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In the backcourt, returning senior guard and likely captain Jordan Goldwire will compete with incoming recruit Jeremy Roach out of Paul Catholic VI in Fairfax, Va., at the point guard position. Sophomore Wendell Moore Jr., who could prove to be a defensive mismatch on the perimeter, will likely be challenged at shooting guard by freshman combo guard DJ Steward from Whitney Young High School in Chicago.

The competition in the frontcourt will be even more contentious. Returning shooting forwards Joey Baker and Matthew Hurt will likely be pushed by newcomer Jalen Johnson, ranked No. 11 nationally out of Nicolet High School in Wisconsin. A pair of uber-talented freshmen will compete at power forward this season. Both 6-foot-8 newcomers Jaemyn Brakefield from Huntington Prep in West Virginia and Henry Coleman out of Trinity Episcopal School in Virginia will vie for minutes around the rim.

Last, at the traditional center position, two players new to the Blue Devils will compete for time. Graduate transfer Patrick Tape from Columbia University and 7-foot rookie Mark Williams from IMG Academy in Florida are Krzyzewski’s primary options at the five-spot.

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The Duke basketball staff will certainly try different combinations of those eleven until he believes he has found his optimal rotation for March. For now, we can only speculate as to how the starting five will shake out in Durham. Let’s begin with the point guard position…