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
Former Columbia big man Patrick Tape, now an incoming Duke basketball grad transfer, defending Northwestern’s Dererk Pardon (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

STARTING CENTER: Mark Williams or Patrick Tape?

Although the traditional center position may be manned by one or more of the aforementioned forwards, one of two newcomers to Durham will likely get their chance at the starting spot.

ALSO READ: Player comparisons for all seven incoming Blue Devils

Patrick Tape, a 6-foot-10, 230-pound transfer from Columbia University, averaged 11.2 points and 5.9 rebounds per game two years ago for the Lions. The Charlotte, N.C., native also shot 61.3 percent from the field for his career and has notched over a block per game across three seasons in New York.

He will be competing for minutes inside against McDonald’s High School All-American and 7-footer Mark Williams out of IMG Academy in Florida. Williams, whose sister Elizabeth also suited up for the Blue Devils before heading to the WNBA in Atlanta, is an excellent defender and rim protector. He is very long and extremely athletic for a player of his size. Not opposed to stepping out beyond the arc, he will be a matchup problem for conference opponents.

STARTER: Although it is tough to overlook such athleticism in a 7-footer, Tape gets the edge here based on his experience at the collegiate level. The graduate transfer, along with sophomore Wendell Moore, will provide the steadying presence their three freshmen teammates will rely upon as starters in Duke blue.

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