Duke basketball freshmen who would have benefitted from second year

Duke basketball (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke basketball team speaks with Gary Trent Jr. #2 (Getty Images) /

There is a handful of former Duke basketball freshmen who would have benefitted from another season in Durham.

Duke has had more than its fair share of star freshmen walk through the doors of Cameron Indoor Stadium, but for every Zion Williamson and Marvin Bagley III, there are some players who don’t exactly pan out in their first season.

Many Blue Devils have come into Durham with high rankings and expectations, and while the teams have experienced success, the players struggled to adjust to the college game and then bolted for the NBA, perhaps before they were truly ready.

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There have been some players who really needed time to develop in the G-League before finally reaching the NBA and some players who made The Association but have not blossomed into their full potential.

If these former Blue Devils were to stick around for more than one season in Durham, it’s possible they could have improved their draft stock, been more of a focal point in the Duke offense, made more money upon entry to the NBA, and made a bigger impact for their professional teams.

This list does not take into account the potential scholarships Mike Krzyzewski‘s team would have had available for the following year, rather just the player’s stats at Duke, draft placement, and NBA/G-League status and performance.

Neither Cassius Stanley nor Vernon Carey Jr. was also eligible for the list as both players have yet to be drafted, or even participate in pre-draft workouts.

Of the three seasons from the players selected, Duke posted an 89-23 record with two ACC Tournament Championships, two Elite Eight appearances, and one disappointing exit in the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament.