Duke basketball: The supreme Blue Devil lineup this season

Duke basketball (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) /

Which five current Duke basketball players form the most formidable lineup?

The number of serviceable lineup combinations appears to be at an all-time high for the Duke basketball program this season.

After all, the 2020-21 roster includes 11 possible regulars: freshman guards Jeremy Roach and DJ Steward; freshman forwards Jalen Johnson, Jaemyn Brakefield, and Henry Coleman; freshman center Mark Williams; sophomore forwards Matthew Hurt and Wendell Moore; junior forward Joey Baker; plus two seniors in guard Jordan Goldwire and forward Patrick Tapé.

One could argue that each of the above Blue Devils would be a worthy starter anywhere. But the purpose of this article is neither to suggest nor predict a starting five. Besides, some might claim that the five closers, who aren’t necessarily always the same as the starting five, represent the actual best five.

However, this is not about naming the top five Blue Devils either. Rather, it is about projecting which five guys would constitute the most lethal lineup. Naturally, such a lineup requires a sufficient blend of creators, shooters, and defenders. Of course, it also needs ample height, bulk, speed, leadership, etc.

So let’s now unveil the supreme Duke basketball quintet here, one player at a time, beginning at the one-spot. Yet that position in this lineup does not belong to a pure point guard. Instead, it goes to a rookie combo guard who has seen some time as floor general during scrimmages in August and September as well as during practice, which officially tipped off last week…