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 center Mark Williams (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The supreme 2020-21 Duke basketball lineup: Mark Williams

player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Center. Freshman. Mark Williams. 5. 434

Including Mark Williams in this lineup would allow DJ Steward, Wendell Moore, Jalen Johnson, and Matthew Hurt to focus on their individual specialties without overly concerning themselves with any opposing giants. And the Blue Devils are sure to face their fair share of imposing bigs in ACC play, particularly against North Carolina’s mega load of skilled post presences.

True, Williams is nowhere near as strong or as deft of an interior scorer as Duke’s star rookie down low last season, Vernon Carey Jr., who led the Blue Devils with 17.8 points per game and is now preparing for the Nov. 18 NBA Draft. On the other hand, via his 7-foot, 245-pound physique and 7-foot-4 wingspan, the new big in town provides what the last team lacked: a true rim protector.

Furthermore, considering the scoring potency of Steward, Johnson, and Hurt, this lineup wouldn’t necessarily need the Virginia native to be a high-volume weapon around the basket. Heck, though, the height of Williams alone — not to mention the former five-star’s decent mid-range jumper — should equate to fairly frequent easy scores while attracting plenty of attention from defenders.

Simply put, putting Williams on the floor with Steward, Moore, Johnson, and Hurt would give the 2020-21 Duke basketball team a championship-caliber collection to rely on in crunch time.

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