Mike Krzyzewski hints at plans for Duke basketball rotation in 2020-21

Duke basketball (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski is already envisioning the 2020-21 rotation.

If you are a five-time National Champion and the 40-year head coach of a powerhouse college basketball program, you probably know what it takes to mold a team for March success, and that’s what Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski is already thinking of.

In his media press conference last week, Krzyzewski was lauding the individual progress his team has been making in this strange preseason.

Prior to the year, many were saying that the Hall of Famer needs to expand his rotation in 2020-21 because of how deep his team will be, and Krzyzewski doesn’t disagree, to an extent.

“These kids are really together, and we’re athletic. We’re young,” Krzyzewski said, “We don’t have as much separation from one to 11, but we’re getting more. They’re making each other better.”

The 73-year-old head coach then explicitly praised Matthew Hurt, Wendell Moore, Jordan Goldwire, Jeremy Roach, Joey Baker, and Mark Williams for their performances in practice over the last week.

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One glaring omission Krzyzewski made from his praises was top recruit Jalen Johnson, but the expectation is that he will be the go-to player for Duke all season.

However, despite his love for his team’s depth, Mike Krzyzewski knows that his rotation will eventually dwindle down to eight or nine players.

“[We have] a lot of good pieces, so we’ll be playing more people than we’ve normally played, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be equal playing [time]. When you get separation, the guys who separate, some need to play more, and they will,” K explained.

Who will be included in the Duke basketball rotation?

Saying Mike Krzyzewski does cut his Duke basketball rotation to nine in late February heading into March, as he did last season, it should be Roach, Goldwire, Johnson, Moore, Hurt, Williams, Steward, Baker, and Patrick Tape.

It’s a toss-up between Tape, Henry Coleman, and Jaemyn Brakefield to potentially take that last spot in the rotation this season, but Tape has the experience and is a seasoned veteran in college basketball, although in the Ivy League and not the ACC.

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With all three players near the same height, Brakefield could get the nod in the rotation given his perimeter game, but Tape provides Krzyzewski with another rebounder to put in the paint.

It will be interesting to see how Mike Krzyzewski will put together his lineups and rotations, but Duke fans do not have to wait much longer as the Blue Devils begin their season on November 25 against Gardner-Webb at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

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