The supreme Duke basketball lineup as Jalen Johnson returns

Duke basketball (Photo by Peyton Williams/UNC/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Peyton Williams/UNC/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports) /

As Jalen Johnson rejoins the mix, the top Duke basketball quintet is clear.

It’s uncertain whether Duke basketball freshman Jalen Johnson will see any game action in Blacksburg at 7 p.m. Tuesday when the No. 19 Blue Devils (5-2, 3-0 ACC) face the No. 20 Virginia Tech Hokies (9-2, 3-1 ACC).

Yet on Monday, head coach Mike Krzyzewski did give an encouraging update to the media about the status of Johnson, who has missed his squad’s unblemished conference start with a foot injury:

“[Johnson] had a workout [on Sunday] with a few of our guys who didn’t get as many minutes [as others this week] and felt good this morning…He will suit up against Virginia Tech. I’m not sure we’ll play him yet. We have a little bit of time after this game to get him back into condition…He’s got the medical go-ahead…It’s a matter of conditioning and just getting himself back on track.”

Up until last week, partly due to Johnson’s month-long absence, Coach K and his staff had rolled out a different starting five from one game to the next. And whenever the projected one-and-done first-rounder is back at full strength, there’s little doubt they’ll again shake things up.

Now, the following is merely the preeminent Duke basketball fivesome — not necessarily the starting one — with Johnson back in the fold. In other words, this is the overall most formidable lineup, though perhaps not the ideal bunch to have on the court for tipoff. Let’s begin at the one-spot…