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’s No. 1 option at the two-spot: Jordan Goldwire

To the surprise of many Duke basketball fans and to the delight of all, combo guard Jordan Goldwire has transformed his frame and game to become a legit weapon for the Blue Devils as a senior.

Sure, the former three-star prospect from Georgia still lacks smooth moves on offense and sometimes misses the easiest possible layups. That said, this season, Goldwire has become somewhat trustworthy as a wide-open 3-point shooter; he’s shooting 35.0 percent from beyond the arc while averaging one such make per game.

Furthermore, despite averaging more minutes than any other piece to Duke’s backcourt — second only to Matthew Hurt on the team at 32.3 per game — Goldwire is committing only 1.6 turnovers per game. Granted, part of the reason for that is his limitations as a creator; however, he leads the team with 28 assists on the season and paces the ACC with a 2.6 assist/turnover ratio.

As for the other end of the floor, Goldwire is on pace for historic results in the steals department. Not only does the 6-foot-2, 185-pound pest outdo the rest of the ACC with 2.6 steals per game, but that mark would also rank No. 2 all-time among Blue Devils for a season behind Jim Spanarkel’s 2.7 in 1977-78.

All in all, any Duke lineup this season that doesn’t include the defense, leadership, and ball-control of Jordan Goldwire is not the best possible lineup…