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 four-spot: Jalen Johnson

These next two components to the supreme Duke basketball lineup, beginning here with freshman combo forward Jalen Johnson, are no-brainers. Simply put, they represent the two best players on the squad.

True, after dazzling in his debut with 19 points and 19 rebounds against Coppin State while shooting 8-for-8 from the field, Johnson came back to earth a bit. The 6-foot-9, 220-pound Milwaukee native averaged only 9.0 points and 4.7 boards across his last three games before pausing his season on Dec. 10 due to his foot issue.

Add to that the fact Johnson has averaged 3.3 turnovers in his four appearances as a Blue Devil.

However, seeing that Johnson has recently served as an enthusiastic supporter and observer, one would think he’ll ambitiously seek to fit right in with a group that seems significantly more polished and tight-knit than before the injury to the potential 2021 lottery pick.

Johnson has the necessary size, instincts, and footwork to be a force down low on both ends of the floor. Duke’s current highest-rated prospect as a high schooler also has the necessary handles, stroke, and passing ability to hold his own on the perimeter. Finally, he has the necessary assertive nature to briefly be a bonafide star for the Blue Devils before bolting to the NBA.

With all that in mind, Jalen Johnson must be in this all-star Duke lineup upon his full return…