Each Duke basketball player’s chance of returning next season

Duke basketball (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball forward Matthew Hurt (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball players with a 90 percent chance of leaving

  • F/C- Patrick Tape (Gr)
  • G- Jordan Goldwire (Sr)
  • F- Matthew Hurt (So)

Sophomore forward Matthew Hurt has taken a gigantic leap and redeemed himself spectacularly from the disappointing end to his 2019-2020 crusade.

Duke basketball fans remember how Hurt was benched for the stretch run of last season and must be delighted to see him leading the team in scoring with 19.4 points per game.

Hurt came into the season having gained weight and confidence, and it’s showing.

That’s not to say the 6-foot-9 big isn’t still prone to disappear for certain stretches. The recent loss at Pitt wasn’t a good showing for Hurt. His 13 points proved inconsequential down the stretch as the Panthers were able to get him out of his comfort zone.

The Minnesota native still looks weak on the inside sometimes, and his lack of speed and awareness on the interior makes him look lost on certain defensive stands.

Having said all that, he still has a pure stroke and has developed a dangerous fader that looks like it was copied out of the Dirk Nowitzki handbook. NBA scouts always value a tall guy who can shoot, and I see no reason for them to pass on Hurt late in the first round.

Another thing to consider with Hurt is the stacked interior coming to Durham next season, featuring Paolo Banchero and perhaps Patrick Baldwin Jr. (please God!). He may not want to see his minutes cut in favor of the aforementioned dynamite recruits.

Jordan Goldwire also falls into the category of “more than likely a goner.”

The 6-foot-2 senior guard is one of my personal favorites with his chaotic perimeter defense and his willingness to do the dirty work. On top of the defense (the man has 25 steals through 10 games), Goldwire has improved his offensive game greatly in his four years. His points per game have risen steadily to 6.9 currently, and his confidence appears to have grown exponentially.

Surprisingly, J Gold is also leading the team in assists with a nice, healthy 35 dimes. Also, he does have a knack for not turning the ball over with only 14 on the season, but his shot selection can sometimes leave Duke fans guessing.

Goldwire will probably still not be hearing his name on draft night, but he’s done enough in his time as a Blue Devil to secure himself a tryout with an NBA team. He should at least find himself employment overseas somewhere with his lockdown defense.

But as with Hurt, the possible addition of Trevor Keels and the possible return of so many guys off the current squad could mean fewer minutes for Goldwire if he was to take the NCAA up on its offer of an extra year of eligibility.

Finally, grad transfer big man Patrick Tape will probably only grace the Dukies with one season of his presence as well. It won’t be for his abundance of skill, but simply for his lack of usage (5.8 minutes a game) and his age (turns 23 in June).

As stated before, there seems to be an absolutely stacked frontcourt on the horizon in Cameron Indoor Stadium, and you have to figure the 6-foot-9 Tape wouldn’t figure much into that discussion next season.

The Charlotte native will almost certainly want to move onto the next phase of his life, whether that be basketball or some other endeavor. Either way, Tape will continue to look to see the floor more in what figures to be his only Duke basketball season

A last note on this group — and certainly all players on this year’s team — some guys may want to stay simply for a chance at a title. Given the potential recruiting class of 2021, that seems to be a distinct possibility.

OK, onto the toss-ups…