Three Duke basketball rookies are making cases for ACC All-Freshman honors.
Barring ridiculous performances in these final two weeks of the regular season, the three-year streak of at least one Duke basketball freshman on the All-ACC First Team will likely end. In fact, no first-year players anywhere are likely to receive this recognition when the conference announces awards in early March.
Why not? Well, the top shelf of the nation’s newcomers seems to be down a notch. After all, Duke and UNC welcomed two of the three highest-rated 2020 classes. Plus, Florida State has Scottie Barnes, a five-star who ranked No. 7 overall on the 247Sports 2020 Composite.
Surely, all the canceled games and lack of exhibition play are factors in the equation as well, seeing that these limitations have most noticeably affected young squads. Of course, Jalen Johnson’s “foot injury” and recent permanent departure from the Blue Devils didn’t help either in this regard.
Nevertheless, although no rookies boast extraordinary season averages entering the homestretch of ACC play, some are taking steps toward stardom as of late.
Three of them are in Durham.
All three have been vital contributors to their team’s turnaround, which was on full display at home on Monday night as Duke (11-8, 9-6 ACC) extended its win streak to four by outgunning Syracuse (13-7, 7-6 ACC). So let’s rank the three based on their individual chances — from least to most likely — to represent the Blue Devils among the five players on the ACC All-Freshman Team…