Predicting the 2021-22 Duke basketball starting lineup

Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball (Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball blues have no insta-cure, yet try this lineup for starters.

Given the pair of potential program savers on the way, it wasn’t easy waiting until the conclusion of the 2020-21 Duke basketball season to forecast the 2021-22 starting lineup.

True, only the regular season is technically in the books. Yes, these current Blue Devils (11-11, 9-9 ACC) do still have an ACC Tournament to play, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday as a No. 10 seed in Greensboro against cellar-dweller Boston College (4-15, 2-11 ACC).

But let’s not kid ourselves.

Duke needs five wins in five days to earn an NCAA Tournament invite. Nope. Not gonna happen. Anyone who could stomach viewing Saturday’s loss at UNC saw the amplification of the Blue Devils’ absolute worst on full display, from start to finish. As embarrassing as it is for most spoiled followers to admit this soon in March, it’s all but over.

Sure, there are promising talents in town, and many should stick around. However, it’s clear an alpha presence is sorely missing, and he or they won’t debut until fall.

So it’s time to get to the good stuff here. Time to pretend it’s November. Time to look ahead at which returning Blue Devils should be set to blossom alongside a next-level newcomer or two in next season’s starting five. Time to delight in what better be brighter days to close out this calendar year, giving Dukies hope for a glorious March and perhaps April return come 2022.

Now, let’s start with the projected starting point guard…