How the 2021-22 Duke basketball roster looks right now

Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

Next season’s Duke basketball team is far from set, but what seems certain?

Duke basketball freshman Jaemyn Brakefield recently decided to transfer. So too did senior Jordan Goldwire. Obviously, former freshman Jalen Johnson, who abandoned the Blue Devils in February to prepare for the 2021 NBA Draft, won’t be returning to Durham either.

Meanwhile, 74-year-old head coach Mike Krzyzewski has landed two 2021 signees thus far in five-stars AJ Griffin and Paolo Banchero.

Outside of these known departures and newcomers, though, nothing appears 100 percent at this point.

Duke basketball players who haven’t unveiled definitive plans

Due to the NCAA granting all 2020-21 winter athletes an extra year of eligibility, every 2020-21 Blue Devil has the option to return, regardless of class.

True, a couple more exits and arrivals are likely to make headlines in the coming weeks. But for now, the following are the 13 guys — including walk-ons — who either have signed up to be Duke basketball freshmen in the fall or were on last season’s roster and have yet to declare some move elsewhere (appearing here with each man’s position and potential academic year next season):

  • Freshman small forward AJ Griffin
  • Freshman power forward Paolo Banchero
  • Sophomore point guard Jeremy Roach
  • Sophomore shooting guard DJ Steward
  • Sophomore power forward Henry Coleman
  • Sophomore center Mark Williams
  • Junior small forward Wendell Moore Jr.
  • Junior power forward Matthew Hurt
  • Junior walk-on point guard Michael Savarino
  • Junior walk-on power forward Keenan Worthington
  • Senior small forward Joey Baker
  • Graduate power forward Patrick Tape
  • Graduate walk-on point guard Mike Buckmire

Of those 13, three — Buckmire, Tape, Hurt — would surely surprise most folks if they were actually still active Blue Devils when Duke presumably tips off its campaign in early November against Kentucky as part of the 2021 Champions Classic. Rather, chances are Tape and Buckmire begin careers in their respective fields while Hurt embarks on a pro hoops career somewhere.

OK, so if those three indeed bolt without further news of any incoming recruits or transfers, then the program would project to have only eight scholarship players plus two walk-ons in store for what will be Mike Krzyzewski’s 42nd season at the helm in Durham.

Therefore, although all eight of the generally anticipated 2021-22 Duke basketball scholarship players either were contributors last season or will be newbies who figure to contribute from Day One, it’s conceivable that no fewer than two more quality additions are necessary in order to ensure the Blue Devils have ample depth.

Granted, Duke is awaiting answers from three 2021 recruiting targets: five-star shooting guard Trevor Keels, five-star small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., and five-star center Charles Bediako. Per the 247Sports Crystal Ball, however, Coach K and his gang are the favorites to end up with only one of those three in Keels, who intends to state his destination on April 4.

In summary, coming off an overall disappointing 13-11 campaign, the assumption is that Duke will need to either snag a couple of more pieces via the sparse list of remaining undecided high school seniors during April’s late signing period or seriously explore the transfer portal, which is now approaching 1,000 names.

Next. Ranking Coach K's first 40 Duke teams. dark

All we really know for sure at the moment is that it appears Coach K & Co. still has a little work to do when it comes to compiling a complete 2021-22 Duke basketball roster.