Duke basketball: Predicting next season’s starting lineup

Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

How many of Duke basketball’s fresh faces will immediately become starters?

One thing’s for certain: the 2021-22 Duke basketball team will look considerably different than last season’s 13-11 bunch, who became the first Blue Devils to miss the NCAA Tournament since the 13-18 squad in 1994-95. In fact, with at least four freshmen plus two inbound transfers, more than half of the scholarship players on tap for next season will be new to the program.

That said, the roster-building process might not be 100 percent complete just yet for 74-year-old Mike Krzyzewski and his staff.

However, considering the 247Sports Crystal Ball still heavily favors Milwaukee to beat out Duke in the high-profile Patrick Baldwin Jr. sweepstakes — not to mention there are no other reported offers on the table to either high school seniors or transfers — we’ll just assume for now that only the following 10 Blue Devils will each have at least some chance to crack the regular rotation:

  • Senior small forward Joey Baker
  • Senior power forward Theo John (transfer from Marquette)
  • Senior power forward Bates Jones (transfer from Davidson)
  • Junior small forward Wendell Moore
  • Sophomore point guard Jeremy Roach
  • Sophomore center Mark Williams
  • Freshman point guard Jaylen Blakes (four-star signee)
  • Freshman shooting guard Trevor Keels (five-star signee)
  • Freshman small forward AJ Griffin (five-star signee)
  • Freshman power forward Paolo Banchero (five-star signee)

So which of these 10 guys are likely to comprise the next primary starting five in Durham? Well, let’s get started here with the predictions, one position at a time and beginning in the backcourt…