Duke basketball: Coach K’s final class has officially arrived

A symbolic foursome of Duke basketball freshmen is finally at its new home.

As Duke basketball freshman-to-be Paolo Banchero stated shortly after his arrival, “It’s as official as a whistle.”

Banchero, a five-star power forward who finished No. 2 overall on the 247Sports 2021 Composite, unpacked his bags in Durham this week alongside the three others who have joined forces to comprise the heralded class: five-star small forward AJ Griffin (ranks No. 15), five-star shooting guard Trevor Keels (No. 20), and four-star point guard Jaylen Blakes (No. 101).

At No. 4 in the 247Sports Class Rankings, this marks the eighth consecutive top-five haul for the Blue Devils.

And the program’s official Twitter account provided a few highlights from the talented collection’s welcome to campus:

The loaded roster for a Duke basketball legend’s farewell quest

Of course, the arrival of Paolo Banchero & Friends also signifies the final group of college newbies under five-time national champ and all-time wins leader Mike Krzyzewski.

ALSO READ: Ranking the first 40 Duke teams under Coach K

The 74-year-old Hall of Fame head coach announced last week that he’ll retire after the 2021-22 season, at which point he’ll hand over the reins to current associate head coach Jon Scheyer, who has now begun handing out offers to 2022 prospects.

The two scholarship Duke Blue Devils who predated the rookie’s move-in are likely captains in senior small forward Joey Baker and junior small forward Wendell Moore. Another pair of returning scholarship players is on tap as well in sophomore center Mark Williams and sophomore point guard Jeremy Roach.

Plus, Duke — trying to rebound from a 13-11 campaign — is set to enjoy two fifth-year grad transfers in former Davidson power forward Bates Jones and former Marquette power forward Theo John.

Junior walk-on power forward Keenan Worthington plus Krzyzewski’s grandson, junior walk-on point guard Michael Savarino, round out what, at this juncture, looks to be a 12-man roster of 2021-22 Blue Devils.

Now, only 153 days, or five months to the date, remain until Coach K’s 42nd and final Duke basketball squad begins its season against Kentucky in the Champions Classic on Nov. 9.