The 30 reasons Duke basketball will win 30 games: Nos. 6-10
6. Duke basketball freshman Paolo Banchero has the makings of an All-American. The 6-foot-10, 250-pound forward finished No. 2 overall on the 247Sports 2021 Composite. Keep in mind, the last time the Blue Devils enjoyed the services of at least one top 10 recruit from the final prep rankings, they went 32-6 (2018-19).
7. Now, let’s talk about freshman AJ Griffin. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound frequent slasher arrives at No. 17 among his 2021 peers. However, he was on the verge of cracking the top five in the class before the pandemic severely limited his senior high school season in New York.
8. With freshman shooting guard Trevor Keels in the mix, Duke welcomes a trio of five-star prospects, each of whom earned McDonald’s All-American status. And the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Keels gives the Blue Devils an extra pure sharpshooter and trustworthy weapon in the backcourt.
9. Don’t forget about the fourth rookie on the roster, Jaylen Blakes. Not only does the 6-foot-1, 210-pound four-star point guard display enough athleticism to aid in a fast-paced attack, but he should also have the necessary energy and quick hands to potentially be a tone-setter on the defensive end.
10. Two more newcomers are on tap as well in grad transfers Theo John and Bates Jones. Both big men have the size and know-how to help out down low if Duke faces significant injuries or regular foul trouble during the quest to reestablish its prominence by winning at least 30 outings.