The 30 reasons Duke basketball will win 30 games: Nos. 11-15
11. Only four scholarship players return from last season’s squad. Considering the chemistry issues, confidence depletion, and subsequent subpar record, the low total of returning guys is a good thing.
12. All four have never given any reason to believe they are selfish. No, those four exhibited admirable sticktoitiveness.
13. The same lack of selfishness should also apply to all the newcomers; the early glimpses of the fellas — via Duke Blue Planet videos and whatnot — sure support that assumption. Therefore, one should anticipate last season’s frequently visible teammate-blaming gestures (see: Jalen Johnson) to be a thing of the past.
14. Sticking with the no-more-Johnson theme, remember that the 2020-21 squad came within two overtime losses of going 7-1 following his sudden mid-February departure from Durham. Also, remember that one of last season’s early Duke Blue Planet videos showed Johnson requiring special meals different from all his teammates (perhaps that should have been a sign).
15. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that the Duke basketball program is riding a two-game win streak. Yes, despite season-long frustration, the Blue Devils finished on a relatively positive note with their pair of encouraging victories in the ACC Tournament (before a positive COVID-19 test within the program erased any hope of a magical run).