The 30 reasons Duke basketball will win 30 games: Nos. 26-30
26. With a learning year under his belt, Jeremy Roach now has the tools to become a reliable starting point guard for the Blue Devils as a sophomore next season. Encouragingly, he became a bonafide 3-point threat toward the end of last season, going 12-for-26 beyond the arc (46.2 percent) across the final seven games.
27. Mark Williams also ended his Duke basketball freshman campaign on a positive note. If the 7-footer begins his sophomore year putting up box scores like the one from an ACC Tournament win over Louisville — 23 points, 19 rebounds — he’ll enter the discussion as one of the nation’s best big men. It should make his life easier to have Paolo Banchero by his side in the paint regularly.
28. Duke basketball’s non-conference schedule includes three powers in Kentucky, Gonzaga, and Ohio State. Should the Blue Devils win two or more of those games, chances are they’ll be riding a confidence high entering ACC play. But even if they lose all three, there will be ample opportunities to rack up early wins with eight home games against teams outside the major-conference realm.
29. Fortunately, unlike last year when the players didn’t arrive on campus until August, Duke has loads of preparation time this time around after welcoming the guys to town months ago. Considering the number of newbies in Durham, this extra time is incredibly invaluable.
30. Finally, let’s assume that the basketball gods will ensure Mike Krzyzewski goes out on top.