Duke basketball: Projected starters without AJ Griffin

Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
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Projected Duke basketball starter against Kentucky: Wendell Moore

Until AJ Griffin’s return, the Duke basketball coaches could supersize the starting lineup with freshman power forward Paolo Banchero at the three, grad transfer power forward Theo John at the four, and sophomore center Mark Williams at the five. Or they could go an opposite route with three guards or a combination of guards and wings to complement Banchero and Williams.

Whatever they decide — the last option above feels like the safe bet here — it’s looking more and more likely that Wendell Moore will be part of the equation. Anyone who doubts that may want to take a gander at what Mike Krzyzewski, in particular, said about the perseverant junior small forward and first-year captain on Media Day two weeks ago:

“Wendell has had a sensational summer and fall — not a good one, a sensational one.”

Moore then detailed his growth:

“It’s just been a constant grind. I was here in early June for a couple of weeks, and then I went to Miami for a couple of weeks and to [Los Angeles] for a couple of weeks to train…And the big thing with me is I want to get bigger, stronger, and faster. I just want to learn the game a lot more. I really think this summer has been a productive one for me.”

If nothing else, Moore should be an admirable leader, which would come in handy in this proposed starting lineup alongside two newbies and two sophomores.

But if the 6-foot-5, 215-pound 20-year-old hopes to hold down his spot as a starter when Griffin is healthy — likely moving Wendell Moore to the two-spot to replace Trevor Keels — he’ll probably need to boost his 3-point percentage and reduce his turnover rate.