The Duke basketball players are extremely confident heading into the regular season.
Expectations are high within the Duke basketball program as the Blue Devils will look to bounce back from a difficult 2020-21 campaign.
In the final year under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, the Hall of Famer will bring in a transfusion of talented freshmen to combine with returning players.
The Blue Devils have already played in two games this season, one against Villanova in a ‘secret’ scrimmage and most recently in an exhibition game against Winston-Salem State.
Duke reportedly won its scrimmage against the Wildcats, and the nation saw the dominating display of basketball from the Blue Devils on Saturday inside Cameron Indoor Stadium.
A 68-point victory over Winston Salem-Stare is certainly not what the Blue Devils are working towards this season, but the players are very confident with the regular season up next.
“The sky’s the limit for us,” freshman star Paolo Banchero said to the media after the exhibition game following his 21-point and nine-rebound performance.
“I can’t put a ceiling on our season. I think we can be really good,” the Seattle native continued.
Banchero’s freshman teammate Trevor Keels also felt the same way after a 12-point and four-assist showing on Saturday, “I think we’ve got everything we need.”
Duke basketball appears fully healthy going into regular season
The biggest thing players and coaches want to achieve in the preseason is to play clean basketball and to stay healthy, and Duke seems to have achieved both goals.
After suffering a scare earlier in the preseason with a knee sprain suffered in practice from five-star freshman AJ Griffin, the Blue Devils seemed optimistic about his return as the New York native returned to practice in the last week.
However, what was a surprise to everyone was that Griffin suited up and played on Saturday as he logged nearly 18 minutes and posted 10 points and five rebounds.
With AJ Griffin back in the fold, No. 9 Duke looks to be fully healthy and ready to roll into Manhattan for its season opener against No. 10 Kentucky in the State Farm Champions Classic inside Madison Square Garden on November 9 (9:30pm EST, ESPN).