Duke basketball overreaction post of the week: AJ Griffin is best of all time

Duke basketball small forward AJ Griffin (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball small forward AJ Griffin (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball forward AJ Griffin (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

If Duke basketball is going to reach its full potential this season, AJ Griffin’s ascension into stardom will be the reason why.

In this new weekly column, we take extremely small and isolated samples of Duke basketball’s highs and lows and exaggerate the hell out of them. What they become are season-altering occurrences with consequences that could shape the history of the Blue Devils for all time. It should be fun…

Duke basketball has had no shortage of great players. The select few from days gone by and earlier eras get to have their names and jerseys immortalized in the rafters, looming large in the lofty environs of Cameron Indoor Stadium for all to see.

For the younger iterations of Duke Blue Devils, who have come during the one-and-done era or seek the lucrative embrace of the NBA ASAP instead of sticking around for four years, their seasonal contributions and draft rankings mark the places they occupy in Duke basketball lore.

Recently under Mike Krzyzewski, there has been no shortage of lottery picks, max-contract players, and soon-to-be or already there All-Star and All-NBA standouts who once graced the court in Durham. Kyrie Irving, Brandon Ingram, Jayson Tatum, Zion Williamson, and RJ Barrett are all known by singular monikers in many pro-hoops circles and in reverent tones among the Duke basketball ones.

One player from this squad who is not named Paolo Banchero but is still poised to join these ranks, and even ascend all the way to the top, is AJ Griffin. Although the sample size is becoming less and less small with each passing game, the eye-popping potential that drips from every jump shot or explodes from every kiss-the-sky rebound or dunk continues to be just as special as it was the first time we saw it.