There is one Duke basketball player with the most pressure entering the 2022-23 season.
Playing for the Duke basketball team comes with a natural pressure to live up to the expectations of the rich history program. It’s understood for each player that puts the uniform on and takes the floor at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
However, there are some seasons in which one player will face more pressure than others and that is no different entering the 2022-23 season.
Duke had a successful 2021-22 campaign, the last year under legendary head coach Mike Krzyzewski, and that put an entirely new pressure on each Blue Devil, one that no team had ever faced before.
It was faced perfectly until a losses in K’s final home game against North Carolina, ACC Tournament Championship against Virginia Tech, and Final Four to the Tar Heels that casted a dark cloud over the year.
Nearly the every player that saw meaningful minutes last season left either for either the NBA or graduation except for one, Jeremy Roach.
Roach was a superstar in Duke’s run to the Final Four as he calmly orchestrated the offense, was a pest on defense, and constantly hit clutch second half shots to propel the Blue Devils to victory.
The 6-foot-1 point guard averaged 8.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game during his sophomore season while shooting 41.0-percent from the field and 32.2-percent from 3-point range.
As the lone key contributor to return, he faces the most pressure entering next season with a roster that is talented but young in many ways.
Why the Duke basketball point guard faces the most pressure
It seems fairly simple as to why Jeremy Roach will be facing the most pressure on the Blue Devil roster entering the 2022-23 season.
He is the only player with experience of wearing the blue and white of Duke and he is the starting point guard for a Blue Devil team that doesn’t have Mike Krzyzewski on the bench since the 1979-80 season.
Roach needs to be a version of legendary Duke point guard Quinn Cook for this year’s team as it boasts four five-star freshmen; center Dereck Lively, forward Kyle Filipowski, forward Dariq Whitehead, and forward Mark Mitchell.
The Blue Devils also add four-star guard Jaden Schutt, four-star guard Tyrese Proctor, and three-star center Christian Reeves.
Head coach Jon Scheyer also added experience to his roster in Illinois’ Jacob Grandison, Northwestern’s Ryan Young, and Harvard’s Kale Catchings, but none have the true experience of what it is like to play for Duke.
Jeremy Roach was not helped by his high school teammate, Trevor Keels, leaving the program after one season to declare for the NBA Draft.
Many experts thought it would be smart for Keels to return to Duke for one more season and become a guaranteed first round pick as the Clinton, Maryland native took up to the final hours of the draft deadline before making his decision official.
Keels dropped out of the first round and was selected by the New York Knicks with the No. 42 overall pick and could have taken some of the pressure off Roach had he returned for his sophomore season.
Pressure at Duke is not uncommon but there is a lot resting on the shoulders of Jeremy Roach to be the leader of this Blue Devil team, both on and off the court.