Duke basketball freshman hints at return for sophomore season

Duke basketball freshmen Dereck Lively II and Kyle Filipowski (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Duke basketball freshmen Dereck Lively II and Kyle Filipowski (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

A Duke basketball freshman may have hinted at a return for a sophomore season. 

Wednesday was a great day for the Duke basketball program following the college decision of five-star forward TJ Power.

Power, a member of the Class of 2023, selected to attend Duke over North Carolina, Iowa, Virginia, and Boston College and continued to solidify the Blue Devils as the top ranked recruiting class in the country.

However, more great news might have subtly passed by some Duke fans.

The Blue Devil Instagram account posted its commitment video for TJ Power and one of the first comments under the video was from Duke freshman Kyle Filipowski reading, “From rivals to teammates.”

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Now, TJ Power and Kyle Filipowski were rivals from competing against each other in Massachusetts as Power current stars for Worcester Academy (Mass.) and Filipowski was the star player for Wilbraham & Monson Academy (Mass.).

However, the two would not be teammates in Durham unless Filipowski, the No. 2 ranked recruit by the 247Sports Composite Rankings in the Class of 2022, remained with Duke for multiple seasons as Power will not arrive on campus until the 2023-24 season.

Speculation surrounding the early return of Kyle Filipowski for his sophomore season began when Duke had stopped recruiting four-star center JP Estrella, who recently committed to Tennessee.

The Blue Devils could have a void at the starting center position next season with the anticipated departure of freshman center Dereck Lively II to the NBA Draft and, other than Filipowski, the only other center on the current roster is Northwestern transfer Ryan Young.

Potential NBA Draft status of Duke basketball center

Kyle Filipowski was ranked as the No. 19 player in the Sports Illustrated 2023 NBA Draft Big Board 1.0, published in mid-August.

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NBCSports had the Duke center pinned as the No. 9 overall pick in next June’s draft while ESPN’s way-too-early mock draft from June had Filipowski as the No. 15 overall pick.

There is still a lot of basketball to be played to see if Kyle Filipowski will be a multi-year player at Duke but at least his initial comments seem to trend in the positive director of the Blue Devils having veteran leadership on its 2023-24 squad.

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