Duke basketball: Which freshmen will have the biggest impact?

Duke basketball freshman Jared McCain (Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball freshman Jared McCain (Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports) /

How impactful will the Duke basketball freshmen be this season? 

The Duke basketball program has consistently been associated with recruiting exceptional freshmen classes and the upcoming 2023 class is no different.

Ranked as the consensus No. 2 class in the country, this group of newcomers brings a wealth of versatility and shooting prowess to the Blue Devil roster.

The arrival of freshmen on campus and their participation in workouts has ignited excitement among fans and the summer videos released by the team have offered a glimpse into the players’ training sessions, fueling anticipation about their potential impact in the upcoming season.

As the question of who will make the biggest splash is at the forefront, let’s delve into the details and look at the fantastic Duke freshmen.

Caleb Foster, a highly-touted combo guard, is a player who demands attention.

The 6-foot-4 Foster can play both guard spots as he brings in a combination of playmaking, shooting, and high IQ basketball to the table. He’s a ball screen wizard who consistently makes excellent decisions.

He also has the ability to dominate with his scoring or effectively facilitate for his teammates.

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While he may not possess superior athleticism, his wiggle and size enables him to create separation and get shots off and it’s easy to envision a scenario where Foster becomes the primary guard coming off the bench, or even potentially earns a starting role.

Given Caleb Foster’s talent, it’s conceivable that he could become a one-and-done player.

Jared McCain, the other backcourt freshman and social media star, is expected to make a significant impact at Duke and quickly become a fan favorite.

McCain’s shooting prowess is set to light up the court and his versatility enables him to attack the rim using an array of creative shots. His defensive skills, particularly his ability to defend on-ball, should also serve him well on the court.

With his impressive skill set, Jared McCain will see a lot of time on the court.

Duke basketball relying on frontcourt players to step up

Some players can step onto the floor without a defined role and still find a way to carve one out for themselves, benefiting the team in the process.

There he stands, TJ Power, embodying the plug-and-play mold more than anyone else on the Duke roster. With a versatile skill set and a dog mentality, Power has the ability to excel both inside and out, effectively utilizing his athleticism.

The forward’s adaptability and willingness to contribute in multiple facets of the game make him a valuable asset for the Blue Devils.

The Floridian sensation, Sean Stewart, known for his relentless motor and high-flying game, has been personally endorsed by Duke legend Grant Hill.

With his exceptional athleticism and boundless energy, Stewart is eager to make an immediate impact in Durham.

If he can consistently knock down mid-range jumpers, excel in rebounding, and demonstrate strong defensive skills, there should be no reason why he can’t carve out a significant role in the rotation.

The truth is, all of the freshmen should play significant roles.

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They all have different skillsets and bring something different to the table for Duke and Jon Scheyer faces a challenging task in allocating minutes to the talented class.

However, there is a silver lining to this situation – all the freshmen are known for their high character and team-first approach, meaning if they don’t receive as many minutes as they might hope for, they are unlikely to become disgruntled or pout.

They were recruited with the understanding that their development at Duke would be a multi-year process, and they are fully aware of the commitment required.

With such a cohesive and selfless group of players, the upcoming season promises to be an enjoyable one for both the team and its fans.

Next. Dylan Harper’s recruitment gets more interesting. dark