Duke basketball head coach Jon Scheyer is receiving a lot of praise for his offseason.
It has felt like the Duke basketball offseason ended quite a while ago with roster transactions and how it’s time to put it all together.
However, in the Field of 68‘s series grading the offseason of programs, college basketball insiders Jeff Goodman and Rob Dauster praised Blue Devil head coach Jon Scheyer for what he was able to accomplish despite not making any significant transfer portal acquisitions.
Duke was able to retain key players from last season like Jeremy Roach, Tyrese Proctor, Mark Mitchell, and Kyle Filipowski and did not see anyone opt to leave the program via transfer.
Scheyer also built the consensus No. 2 recruiting class in the country comprised of 5-star prospects Sean Stewart, Jared McCain, Caleb Foster, and TJ Power.
Goodman believes that there is so much depth on the roster that some players, perhaps Jaylen Blakes or Jaden Schutt, could be unhappy with their role, but he also has a wrinkle in who he believes will start for the Blue Devils this season.
The presumption among everyone around college hoops is that the four starters from last season will retain their positions in the Duke rotation but Goodman thinks it will be TJ Power that gets the nod on opening night from Scheyer.
Goodman, who openly admits he fell in love with Power’s game last year at the Nike EYBL Peach Jam, says that the 6-foot-9 forward will also be the team’s X-Factor in reaching its championship potential because of his scoring abilities and willingness to rebound.
Dauster explained that Mark Mitchell would be the key contributor for the Blue Devils because of his tenacity defensively and ability to guard multiple positions.
Insiders have one worry about the Duke basketball team
Duke only lost Dariq Whitehead and Dereck Lively II to the NBA Draft this offseason but both Jeff Goodman and Rob Dauster believe that the loss of Lively will significantly impact the Blue Devils defensively.
Lively was able to makeup for most mistakes made on the defensive end of the court as he averaged 2.4 blocks per game and it will be Kyle Filipowski, who was not known for his defensive abilities, taking over a lot of his duties at the center position.
Filipowski underwent double hip surgery earlier in the offseason and explained on a recent episode of The Brotherhood podcast that the procedure has allowed him to become more mobile and athletic on defense.
Goodman and Dauster both gave Scheyer an ‘A+’, or the highest grade you could possibly give, for his offseason but think that Duke will have to outscore its opponents to win games this season, unlike last year when the Blue Devils were able to win with its stingy defense.
Duke is expected to be a Top-3 team in the preseason and both insiders believe that Jon Scheyer has the talent to make the Final Four this season and win a National Championship.