Duke basketball could be stronger at center than initially thought

Duke basketball center Ryan Young and forward Kyle Filipowski (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Duke basketball center Ryan Young and forward Kyle Filipowski (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

The Duke basketball team could be stronger at center this season than originally thought. 

One of the biggest questions for the Duke basketball team this offseason was how head coach Jon Scheyer was going to replace Dereck Lively II, who opted to declare for the NBA Draft after one season in Durham.

Lively, despite starting slow because of injury, was never a serious offensive threat for the team but was one of the best rim protectors in the country and will leave a massive void in the paint for the Blue Devils.

There was reported interest between Duke and a handful of post players in the transfer portal but nothing ever developed to be that serious besides Ernest Udeh Jr., who committed to TCU after reports surfaced about struggling to be academically admitted to the school.

It left Jon Scheyer with nothing much left to do but trust the combination of Kyle Filipowski, Ryan Young, and Christian Reeves to try and anchor the Blue Devil defense in the paint.

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The expectation is that Filipowski will get a majority of the minutes at center this season and Duke will play a lot of small ball, something they never did last season, with its never ending plethora of guards. However, the major questions at center might not be lingering for too much longer.

In recent videos from practice, Filipowski and Young have been playing on the same team and it could give the Blue Devils a different look on the court.

Duke basketball head coach with plenty of lineup combinations available

Both Kyle Filipowski and Ryan Young have been working to improve their 3-point percentages this offseason as Scheyer explained that his team will be taking a lot more shots from beyond the arc than last year.

Filipowski was just a 28.2-percent shooter from distance as a freshman and Young did not attempt a 3-pointer last season and has only tried eight times from distance since going 3-for-21 during his freshman season at Northwestern.

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Christian Reeves remains the biggest question mark around the trio of players but provides the biggest frame and wingspan of trying to defend the basket despite his very limited minutes last season.

The center position still remains the biggest question for Duke entering the season, at this point, but more answers could be on the horizon with how things have looked in practice.

Next. Duke makes major revelations in first scrimmage of practice. dark