Duke basketball ready to learn from this year's mistake, recruiting defensive center

The Blue Devils are looking to bolster its defense with a versatile center
Mar 31, 2024; Dallas, TX, USA; Duke basketball head coach Jon Scheyer reacts in the second half
Mar 31, 2024; Dallas, TX, USA; Duke basketball head coach Jon Scheyer reacts in the second half / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

It became very clear early in the season that Jon Scheyer made a mistake by not filling Dereck Lively's spot on this year's Duke basketball team.

It changed the entire rhythm of the team by having Kyle Filipowski play out of position at center and no one else on the bench could provide meaningful minutes.

That seems to be changing already for the Blue Devils after the program reached out to Drexel center Amari Williams, according to multiple reports.

Williams, prior to his contact with Duke, had narrowed his list down to four options, St. John's, Florida, Indiana, and Creighton, and set dates to visit those schools. However, it is expected that the 6-foot-10 center will include the Blue Devils in his group of finalists.

The Nottingham, England native is a 3-time Defensive Player of the Year in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), averaging 1.8 blocks per game over the coure of his four years with the Dragons.

Amari Williams averaged 12.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game this season, slightly down from the numbers he posted during his junior campaign.

Duke's interest in the graduate transfer is interesting considering the Blue Devils appear to have its starting frontcourt solidified next season with 5-star freshmen Cooper Flagg and Khaman Maluach.

Christian Reeves, a 7-foot-1 center, has already entered the transfer portal while the expectation is that Kyle Filipowski will enter the NBA Draft. Ryan Young no longer has any eligibility remaining.

Perhaps Jon Scheyer is looking for more veteran depth in the paint, but Williams could be wishing for an opportunity to play more at the other schools that are heavily recruiting him. The Blue Devils also have 6-foot-11 center Patrick Ngongba in its recruiting class and the expectation is that Sean Stewart will remain with the program for his sophomore season.