Duke basketball learning the harsh reality of new era of college basketball

The Blue Devils could be recruiting a different type of one-and-done
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

The Duke basketball team is learning the harsh reality of college basketball very quickly.

No longer are the days were players can develop in a program and fans can come to know, love, and appreciate that person. It's all instant gratification of playing time and money for the players, and you can't blame them.

It's the fault of the NCAA for not being able to regulate the rules of the transfer portal and NIL over the last two seasons and the reality of the situation has finally hit Durham.

After not seeing one player transfer out of the program last season, Duke saw seven players enter the transfer portal since its season ended. A total of ten players, including those who left for the NBA and graduation, will not be back next season.

The Duke players that entered the portal did so for a variety of reasons, some of which were due to a lack of playing time, a plethora of talent at a given position on next year's roster, or other schools luring that player to the portal with a high offer of NIL money.

Were there conversations between Jon Scheyer and a player in which entering the transfer portal was the best option for that player? Of course, but the roster turnover that the Blue Devils saw this season is likely to be the new normal.

Duke has been a leader in the one-and-done philosophy of college basketball and Jon Scheyer said that bringing in elite high school talent to Durham is not going to change in the program's recruiting strategy, but a new type of one-and-done's need to be recruited as well, graduate transfers.

Those players that only have one year of eligibility remaining are so important to the success of programs because it has been proven over the last five years that experienced rosters win in the NCAA Tournament.

Scheyer has already landed one player, Purdue's Mason Gillis, that will be entering his final year of eligibility this season and Syracuse's Maliq Brown, another offseason addition, has already experienced two years of ACC basketball before joining the Blue Devils.

The idea is going to be a common theme in the next several springs at Duke.

There are still three open scholarships for the Blue Devils to use this offseason and it's expected that Jon Scheyer will fill those vacancies with more players from the transfer portal. It just starts a cycle of players exiting, entering, exiting, and entering.

Will it work? That remains to be seen, but it's a new age in college basketball and Duke is adapting to the times.