The Duke Blue Devils return a solid core for the 2020-2021 season, the perimeter for the Blue Devils looks to be a good one with Jordan Goldwire returning for a senior season as Duke’s best defender. Goldwire has made strides on the offensive end of his game each season, last year raising his 3 point percentage to a respectable 35%. Joey Baker also returns as a hybrid perimeter guard/forward. Baker shot just under 40% from 3-point range leading last years squad in that category. Wendell Moore may be the player with the highest ceiling of any Duke player returning this season. Still only 18 years old, Moore showed flashes this past season as a slasher, a staunch defender and a player who just had a nose for being at the right place at the right time (SEE UNC GAME). If Moore can improve his ball-handling and develops a reliable 3-point shot he could be the x-factor for a stacked squad in Durham next year. Every rumor coming out of every sports outlet about Matthew Hut had him as a lock to transfer away from Duke. Hurt bucked the expectations and is returning to Durham for a sophomore season. Hurt, like Baker is a hybrid of perimeter and inside. Matthew shot an impressive 39% in his freshmen season and showed flashes where he couldn’t miss. The hope is that Hurt is putting on some good weight in the offseason and adding muscle to his frame. Hurt averaged just under 10 points a game and just under 4 rebounds last season he has a chance during his 2020-2021 campaign to be the focal point of the Duke offense. Patrick Tapé is the last member of the veteran core that Duke returns and while Tapé hasn’t played at Duke, he is no stranger to playing ACC level competition coming in as a graduate transfer. Tapé will give Duke the necessary depth to compete with teams like UNC who have a plethora of depth in the middle. To be effective for next year’s Duke squad, Tapé only needs to play within himself. Be big, finish at the rim, protect the paint, and defend should be his mantra. With the amount of willing passers on this Duke team he could very easily be an offensive presence simply by taking up space.
The Blue Devils are locked and loaded and ready for the ACC but there are several teams including UVA, UNC and Florida State who are vying for supremacy. Duke will be challenged but I think this years team will me a much more well rounded version of last years team. Offensively Duke should flourish, defensively there could be early struggles with youth.
The Blue Devils bring in another stellar recruiting class which is nothing new for Duke. Ranked as the #3 class coming into College Basketball, the Devils bring in 6 freshmen with varying skillsets. I have my own opinions on each player but I wanted to see what scouts and recruiting services thought of each recruit.
“After Roach picks up his dribble on draibble-drive situations the things he is able to do with his two steps are unprecedented”
“DJ Steward is a bucket getter, plain and simple. But more than that he knows his game and how to attack his spots on the floor. He has a good handle both in the half and full court and is slippery and crafty around the basket. He can shoot the 3 with range, both off the bounce or the catch. If need be, he has the size, length and skill set to be able to slide on or off the ball.”
“I’m really high on Jalen Johnson, but not for the obvious reasons. Of course he’s a consensus top 5-10 prospect with elite athleticism and the ability to dominate on both ends of the floor; what I love about Jalen is the mental reset he underwent this season. He was away from basketball for most of the year and told me it renewed his love and fire for the game. He noticed that people were forgetting about him, even after a dominant summer, and he didn’t like that. He’s going to Duke with a hunger he’s never had and approaching the game with a chip that will translate into a special freshman season.”
“Jaemyn is the ideal small ball power forward that can shoot, rebound, start the fastbreak, defend various positions and also make the right pass off of the bounce. In all, every national contending team needs someone like Brakefield on their roster in order to achieve the type of success they might desire.”
Henry Coleman III
“Henry Coleman is a physical animal. He has an incredible nose for the boards. He’s strong. And I’m talking grown-man strong. Does his best work as a power forward who gets out in transition. Physically, he’s ready for the rigors of the ACC.”
“Williams is one of the better rim protectors in the class and has showed good improvement offensively”