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Duke's Talent For Next Season Is Impressive

And the season after that, too.

Tyus Jones will be looked to as a leader at Duke from day one.
Tyus Jones will be looked to as a leader at Duke from day one.

The N&O's Laura Keeley takes a look at Duke's roster for the next several years - obviously a crap shoot - and makes some predictions.

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We'll dissent one one right now: we can't see a freshman (Tyus Jones) as a captain. He may be tremendous, but he hasn't been on campus and hasn't earned respect. If he becomes a captain, he'll be appointed later.

We suspect she's right about some of the starters - Jahlil Okafor is all but certain, Justise Winslow is highly likely because of his defense, and Amile Jefferson can be unleashed when he doesn't have to play the post.

He's a smart and versatile player who struggled against bigger players in the post. We haven't begun to see his best.

Otherwise, who's to say?

Quinn Cook should be stimulated by the competition. He has at times been superb on both ends. Rasheed Sulaimon can be a tremendous defender and penetrator, and he's a solid three point shooter as well.

Things get interesting after that. Matt Jones won great praise for his work ethic and his defense. His calling card, three point shooting, was all but ignored. He'll continue to improve.

Grayson Allen, if you poke around YouTube, is a stunning leaper. He'll play.

And while a lot of people forgot as he didn't play much in his first year, Semi Ojeleye is built like an NFL wide receiver. He's also incredibly athletic.

If he defends to the best of his ability, he and Winslow could be a devastating combination.

And lest we forget, Marshall Plumlee began to show real progress this past season. He was set back by his injuries, but when he was able, we saw an intense, focused big man who is capable of creating havoc.  It'll be hard to push Okafor aside, but playing against Okafor in practice should be a huge boon for Plumlee. And both guys should benefit from playing against transfer Sean Obi-Wan (sorry, couldn't resist).

When Luke Kennard shows up, the puns will be endless.