clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Coach K On What Could Be A Very Special Season For Duke Basketball

How good is Duke? Good enough to sit Harry Giles - and still be #1.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Duke v Yale
PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 19: Grayson Allen #3 of the Duke Blue Devils handles the ball in the first half against the Yale Bulldogs during the second round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 19, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island.
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Coach K spoke to the media on Tuesday about his team and the impressive collection of talent that Duke has.

The main takeaway: this is a team that should compete for the national championship and that will be coached accordingly - hence the lack of worry over Harry Giles and his knees.

The N&O’s Luke DeCock thinks Duke will initially start Amile Jefferson, Marques Bolden, Jayson Tatum, Grayson Allen and Frank Jackson, with Matt Jones, Luke Kennard and Chase Jeter as the main guys off the bench.

Giles is an extraordinary talent though, not least of all on defense, and when he’s ready, he’ll make a huge impact.

In the meantime, Bolden will gain tremendous experience and confidence and who knows? When Grant Hill came back from injury in 1992, he came off the bench.

It’s going to be really interesting to see how things evolve, and it’ll be particularly interesting to see the role Jones takes.

He’s immensely experienced and he’s a superb defender. He’s also turned into one of Coach K’s best leaders. He’ll do whatever he’s asked to do and do it well. He’ll be on the court a lot during critical stretches - remember the Wisconsin game and the job he did on 6-9 Sam Dekker.

Of course this is also very likely to be Grayson Allen’s final year. He’s a junior now and almost ready to graduate. He’s looking to move past last year’s mistakes and to finish with a big year, including, possibly, a second championship.

That would make Allen, Jefferson and Jones the only players in Duke history to win a second championship.

Wait, wait you say, what about 1992?

Absolutely right. In that case, though, almost the entire team returned and with Hill, Christian Laettner and Bobby Hurley, it had three of the greatest talents in college basketball history. That was an incredible team but essentially it was a two-year run.

For Allen, Jefferson and Jones to win a second title, with a vastly different group, would be a remarkable achievement and set them apart from every other Duke champion.