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Duke Basketball’s Roster Nearly Set

Duke has a solid group and some young guys could really surprise.

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Duke v Virginia
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - FEBRUARY 15: Grayson Allen #3 of the Duke Blue Devils during Duke's game against the Virginia Cavaliers at John Paul Jones Arena on February 15, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images

With the commitment of Jordan Tucker Saturday, Duke’s roster is nearly complete. Duke is still recruiting Trevon Duval of course, and for all most of us know could have someone else in in mind. Barring that, the roster as of today is below. And it’s not bad.

Grayson Allen is obviously the best returnee but all the returnees are interesting. Javin DeLaurier is highly athletic and should develop quickly. We can’t really think of a big guy at Duke who is as athletic as DeLaurier. A fully healthy Harry Giles would be, but he didn't get there as a freshman at Duke.

Before injuries set in, we saw a glimpse of Marques Bolden as a dominant big man. Most people didn’t see him that early in the season, but he was really, really imposing. We loved what he showed.

We’ve gone on record several times as being very intrigued with Antonio Vrankovic’s potential. His body was soft when he came to Duke but there were times last year that he showed us smarts, great hands and a big body to bang around. He’s going to continue to improve and when he’s ready, people are going to be very, very surprised.

We didn’t see a lot of Jack White but he’s athletic, he’s strong and he’s tough. He’s a guy who could step up in a big way.

Justin Robinson, David’s son, came to Duke as a preferred walk-on and as Marshall Plumlee was the first to note, is a great teammate. Given his father’s history, he could be a late developer but even if he’s a minimal contributor on the court, he helps the team.

Then the freshmen: Wendell Carter is an NBA ready big man. He’s going to be really good from day one.

Same for Gary Trent. Both are going to play and play a lot.

Alex O’ Connell is a bit of an unknown for most of us. His dad, Dave, came to Duke as an astonishingly athletic guard and he had knee problems throughout his career. In the 1970s, there was no arthroscopic surgery. If you ripped and ACL, as we recall, they usually took a ligament from a cadaver to repair it. Bernard King blew his out and it took him two years - in his prime - to make it back.

When he was finally healthy enough to play some as a senior, he still had some of his hops but he just never managed to get fully back.

We haven’t seen Alex play but he has great genes and guys who grew up with dads who played at a high level have an advantage going in.

We know Jordan Goldwire isn’t highly regarded but something about him obviously impressed the coaching staff. He probably won’t be a huge factor as a freshman but like Robinson, he may be one of those guys who have a quiet but important influence on his team.

Counting Tucker, who is from New York but playing his senior year in Georgia, Duke has four freshmen from the Peach state (Carter, O’Connell and Goldwire are also from Georgia). The other day we couldn't remember the last Duke player from Georgia but as Brian pointed out to us via e-mail, William Avery was from Georgia.

  • Grayson Allen
  • Javin DeLaurier
  • Marques Bolden
  • Antonio Vrankovic
  • Jack White
  • Justin Robinson
  • Wendell Carter
  • Gary Trent, Jr.
  • Jordan Tucker
  • Alex O’ Connell
  • Jordan Goldwire

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