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Duke Is Struggling This Year. Next Year? That’s A Different Story.

Duke is going to be very hard to deal with next season

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Pittsburgh
Mark Williams is just one of the players who could make Duke very dangerous next year
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

We’re not willing to give up on this season just yet but Gary Parrish has piece up about next year’s Duke team that misses the mark a bit but hits the main point, which is this: Duke will be a load.

The Blue Devils will bring in at least Paolo Banchero and AJ Griffin, who are both Top Ten forwards and are still in it for Patrick Baldwin and also Trevor Keels.

But what he doesn’t stop to consider is what’s likely to come back.

We don't expect to see Jalen Johnson back. He’s almost certainly a first-round pick and possibly a lottery pick. Matthew Hurt might be gone too.

We don’t know who else will be back but any of the rest of the team - Joey Baker, Jaemyn Brakefield, Henry Coleman, Jordan Goldwire (who could choose to return since he gets an extra year), possibly Hurt, Wendell Moore, Jeremy Roach, DJ Steward, Patrick Tapé who we think also gets an extra year and Mark Williams - could all find roles.

And then what Coach K talked about this year, about the value of struggling and what you learn from it, will kick in.

Parrish is right - Duke will be a load. But it won’t simply be because of the freshmen.