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A Look At Duke’s New Players

Freshmen and transfers

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: MAR 30 American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk & 3 Point Championships
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 30: Trevor Keels is introduced on March 30, 2021, during the American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk & 3 Point Championships at Franklin Central High School in Indianapolis, IN.
Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Duke has another strong recruiting class and here’s a breakdown of what we’re going to see this fall from this exciting group from

These are the incoming freshmen some of the comments about them:

  • Paolo Banchero: potential top-5 draft pick in 2022... a three-level scorer who can create off the dribble...fantastic rebounder and defender... need[s] to work on his offense...
  • AJ Griffin: [T]op-30 recruit... projected to be a lottery pick due to his athleticism and versatility, particularly on the defensive end, as well as his natural ability.
  • Trevor Keels: [S]olid all-around player who can score on all three levels...solid ball-handler and passer.
  • Jaylen Blakes: [C]oaches rave about his IQ, toughness and mentality...capable of playing both spots in the backcourt...certainly has the skill set to make a massive impact on the ACC down the road.

And the transfers:

Bates Jones: ...[P]lays hard, is a decent defensive rebounder, and has the ability to stretch the floor with his shooting.

Theo John: athletic physical specimen who can protect the rim and score around the rim...average to below-average rebounder and a poor free-throw shooter.

Here’s what we see. All players come with strengths and weaknesses. Duke has a lot of flexibility and athleticism, a lot of power inside and outside shooting. Mike Krzyzewski has a lot of strengths as a coach too, but one of his biggest strengths is the ability to put the pieces of the puzzle together in a way that maximizes strengths and minimizes weaknesses. And obviously the more options you have, the more ways you can solve the puzzle.

This is his last team, and the options the new players add to the returnees gives him a chance to have one more special squad.