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An Early Look At Next Year’s Duke Team

We’re going to see a lot of this between now and October

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Duke
Jon Scheyer may be putting together a tremendous team in just his second year as Duke’s head coach.
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

After Kyle Filipowski announced earlier this week that he would be returning to Duke, the insanely early preseason predictions began to roll in: Duke’s #5! No, #4! #3! No, no, #2! No, guys, clearly #1!

Well, maybe. It’s fun to do the way-too-early stuff, but who had UConn, FAU, San Diego State and Miami in the Final Four?

It’s impossible to predict much of anything, least of all given the portal, the constant shifting of talent and the normal randomization that things like injuries produce. But it’s undeniable fun.

So let’s take a look at what Patrick O’Brien thinks over at the

There are some things we think you will start to see more and more from Duke under Jon Scheyer, starting with less one-and-dones and more great shooters.

Duke returns some pretty good shooters in Kyle Filipowski, who will only get better, Mark Mitchell, Tyrese Proctor who will also be much better and Jaden Schutt, who may be the most impressive shooter on the roster when all is said and done.

Scheyer also brings in Jared McCain, TJ Power and Caleb Foster, who can all shoot as well.

Duke also returns Ryan Young, Christian Reeves and Jaylen Blakes. Young played a lot but he has some limitations. However, he’s a superb backup who can occasionally start. He’s been a revelation.

The other three are guys who have the chance to develop into starters and any of them could make a major leap. Blakes did before he broke his nose, which set him back. Schutt and Reeves could make big gains in the offseason.

You have to wonder what Scheyer thought after sitting next to Mike Krzyzewski, and as we’ve already seen, he’s not standing pat. He’s put his stamp on the program already.

We think he may have changed his approach from that of K in some other ways. The pandemic made it very difficult to incorporate freshmen quickly, which may have affected his opinion on K’s one-and-done approach. And the portal may have changed his thinking in another.

Coach K rarely carried more than 11 guys on scholarship. Scheyer has 12 currently, assuming no one else changes plans, and is looking for one more.

He may well have concluded that relying on freshmen is dangerous and that having a full roster makes you less vulnerable to a portal tsunami.

It’s more evidence that Duke’s program is in good hands.