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Duke’s Surprise Roster Addition

Safe to say most of us didn’t see this coming

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 01 Oregon at Stanford
 PALO ALTO, CA - FEBRUARY 01: Stanford Cardinal guard Bryce Wills (2) and forward Neal Begovich (23) celebrate after the men’s basketball game between the Oregon Ducks and the Stanford Cardinal on February 01, 2020, at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto, CA.
Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We have to say, we never saw this one coming: Stanford big Neal Begovich is transferring to Duke.

Pretty clearly Jon Scheyer knows what he’s doing, so we aren’t criticizing when we say: why?

We just don’t know what it is that the staff sees in Begovich.


A 6-9 native of San Francisco, Begovich went to Stanford as a walk-on and only got a scholarship in 2022. He scored a total of 16 points in three seasons and grabbed 11 rebounds, so it’s safe to say he wasn’t brought in because of his production.

Presumably he’s going to be a practice player, at least primarily, and obviously he’s more mature than your average freshman would be. And it’s possible too that he just brings something special to the team: his attitude, his intelligence, a great competitive drive.

Whatever it is, we trust Scheyer’s instincts and we’ll all understand eventually.

In a couple of interesting notes, this is the third year in a row that Duke has brought in a backup big man: first it was Theo John, last year it was Ryan Young and now Begovich.

And it’s also the second year in a row that former teammates at a Power Conference school transferred to Duke and UNC. Last year of course it was Young and UNC’s Pete Nance; this year it’s Begovich and Cardinal teammate Harrison Ingram.