The SSR writers composite pre-season poll had the Duke Blue Devils coming in at number 10 for the upcoming season. With under two weeks until the season begins, we take a look into what to expect from Duke in 2020-2021.
2019-2020 Record: 26-5
National Championship Odds: +1600
ACC Championship Odds: +225
Key Returners (2019-2020 Stats)
Wendell Moore Jr: 7.4 PPG, 4.2 REB, 1.9 AST, 0.9 STL
Matthew Hurt: 9.7 PPG, 3.8 REB
Jordan Goldwire: 4.7 PPG, 2.5 REB, 2.3 AST, 1.5 STL
Jalen Johnson: 5-star Small Forward
Jeremy Roach: 5-star Point Guard
DJ Steward: 5-star Combo Guard
Mark Williams: 5-star Center
Henry Coleman: 4-star Power Forward
Patrick Tape: Columbia Grad-Transfer – Center
|Nov. 25||Gardner Webb||TBA|
|Nov. 28||Coppin State||TBA|
|Dec. 1||Michigan State||TBA|
|Dec. 12||Charleston Southern||TBA|
|Dec. 16||Notre Dame||TBA|
Duke’s 2020 recruiting class was ranked 3rd in the nation. Coach K has never had a shortage of young talent, and this year is no different. What is interesting about this years Duke team is that there isn’t a clear cut star. This is an extremely deep Duke team that has will have a very potent starting lineup to go along with above average role players off the bench.
Top-recruit Jalen Johnson is projected to be the next star for the Blue Devils. And while some question if he has what it takes to be a star in the ACC, I think the young blood has what it takes.
The high flying 6-foot-9 forward has all of the physical attributes to be a star down at Duke this season. In Dukes most recent scrimmage Johnson led all scorers with 25-points. As long as he continues to develop as he has been already, I’d expect him to be ‘the guy’ this season down the stretch.
Another major key to Dukes success this season rides on the shoulders of sophomore forward, Matt Hurt. In 20.5 MPG a season ago, Hurt averaged 9.7 PPG and 3.8 REB. Last season Hurt shot the ball at a 39.3% clip from beyond the arc. In this upcoming season he needs to maintain a high percentage like last season but with a higher volume of shots. The former 5-star recruit from Minnesota will look to build on these averages in order to improve his draft stock as I believe he will declare following this NCAA season.
According to recent team scrimmages Jordan Goldwire has been playing exceptionally well and has the ability to take on the role as lead facilitator for the Blue Devils this season. Last season Goldwire saw a large increase in minutes compared to his first two seasons at Duke. He played 24.1 minutes per game compared to 6.5 and 8.6 in his freshmen and sophomore seasons. He had multiple double digit scoring outings and will have more scoring opportunity this season.