A Duke Blue Devils team that returns 74.1% of their minutes and 79% of their possession minutes is not something you see too often nowadays. But here we are. Four starters return, and second-year head coach Jon Scheyer brings in the nation’s second-best recruiting class. This is a team that won 10 of its last 11 games last season and won the ACC Tournament, finishing strong after what was a very inconsistent season before that. There is a lot of potential in Durham.
Previous teams in my rankings can be seen here.
Preseason College Basketball Rankings: #4 Duke Blue Devils
Point guard Jeremy Roach is once again the leader of the Blue Devils. The senior has 75 starts and 95 games under his belt in his collegiate career at Duke. He averaged a career-high 13.1 points per game, the second-most on the team. He was also still a good facilitator on the court. Tyrese Proctor played well last season as a true freshman. The dynamic guard was third on the team with 9.4 points per game. He is expected to take a big leap this year.
Kyle Filipowski was one of the best freshmen in the country last season. He could potentially be a First-Team All-American and will be a lottery pick in next summer’s NBA Draft. He was tenth in the ACC in total points and fifth in total rebounds last season. Mark Mitchell was also a member of the number-one ranked recruiting class that Scheyer brought in last year. There was so much size of last year’s Blue Devils squad that he didn’t have to do too much, but that changes this year. Ryan Young, who transferred in from Northwestern before last season, also returns. He filled his role well last year and should do so again this season. As a super senior, he brings a lot of experience to this overall young squad.
A big question is, which of the four talented freshmen is the fifth starter? My guess would be shooting guard Jared McCain. The top-ranked player in California is a very skilled and efficient guard who is excellent at spacing the floor. Five-star power forward TJ Power is an ambidextrous two-sport star from Massachusetts. Over the past year, he has only improved, especially with regard to his three-point shooting ability. That should really help this Duke team, as it was 10th in the ACC last year in three-point shooting. Sean Stewart and Caleb Foster are both four-star top 25 recruits who are longtime Blue Devil commits, having been committed to Duke since 2021.
C – Kyle Filipowski (15.1 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 1.6 APG, 1.3 SPG, 0.7 BPG)
PF – Mark Mitchell (9.1 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.2 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.5 BPG)
G – Tyrese Proctor (9.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 3.3 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.1 BPG)
SG – Jared McCain (#14 overall recruit on 247 Sports)
PG – Jeremy Roach (13.6 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 3.1 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.0 BPG)