After a disappointing season in 2013-14, things are looking up for the Duke Basketball team. Duke should be better next season despite losing four seniors, since none of them had much of an impact. The Blue Devils are adding four great freshmen to their team, which should make for a better season, maybe even a great one.
They will welcome in Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow, and Grayson Allen to their team. These are all high recruits, and could contribute day one of their college careers. Okafor and Jones will have to contribute day one to help replace some of the weaknesses of this team from a season ago.
This team should be as athletic as a season ago, but it will also be bigger and have more of a low post presence. In Okafor, they will have a guy that they can throw the ball to, and he can make a play. It will also give them a presence on the defensive side. They will have someone to protect the paint, another weakness that they had this season. If Duke had a presence like him this season, they would have been tough to beat.
They will lose Andre Dawkins, Tyler Thornton, and Josh Hairston from this year’s team. They all brought something to the team. Dawkins brought sharp shooting before the end of the season. Tyler Thornton brought leadership and defense to the team. Josh Hairston brought hustle to this team. They will be missed, but they are getting better players to replace them.
There are also two players that they could lose in Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood. It is looking more and more like these two want to stay; they haven’t come out and said they are leaving yet. They look like they are still a part of Duke University, they went to the women’s NCAA game, and a disappointing season could get them to come back. These would be two players they would miss terribly next season, it could hurt their offense and would need more players to step up next season. It would still be a good team, but to take them too great, they will need Parker and Hood.
Duke should have another great season, but if they want to go deep in the NCAA tournament, and a chance to win the National Championship they will need Parker and Hood. These players should only develop and improve in to next season, and with the freshmen improving their game by the tournament this team could be the favorite to win it all next season. After a disappointing season Duke fans should be excited for next season to come. It will be a team to watch, and shouldn’t end with another disappointment.