#3 Duke Men's Basketball 2017-2018 Preview

Duke Blue Devils
2017-2018 Overall Rank: #3
Conference Rank: #1 ACC
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Duke entered 2016-17 as the top ranked team in the nation, but it was an up and down season that ended with a second round loss in the NCAA Tournament. This year, Coach K and the Blue Devils continue to embrace the one-and-done philosophy with four new five-star recruits joining the team. Duke loses seven of their top eight scorers from a year ago, but Grayson Allen has come back for his senior season. Duke will once again have sky high expectations heading into the year, but must look to avoid another early NCAA Tournament exit.
2016-17 Record: 28-9, 11-7
2016-17 Postseason:
NCAA Tournament
Mike Krzyzewski
Coach Record:
998-271 at Duke, 1,071-330 overall
Who’s Out:
Duke loses seven of their nine regular contributors from a year ago. Leading scorer Luke Kennard became an NBA lottery pick after a spectacular sophomore season. Kennard earned second-team All-American honors behind 19.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists and shooting 43.8% from three. Star freshman Jayson Tatum made the third-team All-ACC and went on to become the third pick in the NBA Draft. Tatum was well-balanced as a freshman, averaging 16.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks. Amile Jefferson has graduated after setting a Duke record with 150 games played as a Blue Devil. Jefferson was a vital senior presence for Duke last year, and the loss of his leadership will leave a major void. Matt Jones is another senior whose ability to hit clutch shots will be missed. Jones played 143 games for Duke and earned a spot on the All-ACC Defensive Team as a senior. Frank Jackson became a one-and-done player after averaging 10.9 points in 24.9 minutes per game. Jackson played a key role as the only real point guard on the roster last year, but he would’ve struggled to get major playing time this season. Harry Giles also turned pro after a disappointing freshman campaign. Giles, a former number one recruit, never appeared to get fully healthy at Duke and played in just 11.5 minutes per contest. Chase Jeter has transferred after playing just 16 games as a sophomore last year.
Who’s In:
Coach K continues to reload his roster each season with elite recruits. Late addition Marvin Bagley headlines this year’s group as the top overall recruit in the nation. Bagley, a 6-11 forward, was a late commit who reclassified in August. Bagley is widely regarded as the top freshman in college basketball. Wendell Carter and Trevon Duval are both five-star, top-ten prospects nationally. Carter is a 6-10 forward who will share the paint with Bagley. Duval was the second-ranked point guard, and he provides Duke with a much-needed true point guard presence. Gary Trent is the final five-star recruit this year. Trent is a shooting guard who was ranked in the top-20 nationally and can score in bunches. Alex O’Connell and Jordan Tucker are four-star, top-100 recruits that will give Duke depth off the bench. Lastly, Jordan Goldwire is a three-star shooting guard who could struggle to get minutes as a freshman.
Who to Watch:
Grayson Allen has returned for his senior season at Duke. Allen didn’t live up to his preseason expectations, but was still productive serving as the team’s de facto point guard. Allen averaged 14.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and a team-high 3.5 assists. Allen will be the only senior on the Duke roster, and he must be the mature leader that the Blue Devils need. Marques Bolden is the next most productive returner, and he played just 6.5 minutes per game. Bolden missed the start of his freshman season with an injury and never worked his way into the regular rotation. Bolden should see more minutes now that he’s fully healthy and had an offseason to work on his game. Antonio Vrankovic, Javin DeLaurier, Jack White and Justin Robinson are also all back with the Blue Devils after seeing reserve roles last season.
Final Projection:
Duke finds themselves in familiar territory as a preseason top-five team. Once Grayson Allen announced his return to Durham, Duke was solidified as ACC favorites. However, when Marvin Bagley reclassified and announced his commitment to the Blue Devils, Duke quickly became a serious championship contender. The biggest hurdle for Duke will be their inexperience. Allen will be the lone senior on the roster, and every player that projects to see major minutes is an underclassman. Coach K will have his hands full putting this team together, but the talent is there to compete for a Final Four and beyond.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament
Projected Starting Five:
Trevon Duval, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season

Grayson Allen, Senior, Guard, 14.5 points per game
Gary Trent, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Wendell Carter, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
Marvin Bagley, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 80.8 (27th in nation, 4th in conference)

Scoring Defense: 70.2 (118, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.5 (35, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.2 (147, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.4 (84, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.9 (56, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 76.2 (22, 3)
Rebound Margin: 2.6 (98, 7)
Assists Per Game: 13.1 (203, 13)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.4 (40, 5)
Madness 2018 NBA Draft Rankings:
#9 Trevon Duval
#13 Wendell Carter
#24 Gary Trent
#32 Grayson Allen
#40 Marques Bolden

Madness 2017 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#4 Wendell Carter
#5 Trevon Duval
#15 Gary Trent
#62 Alex O'Connell
#75 Jordan Tucker