#6 Duke Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Duke Blue Devils

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #6
Conference Rank: #1 Atlantic Coast

Duke Team Page#6 Duke Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Duke Basketball Tickets

Duke is scary good. The Blue Devils won 30 games last season and made it to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament. It was the 13th time Duke has won at least 30 games in a season under Coach Krzyzewski (pronounced sha-shef-ski...for some reason). It also made it 18 straight years the Dukies have made the Big Dance. They are historically one of the best institutions in college basketball and are led by a Hall of Fame head coach. Also adding insult to injury, for their opponents, amazing recruits want to play here each and every season. If the demise of the Blue Devils is ever around the bend, it won't be happening this coming season.

2012-13 Record: 30-6, 14-4
2012-13 Postseason: NCAA Tournament Elite 8
Coach: Mike Krzyzewski
Coach Record: 884-238 at Duke, 957-297 overall

Who’s Out:
Thirty wins don’t come easy. Last year's Duke squad was heavy on senior leadership and production. Three seniors last year started every game they played: Mason Plumlee (36 games/starts), Seth Curry (35) and Ryan Kelly (23). Curry and Kelly helped to make Duke one of the best shooting teams in the nation. Duke finished first in the ACC in free throw percentage and three point percentage. They also finished second in field goal percentage and three point attempts per game. Everyone knew what this team excelled at, both fans and opponents, which may make the loss of Mason Plumlee harder to swallow. Plumlee was the only reliable inside presence on a team that struggled to control the paint. Point guard Quinn Cook finished second on the roster in rebounds last season. Part of this was by design; Ryan Kelly was the team's starting power forward and he was an outside shooter who stretched the floor and created match-up problems. Plumlee was on his own inside and now Duke will be scrambling to replace him.

Who’s In:
There is nothing wrong with building on a strength but it may come back to bite Duke. With the return of Cook at point, Rasheed Sulaimon at two-guard and Tyler Thornton and Andre Dawkins as backup guards, Duke has a tremendous backcourt. So it stands to figure that Coach K would bring in three top flight freshmen...none of whom can play inside. Of course, they are all great prospects, as is transfer forward Rodney Hood. The best of the bunch is clearly small forward Jabari Parker, considered by some as the second best high school prospect in the country behind Andrew Wiggins. The problem is that this team is even more prone to inside threats than last year's squad was. The only banger with experience is senior Josh Hairston, who stands 6' 7" and blocked all of six shots last season.

Who to Watch:
That's why the maturation of Amile Jefferson and fellow sophomore Marshall Plumlee will be so important. Marshall, the younger brother of Duke graduates Miles and Mason, barely played at all last season. He is a legitimate center who everyone says is the best prospect of the three brothers (of course!) but he has literally 50 total minutes of game action in his career. Amile Jefferson played considerably more last year, tallying around 400 minutes, and should slot in at power forward. But while the back court is stacked with prospects upon prospects, the front court has three players with the following resumes: no upside (Hairston), no experience (Plumlee) and no body (Jefferson at 210 pounds).

Final Projection:
The starting guards and small forwards should be amazing, perhaps the best bunch in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Jabari Parker may leave for the NBA after just one season but hopes to make an impression while he's here. And even though this team lost a lot of shooting in the offseason, scoring should not be a problem. This team, however, will only go as far as the front court takes them. Josh Hairston will be relied on more than Duke fans will be comfortable with unless Marshall Plumlee gets his game together. Perhaps by February, when Plumlee actually has some game experience under his belt, it will be clear how far this team can go in March.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Quinn Cook, Junior, Guard, 11.7 points per game
Rasheed Sulaimon, Sophomore, Guard, 11.6 points per game
Jabari Parker, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
Rodney Hood, Sophomore, Forward, DNP last season
Josh Hairston, Senior, Forward, 2.1 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 77.2 (11th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 65.3 (135, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.2 (19, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.6 (115, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.5 (52, 2)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.9 (6, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.9 (39, 1)
Rebound Margin: -1.1 (219, 9)
Assists Per Game: 14.3 (71, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.6 (9, 1)

Madness 2014 NBA Draft Rankings:
#2 Jabari Parker
#33 Rodney Hood
#60 Rasheed Sulaimon

Madness 2013 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#4 Jabari Parker
#27 Matt Jones
#28 Semi Ojeleye


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