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Duke Basketball Preview: Reloaded and Ready



Duke Basketball Preview: Reloaded and Ready

Jon Scheyer has done it again, as the Blue Devils are set to dominate. Here’s a 2024-25 Duke Basketball preview as they look to win the ACC. The team is bringing in a fantastic freshman class, headlined by No.1 ranked overall prospect Cooper Flagg. Besides that Scheyer has brought in some solid players via the transfer portal. The conference is wide open for the taking, and Duke looks poised to win it all.

Duke Basketball Preview: Reloaded and Ready

Duke’s season came to an end in last year’s Elite Eight when DJ Burns and NC State sent them packing. While every team’s goal is to win the NCAA tournament, a regional final appearance is nothing to scoff at. Still, whether you love the Blue Devils or hate them, fans in general expect greatness from the team year in and year out. Like many coaches in today’s college basketball landscape, Duke Head Coach Jon Scheyer has had to adapt every year with transfers and players going pro. However, Scheyer may be the best college coach when it comes to recruiting. Like Coach K who preceded him as head coach, he understands that a well-constructed roster is the most essential part of a winning team. So, what do you do when half of your roster enters the portal? Well, you bring in some transfers.


Four Big Transfers for Blue Devils

The Blue Devils acquired Maliq Brown, Mason Gillis, Sion James, and Cameron Sheffield, all through the portal. Brown is transferring from Syracuse, where he was largely forced to play as a center. Now, with a solid Duke front-court, he can get more minutes as a forward, his preferred position. After playing four seasons at Purdue, Gillis will now be playing at Cameron Indoor for the crazies. The 2023-2024 Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year will surely provide some energy off the bench. James played four seasons for Tulane, where he averaged 14.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in 2023-24. He should be a reliable bench player for the team. Sheffield was out last year with a foot injury. He’s transferring to Duke after four years at Rice but has two years of eligibility remaining. He’ll be spending time at the end of the bench barring any unforeseen injuries.

Phenomenal Duke Freshmen

Cooper Flagg is easily one of the biggest names in basketball right now. In fact, he’s arguably the best prospect Duke has ever had, which is saying something considering the great names who have graced Cameron Indoor. Outside of Flagg, the Blue Devils are bringing in Khaman Maluach, Isaiah Evans, Kon Kneupell, Patrick Ngongba II, and Darren Harris. Maluach stands at seven-foot-two and 250 lbs and is the number one prospect in this class at the center position. Evans is ranked third in the hyper-competitive basketball state of North Carolina. Kneupell is the top-ranked prospect in his home state of Wisconsin. Ngongba and Harris both attended Paul VI High School in Virginia, where Ngongba is the number one prospect in the state and Harris is ranked third.

Duke Basketball Schedule Outlook

Duke has a tough schedule in the upcoming college basketball season. Their non-conference opponents include Kansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Auburn, and Arizona. With four of those five teams being ranked in the way-too-early top 25, the Blue Devils clearly have some elite competition they’re facing. Additionally, they will face George Mason, Maine, and Seattle, three games they are nearly guaranteed to win. Then, for in-conference play, they’ll be hosting California, Florida State, NC State, Notre Dame, Pitt, Stanford, and Virginia Tech in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils will play both home and away games against UNC, Miami, and Wake Forest. For in-conference away games they’ll be traveling to Boston College, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Louisville, SMU, Syracuse, and Virginia. The competition will be fierce in the ACC, but Duke is ready to rumble with their reloaded squad.

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