The roster for the 2013-14 Duke Blue Devils is loaded with talent. With at least 12 guys on the team who will compete for significant playing time, there is a chance that this will be deepest team ever for Duke Basketball.
Recruiting great players to Duke has never been a problem for Mike Krzyzewski. He has built a program around regularly bringing in some of the best high school players in the country, giving Duke the ability to reload instead of rebuild. However, things have come together in a unique way for next season to make the Blue Devils even deeper than usual.
At first glance, Duke’s recruiting class doesn’t look like it would add an unusual amount of depth to the lineup. It’s a relatively small class with only three players, but all three players appear to be physically mature and able to contribute immediately when they begin next season. Many recruiting classes typically feature a couple players who will take time to develop before they’re ready for the college game. That doesn’t appear to be the case with Jabari Parker, Semi Ojeleye and Matt Jones. In fact, Parker could end being the team’s best player.
Along with those three, Mike Krzyzewski will also benefit by adding two players who weren’t part of last season’s roster. Rodney Hood had to sit out last season after transferring from Mississippi State and Andre Dawkins redshirted last season to take time to mourn the loss of his sister. All indications are that Hood will have a major impact next season and Dawkins has the potential to be a huge x-factor for the team with his explosive ability and great shooting.
It’s rare that you add five potential contributors in an offseason, but it looks like that’s what Duke is getting.
The only question regarding depth for the team is in the post, where Duke only has one player on the roster who is taller than 6’8” – the 6’11” Marshall Plumlee who’s struggled with staying healthy.
Fortunately, the team has a great selection of athletic wing players who can fit in multiple positions. And those players are coached by a man who has experience building a system around talented wing players. It’s exactly what Mike Krzyzewski did while leading the USA Olympic Team to two consecutive gold medals.
Look for Krzyzewski to use many of those same principles with Duke next season.
As Coach K in a recent interview with the Duke Chronicle, “We have really good athletes, we have excellent depth, good quickness, a great spirit and outstanding camaraderie. Working with USA Basketball has helped a great deal because you get used to working with guys who can play multiple positions.”
And with a roster with 12 different players who can all play major minutes, Duke fans should be very excited about seeing how Krzyzewski can maximize the depth he’ll have at his disposal next season.