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Duke Basketball: Blue Devils at No. 6 in Early ESPN Rankings

Grayson Allen Duke Guard
Photo: Troy Taormina-USA Today Sports

While most Duke basketball fans are still basking in the glory of the program’s latest national championship, the rest of the college basketball world has already shifted its attention toward the 2015-16 season.

Now that players have departed for the NBA and incoming recruiting classes are set, we can start to get an idea of which teams have the best chance to likely contend for a championship or make a deep tournament run.

ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan put together his “No-Longer-Way-Too-Early Top 25” and has the defending national champions at the No. 6 spot in his rankings. The Blue Devils are one of four ACC teams to make his Top 25, along with North Carolina at No. 2, Virginia at No. 4, and Notre Dame at No. 16. Former ACC member Maryland takes Brennan’s top spot in the rankings.

Here’s his top 5:

1. Maryland
2. North Carolina
3. Kentucky
4. Virginia
5. Kansas

In his analysis of Duke, Brennan projects that Grayson Allen will establish himself as a consistent contributor for the program this year and that the incoming freshman class should fill many of the holes left by the departure of four starters (Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow, Tyus Jones, and Quinn Cook) from last season’s team.

It’s interesting that he also thinks that former Duke guard Rasheed Sulaimon will serve as a key piece in Maryland’s backcourt this season.

What do you think of this evaluation of Duke? Is No. 6 the appropriate preseason ranking for the Blue Devils? In early August, do we even care or are we still just replaying videos of the final 10 minutes of the championship game?

Check out Brennan’s complete Top 25 on ESPN.com.