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#1 Jabari Parker (Freshman)
Best Case – The absolute best case scenario for Jabari for me would be completely living up to the hype, becoming the Freshman of the Year in the ACC, becoming an All American and be highly considered for Player of the Year. Most importantly though, leading Duke to another of many final four appearances and possibly a national title.
Worst Case – Jabari never lives up to the hype and eventually loses his starting job to Semi Ojeleye, Alex Murphy, or Andre Dawkins. Becoming nothing more than just a role player off the bench. Jabari becomes known as Duke’s biggest “Flop” of all time.
#2 Quinn Cook (Junior)
Best Case – Quinn continues to improve on his consistency and becomes a double-double guy averaging around 14 points and 10 assists, leads Duke to 1st place finish in the ACC and eventually wins the Bob Cousy award along with Final Four MVP on the way to Duke’s 5th National Title.
Worst Case – Quinn forgets how to pass his Junior year and forces way to many shots early in the season. Coach K decides to start Tyler Thornton the rest of the season as Quinn slowly diminishes into the darkness of Duke Basketball.
#3 Tyler Thornton (Senior)
Best Case – Tyler becomes known as one of the best bench guys in college basketball and is capable of shutting down any prolific scoring guard on any night. Tyler continues to improve his three point shot and becomes another deadly shooter off the bench along with developing a nice floater.
Worst Case – Coach K loses confidence in Tyler after many sloppy performances, gives Freshman Matt Jones a lot more minutes heading into conference play, Tyler only comes in when other guards are in serious foul trouble or injured.
#5 Rodney Hood (Sophomore)
Best Case – Hood becomes Duke’s Lebron James, leading the team in almost every stat and emerges as a dark horse candidate to win POY. Hood never even looks like he had an Achilles injury and makes players who match up against him look just plain stupid. Hood leads to Duke into the NCAA Tournament with #1 overall seed and easily march into the final four.
Worst Case – Hood’s Achilles becomes a nagging pain all season and he can never just put it all back together, resulting in eventually losing his starting job to Andre Dawkins and a lesser threat off the bench.
#12 Alex Murphy (Sophomore)
Best Case – Coach K finally notices that confidence that he’s been looking for in Alex. Murphy becomes a main scoring threat off the bench and an explosive finisher. Alex pushes guys hard in practice everyday resulting in players like Dawkins, Ojeleye, and Jones becoming better.
Worst Case – Alex becomes overshadowed by Duke’s huge collection of talent this season. Resulting in even less confidence and losing the majority of his minutes to Semi Ojeleye. Murphy transfers after his Sophomore year and can never quite become the player everyone knows he could be.
#13 Matt Jones (Freshman)
Best Case – Matthew becomes an excellent defender on and off the ball and shows everybody that he is the next JJ Redick by knocking down over 44% of his trey balls his freshman year and has a few of those “on fire” games when Duke really needs it.
Worst Case – Matt never seems to improve in practice and never even hits the floor unless Duke is up 25+ in a game.
#14 Rasheed Sulaimon (Sophomore)
Best Case – Rasheed looks like a whole new player after a full offseason of hard work and becomes one of the most consistent players in the country averaging over 18 points per game along with a great FG%. Sulaimon continues to improve on his already impressive defensive skills and leads the ACC in steals per game.
Worst Case – Sheed can never become that consistent player that Duke needs him to be to win a national title. Never loses his starting job, still a decent player but never pushes himself in practice to get better.
#15 Josh Hairston (Senior)
Best Case – Josh improves on his mid-range jumper and gets even more muscular in the off season. Josh becomes most improved player on the team and has a fantastic senior year all while growing a James Harden beard.
Worst Case – Becomes out worked by Semi and Marshall in practice and loses major minutes. Josh spends 75% of his senior season on the bench becoming nothing more than one of those guys who gets fired up on the sidelines after Jabari dunks on somebody.
#20 Semi Ojeleye (Freshman)
Best Case – Semi becomes a nice scoring option off the bench and impresses with his Basketball IQ, unselfishness, and three point stroke. Semi becomes a very nice option when someone is hurt or in foul trouble early in the game.
Worst Case – Looks like a boy among men in practice and continually loses confidence never even hardly seeing a minute of action on game days.
#21 Amile Jefferson (Sophmore)
Best Case – Proves doubters wrong, becoming a great undersized player at the 5, never loses his starting job, leads Duke in offensive rebounds, and blocked shots. Jefferson becomes the main defender when going against a team whose best player is 6’7 or taller.
Worst Case – Even though Amile bulks up he still can’t compete in the paint with guys who are closer to 7’0 than he is. Eventually loses his starting job to Marshall Plumlee and shares minutes with Josh off the bench.
#34 Andre Dawkins (Graduate)
Best Case – Andre becomes a very consistent scorer off the bench and develops and nice mid-ranger jumper and floater. Steals a couple starts from Rasheed during conference play. Burns the nets and dunks on a couple UNC players in his final game against UNC in CIS. Becomes a valuable gem for Duke by mentoring guys and helping Duke to a 5th title which would be Andre’s 2nd.
Worst Case – Andre is the old Andre, looks amazing one game, can’t even hit the rim in the next. Coach K gets tired of his inconsistency and lets Semi and Matt fill in his minutes off the bench. Andre regrets coming back, and wishes he would have transferred.
#40 Marshall Plumlee (Sophomore)
Best Case – Finally looks 100% healthy and proves it by becoming the starter at the 5 come conference play. Becomes a furious defender in the middle and hogs the boards like his life depended on it. Shoots free throws 5 Bazillion times better than his brothers and grows a perfect Zoubeard to top everything off.
Worst Case – Continues to be bothered by nagging injuries, looks lost and brain dead when he gets on the court. Todd averages more points and rebounds than Marshall this year. Duke never gets that true center they critically need to cut down the nets.
#52 Todd Zafirovski (Graduate)
Best Case – Continues to give great effort every practice, becomes a great role model to younger guys and scores a basket or two his final game in Cameron.
Worst Case – Todd gets injured in practice, doesn’t even get to hit the floor in major blowout games early in the season.
#? Nick Pagliuca (Freshman)
Best Case- Becomes a nice competitor in practice against guys like Quinn Cook, and Rasheed. Maybe gets a bucket in a early season blowout.
Worst Case- Gets embarrassed in practice day in a day out. Coach K is better off guarding Quinn Cook and Tyler Thornton in practice every day.