Heading into the 2016-17 season, it’s hard to look past the Duke Blue Devils as the front-runners to be taking home the 2017 Tournament championship.
Their roster is headlined by talented freshmen, who some consider to be the top freshmen class in the entire country. From Jayson Tatum and Harry Giles, to Marques Bolden and Frank Jackson, the Blue Devils have four of the most talented players in the country on their roster, and that doesn’t factor in returning players who add experience to the group.
Many thought that guard Grayson Allen, who averaged 21.6 points in 2015-16, would leave for the NBA.
Instead, he’s back in Durham for his junior season.
Forward Amile Jefferson was granted another year of eligibility by the NCAA, and joins sophomore big man Chase Jeter for another year as a Blue Devil. Lastly, add in sharp-shooting guard Luke Kennard, and it’s east to see why people are so high on Duke this season.
A tough non-conference schedule, one that includes two trips to New York, NY and an appearance in the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off, will have the Blue Devils ready for battle in the ACC.
Duke Blue Devils
2015-16 Record: 25-11 (11-7 in ACC; Tied-5th)
Key Returnees: Grayson Allen, Chase Jeter, Luke Kennard, Amile Jefferson
Key Departures: Brandon Ingram, Derryck Thornton, Marshall Plumlee
(** Denotes Conference Play)
10/28/2016: v. Virginia State (Exhibition)
11/4/2016: v. Augustana (Exhibition)
11/11/2016: v. Grand Canyon Antelopes (Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off)
11/12/2016: TBD (Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off)
11/15/2016: v. Kansas Jayhawks (State Farm Champions Classic)
*New York, NY
11/19/2016: v. Penn State Nittany Lions (Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off)
11/20/2016: TBD (Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off)
11/23/016: v. William & Mary Tribe
11/26/2016: v. Appalachian State Mountaineers
11/29/2016: v. Michigan State Spartans (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)
12/3/2016: v. Maine Black Bears
12/6/2016: v. Florida Gators (Jimmy V Classic)
*New York, NY
12/10/2016: @ UNLV Runnin’ Rebels
*Las Vegas, NV
12/19/2016: v. Tennessee State Tigers
12/21/2016: v. Elon Phoenix
Conference Schedule: TBD