Projecting Duke basketball's starting lineup for the 2021-22 season
Duke is gearing up for what could be a special season.
Of course, it’s the final year for legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski. But this Duke team as has much talent as any team in the country, and is a legitimate Final Four contender.
Duke is coming off a 13-11 campaign and its first missed NCAA Tournament since 1995. However, with a revamped starting lineup that will likely include multiple 5-star freshman, the Blue Devils should find significantly more success this season.
Here’s Duke’s projected starting lineup for the 2021-22 campaign:
Point guard: Jeremy Roach
Roach started 18 games as a freshman last year for the Blue Devils, and will look to build off a solid first impression in his sophomore campaign. Last season, he averaged 8.7 points and 2.8 assists per contest across 24 games. He shot 45.6 percent from the field while playing 27.4 minutes per night.
Shooting guard: Wendell Moore
Moore is entering his junior season with Duke. As a sophomore, he started 18 games and averaged 9.7 points per contest. Duke will hope he’s an improved 3-point shooter this season — he made just over 30 percent of his attempts last season on a volume of three 3-pointers per game. His excellent free throwing shooting (84.8 percent last year) indicates he could be due for some positive regression beyond the arc.
Small forward: AJ Griffin
Griffin is the first of two 5-star prospects who are expected to start for Duke this season. Griffin is the son of former NBA player and current Toronto Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin. If he has a good year for the Blue Devils, he profiles as a potential lottery pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Power forward: Paolo Banchero
Banchero is the other 5-star in Duke’s starting lineup, and he’s a candidate to go No. 1 overall in next year’s NBA draft. Banchero possesses a rare combination of size, power and skill that should translate brilliantly to the college game.
Center: Mark Williams
Williams was one of the best centers in college basketball by the end of last season, and he’ll look to build on that reputation as a sophomore. He’s athletic enough to run the floor and big enough to protect the rim. If he makes a big leap in Year 2, Duke’s ceiling could be as high as any team in the country.
Duke opens the 2020-21 season on Nov. 9 vs. Kentucky