Oh hello college basketball, how we’ve missed you.
All the usual excitement and preseason buzz surrounds Duke’s year, but this season is going to be a special one, regardless of the outcome. The 2021-22 season will be head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s last, and he’s got a squad with the potential to send him to New Orleans for a chance at a sixth ring. The usual ACC suspects fill Duke’s schedule, and the Blue Devils have a few primetime nonconference matchups against some of college basketball’s finest.
But before he starts that quest, let’s rewind and look at how family has been a part of Krzyzewski’s life both on and off the court from the very beginning.
The most notable member of the roster is undoubtedly freshman star Paolo Banchero, who many project to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Sophomore Mark Williams joins him in the frontcourt, and after his late-season transformation last year, he’s poised for a breakout season.
Theo John is the third big man this year who is expected to see significant minutes, and he’s been a part of "The Brotherhood" since before he even put on a Blue Devil uniform. John is one of three players on the roster to have played in the NCAA tournament, and one of the others is senior captain Joey Baker, who has had a unique journey in Durham.
Every effective frontcourt needs a backcourt to go with, and this year’s guard combo of Trevor Keels and Jeremy Roach has a level of chemistry that not many others do.
There’s a whole lot of talent on this year’s squad, and that combined with the Duke name has led to some name, image and likeness deals (and chicken sandwiches?) for Blue Devils this past offseason.
Since this is Krzyzewski’s last dance, should there be more pressure on the team? There’s a case to be made that the farewell tour will have this team under a microscope, but Krzyzewski’s legacy is already sealed, so maybe it's time to appreciate his career.
Still want more preseason coverage? Here’s a preview of every player on this year’s roster.
If you don’t already, throw us a follow on Twitter @dukebasketball and visit our website to stay caught up with all of our award-winning coverage. And before you go, check out our season predictions here from our senior beats.
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