Welcome back to basketball.
After a long offseason, the Blue Devils are now just days away from their long-awaited return to Cameron Indoor Stadium. With a blended roster of veteran and fresh talent and a second-year head coach with his eyes on the top prize, expectations are high in Durham. The quest for a sixth national championship, which has eluded Duke, begins Monday against Dartmouth — the start of a supremely difficult 2023-24 schedule.
One theme the Blue Devils have emphasized this offseason is a commitment to toughness, something they believe is necessary for them to compete in March — and the first weekend of April. Headlining this is a strengthened and "two-hip" Kyle Filipowski, who returns for his sophomore season as a Preseason All-American looking to reestablish Duke's hegemony over the college basketball landscape. Duke will certainly be aided by the Cameron Crazies, who helped the squad achieve an undefeated home record a season ago.
Filipowski isn't the only returner hoping to make waves. In fact, head coach Jon Scheyer brought back four starters from his inaugural roster, a rare feat in the "one-and-done" model the Blue Devils have become accustomed to. One of those starters, senior captain Jeremy Roach, brings a wealth of experience from an up-and-down four years in Durham that saw him benched and his position changed. Another returner is graduate student Ryan Young — who holds a unique new role bridging the Duke of old and Duke of new.
Speaking of new, Blue Devil blood runs deep on the nation's second-ranked freshman class. Headlining that group is TikTok sensation Jared McCain, who drowns out the inevitable noise his fame brings with a regimented mindfulness and meditation routine. Sean Stewart arrives in Durham after a lifetime of Duke fandom sparked by a legendary Blue Devil neighbor. The bond among McCain, Stewart and the other two rookies — Caleb Foster and TJ Power — is rock-solid as well, even if they can't agree who the best Uno player is. That chemistry bodes well for a team with outspoken championship aspirations, and a preseason No. 2 tag to its name.
For additional reading, check out what our senior beat writers predict for the Blue Devils' potential outcomes this season, as well as the Blue Zone's player preview series on the rest of the 15-man roster. Also be sure to follow @dukebasketball on X and bookmark our website to stay caught up all season — it's one you won't want to miss.
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