Duke Blue Devils (32-5, 13-3)
Projected starting five:
Fr. G Austin Rivers
Jr. G Seth Curry
Jr. G Andre Dawkins
Jr. F Ryan Kelly
Jr. F Mason Plumlee
Nolan Smith: 20.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 5.1 apg
Kyrie Irving: 17.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.3 apg
Kyle SIngler: 16.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.6 apg
Percent returning scoring and rebounding:
Scoring: 47.2 percent
Rebounding: 67.4 percent
Austin Rivers, No.1 Rivals.com and ESPNU five-star freshman combo guard from Winter Park, Fla.
Michael Gbinije, No. 35 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star freshman small forward from Richmond, Va.
Quinn Cook, No. 38 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star freshman point guard from Washington, D.C.
Alex Murphy, No. 45 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star freshman small forward from Southborough, Mass.
Marshall Plumlee, No. 79 Rivals.com and ESPNU four-star freshman power forward from Arden, N.C.
Best non-conference game: at Ohio State
Toughest conference stretch: Feb. 2-8 (at Virginia Tech, vs. Miami, at North Carolina)
Coach Mike Krzyzewski has to replace a couple of veteran leaders in Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler in addition to freshman sensation Kyrie Irving. Duke fans must feel shafted after Irving started on fire last season, then injured his toe and never returned to form. Duke faltered in the Sweet 16 last season, and the Blue Devils will have much lower expectations this season.
However, that might make the Blue Devils even more dangerous than last season. As usual, Coach K has a loaded recruiting class, headlined by Austin Rivers, Quinn Cook and Michael Gbinije. Add those talented youngsters to a lineup that already includes Seth Curry, Andre Dawkins and the Plumlee crew, and you have a team ready to compete at the top of the ACC standings.
Next: Florida State Seminoles
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