#5 Duke Blue Devils: College Basketball 111 in 111


duke blue devils cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Despite losing Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith, and the top overall pick in the NBA Draft, Kyrie Irving; it will be business as usual for Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Blue Devils as they once again figure to be in the national title picture.

Last Season: 2nd, 13-3 in ACC, 30-4 overall
Predicted ACC Finish: 2nd

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Miles Plumlee (Sr)/Marshall Plumlee (Fr)
PF: Mason Plumlee (Jr)/Ryan Kelly (Jr)/Josh Hairston (So)/Alex Murphy (Fr)
SG: Austin Rivers (Fr)/Michael Gbinije (Fr)
SG: Seth Curry (Jr)/Andre Dawkins (Jr)
PG: Tyler Thornton (So)/Quinn Cook (Fr)

Gone: SF-Kyle Singler, G-Nolan Smith, PG-Kyrie Irving

2011-2012 Outlook:
The arrival of McDonald’s All-American Austin Rivers is one reason the Blue Devils don’t figure to miss a beat.  Rivers is a talented combo guard who has a terrific feel for the game and should immediately become Duke’s best all around scorer.  Doc’s son has NBA range on his jump shot but can also take defenders off the dribble and get to the rim.  He joins a deep, talented backcourt that features several players capable of lighting it up from deep.

That includes Seth Curry who shot 43.5% from distance and Andre Dawkins who connected on 42.7% of his triple tries.  Coach K will frequently use a three-guard line-up this season and all three guys could see time together on the court with Curry and Rivers both able to run the offense.  Dawkins will more than likely come off the bench and be one of the best scoring sixth men in the country.

More than likely, Tyler Thornton will get the nod in the starting line-up at point guard with McDonald’s All-American Quinn Cook seeing his fair share of minutes as well.  In other words, the Blue Devils have a ton of options with one of the deepest backcourts in the country.


Expect to hear a nauseating amount of, “Oh my god, Duke has the three Plumlee brothers on their team” stories.  Mason and Miles will begin the year in the starting line-up.  Mason is an athletic big who runs the floor, rebounds, and blocks shot but is still limited on the offensive end.  Miles is more physical and will be asked to bang down low in the paint.

Marshall is the baby of the brothers and may find it hard to regularly crack the rotation with Ryan Kelly being the first big off the bench.  Kelly is a face up four and can stretch defenses with range out to the three-point line.  Like his eldest brother, Marshall will give Duke a bigger body inside and someone who operates on the block.  Josh Hairston is an under-sized four but will bring energy and physicality off the bench when called upon.

Freshmen Alex Murphy and Michael Gbinije add more versatility to the forward position.  Murphy has a smooth jump shot and is athletic enough to play the three but he also has the size to play some power forward in a smaller line-up.  Gbinije is an unselfish player who can play multiple positions.  More than likely, these two freshmen will find playing time hard to come by but provide the Blue Devils with incredible depth and the option to put different types of line-ups on the floor.

One through twelve, there might not be a deeper team in the country.  With just one senior, they are a relatively young club but have the talent to be playing deep into March.

Player to Watch: Mason Plumlee
I have grown a deep hatred for ever since Plumlee destroyed my Marquette team at last season.  With that being said, the word that keeps popping up with Mason is “potential.”  This is the year that Plumlee needs to become a legit low post threat and show a polished offensive game.  If not, his NBA Draft stock will continue to slide as he will just be an athletic kid who can block shots and rebound, but doesn’t possess the physicality to play at the next level.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/11 vs. Belmont
11/15 vs. Michigan State (at Madison Square Garden)
11/18 vs. Davidson
11/21 vs. Tennessee (Maui Invitational)
11/22 vs. Memphis/Michigan (Maui Invitational)
11/23 vs. UCLA/Chaminade/Kansas/Georgetown (Maui Invitational)
11/29 at Ohio State (Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
12/10 vs. Washington (at Madison Square Garden)
1/4 at Temple
1/28 vs. St. John’s

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#6 Syracuse Orange
#7 Baylor Bears
#8 Pitt Panthers
#9 Vanderbilt Commodores
#10 Memphis Tigers
#11 Florida Gators
#12 Xavier Musketeers
#13 Louisville Cardinals
#14 Arizona Wildcats
#15 Wisconsin Badgers
#16 Alabama Crimson Tide
#17 Gonzaga Bulldogs
#18 Marquette Golden Eagles
#19 Texas A&M Aggies
#20 Michigan Wolverines
#21 New Mexico Lobos
#22 Temple Owls
#23 Cincinnati Bearcats
#24 Kansas Jayhawks
#25 UNLV Rebels
#26 Washington Huskies
#27 UCLA Bruins
#28 Butler Bulldogs
#29 Missouri Tigers
#30 Texas Longhorns
#31 Villanova Wildcats
#32 Michigan State Spartans
#33 Florida State Seminoles
#34 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
#35 Harvard Crimson
#36 Illinois Fighting Illini
#37 Oregon Ducks
#38 Wichita State Shockers
#39 Cal Golden Bears
#40 Belmont Bruins
#41 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#42 Saint Mary’s Gaels
#43 Purdue Boilermakers
#44 BYU Cougars
#45 Kansas State Wildcats
#46 West Virginia Mountaineers
#47 Virginia Cavaliers
#48 George Mason Patriots
#49 Old Dominion Monarchs

#50 VCU Rams
#51 Kent State Golden Flashes
#52 Arkansas Razorbacks
#53 St. John’s Red Storm
#54 Northwestern Wildcats
#55 Georgetown Hoyas
#56 Miami Hurricanes
#57 Nevada Wolfpack
#58 Detroit Titans
#59 UCF Knights
#60 Long Beach State 49ers
#61 Virginia Tech Hokies
#62 Clemson Tigers
#63 New Mexico State Aggies
#64 Tennessee Volunteers
#65 Iona Gaels
#66 Murray State Racers
#67 N.C. State Wolfpack
#68 Fairfield Stags
#69 George Washingon Colonials
#70 Indiana State Sycamores
#71 Oklahoma State Cowboys
#72 Indiana Hoosiers
#73 UAB Blazers
#74 Iowa State Cyclones
#75 Creighton Bluejays
#76 USC Trojans
#77 Weber State Wildcats
#78 Maryland Terrapins
#79 Tulsa Golden Hurricane
#80 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#81 Western Michigan Broncos
#82 Dayton Flyers
#83 Stanford Cardinal
#84 Yale Bulldogs

#85 Georgia Bulldogs
#86 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#87 Richmond Spiders
#88 Ball State Cardinals
#89 Utah State Aggies
#90 Arizona State Sun Devils
#91 Marshall Thundering Herd
#92 Oregon State Beavers
#93 Washington State Cougars
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#95 Ole Miss Rebels
#96 Nebraska Cornhuskers
#97 Oklahoma Sooners
#98 South Florida Bulls
#99 LSU Tigers
#100 Colorado Buffaloes
#101 DePaul Blue Demons
#102 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#103 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#104 Seton Hall Pirates
#105 Providence Friars
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 South Carolina Gamecocks
#108 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#109 Penn State Nittany Lions
#110 Boston College Eagles
#111 Utah Utes

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.


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