With two of the nation’s top freshmen due to arrive in Durham and a devastating NCAA tournament loss to Mercer lingering in the rearview mirror, coach Mike Krzyzewski let his returning players know he was wiping the slate clean. Past mistakes would be forgotten, but so would any goodwill the players had built up. “When you come off a loss in the first round, you get bad credit,” senior point guard Quinn Cook says. “Your credit isn’t where it needs to be.”
Cook, who has 60 career starts, averaged 11.6 points last year while orchestrating the attack. Now he will have to share the baton with freshman Tyus Jones, who has been penciled in as the 2014-15 starter since he committed to Duke nearly a year ago. Cook has been playmaking from the wing in practices while Jones runs the offense; on defense, Cook picks up the opposing point. “The last couple of national champions had two point guards starting,” Cook says. “It can be done.”
They’ll both be setting up another freshman, Jahlil Okafor, a crafty center whose old-school post moves have been compared with Tim Duncan’s. The 6-foot-11, 265-pound Okafor gives the Blue Devils a post presence they haven’t had since Elton Brand in 1998-99. Looks as if it will be a season to remember in Durham.
Projected top seven scorers
Projected ACC standings
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