Duke's 2020-21 Roster Outlook

ShawnKrest

There are still some question marks remaining, but Duke’s 2020-21 roster is slowly getting clearer.

The latest domino to fall was with Columbia graduate transfer Patrick Tape, who appeared to be Duke’s answer in the post. The power forward decommitted after just over a week, however, leaving Duke with a hole in the projected roster.

Here’s a look at Duke’s roster for next year.

Center:

Vernon Carey, 6-foot-10, 270 pounds, sophomore

Mark Williams, 7-foot-0, 225 pounds, freshman

What could change: More like what WILL change. Carey is almost assured to declare for the NBA Draft. It would be a remarkable upset if he returns to Duke next year. That leaves Williams as the sole big man.

Outlook: There seems to be concern among Duke fans that Williams won’t be ready to step into a starting or key contributor role next season. He’s “only” a four-star, according to 247Sports. He’s the No. 29 prospect in the country and has a .9884 rating from 247Sports. That’s almost identical to Wendell Moore last season (four stars, No. 29, .9898), however, who obviously was an important part of the rotation as a freshman.

Power Forward:

Matthew Hurt, 6-foot-9, 214 pounds, sophomore

Henry Coleman, 6-foot-8, 240 pounds, freshman

Jaemyn Brakefield, 6-foot-8, 210 pounds, freshman

Keenan Worthington, 6-foot-9, 211 pounds, redshirt freshman

What could change: There have been rumors that Hurt might be considering a transfer, but those have cooled in recent weeks.

Outlook: This is where the Tape decommit will haunt the Blue Devils. Hurt, Coleman and Brakefield will likely have to spend at least some time guarding opposing fives, which isn’t ideal, particularly for the sub-220 pounders Hurt and Brakefield.

Hurt would prefer to rotate to the three. He’ll likely be one of Duke’s best perimeter shooters next year.

Brakefield has also generated some “isn’t ready” concern from Duke fans, but his 247Sports numbers (four stars, No. 37 nationally, .9853) are on par with Cassius Stanley (four stars, No. 37, .9870), who seemed to do a decent job this past year.

At 240 pounds, Coleman is likely to be the second-biggest Blue Devil. Worthington is a walk-on who redshirted last season.

Small Forward:

Wendell Moore, 6-foot-6, 213 pounds, sophomore

Joey Baker, 6-foot-7, 208 pounds, junior

Jalen Johnson, 6-foot-8, 215 pounds, freshman

What could change: Baker has said he’s coming back. Moore seems just as likely to return.

Outlook: Obviously, there’s some drift between this position and the power forward and shooting guard spots. Johnson seems to be the pick to be the team’s top scoring option by the end of the season. The five-star missed his senior season between recovering from an injury and high school transfer rules. Once the rust is knocked off, he should be ready for a star turn. Baker is a deadly shooter whose playing time increased significantly last year. Moore is a glue player who can defend any position and run the team from the point in a pinch. He’s a good bet to be the most-improved Blue Devil next year.

Shooting guard:

Cassius Stanley, 6-foot-6, 193 pounds, sophomore

DJ Steward, 6-foot-3, 165 pounds, freshman

Michael Savarino, 6-foot-0, 182 pounds, redshirt freshman

What could change: Stanley needs to make a decision regarding the NBA. The facts (talent level in draft this year, his production last year, his age) all indicate he should at least test the waters. He seems to be hinting he’s considering a return to Durham with his cryptic social media posts, however.

Outlook: Obviously, Stanley’s return would be a significant addition to the 2020-21 Blue Devils. He would be a Player of the Year candidate. Steward is a five-star combination guard who was the Illinois player of the year, joining a long line of Chicago-to-Duke players, including Jon Scheyer, Jabari Parker and Jahlil Okafor. Savarino is Coach K’s grandson and a walk-on who redshirted last year.

Point guard:

Jeremy Roach, 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, freshman

Jordan Goldwire, 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, senior

Mike Buckmire, 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, senior

What could change: Steward could shift to the point and likely will for portions of games. Roster-wise, any changes would be a big surprise.

Outlook: Roach is a five-star point guard and should be up to the challenge of filling Tre Jones’ shoes. Goldwire was a co-starter for much of last season and will team up with Roach, Moore and Steward to keep Duke’s pressure defense, which worked so well last season, as a threat against opposing ball handlers. Buckmire is a walk-on.

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