Which Duke Team Was Most Talented?
Duke basketball’s website helped to fill the first two weeks of no NCAA Tournament games by having a fantasy tournament between the 16 Blue Devils Final Four teams. Based on online voting, the 1992 National Champions won the tournament.
But which team is really the best? Of the 16 Duke teams to reach the season’s last week, which had the most talent?
We decided to take a look at the 16 teams, as well as all of Duke’s teams that didn’t make the Final Four, to see how they match up based on their impact at the next level
While the college game and the NBA are different animals, it’s reasonable to assume that teams that produced the most NBA players, or longer, more successful NBA careers are likely more talent laden.
It’s a game everyone plays at some point—who would have guessed in 2010, as Duke cut down the nets, that the longest NBA careers would have come from the Plumlees and Lance Thomas?
So, over the next few days, we’ll count down the Duke Final Four teams, ranked by total points scored in the NBA. We’ll also chime in and let you know which Duke teams that missed the Final Four had more of an NBA impact.
But first, we’ll take a look at the opposite end of the spectrum: In Coach K’s 40 years at Duke, he had one team that sent no players to the NBA. The 1995-96 Blue Devils—the year after Coach K’s back problem forced him to miss half the season—went 18-13, 8-8 in the ACC.
Duke was led that year by Jeff Capel, Chris Collins, Ricky Price and Greg Newton. But no one on the roster ever played a minute in The League. Of course, it produced plenty of coaching talent. Steve Wojciechowski was a reserve on that team. It was the first Duke team with no future NBA-ers since 1958, however.
So, to start the series, here are the Duke teams that produced fewer than 100 NBA games
No NBA players: All teams 1941 and earlier, 1945-1949, 1953-1958, 1996.