A NEW CLASS RISES
This is an article from the Nov. 9, 2015 issue
Matt Jones is a known quantity, if not a dazzling one. The lone returning starter from last year's national championship team is a dogged, conscientious defender who quickly identifies opponents' weaknesses and then exposes them. At 6'5" and 200 pounds, Jones can do this against point guards or power forwards, permitting coach Mike Krzyzewski to deploy different defensive looks as needed. "If I take the best player out on each team," Jones says, "we'll have a good chance of winning."
Such dependability is valued in Durham, where roster overhaul is now an annual rite. But the Blue Devils did retain sophomore guard Grayson Allen, a fearless dribble-driver, who's an ideal fit for an offense predicated on applying pressure from the perimeter. Freshman point guard Derryck Thornton's quick hands and feet can push the tempo, while center Chase Jeter, 6'10" and an athletic 240 pounds, can pile up putback dunks and weakside blocks. And Brandon Ingram may be the most gifted newcomer of them all. The versatile 6'9" forward, a top five recruit, can create mismatches all over the floor.
Relying on freshmen worked for Duke in the not-so-distant past. But as senior Amile Jefferson cautions, "It's not about what we did last year."
PROJECTED TEAM STATS
OFFENSIVE EFFICIENCY 118.8 (3rd)
DEFENSIVE EFFICIENCY 94.9 (37th)
ACC RECORD 13--5 (T-1st)
Freshman forward Brandon Ingram, 6'9" with a 7'4" wingspan, has the frame, explosiveness, ballhandling skills and shooting range to play four positions.
With 2015--16 projections for the top six scorers
Coach Mike Krzyzewski (36th season)
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
|SG||Grayson Allen* 6'5" Soph.||16.4||4.0||1.7||119.7||22.8%|
|G-F||Brandon Ingram* 6'9" Fr.||15.6||6.9||1.6||114.7||24.0%|
|PG||Derryck Thornton 6'2" Fr.||11.9||3.9||4.1||109.4||21.6%|
|PF||Amile Jefferson* 6'9" Sr.||10.2||8.6||1.3||126.2||17.8%|
|SG||Matt Jones* 6'5" Jr.||9.5||3.4||1.3||116.5||16.8%|
|F-C||Chase Jeter 6'10" Fr.||7.9||4.8||0.6||109.4||21.6%|
[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]
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