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College Basketball Preview: 8. Duke Blue Devils

8. Duke Blue Devils 27-7 in 2011 (13-3 ACC)

No Duke fan will admit it, but last season was a disappointment for the Blue Devils. Despite the fact that they were headed by the Plumlees inside and superstar Austin Rivers, the Blue Devils lost seven games and were stunned by Lehigh in the first round of the tournament. Now, one of the Plumlees is gone (Miles) and Rivers was drafted number ten overall to the Hornets. With still a ton of talent on the roster Coach K's team should end up with a better overall season. With UNC with significant losses and NC State unproven don't count out the Blue Devils in the ACC championship race.

Seth Curry

Backcourt: The loss of Rivers might end up being the better thing for Duke as they should spread the ball out more. Point guard Tyler Thornton should have a big junior season now the sure starter. Thornton is efficient and shouldn't turn the ball over much. Senior Seth Curry hopes to end his career in a big way. Curry can score in bunches but more teams will focus on him more now that Rivers is gone. He can shoot from deep but does a lot of his damage in the mid range game. With Andre Dawkins redshirted the top off the bench option should be Quinn Cook, a sophomore who will back up Thornton. Cook is small standing just six feet tall and won't score too much. Instead he will find the open man and play smart, disruptive defense. The next big shooter at Duke should end up being freshman Rasheed Sulaimon, who won the McDonald's All-American 3-point contest.

Mason Plumlee
Frontcourt: Two Plumlees still remain on the roster. Mason should be a dominant low post scorer for the Blue Devils. He has the size and smarts to be a double-double machine. In fact, he had 11 total last season. The other is Marshall a huge forward. Though he is a lot more raw then Mason or Miles ever was. A redshirt year last season should help him. Senior Ryan Kelly could be fantastic also. Kelly has proved that he can be gritty inside and can drain shots from perimeter. With a lot of great shooters on this squad he should be utilized more inside. Alex Murphy has a fantastic skill set and the talent to take the step Kelly did last season. A solid recruit a year ago he received a redshirt which was made mainly due to lack of playing time. Junior Josh Hairston and freshman Amile Jefferson provide much needed depth. Jefferson is electric but isn't very polished.

Top NBA Prospect: Mason Plumlee
ACC Rank: 2nd
PG Tyler Thornton- Junior
SG Seth Curry- Senior
SF Alex Murphy- Freshman
PF Mason Plumlee- Senior
C Ryan Kelly- Senior
Sixth Quinn Cook- Sophomore

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