Duke enters the 2016-17 season with a core of seasoned veterans and a loaded rookie class.
However, the Blue Devils have already had a few setbacks due to injuries. Two five-star freshman have already been injured, while a third is waiting to suit up for the first time with Duke. Freshman wing Jayson Tatum is coming off a sprained foot and should be ready for Friday’s season-opener against Marist. Forward Marques Bolden suffered a lower-leg injury earlier this week, and Harry Giles is still recovering from a knee scope but could make his first appearance at the end of this month.
1. Luke Kennard might see tons of action
Coach Mike Krzyzewski said during Duke’s stretch of exhibition games that the sophomore guard is probably playing better than anyone else at this point in the year, which would explain why you might see Kennard’s minute surge this year. He played 500 minutes in 36 games – 11 starts – last season and was a double-digit scorer for Duke.
2. Duke’s front-court depth can be tested in a game that counts
With Giles and Bolden not playing, grad student Amile Jefferson and sophomore Chase Jeter will cover that area while the freshmen work their way back to health. The returning duo trapped a lot in the exhibition finale, one of several defensive looks the Blue Devils will work this season.
3. The available freshmen are ready
They’ve played against each other time and time again. They’ve played in lopsided exhibition contests. The guys who are healthy can’t wait to get out on the floor for the first time for real.
Marist at Duke
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham
TV: ACC Network Extra