Amile Jefferson, Matt Jones and Grayson Allen will serve as the 2016-17 Duke basketball captains, the school announced in a release Friday.
Jefferson, a redshirt senior, will serve as a captain for the third straight year. Jones, a senior, is a captain for the second time, and Allen, a junior, is filling that role for the first time. All three are expected to either start or factor heavily into Duke’s playing time rotation next season. All other notable contributors will be sophomores or freshmen.
Jefferson played just nine games last year before a broken right foot ended his season. That brief stretch was the most productive of Jefferson’s career, as he averaged 11.4 points and 10.3 rebounds in 30.3 minutes per game. He was Duke’s leading rebounder in eight of the nine games he played and was particularly effective on the offensive boards.
Allen, who surprised many when he opted to not even test the NBA Draft waters, led Duke in scoring and assists last year (21.6 points and 3.5 assists per game). Allen earned first-team all-ACC honors and was named to the AP All-American third team. Jones started all 35 games last season and frequently earned praise from head coach Mike Krzyzewski for his defense.
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Duke’s most talented players will be its freshmen, with four five-star recruits joining the fold (Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum, Frank Jackson and Marques Bolden). The mix of young talent and veteran leadership gives Krzyzewski his preferred recipe for chasing the program’s sixth national title. The Blue Devils’ regular season kicks off Nov. 11 against Grand Canyon.