Duke opens basketball practice in one week and things are coming together nicely for the young but talented Blue Devils.
Associate head coach Jeff Capel said Friday that, though head coach Mike Krzyzewski didn’t attend the Triangle Men’s Basketball Tip-off luncheon at the Embassy Suites Hotel, the 70-year-old coach is recovering well from knee replacement surgery.
“Coach is great,” Capel said. “He’s actually doing really well. He’s back at the office. He’s doing things. He’s on the court during our workouts. He should be ready to go full speed when we start up next week.”
That’s it for the update on the senior member of Duke’s program. As for the newest member, he’s fitting in quickly.
Marvin Bagley III signed with Duke and enrolled in school last month. Earlier this month, he received approval from the NCAA Clearinghouse to play as a freshman this season.
The 6-11 Bagley is expected to stay one season at Duke before entering next year’s NBA Draft.
He’s been playing pick-up games and going through off-season workouts with the team for four weeks now, and Capel is impressed.
“He’s been great,” Capel said. “His teammates have welcomed him. He’s an easy guy to play with because he doesn’t need the ball. He’ll go get the ball. It’s been really good.”
During Friday’s event while on the stage with North Carolina’s Roy Williams, N.C. State’s Kevin Keatts and N.C. Central’s LeVelle Moton, Capel pointed out Duke’s inexperienced roster that features one senior – guard Grayson Allen.
“We have one guy back and, really, everyone else is new,” Capel said. “We’re talented, but it’s on paper.”
Duke opens practice Sept. 29 and will hold its Countdown to Craziness event on Oct. 20. Its exhibition games at Cameron Indoor Stadium are Oct. 27 against Northwest Missouri State and Nov. 4 against Bowie State.
The regular season opens Nov. 10 against Elon.
Bagley is one of eight freshmen on the roster. He, guards Trevon Duval and Gary Trent Jr., and forwards Jordan Tucker and Wendell Carter are all expected to play major roles immediately.
Capel likes their makeup.
“We have a really good group of freshmen,” Capel said. “These guys want to be a part of it. They’ve been receptive to everything. They’ve been really, really good.”