May 20, 2024

Duke basketball could face a potential void in leadership for Jon Scheyer’s upcoming season as the Blue Devils’ veterans might be in short supply. Despite several exciting prospects, including the nation’s top recruiting class led by standout forward Cooper Flagg, and the possibility of Coach Scheyer further improving the team’s NCAA Tournament performance, there’s a looming concern about leadership on the court.

The importance of veteran leadership in March Madness cannot be overstated, and Duke may encounter challenges in this area for the 2024-25 season. Senior guard and two-year captain Jeremy Roach still has eligibility remaining, but his decision to return has not been confirmed yet. Additionally, decisions are pending for players like sophomore Tyrese Proctor and freshmen Jared McCain, Caleb Foster, TJ Power, and Sean Stewart. While some players are expected to return, others, like McCain, remain uncertain, with potential draft opportunities and considerations about playing alongside Flagg influencing their choices.

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If key players like Roach, McCain, and Proctor opt for professional opportunities rather than returning, Duke could rely heavily on then-senior guard Jaylen Blakes and sophomore Foster as the only experienced options in the backcourt. However, Blakes has seen limited playing time, and Foster missed this year’s postseason due to injury.

Furthermore, with sophomore forward Mark Mitchell entering the transfer portal and projected lottery pick Kyle Filipowski likely leaving for the NBA, Duke may lack impact players with significant tournament experience next season. While Scheyer may look to the transfer portal to bolster the team’s experience, there’s value in the unique experience gained as a Blue Devil, which cannot be easily replicated through transfers.

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