Mike Krzyzewski ended his historic career at Duke last season, but the program is in good hands. Jon Scheyer, a Coach K assistant, is taking the realms, and although there is a change in the coach’s seat, Duke’s storied success will remain the same.

CBB Review is once again ranking the top 100 teams heading into the 2022-23 season. Each day we will reveal the next team until we reach the team slotted at number one. Coming in ranked number 7 are the Duke Blue Devils.

The Coach K era is officially over in Durham, and Duke will be with a new head coach for the first time in 43 years. Jon Scheyer, a Blue Devil graduate and longtime assistant under Krzyzewski, will take over the program, 

Although a new coach is in town, the way of Duke basketball remains the same. Duke brings in yet another top ranked recruiting class, headlined by Derek Lively II, a 7-0 specimen who will compete for the conference’s Player of the Year.

To those who have not, click here to learn more about our preseason top 100 teams in the 2022-23 college basketball season.

Head Coach: Jon Scheyer (1st season overall, 1st season at Duke)

2021-22 Record: 32-7 (16-4)

2022 Postseason Finish: Lost in Final Four

Notable Departures: Paolo Banchero (Draft), Wendell Moore (Draft), Trevor Keels (Draft), AJ Griffin (Draft), Joey Baker (Graduate Transfer), Theo John (Graduate)

Projected Rotation

PG: Jeremy Roach (6-2, 180, Jr.)

2021-22 Stats: 8.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists

SG: Jacob Grandison (6-6, 190, Gr.)

2021-22 Stats (Illinois): 9.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists

SF: Dariq Whitehead (6-7, 220, Fr.)

247Sports Composite #2 overall ranked recruit

PF: Kyle Filipowski (7-0, 230, Fr.)

247Sports Composite #4 overall ranked recruit

C: Derek Lively II (7-1, 230, Fr.)

247Sports Composite #1 overall ranked recruit

6: Mark Mitchell (6-8, 220, Fr.)

247Sports Composite #22 overall ranked recruit

7: Tyrese Proctor (6-5, 175, Fr.) 

247Sports Composite #27 overall ranked recruit

8: Ryan Young (6-10, 235, Gr.)

2021-22 Stats (Northwestern): 9.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 0.9 assists

9: Jaylen Blakes (6-2, 200, So.)

2021-22 Stats: 1.0 points, 0.7 rebounds, 0.5 assists

10: Jaden Schutt (6-5, 185, Fr.)

247Sports Composite #69 overall ranked recruit

11: Christian Reeves (7-0, 245, Fr.)

247Sports Composite #140 overall ranked recruit

12: Max Johns (6-5, 205, Gr.)

2021-22 Stats (Princeton): 2.8 points, 1.3 rebounds, 0.5 assists

Team MVP: Derek Lively II

It is no secret that Lively is the headline of Duke’s top ranked recruiting class, yet somehow his talent still is not quite known. Lively is a dream for any coach who has him on a roster, and a nightmare for any defensive scheme trying to guard him.

The 7-1 center moves like a combo guard. His outside touch is above average for anyone, let alone someone of his size, and his knack for finding ways to score is elite. He can score at all three levels, and his rim protection on defense will prove critical for Duke as well.

Lively has the capability to not only win ACC Freshman of the Year, nor just ACC Player of the Year. Lively is a legitimate National Player of the Year candidate and can create just as much noise as Zion Williamson did just a few years prior. 

Make-or-Break Player: Kyle Filipowski

Filipowski comes into Duke as the fourth overall recruit in the country, and yet will still be taking a back seat in his role with Derek Lively II and Dariq Whitehead in front of him. However, Filipowski will find himself in the starting lineup and will have to serve as the second beast in the paint for Duke.

The question is not whether Filipowski can play. At 7-0, 230, he might be the most physically ready of any Blue Devil. He is strong, moves well for his size, and is an elite paint defender. However, offensively, will he be able to play that third option role that he never has had to do before?

Filipowski will play a role similar to that of Wendell Carter Jr. when he played alongside Marvin Bagley at Duke. Finisher, rim protector, and enforcer. Filipowski is used to being the first option his whole career, and if he can accept and perform in the new role given to him will be crucial to Duke’s success.

Analytic to Know: TRB

For such an elite level team, the analytic to know is pretty simple. Rebounds per contest. In 2021, when Duke missed the tournament entirely, the team averaged just 35.5 rebounds per game, a full five rebounds less than the two seasons prior.

With such a tall class coming in, especially the elite frontcourt Duke has, rebounding should not be an issue. However, a lack of focus and execution on the boards can really come back to haunt Duke.

Especially against their rivals, UNC, rebounding will be critical and can lead them to a conference championship. Containing Armando Bacot on the glass is not an easy task whatsoever, but with Whitehead, Filipowski, and Lively all crashing the boards, rebounding can give Duke the extra jump it needs to win the ACC.

Team Outlook

All eyes are on Jon Scheyer in his first season as he takes over for legendary Coach K. Expectations were already high, and his in-state rival Hubert Davis made the National Championship in his first season, making Scheyer’s expectations that much higher.

Leading Duke to success does not require a miracle, fortunately. The Blue Devils’ top ranked recruiting class will be the highlight of Duke, but Scheyer did an excellent job in the transfer portal as well.

Jacob Grandison and Ryan Young were two excellent gets for Duke, and their experience can offset the immaturity exhibited by freshman that often plagues Duke, especially early in the season. The locker room leadership that Duke has lacked in seasons passed and desperately desired to make a final push is now present in Durham.

Before the ACC gauntlet, Duke definitely has its hands full. In just its third game of the season, Duke will play in the Champions Classic against fifth ranked Kansas. Other power five opponents for Duke include Oregon State, Ohio State, and Iowa, none of which will be easy opponents.

A win over Kansas and business as expected up to ACC play can firmly put Duke in NCAA Tournament 1 seed discussion. In conference, Duke and UNC sit atop the conference, and the teams’ two contests will be classics as always, as well as most likely will decide who wins the ACC Regular Season crown.

Projected Conference Finish: 2nd in the ACC

Projected Postseason Finish: NCAA Tournament Elite Eight

Ceiling: NCAA National Champions

By Samuel Bass

Writing sports, college basketball, ACC hoops