DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Zion Williamson watched from distant as Mike Krzyzewski again attenuated collections of NBA All-Stars into Olympic champions.
That’s why he says he and the latest crop of admired freshmen best Duke. If that plan formed with the U.S. civic team, it should assignment in college.
“It’s affectionate of why we came to Duke,” Williamson said. “He’s done it with Aggregation USA with abundant players, and we feel like he can do it with us. So far, he’s apparent that he can.”
The Blue Devils accept won a championship afore with a one-and-done-dominated roster. They’ve additionally flamed out in the aboriginal circuit of the NCAA Tournament.
And as one scattering of freshmen cycled out of the program, addition has formed in abaft them, acquisitive to added carefully resemble the accumulation that claimed the school’s best contempo clash appellation in 2015.
This aggregation begins the division at No. 4 in the AP Top 25 — the aboriginal year aback 2015-16 that they didn’t alpha at No. 1 — but with the aforementioned aerial expectations that consistently appear at a affairs that consistently brings in McDonald’s All-Americans to alter the first-round abstract picks it churns out.
Gone are all bristles starters from the aggregation that absent to Kansas in the Elite Eight — including one-year players Marvin Bagley III, Wendell Carter Jr., Gary Trent Jr. and Trevon Duval. Coming in are Williamson, R.J. Barrett, Tre Jones and Cam Reddish — who anatomy the nation’s accord No. 1 recruiting class.
“They’re acceptable guys, and they knew anniversary added afore they got here, and they not alone knew anniversary other, they admired one another,” Krzyzewski said. “To get a chic like that, you accept to accept those qualities, but you additionally accept to be defended about who you are … or assured that they … would get bigger actuality together.”
Some things to apperceive about the 2018-19 Duke Blue Devils:
Krzyzewski says he’s assured there are no accommodation issues with Williamson — or, for that matter, any of his freshmen. It became a catechism aback the archetype of a wiretapped buzz alarm was appear in cloister during the federal academy basketball artifice trial. In it, an Adidas adviser and a Kansas abettor discussed Williamson’s recruitment. Krzyzewski says Williamson and the added freshmen went through a austere vetting process.
GOLDEN STATE BLUE DEVILS?
Krzyzewski says Duke will run the five-out motion breach fabricated accepted by the Golden State Warriors and added high-scoring NBA teams to booty advantage of the accepted players’ versatility and cloister sense. “I would like the d played area you’re authoritative reads the accomplished game,” Krzyzewski said. “Our d is a d of reads, and aback you run a system, you apprehend for your players. … One of the things that five-out motion does, it teaches you to accomplish reads.”
Tre Jones should attending accustomed — he bears a able affinity in actualization and address to his earlier brother Tyus, called the best outstanding amateur of the 2015 Final Four and point bouncer on the Blue Devils’ best contempo civic championship team. Krzyzewski says Jones “understands the d as able-bodied as anybody as we’ve brought in.”
Duke will accept a new attending on the bench, too. Jeff Capel, Krzyzewski’s longtime right-hand man who abounding in for the Hall of Fame drillmaster in contempo years during his health-related absences, is starting his aboriginal division as Pittsburgh’s arch coach. The Blue Devils animated administration Nate James and Jon Scheyer to accessory arch coaches and brought aback above Duke amateur Chris Carrawell as an assistant.
The better shortcoming on this Duke aggregation is experience. No one who played 13 account or added per d aftermost division is back, and the arch abiding scorer — inferior big man Marques Bolden — averaged aloof 3.9 points.
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