Commentary

CBB Summer Buzz: Duke

With their backcourt shortage solved, this could be another big year for the Blue Devils

Updated: August 4, 2009, 3:18 PM ET
By Jordan Brenner | ESPN Insider

Insider knows you're hot for hoops during the summer, so we bring you a closer look at five programs on the rise, five on the way down and five at a crossroads. On Tuesday, we continue our look at teams at a crossroads with Duke. Next up on Wednesday, UConn.

Duke Blue Devils

30-7 (NCAA Sweet 16)

Say this for the gang down in Durham -- it keeps its fans entertained during the offseason. That is, if they find emotional roller coasters to be entertaining.

Gerald Henderson (expectedly) left early for the NBA draft. Duke whiffed on elite PG recruit John Wall. Elliot Williams transferred (unexpectedly) to Memphis in late June. Oh, and Mike Krzyzewski re-upped with Team USA.

Given that news, the sky was officially falling in Duke's corner of the blogosphere. The team was down to just two scholarship guards, recruiting tactics seemed to be failing and some Dukies even dared to question Coach K's commitment to the program in light of his Olympic gig. But then guard Andre Dawkins, a rising prep senior who'd committed to Duke for 2010, realized he could graduate high school this summer and decided to bring his talent to Durham this fall. While the final paperwork isn't quite complete -- meaning no one from Duke can comment publicly -- it's a done deal.

Duke gets its guard. An ACC title is back in play.

Are there questions? Absolutely. Any best-case scenario for Duke starts with the word "if." But if a bunch of issues break right for the Devils, there's potential for a big season in Durham. Getting in the best position to make that happen? For the Blue Devils, that's what summer's for.

To see which player Jon Scheyer calls the equal of any teammate he's ever had, a strategy change you never thought you'd see from Duke and analysis from Jay Bilas, Doug Gottlieb and Fran Fraschilla, you must be an ESPN Insider. Insider

Jordan Brenner | email

ESPN The Magazine contributing writer
Brenner writes for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN Insider. He covers the NBA and college basketball.