This past season, Coach K and the Duke basketball program caught some flack for canceling the remainder of their non-conference schedule after suffering losses to Michigan State and Illinois. But this year, it looks like the team will make up for that lost time.
According to college basketball insider Jon Rothstein, Duke will hold a non-conference tournament at Cameron Indoor Stadium at the beginning of the 2021-22 season — hosting Army, Hartford and Campbell.
Source: Duke will host its own MTE next season in Durham. Other three teams in event are Army, Hartford, and Campbell.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 4, 2021
This home tournament involving lesser competition may be just what the Blue Devils need after their disappointing season in 2020-21.
The typically-dominant Duke program had a rougher time than most through this past year’s unprecedented COVID-19 season. Finishing the year with a 13-11 record, the team was forced to undergo multiple virus pauses — including one that ended their ACC tournament run in March. Missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1994-95, the Blue Devils logged one of their worst seasons in decades.
That being said, Duke should be set with a clean slate at the start of next season.
With four players entering the transfer portal and three (Matthew Hurt, DJ Steward, Jalen Johnson) entering the NBA Draft, Coach K will have a completely overhauled roster in 2021. And with the N0. 2 ranked recruiting class in the nation, next year’s squad should have the program back on track — at least on paper. Adding five-star guys Paolo Banchero, AJ Griffin and Trevor Keels, along with four-star recruit Jaylen Blakes, this incoming class should have more than enough talent to replace the overturned roster.
Putting last season behind them, the Blue Devils will look to get off to a hot start in this non-conference tournament.
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