Duke Basketball: Blue Devils' Greatest Asset Will Be Bench Production

By Gregory Philson
Grayson Allen
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The Duke Blue Devils had a lot of talent in the starting five last season with Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood leading the charge, but when coach Mike Krzyzewski had to call on the bench it changed the game too much for the team to overcome.

Duke has reloaded with the best recruiting class in Durham in years and the No. 1 overall recruiting class in the nation. While Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor will get the headlines as the top-two recruits and projected best players on the team, it could be the recruits coming off the bench who will make the greatest impact in the 2014-15 NCAA basketball season.

Justise Winslow and Grayson Allen are premier players in the 2014 class and would likely start for most other teams in the country. The duo gives the Devils a pair of athletes who can contribute on both ends of the court in different ways. Allen, despite struggling with his shot some in his senior year of high school, is still considered one of the better shooters out of class. Allen is also a superb leaper and will give the Cameron Crazies plenty to scream about when he gets loose on the break. Winslow has a work-in-progress offensive game, but he can still score off of set plays. His contributions will most likely come on the defensive end. He can be a disruptive force with his length and should help the Devils get going on the break with steals, deflections and the occasional perimeter block.

Most teams would love to have Winslow and Allen in their starting lineups, and Duke is fortunate enough to have enough talent all over the place to call on this duo off of the bench.

Gregory T. Philson is an ACC basketball writer at RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GTPhilson, “Like” him on Facebook, and add him to your network on GoogleRead more here.

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