On paper, Duke basketball should be absolutely loaded this upcoming season. The team returns veterans like Grayson Allen and Amile jefferson, and adds a stellar freshman class, featuring four five-star players.
Naturally, comparisons to some of Coach K's other great teams are starting to hit the internet and the airwaves. Today, during a spot on The David Glenn Show, former Blue Devil Jay Bilas discussed a comparison between this year's team and the 1991-92 national championship squad, which went 34-2 en route to a second straight title. Bilas served under Coach K on that team's coaching staff.
"I think the only real comparison is the level of, not just the level of talent but the level of experience. This team will not be anywhere near as experience as that '92 team was, and when you're trying to go back-to-back and all that stuff it's a different animal. But those guys were all juniors and seniors and had been through the battles. These guys are mostly freshmen, but I think the difference is they've got older players that are good. A lot of teams have older players to mix in with young talent. It's one thing to have older guys to teach you how to act, but it's another thing when the guys are really good players, and to have Amile Jefferson, Grayson Allen, those guys back is a huge deal. Duke is going to have top five picks on that team. There are a couple of top five picks, and they've got a bunch of first rounders, so they're kind of like Kentucky was a couple of years ago. They're going to be the prohibitive favorite to win it. It doesn't mean you're going to in a one-and-out scenario, but they're gonna be the best team.
The comparison to (we assume) the 2014-15 Kentucky team, which featured veterans like Willie Cauley-Stein and the Harrison twins, as well as blue-chip freshmen Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyler Ulis, Trey Lyles, and Devin Booker. Of course, that team didn't win it all. It was knocked off by a senior-laden Wisconsin squad in the Final Four, and the Tournament was ultimately won by Coach K's Blue Devils.