Duke basketball schedule 2021-22: Ranking the Blue Devils’ toughest nonconference games

Again within the 2018-19 season, Duke performed 4 groups throughout nonconference play that had been ranked within the prime 15 on the time, and the Blue Devils gained three of these video games. They spent that complete season ranked within the prime 5 of the AP High 25 with freshmen phenoms Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish on a roster that was amply able to dealing with a slate that additionally included the likes of Indiana and St. John’s.

This time round, the dynamics are a bit totally different because the Blue Devils look to bounce again again from lacking the NCAA Tournament for the primary time since 1996 whereas additionally sending off legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski on a excessive word in his last season on the bench.

Whereas the Blue Devils do have a trio of marquee video games on their nonconference slate, which was launched Wednesday, it is a comparatively gentle schedule by the requirements of a storied program. That ought to give the Blue Devils an opportunity to stockpile victories after a tough 2020-21 marketing campaign as Krzyzewski prepares at hand over the whistle to affiliate head coach Jon Scheyer following the season.

This is a have a look at Duke’s full 2021 nonconference schedule with the ACC slate to be introduced at a later date:

Nov. 9: Kentucky (State Farm Champions Traditional in New York)
Nov. 12: Army
Nov. 13: Campbell
Nov. 16: Gardner-Webb
Nov. 19: Lafayette
Nov. 22: The Citadel
Nov. 26: Gonzaga (Continental Tire Problem in Las Vegas, Nevada)
Nov. 30: at Ohio State
Dec. 14: Appalachian State
Dec. 18: Cleveland State 

Let’s dissect the schedule extra carefully by rating the Blue Devils’ 5 most difficult nonconference video games.

5. Military

Nov. 12 at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina

2020-21 file: 12-10

Coach: Jimmy Allen

Military’s presence as one of many 5 most tough video games on Duke’s nonconference schedule is much less in regards to the Black Knights and extra in regards to the circumstances surrounding the sport. With the Blue Devils coming off a big-time showdown in opposition to Kentucky at Madison Sq. Backyard simply three days earlier than, the letdown issue may very well be in play. There will even be loads of peripheral hype surrounding this sport since Krzyzewski is an Military graduate who coached the Black Knights from 1975-80.

4. Cleveland State

Dec. 18 at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina

2020-21 file: 19-8

Coach: Dennis Gates

Gates did an impressive job main Cleveland State to only its second NCAA Event look since 1986 final season in his second yr as coach. The Vikings performed Ohio State shut on the highway in December earlier than successful the Horizon League. This can be a program on the rise that can have a possibility to showcase itself on the nationwide stage in opposition to a Duke crew that higher not be waiting for Christmas break.

3. Kentucky

Nov. 9 at Madison Sq. Backyard in New York (State Farm Champions Traditional)

2020-21 file: 9-16

Coach: John Calipari

Krzyzewski is 6-2 all-time in opposition to Kentucky, which is a superb mark contemplating the 2 applications have usually been among the many nation’s elite since he began the job within the 1980-81 season. Now he’ll get one final crack on the Wildcats on an enormous stage within the season-opener for 2 applications searching for a reversal of fortunes following dismal 2020-21 campaigns. Each groups missed the NCAA Event in the identical yr for the primary time since 1976 final season. Whoever wins this marquee season opener will likely be on the quick monitor again to the Huge Dance.

2. Ohio State

Nov. 30 at Worth Metropolis Enviornment in Columbus, Ohio (Huge Ten/ACC Problem)

2020-21 file: 21-10

Coach: Chris Holtmann

Duke leads the all-time collection 4-3, which features a 2-1 mark underneath Krzyzewski. However they’ve solely performed at Ohio State as soon as throughout his tenure, and that was an 86-63 Ohio State win throughout the 2011-12 season. With the Buckeyes returning star ahead E.J. Liddell from a crew that landed a No. 2 seed within the 2021 NCAA Event, this will likely be a stiff highway take a look at for the Blue Devils.

1. Gonzaga

Nov. 26 at T-Cellular Enviornment in Las Vegas (Continental Tire Problem)

2020-21 file: 31-1

Coach: Mark Few

This can be a dream matchup for each faculty basketball followers and NBA scouts as it should characteristic Chet Holmgren, the No. 1 prospect within the 2021 class, for Gonzaga in opposition to Duke freshman Paolo Banchero, who was thought of the No. 2 participant within the class. Each are projected lottery picks within the 2022 NBA Draft and each are anticipated to assist their faculty applications be among the many nation’s finest within the 2021-22 season. This ought to be among the finest video games of the common season in faculty basketball. | Duke basketball schedule 2021-22: Rating the Blue Devils’ hardest nonconference video games


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