Duke is undergoing a major roster turnover as we head into the summer. However, those making the situation out to be doom-and-gloom for Jon Scheyer’s Blue Devils are missing the point.

So far, star big man Kyle Filipowski and freshman guard Jared McCain have announced their plans to enter the NBA Draft. Those players were the top 2 scorers for Duke last season with both starting all 36 games, and McCain was a sharpshooter from range at 41% on 3-pointers.

Meanwhile, the transfer portal has been flooded with Jeremy Roach, Mark Mitchell, Sean Stewart, TJ Power, Jaylen Blakes, Christian Reeves and Jaden Schutt. Roach and Mitchell combined to start 65 games last season and both averaged in double figures. Mitchell has already confirmed his plans to transfer to Mizzou for the 2024-25 season.

Those departures leave Duke with just 2 players from the 2023-24 roster still with the program. Those players are Tyrese Proctor and Caleb Foster, a duo that combined for 40 starts and averaged 10.5 points and 7.7 points respectively. Both are solid shooters from 3-point range as well.

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Reaction to the moves

That string of departures sent fans and college basketball media into a frenzy following all the action. Some even pointed to “life after Coach K” and some even questioned if Scheyer is the right person after the string of moves.

Why it’s not a bad thing for Duke

On the surface, there’s no good sign to losing that many of players to the portal. NBA departures are a different thing, and Filipowski and McCain honestly shouldn’t even be a mention here.

The ultimate goal for any college basketball program is developing players and turning those players into NBA Draft picks — high ones, in fact, for a program like Duke. Sure, getting Filipowski and McCain back for another season would have been major, but the Blue Devils have already done their job with that duo, and their departures are a sign of success.

The other departures need a lot of context, context that isn’t immediately shared in the posts that have circulated on social media. The only players that truly sting from the group are Roach and Mitchell, key pieces last year, but even their roles were bound to be diminished next season.

Why? The 2024 recruiting class.

Duke has compiled an epic recruiting class, and that description is not used lightly. Headlined by the nation’s No. 1 player Cooper Flagg (a player hailed as a generational talent), Duke has added the No. 1 overall recruiting class per the 247 Sports Composite.

Flagg is the headliner by every measure, but he’s far from the only potential superstar in the group. Duke also landed Khaman Maluach, a 7-foot-1 center from the NBA Academy in Africa, and he is rated as the No. 1 center in the class and the 6th overall player in the 2024 recruiting cycle.

The rest of Duke’s group includes Isaiah Evans and Kon Knueppel, a pair of 5-star small forwards, another 5-star center in Patrick Ngongba II and a 4-star small forward in Darren Harris out of Virginia.

Put it all together and the Blue Devils are adding 6 players in the 2024 recruiting class. Simply by volume, the group is on the larger side of a recruiting class for a basketball program, but the caliber of players is also exceptional. Every player from that group is rated as a top-50 player per the composite.

Simply put, Duke will rely heavily on its youth next season, and there are only so many touches to go around. Through that lens, it’s unsurprising that a large group of players is exiting Durham.

To be fair, the Blue Devils still need a few pieces to round out the roster alongside Proctor, Foster and the freshmen, but it’s almost like some people have forgotten the transfer portal works both ways. Scheyer and his group now have a good idea of the specific needs heading into the heart of the offseason, and you can bet the Blue Devils will target a couple of veteran pieces in the portal.

Rest assured, the talent level and expectations at Duke will be just fine when the season rolls around.