Team preview: Duke
Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.
Mike Krzyzewski's program has taken some major hits from the NBA in the last five years, losing eight underclassmen and a top recruit to the draft.
The Blue Devils saw both sophomore Luol Deng, the MVP of last season's Atlanta Regionals, and incoming point guard Shaun Livingston, rated the No. 2 prep prospect in America, picked in the top seven of the 2004 NBA Draft last June. The two defections turned a potential No. 1 team into one that will struggle to finish in the ACC's top three. But the loss of Deng and Livingston was nothing compared to what Duke nearly endured in the off-season. For five days in early July, the architect of the Blue Devil program very publicly considered a five-year, $40 million offer from the Los Angeles Lakers. The Duke faithful spent Independence Day wondering if college basketball's most accomplished active coach would follow so many of his players to the NBA.