The Duke bench is never a bad place to be.
Every year coaches take a look at what they have, what they're getting, where they are and where they want to go. Inevitably, some players who played a lot one year will see a dip in playing time while other players move up in the rotation.
The Duke Blue Devils are no exception. With the graduation of Miles Plumlee and early departure of Austin Rivers, players will step up into those roles while other players will move up and down the pecking order.
Michael Gbinije likely would have topped this list but he announced his transfer to Syracuse earlier this week.
Here is a look at the players who will see their minutes affected in 2013 based on their average minutes per game in 2012.
2012 Minutes: 11.7 per game
2013 Minutes: 27.2 per game
Quinn Cook will be the biggest beneficiary of Austin Rivers' decision to go pro. Rivers ate up 33.2 minutes per game last year, logging most of it at the point guard position.
With Rivers being an (almost exclusively) offensive player, Tyler Thornton was the primary backup due to his defensive abilities. Cook is a much better offensive player than Thornton and will likely take over that point guard position.
2012 Minutes: 21.1 per game
2013 Minutes: 17.4 per game
Tyler Thornton, as stated in the last slide, is an extremely talented defender which is why he was the go-to guy for Coach K when he wanted to spell Rivers or shift him to shooting guard. However, with Rivers gone, most of the point guard minutes will go to Quinn Cook.
Thornton will still get plenty of time off the bench as Cook's backup. Both players are still maturing but Cook gives them more on the offensive end of the floor which is why he will get the nod.
Coach K won't bury him but his minutes will take a slight hit.
2012 Minutes: 8.5 per game
2013 Minutes: 15 per game
It is hard to imagine, at least at this juncture, that Josh Hairston will play less than 10 minutes per game. Even if Duke can land Amile Jefferson, Hairston has too much size at the small forward position to spend less than a quarter of the game on the floor.
Perhaps the most telling stat about what Hairston brings to the floor is an obscure one: Offensive rebound percentage. This stat tells us what percentage of available offensive rebounds a player grabs while he is on the floor. Hairston posted a 10.9 percent this season, good for third on the team behind just Miles and Mason Plumlee.
He will bring that hardworking attitude to floor in 2013 and make himself a player Coach K has to put out there.
2012 Minutes: 25.7 per game
2013 Minutes: 30.2 per game
Ryan Kelly turned into one of Duke's best offensive players in 2012 and proved to be its most important player late in the year. Without Kelly for the ACC and NCAA tournaments, Duke went 1-2 with losses to Florida State and Lehigh.
Kelly's 11.8 points per game was third on the team and his 40.8 percent shooting from three was the best. At 6'11", Kelly is the prototypical floor-stretching forward for Coach K.
Kelly will be equally important to the success of the Blue Devils in 2013 and that will be reflected by a bigger bump in his minutes per game. Also look for his scoring output to increase as he takes on the responsibilities of being a Duke captain.
2012 Minutes: 30.2 per game
2013 Minutes: 28.1 per game
This slight drop in minutes has nothing to do with Curry and everything to do with Rasheed Sulaimon. Coach K will need to find minutes for both of them and, since Sulaimon has no minutes to lose, Curry will be the one who feels it.
Curry will be relied upon more to be a catch-and-shoot player once again in 2013 with Quinn Cook and Tyler Thornton at the helm. Curry is at his best in that scenario and keeping his legs fresh will go a long way towards keeping him effective all season.
To put the drop in perspective, Mason Plumlee played about the same amount of time last season. You will hardly notice the difference until March when Curry has those extra 20-30 jump shots in his legs.
2012 Minutes: Redshirt
2013 Minutes: 16 per game
This is perhaps the most obvious one on the list. Alex Murphy did not play at all last season, sitting out the year to get stronger and mature physically.
He was the prize of the 2011 recruiting class because Coach K knew he would have him for a few years. Murphy will come in and make an immediate impact for the Blue Devils, fitting into that Kyle Singler role as a swing-forward.
This number has some leeway as well—Amile Jefferson could cut into it a bit—but Murphy will easily net over 10 minutes per game in his first season for Duke.
2012 Minutes: 28.4 per game
2013 Minutes: 32.3 per game
Mason Plumlee is shaping up to be the most important player in Durham next season. After spurning the NBA for another season, Coach K rewarded him with the honor of being a captain.
Plumlee will be the face of a frontcourt that is essentially composed of himself and younger brother Marshall. It will be incumbent on him to take his game to another level and keep himself on the court.
This increase in minutes will mostly be out of necessity as the frontcourt will be extremely thin. If Duke is going to go anywhere in 2013, it will because Mason has done everything asked of him by the coaching staff and expected of him by the fans.
This projected minutes number will be the highest on the team and—as the leader of the team—will likely be one of many statistical categories he leads next season.