Duke BasketballDownload App

Duke Basketball: Blue Devils Will Be Tested Early in the 2012-13 Season

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 16:  Mason Plumlee #5 of the Duke Blue Devils dunks the ball in the second half against the Lehigh Mountain Hawks during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 16, 2012 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Jon ReidCorrespondent IINovember 28, 2016

The countdown is on.

The college basketball season is near and the Duke Blue Devils are once again ranked as a top-10 team in both the Coaches and AP preseason polls.

It won't be an easy season by any stretch and the tests will come early and often.

With the ACC boasting schools like NC State, UNC and Florida State in the top-25 polls as well, the Blue Devils will have plenty of chances to test their might against some of the country's best teams.

Their first big test of the season, however, will come against the defending champion Kentucky Wildcats (though most of that team's core has moved on to the NBA) on November 13, 2012. Kentucky will start the season as the No. 3-ranked team in the country.

Chalk that game up as a warm-up contest for an even bigger test that will come up a week later in the Bahamas. There, the Blue Devils will partake in the Battle 4 Atlantis early season tournament.

While their first matchup will come against the unranked Minnesota Golden Gophers, they're sure to be tested later in the tournament should they advance by the likes of Missouri, Memphis and the No. 2 ranked Louisville Cardinals.

That tough schedule doesn't let up, either.

As soon as Duke wraps up the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in Nassau, they'll head back to Durham to take on their third top-5 ranked team, when the Ohio State Buckeyes will pay a visit to Cameron Indoor.

While this may seem like a daunting task to many, having such a difficult start to the season may be just what a team like Duke needs in order to succeed later on.

With the team being so inexperienced, having to play very difficult games early on can help guys like Amile Jefferson, Rasheed Sulaimon and Marshall Plumlee gain some extremely valuable experience in just seven games into their collegiate careers.

Sure, it's very possible that the Blue Devils will lose three of those games, there will still be plenty of opportunities later in the season to improve their NCAA tournament resume.

Having such an intimidating schedule may produce some short-term pain, but it also may provide this team with lessons that will help achieve long-term success.


Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices