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Three weeks into the offseason, fans and pundits have started to look ahead to the 2013-14 college basketball season.
For the Duke Blue Devils, they're expected to be a capable championship contender and a consensus top-five team.
They'll possess scoring, superior athletes, versatility and a deep bench. However, through all of the positives comes one very crucial negative, and that is its depth at the 5.
As it stands, Duke will enter next season with sophomores Amile Jefferson and Marshall Plumlee and senior Josh Hairston as its reliable options up front.
And with the upcoming season still nearly six months away, the Blue Devils have already been struck with bad luck.
The 6'11" Plumlee underwent surgery to repair an injured left foot which will force him to miss 12-16 weeks. He originally suffered the injury shortly before the beginning of last season and had to miss the first nine games for the Blue Devils.
Duke's long-term success could be determined by the recovery of Plumlee, as Jefferson and Hairston will juggle the minutes between them while Plumlee will begin rehabilitation.
In any case, of the three, Jefferson looks the most promising.
In limited minutes, the 6'8" sophomore showed great ability to contribute offensively while becoming a pesky defender and an effortless rebounder. He also plays with a special sense of passion and pride for the name on the front of the jersey that is unmatched.
There is also the off chance that Duke can greatly improve its main weakness with the addition of Tarik Black, a transfer from the Memphis Tigers.
Black, listed at 6'9" and 262 pounds, is currently deciding between the Blue Devils, Kansas, Minnesota and Ohio State for his final year of eligibility.
By announcing for Duke, Black would open himself up to a realistic chance to provide pivotal minutes while making an immediate impact towards the Blue Devils' ultimate goal of their fifth national championship.