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As mentioned in the previous slide, Amile Jefferson will be the probable starting big man for Duke next season. However, the 6'8" sophomore is not the definitive answer to an abundance of questions in a flawed frontcourt for the Blue Devils.
Those questions ranging from the progression in the weight room for Jefferson, to Josh Hairston's contributions as a vastly undersized big man at 6'7", and the rehabilitation and ongoing development of Marshall Plumlee.
While Jefferson is clearly the best of the three players after showing glimpses of success in his first year, he still has his individual hurdles to clear. The biggest being improving his strength to go along with an unmatched desire and effort.
For Josh Hairston, he has spent the entirety of his college career in the frontcourt as a role player for Duke which will continue in his senior season. While extremely limited offensively, he makes the most of his scoring opportunities on the offensive glass corralling missed shots. He also led the Blue Devils in charges taken this season, an asset that has become his most essential.
After undergoing surgery to repair an injured left foot, Marshall Plumlee is expected to miss four months of playing time. As the biggest player for Duke, it is a crucial blow not only to the Blue Devils' roster as a whole but to the overall development of Plumlee, who showed next to nothing last season in rare minutes.
For now, Jefferson, Hairston and Plumlee are the primary big men for Duke. Although, that number could grow to four if the Blue Devils are able to land Memphis transfer Tarik Black. Including Duke, the 6'9", 260-pound center is also considering Georgetown, Kansas and Oregon as his college destination next season. Black visited Duke on Monday marking his first trip to Durham.
As the Blue Devils sit and wait for Black to make his decision, his addition would give them much-needed experience and considerable bulk up front. If he opts for elsewhere, the frontcourt will remain as the most glaring and significant weakness for the Blue Devils, which could be the difference in claiming a national championship or falling just short in their quest.