Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports
Duke's roster looks huge if only the height column is highlighted. Of the Blue Devils' 13 scholarship players, eight are listed at 6'8" or taller.
(Insert standard caveat about schools inflating sizes here.)
Of the bunch, however, only three could be considered post players: senior Josh Hairston, grad student Todd Zafirovski and redshirt sophomore Marshall Plumlee. Those three combined for 510 minutes last season, with 444 of those coming from Hairston.
Suddenly, that size isn't looking like a major strength, is it?
Sophomore Amile Jefferson (pictured) is up to 210 pounds on his 6'9" frame, a 15-pound improvement from last season. He has the length and athletic ability to be a force on the glass, as his 12.7 offensive rebounding percentage from last season shows. However, he's yet to weather a full season as the only post player in his team's starting lineup, a role he'll likely fill this season.
Hairston is a remedial offensive player whose minutes come from his scrappy nature on defense. Unfortunately, he's often too scrappy, as he racked up 7.6 fouls per 40 minutes last year.
Plumlee can follow in the footsteps of his brothers Miles and Mason, but to do so, he has to stay on the court. Two foot injuries have already slowed his development, and he's only now back on the court from an April surgery. In his 50 minutes last season, he produced a solid 11 rebounds, but made only one of eight shots.
Freshman Jabari Parker is 6'8" and 235 pounds, but don't even consider burying him in the low post. That would be akin to asking Kerry Washington to take the lead role in the next Big Momma's House movie: a complete waste of otherworldly gifts.
So, these are Mike Krzyzewski's options, take them or leave them. Duke's wings and guards will get to run their guts out this season with no lumbering bigs to slow them down.