As fans and supporters of the Duke basketball program can attest, seeing highly touted recruits commit to play for coach Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils has become an annual expectation. In retrospect, it's also likely for Duke fans to witness at least one talented player either jumping to the NBA or graduating from the university at the end of each season.
While most college basketball powerhouses may have trouble adjusting to different lineups and strategies, as well as losing significant players each season, the task of building a successful team year in and year out has become a trademark of Duke basketball.
The statement, "Duke doesn't rebuild, they reload," pretty much sums up the atmosphere around the Blue Devils faithful—although good players may depart, there's never a minimum of talent coming in that will look to contribute immediately.
That certainly seems to be the case for the upcoming recruiting class.
In the absence of last year's stars—Kyrie Irving, Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler—the incoming freshmen are going to be looked upon much more frequently in Durham than the past few seasons. With players like Austin Rivers, Quinn Cook, Marshall Plumlee, Michael Gbinije and Alex Murphy earning spots on the roster, however, that minor setback could become a major advantage.
What exactly makes each of this year's freshmen stand out amongst others in the ACC? What standard must each player uphold to become potential Duke greats?
The following slideshow analyzes each of the five recruits heading to Durham next season and what sets them apart as future Blue Devils.