Duke to return 3 players from last season’s roster after 7th player enters transfer portal

By now, college basketball fans should be used to Duke featuring a new batch of freshman stars each year, but next season will see that turnover go into overdrive.

Sean Stewart, a five-star recruit in last year’s top-ranked Rivals freshman class, announced Friday that he will enter the transfer portal for “the continued growth and development of my basketball goals.” He is the seventh member of last year’s Duke roster to do so, joining classmate TJ Power as well as Jeremy Roach, Mark Mitchell, Jaylen Blakes, Christian Reeves and Jaden Schutt.

Stewart, Power, Roach and Mitchell were all five-star recruits. Reeves and Schutt were four-star recruits.

That exodus, paired with a couple of graduations and Kyle Filipowski and Jared McCain declaring for the 2024 NBA Draft, means that Duke projects to return a grand total of three players from the team that reached the Elite Eight last month.

The returners are junior guard Tyrese Proctor, sophomore guard Caleb Foster and senior walk-on Stanley Borden. Proctor and Foster have both said they are staying, and Borden has eligibility remaining.

Here is what that team looks like from a scholarship grid perspective:

The good news for Duke is, of course, its incoming freshman class, which might also be the cause for a few of those transfers. The Blue Devils have signed far and away the top class in the country, led by Rivals No. 1 overall recruit Cooper Flagg.

Flagg is flanked by three other five-stars: No. 9 recruit Kon Kneuppel, No. 13 recruit Isaiah Evans and Khaman Maluach, who is not ranked in the Rivals 150 but is projected to be an NBA Draft lottery pick. Four-stars Patrick Ngongba II and Darren Harris round out the six-man group.

ESPN also notes that Duke is expected to be active in the transfer portal and is reportedly targeting Maliq Brown (Syracuse), Brandon Angel (Stanford) and Mason Gillis (Purdue).

Next season will be Duke head coach Jon Scheyer’s first without a single player from the Mike Krzyzewski era. It’s shaping up to be a make-or-break year for the Duke alum, who has succeeded in continuing Coach K’s perennial recruiting dominance but has failed to reach the Final Four thus far. Both of his teams have gone 27-9, with an ACC tournament championship in 2023, but Duke fans are obviously looking for something more.

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