Duke Basketball: Similarities between 2014-15 and 2020-21 teams

Believe it or not, Duke Basketball’s National Championship team/season from 2014-15 is actually very similar to that of their 2020-21 team. Hear me out as to why that is.

Duke Basketball won their fifth National Championship in 2015, beating the Wisconsin Badgers exactly five years ago today. 5/6 years later, it is Championship Monday and yet, there is no championship.

The 2020 NCAA Tournament was canceled and with that, we will look to the 2020-21 season. In that 2020-21 season, the Blue Devils will have a very similar team as they did going into the 2014-15 season.

Let’s start it off by pointing out a couple things about the 2020-21 Blue Devils/season:

  • Alex O’Connell transferring away from Duke
  • Patrick Tape transferring to Duke (first transfer since Sean Obi)
  • Senior guard leadership in Jordan Goldwire
  • Four five-star freshman
  • Final Four in Indianapolis
  • Coming off a season where the tournament was canceled

Now here are a couple things about the 2014-15 Blue Devils/season:

  • Semi Ojeleye transferred away from Duke
  • Sean Obi transferred to Duke
  • Senior guard leadership in Quinn Cook
  • Four five-star freshman
  • Final Four in Indianapolis
  • Coming off a Round of 64 loss to Mercer

Now we might be stretching here, but there are A LOT of similarities between these two teams. Now, this isn’t to say that because these six things I pointed out are the same as the 2014-15 team that Duke will win the 2021 National Championship, but it is pretty crazy that there are that many similarities.

Duke has won five National Championships in program history, three of those were in Indianapolis (1991, 2010, 2015), the other two were in Minneapolis. That being said, the Blue Devils LOVE playing in both of those cities and because it’s there again in 2021, you’ve got to put Duke in the mix.

Here is what Duke’s roster could look like (depending on decisions from Wendell Moore, Vernon Carey jr., Cassius Stanley and Matthew Hurt) heading into the 2020-21 season:

  • Jalen Johnson, Fr, SF, Five-Star
  • Jeremy Roach, Fr, PG, Five-Star
  • D.J. Steward, Fr, SG, Five-Star
  • Jaemyn Brakefield, Fr, PF, Five-Star
  • Mark Williams, Fr, C, Four-Star
  • Henry Coleman III, Fr, PF, Four-Star
  • Cason Pierce, Fr, PF, Walk-On
  • Cassius Stanley, So, SG
  • Matthew Hurt, So, PF
  • Wendell Moore, So, SF
  • Vernon Carey, So, C
  • Keenan Worthington, So, PF
  • Michael Savarino, So, PG
  • Joey Baker, Jr, PF
  • Jordan Goldwire, Sr, PG
  • Mike Buckmire, Sr, PG
  • Patrick Tape, Grad-Student, C

It is assumed that Vernon Carey jr. will be entering the draft, but until he officially announces it we will keep him on the roster for next season. As for Cassius Stanley, it’s a little cloudier, nobody is quite sure what he is going to do and then it is assumed that Wendell Moore and Matthew Hurt will be back in Durham for their sophomore years.

One way or another Duke is going to have a HUGE roster for the 2020-21 season with a lot of guys who are more than capable of holding their own.

Next: Takeaways from 2020 classes

However, can they follow in the footsteps of the 2014-15 team they hold so many similarities with that put a banner up in Cameron Indoor? Only time will tell.