Duke basketball: 5 questions the Blue Devils must answer in 2020-2021

Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
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3. Duke questions: Will Matthew Hurt drastically improve as a sophomore?

The 2018-19 freshmen class at Duke was a disappointment compared to previous years. No one expected these freshmen to live up to the lofty heights Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish reached the year earlier, but this group didn’t live up to the expectations recruiting experts had.

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One of the bigger disappointments in the group was forward Matthew Hurt, who chose to come to Durham instead of Chapel Hill late in the recruiting cycle. That move didn’t work out for Hurt in year one, who struggled to find his place in the rotation.

As a freshman, Hurt averaged 9.7 points per game and 3.8 rebounds a night, good role player numbers but not star-worthy. Duke also shrunk Hurt’s playing time as the year went on, giving him less than 20 minutes in seven of the Blue Devils’ last 10 games.

With stars like Carey and Tre Jones off to the pros, there should be more opportunities for Hurt to assert himself on the offensive end. Hurt won’t simply be gifted minutes, however, since Duke has a talented class of freshmen coming in that will fight for playing time.

The hope here is that Hurt takes a big leap forward as a sophomore and lives up to more of the promise he had as a recruit. If Hurt doesn’t step up to the plate it could make life much harder for Mike Krzyzewski.