5 Reasons Why Duke Is A Legitimate National Championship Contender

The Duke Blue Devils continue to sit pretty on the top of the college basketball world, but there's going to be plenty of top-flight teams gunning for Coach K's boys when the season starts up this fall.

However, for a program who attracts blue chip talent and character guys like a magnet, that won't be a problem. Here are five reasons why Duke can do what they did in 1992 and repeat as national champions.

5) Increased Depth In The Frontcourt

Losing Jahlil Okafor to the NBA undoubtedly hurts, but there's a wealth of talented bigs on the squad heading into 2015-16 who'll be able to give Duke more than one option in the post. Rice transfer Sean Obi, weighing in at 6'9" and 270 pounds, provides a ton of muscle in the restricted area. With Antonio Vrankovic (6'11") and Chase Jeter (6'11") standing as good candidates for freshman breakouts - along with Marshall Plumlee (7'0") and senior Amile Jefferson (6'9") rounding out the rotation - Duke's depth out front is better than it was during their championship run.

4) More Top Freshmen

The aforementioned Chase Jeter is just one of four five-star prospects readying to begin their collegiate careers in Durham; Brandon Ingram, Derryck Thornton, and Luke Kennard being the others. Whereas Kentucky and North Carolina have reputations for being freshman factories, the real impact first-years in 2015 and 2016 will be lighting it up at Cameron Indoor. And unlike at UNC, they'll be playing for a coach unsullied by academic scandal/fraud.

3) The Brandon Ingram Factor

"Long and lanky, Ingram is heralded for his versatility," Andrew Carter and Laura Keeley of The News and Observer note. "His court vision is advanced, too, as Ingram uses his length and height to find open teammates with crisp passes." Ingram is going to be a boon for Duke on both sides of the floor, killing opponents with pinpoint dimes while using his length to frustrate smaller scoring threats on the defensive end. That sort of two-way dynamism is going to be a major key for Duke's eventual run through the ACC (and NCAA tourney).

Also, his "I-can-touch-the-top-of-the-backboard" hops will give opposing teams fits.

2) Grayson Allen

The new face of the Duke program didn't get a lot of opportunitites in his freshman year with Quinn Cook, Tyus Jones, and Justise Winslow in the backcourt, but he made the most of the time he did get - especially in the national championship game. Now as a starter and the Blue Devils' leader, Allen is ready to use his deadly combination of three-point marksmanship and sneaky great athletic ability (he did win the McDonald's All-American Slam Dunk Contest by jumping OVER Okafor). Expect him to compete for ACC Player of the Year.

1) The greatest coach in the country - in any sport

There are four names on the Mount Rushmore of college basketball coaches; John WoodenBob Knight, Dean Smith and Coach K. No modern-day coach mixes in-game adjustment, off-court motivational tactics and overall organizational efficiency with the grace and transparency that Coach K does. If you want to get a group of talented recruits to come together as a unstoppable machine, you can't do any better -- past or present -- than Mike Krzyzewski.

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Related Topics: College Basketball, NCAA Basketball, Grayson Allen, Duke Blue Devils Basketball, Mike Krzyzewski, Brandon Ingram