The Duke Blue Devils are now without their top two freshmen after forward Jayson Tatum reportedly suffered a foot injury at the end of Duke’s pro day and had to be helped off the court. The extent of his injury is not yet known as he is still being evaluated.
Tatum was ranked second in the current freshman class coming out of high school behind Duke teammate Harry Giles. Giles is also out as he recovers from knee surgery after his third injury since his sophomore year of high school.
“We’re not sure,” head coach Mike Krzyzewski told ESPN on Wednesday morning. “It’s not nearly the injury Harry [Giles] has had. Still in the evaluation period. We’ll find out more today and hopefully it’s something minor.”
According to ESPN, Tatum was impressive at his pro day, however.
“He was terrific,” one NBA executive said. “Right now, he’s certainly in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick.”
“He’s so smooth and polished,” another executive told ESPN.
Duke enters the season as likely favorites to win the national championship despite losing forward Brandon Ingram, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Even so, the program returns star guard Greyson Allen and brought in perhaps the best recruiting class in the country.
If Tatum’s injury is serious, though, the team will be down a starter and two of the centerpieces of that highly regarded recruiting class. That would open the door for a team like Kentucky, Kansas or Villanova to stake a claim as the top team in the country.