The Duke men's basketball team never seemed a threat to defend its national title last season, and one of the reasons was big man Amile Jefferson played in just nine games before suffering a season-ending foot injury.
On Friday, Jefferson, a senior, was granted a medical redshirt by the ACC to return for a fifth year, according to the team's website.
The 6-foot-9, 225-pound forward averaged career highs in points (11.4), rebounds (10.3) and blocks (1.4) before his season ended in December. One year after winning the national championship, Duke dropped to 25-11 overall and 11-7 in the ACC and was eliminated by Oregon in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
The drop-off, however, likely will be short-lived. Coach Mike Krzyzewski's incoming recruiting class is ranked second in the nation to only Kentucky's by Rivals, 247Sports and ScoutHoops, and leading scorer Grayson Allen will be back for his junior season. With Jefferson returning, the Blue Devils will have four of their five double-figures scorers from last season on the roster. Guard Brandon Ingram has declared for the NBA Draft.