Duke's title chances took a huge hit on Saturday when the school announced senior big man Amile Jefferson is out for the season with a foot injury. If the Blue Devils have it their way, though, this won't be the last time Jefferson puts on a Duke uniform.
Duke is set to petition the NCAA for a medical hardship waiver for Jefferson, which would grant him another year of eligibility to return to next season's team. Duke is bringing in a loaded recruiting class next year headlined by the top two players in the country -- big man Harry Giles and wing Jayson Tatum. The return of Jefferson might make Duke preseason No. 1 despite the expected loss of Brandon Ingram and the possible departure of Grayson Allen.
Jefferson hasn't played since Dec. 5 against Buffalo and was averaging 11.4 points and 10.3 rebounds per game this season. He's been a defensive staple at Duke through years of one-and-done players, from Jabari Parker to Jahlil Okafor to Ingram. Now, maybe Giles and Tatum will get to play with him, too.