Can Amile Jefferson help lead Blue Devils back to glory?

Although he scored just two points in Duke’s national championship game triumph over Wisconsin last spring, Amile Jefferson was, in many ways, at his best in the triumph over the Badgers in Indianapolis.

The 6-9 Philadelphia power forward gave the Blue Devils a tremendous lift in what turned into a low-scoring defensive struggle, picking up six defensive rebounds and seven boards in total, while adding three big blocked shots, in the 68-63 victory.

“For me, it’s just about my confidence. I’ve always had confidence in my abilities offensively and defensively. The championship game was just an opportunity to help my team. It was a great chance for me. Whatever we needed at that time, I was willing to do. I was just out there trying to help our guys win,” said Jefferson.

“Last year, there were about five or six teams – at least four – that were worthy of winning, that were worthy of taking it all,” Jefferson added. “We had an amazing moment, and I think that’s why we were champions. I think the biggest thing is that when March comes around, going into April, that you’re worthy of being a champion. And the rest will take care of itself.”

The experience of winning a title with a very young team a year ago gives Jefferson and his teammates confidence that they could be in position to make another run next spring.[hr]