It is going to take time for Duke basketball fans to completely get over the stinging defeat the Blue Devils suffered at the hands of conference foe NC State in the NCAA Tournament, but the latest roster news should help a bit. Caleb Foster is staying in Durham for his sophomore season. He and fellow returning guard Tyrese Proctor are expressing their steadfast loyalty to the program.

“I’m 1,000 percent committed to Duke,” Foster told now-former teammate Ryan Young on The Brotherhood Podcast. “I can't really see myself playing anywhere else. I'm a loyal guy.” Proctor agreed, as the duo formally pledged their devotion to Duke.

Although the Cameron Crazies expected to see both players on the roster for the 2024-25 campaign, hearing them officially discuss their returns is going to raise confidence and morale. Surrounding incoming sensation and top recruit Cooper Flagg with a skilled backcourt is essential if the Blue Devils wish to cut down the nets next March.

Each of these lauded prospects can take a sizable leap, but Foster is bound to have a chip on his shoulder after an ankle injury denied him the opportunity to compete in the NCAA Tournament. His refusal to seek other options in the transfer portal suggests that he knows full well what a breakout season with Duke basketball could do for his career.

Head coach Jon Scheyer is going to be challenged by the departures of Kyle Filipowski and Jared McCain, but he does not have to worry about a shortage of talent. While it will be tough allocating minutes to everyone, Caleb Foster is poised to grab a prominent role for himself.

How Caleb Foster can impact Duke next season

Guard Caleb Foster drives down the court
Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

The 6-foot-5 guard did not score a ton of points this past season (7.7 in 25.4 minutes per game), but he made a strong impression nevertheless. Foster proved to be an efficient shooter from distance, sinking 40.6 percent of his 3-point attempts. He also totaled 2.1 assists per contest, a number that should substantially increase if Jeremy Roach decides not to come back to Duke.

Replacing Roach is a difficult scenario for fans to imagine, but a possible starting backcourt comprised of Caleb Foster and Tyrese Proctor can be incredibly valuable to Scheyer. WJHG-TV reporter Austin Maida explains why.

“Experience and talent, sure, but when you add in the freshmen coming in, it also will give the Blue Devils one of the **tallest** starting fives in all of college basketball,” he posted on X. An obvious size advantage often goes a long way at this level, especially when considering the defensive identity the Blue Devils embodied in 2023-24.

Foster needs to improve in that area, but the former top-20 recruit has the tools to be a great compliment to Flagg, and and a perfect fit on a loaded squad. What should fire up the community most, however, is the pride he clearly takes in representing Duke basketball.

Understanding the history and prestige of the program is the first step towards Foster possibly becoming a true standout and fan favorite.