DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Despite finishing last season as ACC champions, the Duke men’s basketball team has a chip on its shoulder.

Entering his second year at the helm of the program, Duke head coach Jon Scheyer credits this to the talented and experienced group returning to suit up for the Blue Devils, all coming back hungry for more.

Among those returning include Duke sophomore forward Kyle Filipowski, who’s over three months removed since undergoing double arthroscopic hip surgery. Filipowski says the surgery was needed after the injury heavily slowed him down this past season, but he feels stronger than ever.

The reigning ACC Freshman of the Year provided a tentative timeline for his return to the court, saying he expects to be back at practice a few weeks prior to the beginning of the season

“With the surgery, I got out of it able to just open up a whole new world to me and my body, so it’s been going really good,” Filipowski said. “My schedule is looking good, I’m going to be back by the time the season comes around, so we’re making really good progress. We’re right on track.”

Despite the hip issues, the 7-footer was a force to be reckoned with last year for Duke, starting 36 games while averaging 15.1 points and 8.9 rebounds. He led all freshmen in NCAA Division I with 16 double-double outings.

With four starters back from last year’s team and a top-five ranked recruiting class arriving this summer, national championship aspirations are surrounding the program. Are these realistic expectations? Scheyer says that’s going to be up to them.

“The preseason rankings – that doesn’t mean anything, and I’ll continue to remind our group when you think about last year, there’s games along the way and you have to fight in every game to win,” Scheyer said. “I feel like the chip on our shoulder has been even higher this year from our returning guys, from our incoming freshman. It’s been as competitive as I’ve seen the last few years.”