It’s the final 2016 installment of the Duke basketball recruiting roundup.
The Blue Devils are back in action today, but the program has been busy at work during the holiday season on the recruiting trail, taking advantage of the time to see many of the team’s top targets.
Here are some updates and biggest headlines in the past week related to Duke recruits.
Trevon Duval had another chance to show why he’s the top ranked point guard in the 2017 class and a potential NBA lottery pick when his IMG Academy team played in South Dakota earlier this week. Duval led his squad to a 90-51 victory in the Mike Miller Classic and took over the game with his playmaking ability, according to this recap in The Daily Republic. Duval finished with 11 points, 7 assists and 4 steals. At this point, Duke is viewed as the slight favorite to land a commitment from Duval.
Class of 2017 point guard Matt Coleman is leaning toward Texas, according to the predictions of the 247Sports Crystal Ball. The Oak Hill Academy guard has an offer from Duke, but things appear to have shifted over the past few weeks with Duke turning its attention toward trying to land Trevon Duval as the point guard for 2017. The Longhorns have been focused on Coleman for a while, and he has experience with head coach Shaka Smart after playing for him over the summer with USA Basketball.
It may not have involved a fadeaway jumper for a spot in the Final Four, but Mohamed Bamba had a Christian Laettner-esque performance at the Slam Dunk to the Beach event this week. The 5-star power forward had a perfect game and hit the game-winner for his Westtown team over Gray Collegiate. Bamba finished with 27 points and 13 rebounds and was 12-of-12 from the field. Duke is one of the finalists for Bamba, who’s the No. 2 power forward and No. 3 overall player in the 247Sports Composite.
In the area to participate in the John Wall Holiday Invitational in Raleigh, class of 2019 5-star power forward Vernon Carey took advantage of the opportunity to visit Duke and check out the facilities, according to a report from 247Sports. Carey is a 6’9”, 245-pound forward from Ft. Lauderdale, Fl., who’s the No. 2 power forward and No. 6 overall player in the 247Sports Composite. He’s yet to receive an offer, but Duke is definitely interested in Carey and Jeff Capel was on-hand to see him play at the John Wall tournament.
Does the commitment of 5-star forward Jarred Vanderbilt to Kentucky hurt the Wildcats’ chances to land 5-star forward Kevin Knox? Nope. At least, not according to Knox, who commented about it earlier this week at the John Wall tournament. The talented small forward from Tampa, Fl., said John Calipari reached out to him following Vanderbilt’s announcement to let him know that there was still a spot for him at Kentucky and that it’s not a bad thing the two players have similar playing styles. That may be true, but it certainly doesn’t hurt Duke’s chances that there is still clearly a spot for Knox in the 2017 class for the Blue Devils, and there could be an even greater opportunity on the wing if Luke Kennard can play his way into the 2017 NBA Draft. Kentucky is also still recruiting Hami Diallo, another 5-star wing in the 2017 class.
To see why all the top programs in the country want Knox, check out this video of his performance at the John Wall event, which included him knocking down the game winner.
Thanks for checking out this week’s recruiting roundup. We’ll be back in 2017 with weekly updates about Duke basketball recruiting news. Happy New Year and go Duke!