Recruiting has taken a backseat for many Duke basketball fans over the past week as the focus has been on the struggles of the current team.
If anything, this challenging season for the Blue Devils is serving as a reminder that consistently bringing in top recruiting classes doesn’t always guarantee success, which requires finding a collection of players who will make each other better.
Hopefully Duke is able to build that with its 2017 and subsequent recruiting classes.
Here are the top headlines from the past week related to Duke’s top targets.
Jordan Brand Classic Roster Announced
While the McDonald’s All-American game is still the premier high school all-star showcase event, the Jordan Brand Classic has also established its own level of prestige over the past few years. It’s another opportunity for many of the top high school players in the country to perform on the national stage, and the rosters for the 2017 game were announced on Friday. Duke commitments Gary Trent and Wendell Carter will be participating, along with Kevin Knox, Trevon Duval, and Mohamed Bamba, the three other 5-star recruits the Blue Devils are hoping to get in the class of 2017. The game will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on April 14.
Class of 2019 Update from ESPN
ESPN published its new Top 25 player rankings for the Class of 2019, and also published a story with lots of good information about the players in the class, including many being recruited by Duke. The Blue Devils are recruiting the No. 1 and No. 2 players on the list, R.J. Barrett and Vernon Carey Jr., though there’s discussion that Barrett could reclassify to the 2018 class. There’s also the possibility of Duke landing Scottie Lewis and Bryan Antoine, a talented backcourt duo from New Jersey as both players are ranked in the Top 15.
Gary Trent Jr. and His Father’s Legacy
Though he isn’t built the same physically and has a different set of skills, 5-star shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. is looking forward to carrying his father’s legacy as a college basketball star, according to a new story by Sports Illustrated. Gary Trent Sr. was known as a bruising power forward at Ohio University who went on to have a long NBA career. Trent is known as one of the best scorers in the 2017 class and can produce at all three levels. He’s also looking forward to playing on big stage provided at Duke.
Duke Targets take Visits to Kentucky
It’s a huge weekend in Lexington as Kentucky hosts No. 2 Kansas in what will be one of the biggest regular season games of the year. With both teams coming off loses, it makes the stakes even higher and it should be an electric atmosphere. Not surprisingly, the Wildcats are also hoping it serves as a big recruiting showcase, with multiple top targets on campus this weekend that are also being recruited by Duke. Kevin Knox, a 5-star forward in 2017 class, and Zion Williamson, one of the top players in the 2018 class, will both be in attendance.
Thanks for checking out this week’s recruiting roundup. Follow us on Twitter at @DukeReport to keep up with more news about the Blue Devils.