We’re back with another summer edition of the Duke basketball recruiting roundup.
Many of the stories and features from this week are a result of most of the top high school players participating at events in Las Vegas and the Nike Skills Academy in Los Angeles, where a large number of coaches and members of the media were in attendance.
The events also led to a couple interviews with top targets for the Blue Devils, offering us a chance to get to know a little more about them
Here are some of the biggest headlines.
According to Matt Norlander of CBS Sports, Jermaine Samuels Jr. is a player in the class of 2017 who has been in communication with Duke this summer. The 4-star small forward was one of the best players at the Peach Jam and recently received an offer from Kansas. At this point, Norlander suggests it’s a two-team race between Indiana and Villanova, but you never know how things might change if the recruiting powerhouses become involved.
Class of 2017 5-star forward Kevin Knox has a new post up on his blog on USA Today High School Sports – Hard Knox Life. He shares some insight into the experience of participating in USA Basketball and winning a gold medal at the FIBA U17 World Championships in Spain. Knox also talks about his summer schedule and the upcoming events he’ll be attending, which gives an idea of what a busy summer it is for these elite players. Between the workouts and conditioning, school season, and AAU tournaments, it’s basically a year-round sport.
NBADraft.net caught up with 2017 5-star power forward Wendell Carter at the Nike Skills Academy and asked him a few questions. Carter says “I would give it like 50-50. We’re trying to,” on the topic of whether he and Gary Trent Jr. still intend to team up together in college. At this point, Duke is considered the unofficial leader for both players. Blue Devil fans should also be excited that when asked about the toughest player he’s faced, Carter’s answer was incoming Duke freshman Harry Giles.
NBADraft.net had a rundown of the top performers at the events in Las Vegas last week and multiple Duke targets stood out. Class of 2018 guard Romeo Langford continues to excel as one of the best scorers in the country and has the length to be disruptive on the defensive end. Gary Trent Jr. was praised for his attacking mindset and ability to score the ball. The report on Trent indicates “he’s going to be a complete scorer at the college level,” which means he could be a nice fit for a Duke backcourt that will likely have lots of holes to fill following next season.
Rob Dauster of NBC Sports wrote a great feature on 2017 5-star center Mohamed Bamba. The article begins with a story about Bamba’s recent experience in Chile with USA Basketball, where he won a gold medal, became a fan favorite, and mistakenly left the specially made soles of his shoes in the country. The story mentions how Bamba has the physical tools and skills to potentially become a dominant defensive player, but it also gives great perspective into his mindset and mentality as a person. This isn’t just another kid looking to get to the NBA. He’s a student of the game, and after reading the article, it’s hard not to hope he ends up being a student at Duke.
Thanks for checking out this week’s recruiting roundup. Keep up with more Duke related news by following us on Twitter at @DukeReport.