So far Duke is 0-for in its efforts to bring in some additional talent for the 2012-2013 season with Saturday’s announcement that Trey Zeigler would be transfering to Pitt.
As of Sunday, the Easter Bunny has overlooked Durham altogether and there is a possibility, at least to me, that there may not be any extra eggs turning up in Mike Krzyzewski’s lawn.
Zeigler was seen by some as a great fit for Duke and someone who could provide some size on the perimeter. I’d seen talk of him playing some small forward even, though he is much more suited as a shooting guard than a forward. But at 6-foot-5, Zeigler would have been Duke’s biggest perimeter player next year.
The question though is would he have even been able to play next year? I’m doubting the NCAA grants his waiver to skip the normal year waiting period between transfers because his dad got fired. Not because I think it isn’t a good enough reason, but because we are talking about the NCAA here and what do they ever do that actually makes sense, or is fair?
So with Zeigler out of the picture Duke is down to the possiblity of getting transfer Alex Oriakhi from UConn, or incoming class of 2012 recruits Shabazz Muhammad, Tony Parker or Amile Jefferson.
I’ll be honest though folks, I’m not feeling all that optimistic about any of those guys, but then again I’m no insider just going on my gut instincts and my tea leaves for guidance.
As far as Oriakhi is concerned, I’m not super excited about a guy who publicly criticizes his coach, twice in a season. Duke could use another body down low especially if Mason Plumlee elects to go pro, but is the risk worth the reward? And at this point I’m not sure anyone has any idea what Oriakhi is going to do.
As I’ve mentioned several times, most feel Muhammad is a lock to go to Kentucky, though UCLA still has a shot and both seem, according to recruiting analysts, to have a leg up over Duke.
However, in an interesting discussion forum development Blue Devil Nation’s Mark Watson apparently tweeted the words “Yes sir” at some point on Friday and thus some Duke fans on those boards are frantically trying to link that tweet to an apparent in home visit that Mike Krzyzewski had with Muhammad.
I have no idea if the in-home visit even happened, and I’m not going to pretend to know what the tweet means and until Muhammad puts on a Duke hat, or Skypes Krzyzewski at his ESPNU broadcasted press conference, I’m still not thinking the odds of him coming to Durham are all that great.
That leaves Parker and Jefferson.
Parker apparently isn’t returning Ohio State’s phone calls, and that if true, that seems odd considering I’ve thought all along that is where he’d likely end up. He, I think fancies himself as another Jared Sullinger-type player and so why not just go to the same school. But staying closer to home may have a stronger appeal.
By that logic though, Duke still has a chance but I still don’t feel he’ll choose Duke. Though if he does become a Blue Devil I’ll be shocked, but pleased none-the-less.
Jefferson is the last of the bunch that is considering Duke and some tweets yesterday have me thinking perhaps the Blue Devils are a bit further down on the list than I had thought. Now tweets from third parties, even good sources, as I’ve mentioned aren’t gospel so anything is still possible.
I think Jeffeson is high on Duke but he is apparently very impressed with Kentucky, who isn’t these days. And he still has NC State which is primed to make a run at the ACC this season, as well as a few others still in the mix.
I’ve always thought Duke’s best chances of landing an extra player fell with Zeigler and or Jefferson and with Zeigler spoken for, it may be down to Jefferson and my gut is just telling me I shouldn’t be as confident about that today as I was a week or so ago.
Anything can happen in the recruiting game though, and we should all know more later this week when Muhammad and Parker announce their decisions on April 10 and or 11th. But don’t be shocked if Duke strikes out on all of those targets.