To say this week is important in regards to Duke basketball recruiting would be an understatement. Coach K and company have been busy traveling all across the nation scheduling in-home visits with numerous top recruits including Julius Randle and Austin Nichols. On top of all that, Duke has either entered the conversation with recruits or have been essentially cut by others. Let’s recap the events of this week so far.
First off, on Monday, Coach Krzyzewski and Coach Collins traveled to Eads, Tennessee to visit the 10th overall recruit on ESPN’s top 100 for the class of 2013. From all indications, the visit went really well. Nichols even went on to say that having Coach K and Coach Collins come to his house was a blessing. As of right now, I would saw we are the odds on favorite to land Nichols. With that being said, I could see either Vanderbilt or the University of Virginia stealing him from us. Officially, Nichols has stated that Memphis, Tennessee, Auburn, Duke, Vanderbilt, and Virginia are his top six but, I feel that it will come down to the last three.
After Nichols in-home visit, Coach K immediately jumped on the plane and flew down to McKinney, Texas where he visited with ESPN’s number 3 rated player, Julius Randle. Unlike his other coaching counterparts (Roy Williams and John Calapari), Coach K opted to leave his championship rings at home. Instead, he made this visit about Randle and not himself.
As he always does, Krzyzewski spoke about more than basketball and really tried to get to know Randle on a personal level. In a interview with USA Today writer, Jason Jordan, Randle told him, “When he [Coach K] walked in we stood up and talked for like 25 minutes. All of us [including Randle's mother], didn’t even realize we were standing that long. That’s just Coach K. He’s great.” All in all, it seems like the in-home visit went well and Randle came away impressed, though he has given that impression about Williams and Calapari as well. Honestly speaking, it is hard to tell which way he is leaning at this point.
In other news, Marcus Lee has narrowed his list to three schools (Louisville, Kentucky, Cal) and, not surprisingly, Duke failed to make the cut. Also, Coach Wojciechowski was seen at Trey Lyles’ (PF, Class of 2014) open gym session. Unsure of how interested both parties are, but it’s an interesting bit of information nonetheless. Furthermore, Duke has an in-home visit scheduled with ESPN’s number one rated recruit, Jabari Parker for next Friday. Be on the look out next week for an update on that important visit.