While the Blue Devils already have commitments from two 5-star recruits in 2015 in Luke Kennard and Chase Jeter, and are still pursuing 5-star small forward Brandon Ingram, the staff is also placing a great deal of attention on many of the best players in the 2016 class.
Duke has already extended offers to Harry Giles, Tyus Battle, Jayson Tatum, Derryck Thornton, and Dennis Smith Jr., and all five players are listed by the 247Sports Composite as 5-star prospects and ranked in the Top 11 of the class of 2016.
Interestingly, all five players have discussed the idea of some combination of teaming up in college, though not necessarily together.
In a recent interview with Jack LeGwin of ZagsBlog.com, Jayson Tatum mentioned the idea of possibly creating a trio commitment with Harry Giles and Dennis Smith, Jr.
If one school were fortunate to secure commitments from all three players, it would be getting the No. 1 overall player in the 2016 class (Jayson Tatum), No. 1 point guard in the class (Dennis Smith Jr.), and No. 3 overall player in the class (Harry Giles).
Though Tatum has said playing together won’t be a strong factor, unlike the recruitment of Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor, Duke is one of only four schools to have currently offered all three players. Kansas, UNC, and Wake Forest are the other three.
And even if Tatum, Giles and Smith elect not to play together as a unit in college, Duke could still land a dynamic backcourt duo in its 2016 class.
Derryck Thornton, the No. 3 point guard in the class, and Tyus Battle, the No. 3 shooting guard in the class, have also told ZagsBlog.com that they’re considering a package deal of committing to the same school.
However, as you often hear during the recruiting process (and what made the Jones/Okafor situation unique), both guys are continuing to go through their recruitment and will make the decision based on the best fit for the individual.
It will be interesting to see if this year’s Duke team has any impact on the decisions of those talented players in 2016. Through this point in the season, Coach K has done a fantastic job of integrating the high-profile freshmen into the starting lineup and giving them the freedom to shine.
Hopefully a few those blue-chip recruits will want to become a big part of Duke’s future.