I hope this week’s Duke basketball recruiting roundup will help you move past last night’s disappointing loss to Oregon in the NCAA Tournament.
Each week, our recruiting roundup features stories, news and highlights related to players who are on the radar of the Duke basketball program, either as commitments or potential recruiting targets.
With the 2015-16 season now complete, the Duke coaches will likely shift their attention to the recruiting trail in the coming months to round out the class of 2016 and continue to build on the relationships in the class of 2017, and beyond.
This week’s roundup features some good stuff, including highlights from state championship performances, unstoppable moves, and what motivates these elite high school players to become even better.
Here are the top stories from the past week.
According to a report from the Dallas Morning News, class of 2016 5-star center Marques Bolden is down to three finalists for his college decision and he plans to announce his commitment by his birthday, April 17. The 6’10”, 250-pound center just helped lead his DeSoto team to a Texas state championship and is considering Duke, Kentucky, and TCU, though it’s widely considered to be a two-school race between Duke and Kentucky.
In his latest blog post, 2016 Duke commit Harry Giles discusses the rehab process for his knee and the workouts he’s going through to get back to 100%. Giles also mentions that he’s doing what he can to try to get fellow 2016 5-star Marques Bolden to join him at Duke next season. Though he won’t be able to play because of his injury, Giles will be in attendance at many big events over the next few months, including the Jordan Classic, Nike Hoop Summit, and USA Basketball.
In a feature by Jason Jordan of USA Today High School Sports, 2016 Duke commit Frank Jackson talks about his go-to crossover hesi move and what makes it so difficult to stop. It’s this move and Jackson’s impressive athleticism that has earned him a 5-star recruiting ranking and has him in the Top 15 in the 247Sports Composite rankings for the class of 2016. Jackson is the No. 4 ranked point guard in the country.
Last weekend was huge for 2016 Duke commit Jayson Tatum, who finally captured the Missouri state title that had been eluding him. Tatum led his Chaminade team to a 72-59 victory of Kickapoo and, as has been the case all season, he was brilliant. He scored 40 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and also had four assists, making one final strong case to be the National Player of the Year. Congratulations to Jayson on winning the championship! Hopefully he’ll be able to duplicate that success next season.
Class of 2017 Duke target Gary Trent Jr. also has a new blog post up this week on USA Today High School Sports. There’s not much related to recruiting news, but Trent focuses more on how his Apple Valley team finished its 2015-16 season and how he’s looking forward to getting back on the AAU circuit this summer. He’ll also be taking part in the USA Basketball program in Colorado Springs and trying out for the U17 team that will represent the United States in Spain. And please don’t tweet him any Blacklist spoilers – he’s recently started watching it on Netflix!
Jason Jordan of USA Today High School Sports talked with various elite recruits and coaches who said that having high energy and a great motor is one of the biggest keys to being successful and separating yourself from other great players. The article includes a fantastic quote by Duke commit Jayson Tatum, who says he carries himself on the court as if basketball is his only option. I can’t wait to see how Coach K uses that motor next season.
After completing one of the most accomplished careers in the history of Utah high school basketball, Frank Jackson can now add the honor of being named the 2016 Deseret News Mr. Basketball, which the publication announced on Wednesday. Jackson averaged 28 points per game this season and was named a McDonald’s All-American. The publication has a great interview and feature on Jackson, who talks about what into the decision to join the Duke program.
If you have recruiting questions or thoughts, let me know on Twitter at @davidmaldridge.