It looks like all the pieces are now in place for the Duke basketball recruiting class of 2017. The final player the Blue Devils had been recruiting made his announcement this week and now the program can begin to focus more of its attention on targets in future classes.
Duke will likely finish the 2017 recruiting rankings with the No. 2 ranked class behind Kentucky, and this incoming group of freshmen will be counted on heavily to help the Blue Devils contend for a title.
Here are the top headlines from the past week related to Duke basketball recruits and targets.
Mohamed Bamba Picks Texas
Shaka Smart received a huge boost to his 2017 recruiting class this week with a commitment from Mohamed Bamba, a 5-star forward and No. 2 overall player in the nation. Bamba was rumored to be favoring Kentucky while also considering Duke and Texas, so opting to head to Austin is something of a coup for the Longhorns. Bamba has a reputation as an elite defender with a freakish wingspan who will likely be a top pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. In everything I’ve read about him, Mo Bamba seems to be a thoughtful, intelligent kid and he’s one of my favorite players in the class of 2017. I hate that he won’t be at Duke but hope he has tons of success at Texas and beyond.
Should Duke Adjust Its Recruiting Philosophy?
Gary Parrish and Matt Norlander of CBS Sports had an interesting discussion in the latest episode of the Eye on College Basketball podcast about whether or not Duke and Kentucky should adjust their recruiting approach to place less of an emphasis on one-and-done players. This has become an increasingly common thought among many Duke fans, and Parrish makes the case that North Carolina’s recruiting in recent years has helped the Tar Heels have more stability and consistency. It hasn’t necessarily been by choice for North Carolina, but it’s hard to argue against the results.
New Blog for R.J. Barrett
R.J. Barrett has joined the growing group of players who are partnering with USA Today to feature a blog documenting his recruiting experience and offering a glimpse into his life. Barrett is currently the top ranked player in the class of 2019, but he’s considering reclassifying to the 2018 class, where he’d still likely be a Top 5 player. College coaches can begin contacting him on June 15 and it’s expected that Duke will be one of many top programs that reaches out.
New Highlight Videos of Duke Commits
It’s highlight video season, which means there are some cool new mixtapes featuring Duke’s incoming recruits in the 2017 class. Duke Report’s own Chris Summerville has featured many of the videos on our site, including a mixtape of point guard Jordan Goldwire, some of the best moves from Trevon Duval, and a video that features Gary Trent, Wendell Carter, and Trevon Duval. Zion Olojede also put together an awesome video highlighting the 2017 class on his popular DukeNBA Twitter feed.
Thanks for checking out this week’s recruiting roundup. Be sure to give us a follow on Twitter at @DukeReport and go Duke!