Things are picking up for Duke basketball as the team had its first official practice of the season this past week.
There’s plenty for Blue Devil fans to be excited about as this year’s team is projected to be a national title contender, and there’s also plenty of momentum for the program on the recruiting trail.
Here some of the biggest recent headlines from the world of recruiting that relate to guys being targeted by Duke.
Despite picking up an offer from Duke last week, it was too late for the Blue Devils to sway 4-star small forward Jermaine Samuels from committing to Villanova. The Wildcats had been involved with Samuels for the past year and closed the deal over the weekend when he was visiting the campus. For the class of 2017, Kevin Knox is still Duke’s primary target at the wing position, but we’ll see if the coaches pursue any other options now that Samuels is going elsewhere.
Gary Trent Jr. was planning to spend his senior year in high school at Findlay Prep in Nevada, but a coaching change has prompted him to instead opt to play at Prolific Prep in California. With former Findlay Prep coach Andy Johnson leaving his position to take a job at Southern Utah University, it was a different situation than what Trent was likely expecting for his senior year. He spent the previous three seasons at Apple Valley High School in Minnesota, the same school that produced Duke guard Tyus Jones.
Let’s get past this weird prep school stuff. It was a busy summer for Gary Trent Jr. on the basketball court! The 5-star shooting guard is one of the best scorers in the 2017 class and had a strong showing with his Howard Pulley AAU team in the EYBL, as well as a solid performance with USA Basketball in Spain. This new mixtape from Courtside Films offers a glimpse at Trent’s impressive scoring ability. Duke is the favorite to land Trent, though he’s also still considering Kentucky, Michigan State, UCLA and Arizona.
Duke extended an offer this week to Zion Williamson, a 5-star small forward and one of the top players in the class of 2018. According to Adam Rowe of 247Sports, the Blue Devils offered the 6’7”, 220-pounder from South Carolina on Tuesday night. In the 247Sports Composite, Williamson is the No. 2 small forward and No. 6 overall player in the 2018 class, though the site has him as the No. 1 overall player in its own rankings. It’s been a huge summer for Williamson, who seems to grab headlines for his stellar play at every event he attends.
Thanks for checking out this week’s recruiting roundup. Be sure to follow us at @DukeReport on Twitter to keep up with more Duke news!