A player who’s become a bigger part of Duke’s recruiting picture over the past few weeks is Javin DeLaurier.
DeLaurier is a 6’9”, 205-pound forward from Charlottesville, Va., who is currently ranked in the 247Sports Composite as a 4-star prospect and 12th ranked power forward in the 2016 class. He received an official offer from the Blue Devils during an in-home visit a couple weeks ago.
Duke is also hoping to get DeLaurier on campus for a visit as soon as possible, causing many recruiting insiders to believe Coach K could have the inside track in securing a commitment from him.
One question I’ve seen thrown around in a few different places is whether the increased attention on DeLaurier should be interpreted as a sign that things aren’t going as well with the recruitment of Harry Giles.
To put it bluntly – no.
That’s not what this means.
Even though both players are power forwards in the 2016 class, that’s pretty much where the similarities end with DeLaurier and Giles.
A commitment from DeLaurier would have no impact on whether or not Giles would come to Duke.
Giles is expected to be a superstar when he arrives in college basketball, regardless of what school he choses. He’s the type of guy who will have no concern about sharing minutes or sitting on the bench behind someone else. He’ll be a National Player of the Year candidate and potential No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
If Giles ends up going to somewhere other than Duke, it won’t be because of any decision by Javin DeLaurier.
If DeLaurier commits to Duke, it’s actually a sign that Javin is okay with potentially having to wait his turn behind Giles.
And that’s what Duke needs.
Duke already has plenty of star power in the class of 2016. With Frank Jackson and Jayson Tatum already committed, and the potential to still get Giles, Marques Bolden, and/or Wenyen Gabriel, it has the potential to be Mike Krzyzewski’s best recruiting class ever, which is saying a lot.
Yet, DeLaurier could serve as a piece of the class that helps set up Duke for success for the long term.
It’s easy to see him carving out a niche similar to what Lance Thomas did during his career, or what Amile Jefferson is currently in the process of doing – a terrific defender who also out-hustles opponents on the glass and uses position to get easy baskets.
There would be an opportunity for him to be part of the rotation as a freshman, but it wouldn’t be at the expense of someone like Harry Giles, who has been one of the top priorities for the coaching staff for the past couple years.
A recruiting class can’t be all about one-and-done stars. You also need guys who can help maintain continuity. Even John Calipari has had players like this with his most successful teams at Kentucky.
Things appear to be trending in the right direction with DeLaurier, which is great. There’s no need to worry that this means the sky is falling with Harry Giles. It just means the 2016 recruiting class could be getting even better.