The Curious Case of Marques Bolden

Photo: Brian Spurlock-USATSI
Photo: Brian Spurlock-USATSI

Duke and Kentucky fans have been waiting for weeks (and in some cases months) for Marques Bolden to announce where he will be attending college next year. Bolden is listed as the top ranked center and No. 17 overall player, according to

He’s also been one of the most difficult-to-read 5-star recruits Duke has targeted in quite some time.

At one point, Bolden indicated he wanted to make his college decision by his birthday on April 17. Many recruiting insiders believe he would announce his decision at the Jordan Brand Classic, which was televised on ESPN and took place a few days before his birthday. Then, the event came and went with no announcement.

Others felt he would decide by his birthday, but possibly announce at his high school – DeSoto High School outside of Dallas, Tex., the same school that current Duke guard Matt Jones attended.

That announcement still hasn’t happened.

Marques Bolden, a gifted 6’10”, 240-pounder who projects to make an immediate impact next season for any college team, seems to be genuinely struggling with his decision.

“It’ll be either blue and white or blue and white,” DeSoto coach Chris Dyer told the Montgomery Advertiser.

Is this a case of a young man who is a people pleaser and doesn’t want to have to tell someone “No?” Those who have been around Bolden don’t seem to have a single bad thing to say about him. The criticism is primarily coming from unhappy fans because he hasn’t chosen their school yet.

Could Bolden be waiting to see how rosters shake out? Both schools will have a heavy post presence next season.

Duke’s roster is set now that National Letter of Intent began on April 13th and ends May 18th. Athletes aren’t required to sign a NLI, though it helps to almost guarantee them a spot at a school if they do. With both Duke and Kentucky wanting Bolden and having the roster spot available, he could skip the NLI process by just committing and signing an athletic scholarship agreement.

While everyone would love for Bolden to commit today, it still could be a while before he does. Duke likes to have its incoming class arrive in time for the second session of summer school to get acclimated to the university and get a jump start on working with the coaching staff. This year, the second term begins on July 5th.

It’s a big decision for the young man and hopefully everyone will respect that he is having a hard time deciding. Also, everyone should be respectful of the decision when it finally comes.

So, where do you think Marques Bolden will attend college? Let us know in the poll below!


  1. Some other late commits that didn’t go Duke’s way:

    John Wall – UK – May 20th 2009
    DeAndre Daniels – UConn – June 7th 2011
    Ivan Raab – Cal – April 13th 2015
    Caleb Swanigan – Purdue – May 19th 2015

  2. I think he may be waiting on the Lee decision more than anything mentioned above.  If he really wanted to go to Duke like so many people seem to think then why wouldn’t have he committed by now?  We have no post players “testing the waters” and our lineup is set.  The only logical reason I can come up with is that he is waiting to see what Lee does.  If Lee stays in the draft then I see him committing to UK but if he goes back then I think we have the advantage.  Either way, we are going to be loaded and fully primed to compete for the national championship.  I would certainly welcome a talent like him but if he chooses UK then we will be just fine.  Harry Giles’ recover is much more of a concern I.M.O. and getting him fully healthy is paramount to our chances next year.

  3. Duke could be set one way or the other depending on Harry Giles health.  There’s plenty of bigs already at Duke although not the standout of Bolden. Jeter looked to have matured greatly in the final month of the season.  Sean Obi needs more playing time as well as Vrankovich.  I’d bring Giles in as sub for Jefferson.  So here again it comes down to Giles’ health.  If Bolden is another Okafor the transfer flags could be going up in a hurry.  Giles could need a couple of years to make up for what he’s lost already.

  4. RichRainey If Bolden signs then he is definitely going to be the first big off the bench which could make things very interesting with Jeter.  I really like Jeter and view him as a 3-4 year guy so it would be pretty devestating if he decided to transfer.  Giles’ recovery from his knee issues is the biggest x-factor of the upcoming season IMO.  Without him healthy, I think our expectations diminish drastically.

  5. patowens2423 RichRainey I agree and its a real roll of the dice game we play with these one-n-doners.  Guys like Allen, Kennard, Jones and Jefferson will be the real catalysts for keeping Duke strong next year.  With this Jackson kid at the point,  Duke will be running the ball alot.  Full-court pressure defense.  Will be fun to watch.

  6. RichRainey I agree, it is going to be such a fun team to watch.  Glad to see you mention the forgotten assasin, Luke Kennard!  He is probably our 6th man along with Matt and I personally cannot think of a more lethal scorer coming off the bench in CBB.  So much depth, an so many lineup combos.

  7. None of those guys you mentioned won a championship. One and done. Duke fans didn’t lose no sleep. Matter of fact Duke won the National Championship that year John wall was playing. Lol

  8. My bad only deandre Daniels.

  9. EricSmith11 I was just pointing out guys who committed late in the process that were considering Duke….and since you mentioned it yes DeAndre Daniels had a solid season for UConn when he won a championship. Ivan Raab is coming back for his sophomore year and Cal should be a decent team. Swanigan is invited to the NBA combine. Wall only played his one season on a spectacularly talented Kentucky team that was upset in the tourney, But it is cool that Duke won that year w/o him.

  10. @ Tommy Duke, good point and facts. Bolden has waited so long it doesn’t even matter which school he chooses. Kentucky seems to be the leader again. Since he is taking so long. I think also , he is waiting to see if Lee returns or not.

  11. But also , bolden can be waiting to see what school Allen commits to first. It can be both.