Information in the world of recruiting can be a slow grind and other times it can come fast and furious with pieces falling into place like dominoes. Duke continues to utilize its wide net approach to recruiting by offering a slew of talent that it sees as a good fit in the program. Here is a list of some of those targets and a couple of short blurbs about each, hope its helpful.
2013 yet to be offered:
C Beejay Anya 6’9 / 275 lbs MD
C Jahlil Okafor 6’9 / 270 lbs IL
2014 yet to be offered:
PF Keita Bates-Diop 6’7 / 190 lbs IL
2015 yet to be offered:
PF Elijah Thomas 6’8 / 260 lbs TX
Austin Nichols ((@a_nichols33)) does all of the little things right as a big man, he’s fundamentally sound and a hard worker. He can put points on the board with his back to the basket or on the break. He’s even developed a bit of a jumper. Defensively he is sound and a better than average shot blocker. Once he gets stronger his stock will rise even more.
When Marcus Lee ((@SuperKingMe)) jumped onto the recruiting scene I wash anxious to check him out, once I saw him at the Nike Global Challenge I was sold. He can fly, he’s an excellent finisher, he is a great talker and communicator on the court as well. He can get the garbage points but is also growing an offensive skill set that coaches are eyeing. Lee is a player that coaches love, more concerned with winning than looking good, a year from now Lee could be dominant.
Julius Randle ((@J30_RANDLE)) is the consensus #2 player in his class watching Randle it’s clear the player he wants to be but I’m not quite sure he’s there yet. That’s not to say he isn’t skilled and a major talent. at 6’9 he can attack the basket. He can get bullish in the lane and do more harm than good with offensive fouls, but when he plays under control and in the flow of the team dynamic he can dominate. Randle can drive and overpower most players in the class and Duke hopes that AAU teammate Matt Jones (already a Duke commit) can lure Randle from Texas to Durham.
Damian Jones has played his way up the rankings and this 6’9 big man is high on Dukes radar, he’s a good student and rebounds well. Offensively he has a ways to go but defensively he excels that being said he is definitely a player that can finish around the rim. He’s strong with the ball, shoots it well, he’s athletic and can get to the line. Coaches love his footwork and face-up game.
Semi Ojeleye ((@SemiOjeleye)) and Duke seem like a perfect fit. The athletic small forward can score the ball from nearly anywhere on the court. There is mutual interest with Duke and he has been on an official to Durham. Semi’s versatility is exactly what Duke is looking for and has focused on in its recruiting as of late. Semi is also an excellent rebounder definitely a trait Duke is in desperate need for.
Seeing Ishmail Wainright ((@Wainright24)) on a screen and seeing him in person are two different things. The kid is a tank, seeing him next to others his age is like seeing a man among a bunch of 5th graders. On the court Wainright uses that frame to muscle his way on offense and to be a stopper on defense. Ish could provide Duke with muscle on the wing. Not much of a shooter Wainright is more suited to driving the lane and finishing at the rim.
Jabari Parker ((@JabariParker22)) may be the best in any class, some are saying he is the best since LeBron, the only person I’ve seen recently that may get to that level is Andrew Wiggins. Parker does everything well, better than well. He is a great jump shooter, he’s a good finisher at the rim, a great passer and even the things he needs to improve on are things that he does better than most. For a guy 6’8 – 6’9, he is very fluid and moves well, he plays under control. Some have likened him to Grant Hill, some say he’s better at this point in his career. What ever school lands Parker is probably getting the best and most versatile player in high school.
Allerick Freeman ((@Al_freeman)) is as strong as they come at the 2 or 3 position. His creativity is one of his best assets, a creative passer but can overpower smaller players. He can stay with smaller guards, but can also cover the small forward position as well. He is able to finish plays through contact and is especially effective in transition.
Robert Lee Hubbs ((@datkiddRobert)) is a guy Duke has been high on for a while. An incredible athlete Hubbs is a very exciting player to watch, seemingly surprising himself with how adept he is at finishing at the rim and making spectacular plays. He’s a shooting guard who has no problem banging with the big boys to get rebounds and stick back dunks and tap ins. Once Hubbs acquires a consistent handle and jumpshot he could be the most dangerous player that no one has ever heard of.
BeeJay Anya ((@BAnya_Allday)) is a very unique player in this class, he has some physical tools that make him very attractive to teams. His 7’9 wingspan makes him an amazing shot blocker. Wherever Anya ends up he will be intriguing to watch. He eats up a lot of space in the middle and is a strong finisher. Anya is slowly adding to his offensive game and is already a great rebounder and put-back specialist. Duke would be an interesting landing spot for Anya, Duke has not had a player like BeeJay, he could leave Durham as a physical specimen.
Cat Barber is probably the fastest players in his class, once his decision making catches up with his speed he will be dangerous. Watching Barber at the Nike Global Challenge I was constantly scratching my head because on the break Barber would never seem to look up the court to his teammates. Defensively Barber harasses guards, constantly beating them to the spot and causing havoc in the backcourt. Duke and Barber seem to have cooled on the mutual interest.
Jahlil Okafor ((@jahprobound)) is one of the forgotten players in the 2014 class, Duke has offered and if they land this capable center Duke could be a force to reckon with. He has all the skills you want in a center, he has a great all around game, great hands and footwork, he has a polished offensive game and is a great rebounder. He has a decent mid-range game as well, defenses will have to handle him face up and with his back to the basket. His drop-step and turn around jumpers are weapons and he would do well under Coach K. He would be a huge get, figuratively and literally for Duke.
You might say Justise Winslow ((@Chief_Justise)) has basketball in his genetics, the son of Rickie Winslow, a member of the University of Houston’s famed Phi Slamma Jamma, and who also played in the NBA and overseas, Justise brings big fundamentals and meshes that with a quick first step and thunderous finishes at the rim. Winslow is very advanced for his age. He is a tweener but has the athleticism to play and guard multiple positions. Winslow is dangerous with the ball in his hand, a lefty, he can get to the rim relatively easy, and when he does he has the power to finish or dish effectively. Winslow is also a very good rebounder, and has range out to the 3 point line.
Theo Pinson ((@tpinsonn)) is a hot commodity currently receiving offers from home state schools UNC and Duke among others. Pinson has good athleticism, he is a team guy, more concerned with doing what it takes to win but make no mistake Pinson can get up and down the court and can put on a show. In speaking with Pinsons father he expressed a desire to have Theo spend more time getting to the rim, playing along the baseline and not being so enthralled with the outside shot. The race to gain Pinsons’ services has heated up as of late with UNC also offering the 6’5 180lb prospect and with Kentucky, Georgetown and Indiana also on the hunt it will be a fight for Duke or UNC to keep him in state.
Not too many guards in high school currently can be called “floor general”, Tyus Jones ((@Tyusjones06)) is definitely one the fits the bill, he plays with a poise and confidence that is unusual for someone so young. Whether it be passing, scoring or taking the big shots. He has added the Tony Parker style teardrop to his arsenal and is very adept at setting the table for his teammates. He is extremely mature with a high basketball IQ and many regard him as the #1 point guard in high school, period.
A Long and athletic power forward, Keita Bates-Diop ((@KBD_33)), uses his body well. He can score on the low block with his back to the basket or face up. Not afraid to take it hard to the rim and is a high riser. He’s working on getting stronger and bigger and his outside game as well.
A combo forward with guard skills, Kevon Looney ((@Loon_Rebel5)) get to the rim as good as any player in his class. Looney is not a one trick pony though, he can hit the outside shots and can create his own shot off the dribble. A good rebounder as well, Looney has all the tools necessary to jump ahead in the rankings including a solid array of offensive moves. He is somewhat new on the Duke radar but the coaches are evaluating.
At 6’7 Justin Jackson has a great handle and jump shot that will serve him well at the next level, he can score around the rim as well but is deadly from mid-range and even out to the 3 point arc. He excels at the catch and shoot and if he adds bulk to his wiry frame he will have the perfect compliment of inside – out. He is a smart player and a good passer consistently putting up decent numbers for assists. Justin is just a great basketball player, he defies a natural position but as he develops coaches could be able to plug him in anywhere and see results.
This summer has been the summer of Andrew Wiggins ((@22wiggins)). Wiggins is probably the most sought after and feared players in summer league. On a tear as of late the 6’7 Wiggins has looked like a man among boys, consistently the best player on the court every time he steps on the court. He’s a high flyer, he has amazing moves around the rim. Has an explosive first step and get his shot against anyone in the country. He has a deadly combination of length, hops, fast and is a great decision maker who, once he decides to go to the rim, it’s 2 points or foul shots.
A very good shooter, Grayson Allen ((@GraysonJAllen)) can also finish and pass the ball well. The perimeter seems to be where he is best suited. With a spot on 3 point shot, the ability to catch and shoot, Allens ability to get to the rim becomes more of a weapon, defenses have to play him for the shot, but that leaves him with the chance to blow buy and create. His high basketball IQ and quick and sound decision making are his best assets but his ability to put the ball in the basket is what coaches are looking at.
JaQuel Richmond ((@JRichmond_11)) is a pure point guard who can pass and get to the rim, knifing through defenders is his game, once he has a consistent outside shot and a quicker release he will be deadly. He is one of the few guards currently that Duke is looking at. With Syracuse also in the mix, Duke will look to keep Richmond close to home.
Class of 2015 Power Forward / Center Elijah Thomas ((@EliCTMDThomas15)) has recently started to really make a name for himself on the hardwood. He is a big kid at 6’9 / 260, and is ready NOW to make an impact in the college game. He’s a complete low-block beast who is adept with his left and right and is a glass cleaner. He’s the type of player that coaches drool over, if his size alone wasn’t enough his skills, footwork and ability to catch the ball and make plays take him over the top.
Right now if I had to choose my favorite player Duke is recruiting I would pick Mickey Mitchell ((@MickeyMitchell0)), this kid may look like Clark Kent but on the court he is a monster. He is a relentless rim attacker, loves to, and is good at finishing the misses of others. He’s as tough as they come and don’t let the big smile and Weezer like looks fool you. He can shoot the rock and pass it as good as any guard, but with the size asnd strength to finish in traffic. His instincts are remarkable for a player his age, he just gets it and it seems that it comes easy for Mitchell, his court vision and awareness maybe the best in his class or any class ahead of him.
Austin Grandstaff ((@Therealgstaff)) is another player out of the long-horn state that Duke is evaluating. He is a high motor kid who can finish plays on his own or set his teammates up. He can knock down the perimeter shots be it spotting up or off of catch and shoot. Hoping to see more of him soon but he is definitely one to watch and Duke is doing just that.