What seemed like Duke going somewhat hard at Nico Mannion may be for naught as the 6’3 point guard reclassified to the 2019 class and is eyeing a decision in the spring. All signs, if you can call them that, point to Seam Miller’s Arizona team being the likely landing spot for Mannion although its never over until its over. Duke is also looking at 6’5 point guard Josiah James and Boogie Ellis in the same class, James is scheduled to visit Duke (unofficially) August 11th and has a Duke offer already – as does Mannion. Ellis is a newer name in the mix and clearly Duke is casting a wide net for the point guard spot and possibly looking to bring in multiple players at the position.
Of note for Duke recruiting also, big man (C, PF) Armando Bacot has cut his list to 5 schools including VCU, Oklahoma State, Georgia, Duke and UNC. UNC has emerged as the favorite to land the 6’10 Bacot.
Duke has made some pushes in the class of 2020 and 2021 with offers to Jeremy Roach, Jalen Johnson and Brandon Boston in the 2020 class and Patrick Baldwin in 2021.
Jeremy Roach is a 6’2 point guard out of Fairfax, VA who has above average playmaking ability but is not at all lacking in athleticism. Roach is excellent in the open floor and is adding to this toolbox and gaining traction as one of the best guards in the country.
Jalen Johnson is a 6’8 small forward with versatility and physical strength. He’s an adept passer who has above average court vision for his position. He also has the ability to step back and hit the mid-range jumper. He finishes through traffic and is a very heady player that can advance the ball off of a defensive rebound.
Brandon Boston is a top 20 player out of the state of Georgia at the 2 guard spot who’s long, athletic and can play multiple positions at 6’6. He can score from all areas and sees the floor well for his position. Boston has improved his handle over the last year or so and has the ability to play and defend multiple positions.
The class of 2021’s Patrick Baldwin may end up being the top player in the class. He’s another plug and play guy who at 6’8 can play both at the 2 guard spot or small forward. With both perimeter skills and the ability to put the ball on the floor he fits the mold of versatile 6’6 to 6’8 guys that Coach K generally covets. Baldwin is an above average shooter as well and has range out to the 3 point line.
Duke has also shown interest in some other players in the class of 2019, one of the names the Blue Devils have been eyeing is E.J. Liddell. E.J. Liddell is a 6’7 power forward out of IL who is currently a 4 star but climbing the ranks. Liddell is a skilled power forward who can make a difference on both ends of the floor. He has a strong back to the basket game and array of moves in the low post. His face up game isn’t lacking either and he’s developed the ability to hit the mid-range and turn-around jump-shot to ad to his repertoire. Defensively Liddell goes after it and is a strong shot blocker who generally keeps the ball in play.