From people questioning Dukes recruiting resolve to signing the number 1 class in college basketball for 2014. What does this class mean for Duke? Well it means sustained success and at very least a much greater chance for Coach K’s 5th or possibly 6th title. Coach K and Jeff Capel set their sites on several elite prospects in the class beginning with early commit Grayson Allen. The Florida shooting guard is athletic a 2 guard as Duke has seen in a while, some have made the errant comparisons to J.J. Redick and nothing could be further from the truth. Can Allen shoot the long ball? Yes. Is the three point shot his specialty? By no means. Allen is an elite athlete with an affinity for getting to the rim and finishing. Underestimating his bounce will get you on a poster with the quickness. He will be a slasher for Duke and a fleet-footed defender on the perimeter.
While Allens game is quick, and bouncy Tyus Jones at the point gives Duke a pass first point guard who knows how to distribute and put his teammates in scoring position. Jones also possesses the ability to get by his man and finish, while not a high flier he is very willing to give up his body to get his shot up and in. Jones has worked to make his jumper a weapon and is a threat no matter where he is on the floor. His impact will be felt mores in the passing game for Duke, and with an arsenal around him look for Tyus to have monster assist games for Duke.
In Jahlil Okafor Duke gets what it has lacked for some time a true power center. The dominant low post player in the 2014 class, Okafor’s game defies logic in that he embodies size, strength and power, finishing easily over and through the defense. In that same breath Jahlil is the antithesis of that, he has great footwork and has the skill set and spryness to spin away from contact and hit a short jumper, or even to dribble out of or pass out of double teams. He reminds me of a mix of old school Nene with the power game but the craftiness of Tim Duncan. Great fundamentals but turns on the power when needed and appropriate.
Duke’s latest commit Justise Winslow brings what Duke has lacked in recent classes: A defensive stopper and rebounder that has the hops to finish strong at the rim on offense. Winslow can guard literally any position on the floor at 6’6 and uber athletic Winslow is an intriguing commit for Duke. Duke is loaded up in the shooting department and has only truly lacked a rebounder and low post finisher, in Okafor they get the inside game and in Winslow the A-plus defender and rebounder.