One of the nations last major uncommitted prospects will entertain Duke this Wednesday night. Kevin Knox announced that he would have in home visits with four schools before deciding on where he would attend college.
North Carolina and Missouri will visit the Knox family on Wednesday followed by Duke and Mike Krzyzewski. This will come after Florida State and Kentucky visit this evening.
Duke is selling Knox on replacing Jayson Tatum in their lineup. Tatum will be among three more first round draft picks for Duke in the coming NBA Draft. The Blue Devils will also pitch that they have the pedigree of getting players to the next level and not holding their players back.
Knox has long been on the Blue Devils wish list where the staff has made him a priority early on in the process.
One of the top players on the Nike EYBL circuit is Cameron Reddish and he is getting plenty of attention from the Duke Basketball staff. In fact, he has been to Cameron Indoor Stadium on numerous occasions already where it is clear he likes the Blue Devils.
Just this past season, Reddish had his named called out by the Cameron Crazies where they cheered, ''Cameron Reddish, sit with us,'' during a Duke home game. Reddish smiled widely and immediately leapt to his feet and made his way to stand with the students. It was as if he had been waiting anxiously for the invite.
The Duke staff most recently visited Reddish in home at Haverton, Pennsylvania. Jeff Capel and Jon Scheyer flanked Mike Krzyzewski as they explained how he would fit in at Duke, making sure he knew he was a priority target.
Reddish most recently told Made.Hoops.com about the visit where he stated, “It was fun, I thought it was a great visit,” said Reddish. “We talked about what I need to work on and how they are going to help me get to where I want to be. Coach K spoke on how and where he would play me if I were to go there. He sees me as the key piece to that team and that I could help them recruit other players if I were to commit. Those were a couple of his key points to me.”
“He is legendary so about ten minutes into the meeting I was saying to myself, ‘wow this is crazy he is really in my house right now,’ said Reddish. “I tried to soak up all the knowledge I possibly could from him. He has a lot of great information so I made sure to listen to everything he had to say.”
Duke has in the past zeroed in on players who have responded well to their pitch. They then become the guys who help recruit other players to play around them. Ideally, Reddish would fit into this mold in a big way should he realize that his future lies at Duke.
The Blue Devils staff will certainly concentrate their efforts on Reddish as he takes to the court during the Nike EYBL Session I in Hampton, Virginia later this month.
Reddish has all the tools as a player that Duke covets and he has played for USA Basketball which is another plus. There are plenty of reasons to feel good about where the Blue Devils stand in his recruitment for this seems to be a good fit for both player and school.
The star to be small forward prospect with a sold skill set can be followed at Killa@camreddish on Twitter and seen playing for Team Final on the Nike EYBL circuit.
Reddish hold several offers, most notably from Duke, Kentucky and Villanova. I feel very good about the Blue Devils chances with this sold prospect.
The 2017 late signing date started yesterday with very little news from current Duke prospects. The Duke Blue Devils already have the pledges of Gary Trent Jr., Wendell Carter Jr., and Alex O'Connell but they seek to round out their roster after three players elected to enter the NBA Draft, two senior starters graduate and two informed the staff they would transfer.
The Blue Devils are also awaiting a decision from rising senior Grayson Allen, who may enter the NBA Draft or test the waters. Whether Allen returns or not, that leaves the Duke staff in need or more bodies to fill the roster.
Duke has long been recruiting its three remaining targets. And each of them have visited Duke; some on multiple occasions. Those three prospects have yet to announce their college destination and each of them are highly rated young men with many suitors.
Kevin Knox is a player who could step into the role left void by the departure of Jayson Tatum. His camp most recently pushed their decision back to the end of April and possibly into May. Of the three remaining targets, Knox may well be the last to sign his letter of intent.
Knox is being recruited hard by Florida State, Kentucky, North Carolina and most recently Missouri. Many analyst think the Tigers entering the picture late had an effect on his pushing back a decision, while others think he is simply waiting to see how rosters shake out.
There is perhaps no more open situation than North Carolina, where Justin Jackson just entered his name into the NBA draft. There is still a possibility that Joel Berry could do so as well and many are waiting to see if Tony Bradley, who is currently testing the waters hires and agent. The Tar Heels would be majorly depleted if two of the three leave, possibly making them a less attractive situation. And we also must consider a possibly rules violation probation should the NCAA move on past accusations.
Kentucky is much more settled as is Florida State where the players who have entered the NBA Draft will almost assuredly stay in and sign with agents per sources. Missouri is the wildcard after a coaching change and addition of Cuonzo Martin and then landing Michael Porter Jr., Blake Harris and having PG prospect CJ Roberts stick around.
The Blue Devils offer basketball in a constant limelight and facilities at the highest level and a track record of getting players to the NBA. In fact, those numbers swell even more considering they will have three more first round selections this season. They are firmly in the race for Knox, despite what some may say.
One of the most important prospects left on the board for Duke is point guard, Trevon Duval. The kid can run the show from day one at Duke surrounded by talented pieces if he chooses to do so. Duval is being recruited hard by Arizona, Kansas and Seton Hall as well.
Kansas and Arizona have been legit contenders all the way through the process and both offer attractive situations. Seton Hall is likely there out of respect and I mean no disrespect in saying that. They are the hometown team that is going up against the heavyweights of college basketball.
Duval most recently said that he would announce his decision in style and consult with his father on how to do so. He has also said his decision would come at the end of the month during the flurry of high school all star games of late.
Duke has been all in on Duval, identifying him as the nations best point guard and the one they want to drive the team. The Blue Devils had a good visit with Duval during the North Carolina game in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Current Blue Devils in the fold, Wendell Carter Jr. and Gary Trent Jr. have been openly working Duval and other prospects during the various all star games and both were on hand when Duval visited Duke with his family. One would have to think that Duke is a major player for his services and a favorite with what they have to offer.
Perhaps no player has turned more heads of late than Mo Bamba. He is long, agile and college ready. The NBA will have to wait on Bamba for now in that he will soon make his college choice as a certain one and done player.
Bamba told USA Today Sports, “I don’t have a timeline,” Bamba said. “I have to reflect on each university and each school. I honestly think I can play with anyone. I hate to brag, but I think I’m that good of a teammate.
He's right and any of the schools on his list would love to have him. That list is made up of Duke, Kentucky, Michigan and Texas. Some analyst feel Kentucky and Texas have the edge, but Bamba has been methodical and grounded in is handling of the process.
Duke will have to wait a little longer to hear where these three young mean choose to play. But the Blue Devils staff have made each of them know of their value and offer a great situation to succeed and get to the next level.
If I were to guess, Bamba or Duval could make their decision made known first and Knox will likely take a while. Duke would take two out of the three and be happy or gladly take them all.
The timeline for signing national letters of intent started yesterday and runs to May 17th. The Duke staff will likely be on the recuiting trail later this month seeking 2018-19 players to be before hearing of some of the 2017 Duke prospects decisions.
One of the nations most prolific prospects talks about his recent visits from the staffs of North Carolina and Duke in his USA Today blog entries.
Zion Williamson is one of those special players ganering a lot of interest which included the entire Blue Devil staff this past weekend. Here is an excerpt from USA Today.
''I had Coach K for an in-home this weekend too.
It was the day after the in-home with North Carolina. They showed up with a full house! I mean they brought everyone; Coach K, Coach (Jeff) Capel, Coach (Jon) Scheyer and Coach (Nate) James. That was big for me. They said they wanted to show me how important a player I was to them and they definitely did that.
We talked about how choosing Duke could mean a lot to me well after basketball because of the brand it is. Then we talked about life at Duke and Coach K said that since they don’t have athletic dorms you get to know all of the students really well.
At a school like Duke, it’s tough to get in, so he said you never know who you could be living with. You might be on the hall with a person who will be President one day or a brain surgeon or something like that.
I already felt like we had a close relationship, but Coach K said he wants our relationship to be even deeper.
DURHAM, N.C. – One of college basketball’s breakout stars and a consensus All-American in 2017, Duke sophomore Luke Kennard will enter the upcoming NBA Draft. He will sign with an agent and forgo his remaining college eligibility.
Kennard, a consensus second-team All-American, led Duke in scoring with an average of 19.5 points per game while shooting .489 from the floor, .438 from outside the arc and .856 from the free throw line. His 722 total points on the year represented the 16th-best single-season total in program history, while his .438 three-point percentage ranked 10th on Duke’s single-season chart.
“After considerable reflection, prayer and consultation with my family and coaches, I have decided to take the next step in pursuing my basketball dreams by entering the NBA Draft,” Kennard said. “Being a member of the Duke Basketball brotherhood is always going to be special to me. I have nothing but love and respect for everyone in the Duke program. I want to thank my coaches, teammates, the best fans in the game and everyone in Franklin for being by my side every step of this journey. I have a lot of hard work ahead of me, but I’m confident that I’m ready and have a great foundation for success at the NBA level.”
The Franklin, Ohio, native scored in double figures in 35 of Duke’s 37 games on the season, eclipsing the 20-point mark a team-high 19 times. He ranked second in the ACC in scoring and three-point field goal percentage, fourth in free throw percentage, seventh in three-pointers per game (2.38) and eighth in field goal percentage while averaging the third-most minutes per game (35.5) in the conference.
He made at least one three-point field goal in 40 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in Duke history and the 10th-longest stretch in ACC history.
Kennard eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for his career on Feb. 25 at Miami, becoming just the 12th Duke player (and fifth under Coach K) to hit that milestone prior to the end of his second season. His 1,147 career points were the fourth-most in Duke history by a player in his first two seasons, trailing only Jason Williams (1,333), Art Heyman (1,237) and Johnny Dawkins (1,165).
“I’ve loved coaching Luke and having he and his family in our program,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “Luke’s skill set is such a perfect fit for the way the NBA game has evolved and we’re all excited to see him flourish at the next level. He is a wonderful person who will immediately be an asset to an NBA team.”
For his career, Kennard averaged 15.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 31.2 minutes. He was a career .461 shooter from the floor and .383 from three-point range. Kennard’s .867 career free throw percentage is the second-best in Duke history (min. 200 FTs made).
He scored at least 20 points in 35.6 percent (26-of-73) of his games in a Duke uniform.
Kennard was the only unanimous choice for first-team All-ACC honors in 2017 and was also a first-team NABC All-District 2 member and an All-District III selection by the USBWA. He was named a member of the John R. Wooden Award All-America Team and a final-five candidate for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award.
Kennard was selected MVP of the ACC Tournament after averaging 20.0 points and 5.3 rebounds to help Duke become the first team in league history to win four games in as many days to claim the ACC championship.
Duke has produced at least one first-round NBA Draft pick in each of the last six years. Coach K has mentored 32 first-round picks, including a draft-record 21 lottery selections.
The 2017-18 Atlantic Coast Conference schedule for Duke will provide a little relief when compared to this past seasons slate.
Duke seemed to play all of its tougher opponents on the road this past season. It was a difficult schedule and when coupled with numerous player injuries and surgery for Mike Krzyzewski that meant a 5th place finish in the regular season.
One could speculate that having to play four games in four days in a loaded ACC Tournament may have been too grueling physically going into the NCAA's. Duke won the league tournament in grand fashion and carry the conference trophy into the off-season.
Duke would be rewarded with a number two seed in the NCAA Tournament. In an odd situation, they had to play South Carolina in what was to be an away game with a throng of UNC fans in the stands to to boot. This seemed hardly fair for a team that earned a high seed by beating three ranked teams in four days work,
But that is the way the season went for the Blue Devils. There were obstacles galore which almost created a cursed effect at times. Duke was everyone's choice to cut down the nets but no team could stand all the bad luck and make it to that goal.
Going into the off-season, Duke still can hang its hat on the fact they defeated the eventual national champion and arch rival North Carolina two out of three times. That, in itself, showed just how good Duke was at times and that they were close to breaking through all the aforementioned injuries.
A lot has yet to happen with concern to next seasons roster. Duke has two players in Luke Kennard and Grayson Allen who may consider the NBA Draft or test the waters, The Blue Devils also hope to secure the services of prospects Trevon Duval, Kevin Knox and possibly Mo Bamba.
But despite how it all shakes out, Duke is expected to put together another team that will challenge for a national title. One of the things that could help is an easier ACC schedule. With that said, lets take an early look ahead.
While no dates, times and such have been finalized we do know who Duke will play in 2017-18. As always, Duke will play two late season games with arch rival North Carolina. This series will always be competitive.
Duke will take on Wake Forest twice, who may or may not have John Collins. The Blue Devils will also face what will be a solid Virginia Tech team home and home. The Hokies will be an upper division team in the league under third year coach Buzz Williams.
The Blue Devils will round out their fourth home and home series with the Pitt Panthers. This is a team that will be in a major rebuilding mode and likely to gain a couple of transfers into the program in the coming months.
As I mentioned, Duke had to play most of the leagues better teams on the road a season ago, There will finally be some relief this coming season.
Florida State, Louisville, Notre Dame, Virginia and Syracuse will be single games for Duke. And each of those likely ranked opponents will all visit Cameron.
As for the road games, Duke will travel with no return game to Boston College, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Miami and N.C. State. All of these teams coluld be better and like Duke, there are still key players who could be added. Still, these are more manageable road games on the surface than a season ago.
So, to break it down Duke will play-
North Carolina, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Pitt, Louisville, Notre Dame. Florida State. Virginia, Syracuse
North Carolina, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Pitt, Boston College, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Miami. N.C. State