Duke inks four Top 25 prospects

Posted November 21, 2013

Duke Blue Devils Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski instructs his team during a time out against the Kansas Jayhawks during the State Farm Champions Classic at the United Center on November 12, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by: Lance King)

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced Duke’s 2014 recruiting class featuring 6-4 shooting guard Grayson Allen (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence School of Jacksonville), 6-1 point guard Tyus Jones (Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley High School), 6-10 center Jahlil Okafor (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young High School) and 6-5 forward Justise Winslow (Houston, Texas/Saint John’s High School) Thursday. With four five-star recruits the Blue Devils’ class is ranked No. 1 overall by most recruiting outlets, including ESPN.com and CBS Sports.

“We’re ecstatic about the four young men that are coming to Duke,” said Krzyzewski. “Grayson Allen committed to us very early. We believe he’s an explosive wing. Terrific offensive and defensive player. We consider Jahlil Okafor as good a big man as there is in the country, but not just a big man, we think he’s a great basketball player. He’s had an amazing amount of experience playing for the United States and for a great high school program. In Tyus Jones, I think we have the best point guard in the country. Someone who has won state championships, USA championships and is the consummate leader on the court. Justise Winslow is a great wing player. He is a guy that can guard every position and is an amazing rebounder and scorer. The great thing about all four of the kids is that they want to share a spotlight and they want to be on a great team. They’re team first guys, even though they have this excellent amount of individual talent.”

All four players rank among the top 40 high school recruits nationally according to the ESPN, Rivals, Scout and 247Sports recruiting rankings. Okafor is the consensus No. 1 overall prospect, Jones is a consensus top-five selection, Winslow is unanimous top-15 player and Allen is inside the top 40 on all lists. Okafor and Jones are the top players at their respective positions, while Winslow is a top-five small forward and Allen is a top-10 shooting guard.

Recruiting Service Consensus Index, which combines the ranking efforts of several national recruiting experts, has all four players ranked in the top 35 nationally with Okafor holding the No. 1 spot overall. Jones is rated fifth and followed by Winslow at No. 12 and Allen at No. 34. Duke’s class is also expected to be ranked No. 1 overall by RSCI, marking the third time the Blue Devils have landed the top spot in the class rankings. Duke also had No. 1 classes in 1999 and 2002 in the RSCI, which begin in 1998.

Jones, Okafor and Winslow were members of the Team USA Boys’ U17 World Championship Team in 2012, helping the squad win gold at the FIBA Championship along with current Duke freshman Jabari Parker. Okafor and Winslow went on to win FIBA gold with the 2013 USA Men’s U19 Team alongside current Duke sophomore Rasheed Sulaimon. Each owns multiple FIBA Championship gold medals, as Jones and Okafor also won the FIBA U16 Championship in 2011 with the USA Boy’s U16 Team.

As a junior in 2012-13, Allen averaged 19.3 points per game to lead Providence to Florida Class 3A State Championship. He scored 27 points in the state semifinal and 31 in the championship game, shooting a combined 15-of-29 (.517) from the field in those two games along with a 7-of-13 (.538) clip from three-point range. Allen competed in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League in May, 2013, averaging 18.3 points per game as his E1T1 squad went 4-0 in the showcase.

Jones was the Gatorade Minnesota Boys Basketball Player of the Year twice, receiving the award as a sophomore and junior when he averaged over 20.0 points and 7.0 assists per game at Apple Valley. He has also been a steady member of USA Basketball, directing the U16 and U17 teams to gold medals at the FIBA Championships in 2011 and 2012. With the USA U17 squad, Jones averaged 8.5 points and a team-leading 5.4 assists while piloting an offense that averaged 100.0 points per game and featured three players that averaged double-figure scoring, including Okafor (13.6) and Parker (12.6). With the USA U16 team, Jones averaged 4.6 points and 5.6 assists per game as Team USA went 5-0 at the FIBA Championship.

Okafor averaged 20.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocks during his junior season when he led Whitney Young to the Chicago Public League championship. A three-year member of the USA Basketball program, he was named MVP of the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship tournament when he posted 13.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per game to lead Team USA to an 8-0 record and FIBA gold. He went on to compete with the USA U19 squad, averaging the second-most points on the team at 10.8 to go with 4.8 rebounds and a team-leading .772 (44-of-57) shooting percentage. Okafor also competed with the USA Boy’s U16 World Championship Team in 2011, averaging 14.6 points and 9.2 rebounds during a 5-0 run that ended in his first FIBA gold medal. He shot 27-of-38 (.711) from the floor during that tournament with eight blocks.

Winslow was the 2013 Gatorade Texas Player of the Year, averaging 28.6 points, 15.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.7 steals and 1.5 blocks per game for Saint John’s. He followed that performance by joining the USA U19 World Championship team this past summer where, as the youngest member of the team, he averaged 9.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 blocks per game to help the group capture the gold medal at the FIBA Championship. Winslow also starred on the USA U17 Team, averaging 9.9 points and a team-leading 8.8 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game.


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  • You have got to be kidding me Nov 22, 2013

    http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/slideshows/best-colleges-2014-top-10-national-universities?int=30028bOK, Duke's ahead of four and behind four Ivies. I stand corrected.

  • Ken D. Nov 22, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Where a school is ranked academically has little or nothing to do with athletic admissions. Nevertheless, I'd be interested to know where your info about Duke vs Ivies comes from.

    I wouldn't place too much credence when a recruit says academics will be a factor in his decision. They all have mamas, and if they said they didn't care about academics there would be heck to pay.

    I'm sure all Duke recruits are pre-cleared by admissions before they get an offer. Pretty much all the top programs do this. They don't want to waste their time recruiting a kid that won't get in. It's just too expensive.

  • You have got to be kidding me Nov 22, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Duke is ranked academically every year ahead of most of the Ivies.

  • alphaman Nov 22, 2013

    View quoted thread

    You are spot on about that! Good to Miles Plumlee getting his due at Phoenix after being "just" a 3 star recruit out of Christ School in Asheville, NC. His fortunes (and fortune!) may have been far different had he wound up at Stanford (where he originally committed) with coach Johnson, who left for LSU, I believe. A great coach can make all the difference in the world in a player's progress and thus, his future bank account. Ole Roy is still a terrific coach but I do believe K is "one up" on him in a lot of areas.

  • FE Nov 22, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Lest we forget: Harrison Barnes was at one time thought to be firmly in the Duke camp. Much speculation has been offered as to what might have "changed his mind" at literally the last minute.

    And then one can always contemplate how Barnes might have been a different player under Coach K instead of with Ole Roy??

  • alphaman Nov 22, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Wasn't Duke in the Elite Eight just a few months ago? Surely you recall that? Or perhaps you just don't want to ....

  • mac240 Nov 22, 2013

    Wow...Next year should be awesome also!

  • alphaman Nov 22, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Great reporting! At Stanford, kids have to pass admissions prior to being offered, I believe. They are tougher than Duke and equal to the Ivy League schools.

  • alphaman Nov 22, 2013

    View quoted thread

    You are right KD about getting the cart in front of the horse. We are talking about a whole new level, moving from high school to the ACC! Casey Sanders was #12 for Duke and never was more than a role player. Even H.Barnes as the nation's #1 never really dominated games the way he was projected to do. The ACC is still king when it comes to basketball and it has a way of making jesters out of a lot of high school phenoms! Go Duke!

  • raleighboy524 Nov 22, 2013

    Thanks for the info, 903 bowling again. I'm haunted by the long-ago admission of a Duke guard (who left after a year, as I recall) whose combined SAT was widely reported as being under 800.




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