The Beat Goes On
September 30, 2015
The rich get richer. To the victor go the spoils. Pick whatever cliché you want but the fact of the matter is Duke still manages to be at the top of everyone’s recruiting lists year after year.
The Blue Devils won a National Championship in 2015 and follow that by bringing in the best recruiting class in the country. Then to further rub salt in the collective wounds of programs everywhere, the 2016 recruiting class is already being touted as the nation’s best.
Gone from last season’s championship team are first round NBA draft picks Jahil Okafor (third, Philadelphia), Justise Winslow (10th, Miami), and Tyus Jones (24th, Cleveland), along with starting guard Quinn Cook. Looking to replace that group are three McDonald’s All-Americans – 6-8 forward Brandon Ingram, 6-5 guard Luke Kennard, 6-10 forward Chase Jeter – as well as five-star recruit 6-2 point guard Derryck Thornton, 6-11 center Antonio Vrankovic, and 6-8 forward Justin Robinson, who happens to wear his father’s No. 50 (that would be David Robinson).
“We’re ecstatic about our recruiting class,” head coach Mike Krzyzewski told GoDuke.com. “We addressed our team needs in the number of players, with losing four of our eight scholarship players, but also by bringing in a variety of talents. On the perimeter, the explosive scoring and the ball-handling that we have coming in is sensational. We have an outstanding point guard, a tremendous scorer and passer in Kennard, the versatility of Ingram, the ability of Jeter to play both big-guy positions, and then the developing big guy in Vrankovic gives us one of the most well-rounded classes and talented classes that we’ve had the opportunity to bring in here at Duke.”
That’s this year’s freshman class. As for 2016, Krzyzewski and crew have already received verbal commitment from a pair of five-star recruits – point guard Frank Johnson and forwards Jayson Tatum and Javier DeLaurier – placing them in the top spot on most recruiting boards.
“Jayson Tatum is one of the most skilled scorers in the class, while Jackson is a dynamic guard that can really shoot,” wrote Evan Daniels, director of basketball recruiting for Scout.com.
“DeLaurier is the classic case of a late-bloomer, a recruit who wasn’t highly recruited through his first two years of high school — before blowing up and becoming a big-time prospect,” wrote Matt Norlander or CBSSports.com
The beat truly goes on in Durham.
Duke will match-up with VCU and Wisconsin will face Georgetown in the semifinals of the 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 20 with the championship and consolation games being played on Nov. 22. Tickets are available at: http://bit.ly/1T10Bfn
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