Duke Basketball Recruiting: Tracking Team's Commits and Targets

Doug BrodessCorrespondent IApril 8, 2012

Duke Basketball Recruiting: Tracking Team's Commits and Targets

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    Coach K and his staff have been aggressively hitting the recruiting trail since they were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament back on March 16th by Lehigh.

    While they have been making contacts with Class of 2013 players, they have a chance at reeling in some of the top players from this year's senior class.

    Even though 91 of ESPNU's Top 100 have already committed, some of the cream of the crop is still undecided.

    Here's a quick look at what's happening with Duke's lone commitment and their recruiting targets for the Class of 2012.

Target No. 1: Shabazz Muhammad

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    4/11: Jeff Borzello of CBSSports.com is reporting that Shabazz Muhammad has committed to UCLA.

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    Whoever lands Shabazz Muhammad will automatically become a national contender. He's that good!

    Depending on where you look, Muhammad is one of the top players in the Class of 2012: No. 1 (Rivals) or No. 2 (ESPNU).

    Wherever the 6'6" wing goes, he will be an instant-impact player as a freshman.

    A relentless penetrator, Muhammad is nearly unstoppable with the ball in his hands. He scored 21 points on his way to collecting the MVP award at the recent McDonald's All-American game.

    He poured in 35 in the Nike Hoops Summit game.

    Muhammad would be a incredible addition to the Blue Devils roster. They have not had a player with length for a long time who has excelled in the open court like Shabazz.

    While Kentucky and UCLA are rumored to be the favorites in landing Muhammad, Duke definitely remains in the running.

    Muhammad's decision, regardless of what it is, will set off a domino effect of decisions by the other "undecideds."

Commitment: Rasheed Sulaimon

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    Rasheed Sulaimon is a super-talented 6'3" shooting guard out of Houston, TX. He ended up being ranked as the No. 12 player in the ESPNU Top 100.

    He committed to Duke in February of his junior year.

    Sulaimon is an excellent scorer that can get to the rim and knock down mid-range or long-distance jumpers. He was selected for both the McDonald's All-American game and the Jordan Brand Classic.

    He scored 18 points in the McDonald's game, going 4-for-8 from beyond the arc. He also won the three-point shooting contest.

    How will the Blue Devils' back court traffic jam shake out in '12-13?

    Tyler Thornton and Quinn Cook return at the point. Seth Curry and Andre Dawkins are coming back on the wing.

    Would Coach Krzyzewski put Sulaimon in the same lineup with Curry and Dawkins?

    Would he insert Sulaimon, a more-than-solid defender, into the lineup ahead of either Curry or Dawkins?

    It could be interesting.

Target No. 2: Tony Parker

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    4/23: Various news outlets are reporting that C Tony Parker committed to the UCLA Bruins.

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    Tony Parker is a big young man.

    At 6'9" and 270 pounds, Parker is a space-eater extraordinaire in the middle.

    He uses his body well to clear out space on the block to score or hit the boards.

    Especially if Mason Plumlee enters the 2012 NBA Draft, the Blue Devils will REALLY need some help down low.

    Parker had a good outing in the McDonald's All-American Game (10 points, seven rebounds, two blocks).

    While he still has a lot of other schools on his list (UCLA, Ohio State, Kentucky, Georgia), Duke may be the favorite to land Parker.

Target No. 3: Amile Jefferson

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    Amile Jefferson is another outstanding player who may be deciding in the next few days where he will lace 'em up.

    Jefferson's four finalists (Duke, North Carolina State, Kentucky and Villanova) are anxious to hear his final decision.

    Rivals.com writer, Clint Jackson, who covers Duke pretty closely, came with this tweet a month ago:

    "Hearing Amile Jefferson likely to announce in next 48 hours. Vibes very strong for Duke, but NC State, Villanova also in the picture."

    Jefferson, like many other undecideds, is waiting to see what other current college players and recruits will do.

    For example, he is much more likely to commit to Duke if Mason Plumlee enters the 2012 Draft.

    The 6'7" combo-forward can set up on the block or step out onto the perimeter.

    Even though Jefferson may be slightly undersized to play the 4 in the ACC, he would bring a level of much-needed "Philly toughness" to the Blue Devils' lineup.

Target No. 4: Alex Oriakhi

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    Connecticut transfer Alex Oriakhi is planning a visit to Missouri next weekend as he considers where to spend his senior season, according to a tweet from CBSSports.com's Jeff Goodman.

    Goodman also wrote that he will visit Kentucky April 20, and he is reportedly also considering North Carolina, Duke and Xavier.

    While Coach K would love to reel in this 6'9" 240-pound center, Oriakhi would seem to be a long-shot for the Blue Devils at this time.

What Happens If Duke Doesn't Add Anymore Class of 2012 Recruits?

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    A lot of these recruiting decisions will be made and announced this week.

    It's a real possibility that Duke will not sign anymore players for their 2012-13 squad.

    If they do not, even with redshirt freshmen Marshall Plumlee (6'11" 225 lbs) and Alex Murphy (6'8" 220 lbs) joining the active roster, Duke could struggle in the frontcourt in terms of defense and on the glass.