Duke Basketball: Blue Devils' Odds to Land Each Top Recruiting Target
The Duke basketball program has been a recruiting powerhouse for over three decades. And there is no sign of its success slowing down.
Mike Krzyzewski and his coaching staff hauled in an impressive 2013 recruiting class, headlined by arguably the most decorated high school prospect of the last 10 years in Jabari Parker.
Looking ahead, Duke is setting itself up to secure a memorable 2014 recruiting class. With already one commitment locked up—shooting guard Grayson Allen—it will look to add a number of significant pieces to round out its class.
This slideshow will only pertain to the seven players from the class of 2014 who currently hold a scholarship offer from Duke.
Position: Point Guard
High School: Apple Valley High School (MN)
Size: 6'1", 170 pounds
247Sports Ranking: 5-star (1)
Make no mistake about it: Highly sought-after point guard Tyus Jones is a make-or-break recruit for Duke in 2014.
On one hand, Jones is viewed as the top overall prospect in the class of 2014. Along with being a dynamic scorer and an outstanding facilitator, Jones possesses immense basketball IQ. He is also electric in the open floor and plays with a level of confidence that is unparalleled in his class.
Additionally, landing a commitment from Jones could signal a domino effect with Jahlil Okafor and possibly Justise Winslow. The Blue Devils have pursued both players feverishly.
On the other hand, missing out on Jones would be a significant blow, as the Blue Devils have placed all of their eggs in one basket. Despite expressing minimal interest for a handful of point guards, Duke has made him its top priority.
While there are no guarantees in recruiting, seeing Jones at Duke rather than the other six schools remaining on his list is nearly a lock at this point.
High School: Whitney Young High School (IL)
Size: 6'10", 270 pounds
247Sports Ranking: 5-star (2)
Whereas Tyus Jones is Duke's top priority in the class of 2014, center Jahlil Okafor is literally its biggest. And it has been no secret that these two players will go hand-in-hand at the college level.
As far as true back-to-the-basket big men, Okafor possesses a skill set well beyond his years. On the low block, he has the size and brute force to establish position and operate with a full arsenal of post moves. His blend of strength, finesse and a high basketball IQ causes problems for the opposition.
For a number of seasons, the struggles of landing a true big man have been well documented for the Blue Devils. But the drought, so to speak, could come to an end by securing a commitment from Okafor.
Eight schools remain for the Whitney Young product, and six of them are also in the running for Jones. As Okafor seeks to end his recruitment by the start of his senior season, all signs point to Duke thus far.
High School: Trinity High School (TX)
Size: 6'10", 223 pounds
247Sports Ranking: 5-star (5)
If you've been paying attention to the class of 2014 rankings, you would have quickly noticed the ascent of center Myles Turner.
It's been a tale of two summers for the Trinity High School product.
Last year, he was not on a lot of recruiting radars. Of course, that was attributed to a broken foot that he suffered in the spring of 2012, causing him to miss out on showcasing his talents during the AAU period.
This year, Turner has made a statement as not only one of the best centers in the 2014 class but one of the best overall players.
Regarded as the fastest rising player in the 2014 class, Turner possesses an impressive skill set for a recruit of his size. With excellent size and athleticism, he runs the floor well at 6'10". His biggest strength is his ability to score while facing up his defender in the post. Additionally, he is capable of knocking down perimeter shots, as he shot 40 percent from three in his junior season at Trinity.
Since he has skyrocketed to the top of the 2014 class, a who's who of elite college programs have reached out. Most recently, Turner trimmed his list from 60 schools to 26 with another cut expected at the end of July.
Amid cutting his list, Duke cranked up its interest for Turner by extending a scholarship offer, according to 247Sports (VIP access required).
The Blue Devils are interested in adding two big men from the 2014 class. As it stands, Turner is being recruited with the idea of playing the 4-spot and complementing the best center in the class, Jahlil Okafor, at the 5.
Factor in the possibility of adding the best incoming point guard, Tyus Jones, and the opportunity for Turner to succeed at the next level is high.
If the idea comes to fruition for Mike Krzyzewski and his staff, Duke would be well on its way of securing the greatest recruiting class in school history.
Position: Small Forward/Power Forward
High School: Milwaukee Hamilton High School (WI)
Size: 6'9", 194 pounds
247Sports Ranking: 5-star (9)
As the recruiting process began for Kevon Looney, he allowed his parents to field pitches from interested schools. As he prepares for his senior season at Milwaukee Hamilton High School, though, he has taken over the reins of his recruitment.
Duke, Florida, Michigan and Michigan State are heavily in the mix, with Connecticut, Georgetown, Stanford, Tennessee, UCLA and Wisconsin also involved. Looney's trajectory is to trim his list to five near the end of July and follow up by scheduling official visits before making a final decision prior to the start of his senior year.
Looney is versatile with arguably the most complete game of any player at his position. He excels around the rim, though, by attacking or pursuing second-chance opportunities. He has a nose for the basketball and is the ultimate competitor.
With the Blue Devils potentially losing Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood at the end of the 2013-14 season, the addition of Looney would mark a terrific recruiting coup for head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Position: Small Forward
High School: Saint John's High School (TX)
Size: 6'6", 210 pounds
247Sports Ranking: 5-star (17)
As previously mentioned, Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor are virtually a lock for attending the same college. But what about Justise Winslow, who is possibly the third piece of this trio?
It's difficult to get inside a recruit's head. Winslow has suggested that he would relish the opportunity to play with Jones and Okafor. However, the 6'6" small forward seems non-committal on the scenario playing out.
Nevertheless, it does not take away from Duke's standing with Winslow.
Regardless of where Winslow ends up, he will bring an advanced skill set with him. At the offensive end, he is a pass-first player with terrific ball-handling. He is a tremendous athlete and also an elite multiple-position defender.
If Jones and Okafor opt for Duke, the chance for Winslow to become a part of that package deal could be too good of an opportunity for him to pass up.
High School: Wilbraham & Monson Academy (MA)
Size: 6'10", 213 pounds
247Sports Ranking: 5-star (19)
Some people feel that next season's Duke Blue Devils will be significantly weak in the frontcourt. As a result, the coaching staff is pushing to make it their biggest strength in the 2014-15 season.
Of the seven current scholarship offers that have been extended, three belong to centers. The 5-spot is seen as a major priority for Duke in the immediate future, and its recruiting tactics have shown just that.
Jahlil Okafor and Myles Turner have already been mentioned. With that being said, enter Goodluck Okonoboh.
Combining elite athleticism with natural gifts, the 6'10" Boston native is the best shot-blocker in the class of 2014. And he has learned from the best, as he is a former high school and AAU teammate of recent NBA lottery pick Nerlens Noel.
Okonoboh's game is similar to Noel's, as both players are long, lean and active around the rim. Although his low-post game is raw, he has potential is most. But it's at the defensive end that he separates himself from other centers.
Schools from around the country are pursuing Okonoboh. Besides Duke, he has received offers from Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri and Syracuse, with Kentucky and Louisville expressing interest.
Of these suitors, Tom Crean's Indiana Hoosiers seem to be the leader. However, Okonoboh is quick to point out that each team remains equal, according to 247Sports (VIP access required).
With Duke looking to take at least two big men from the class of 2014, it will need to stay persistent and possibly hope for a little good luck to secure a commitment from Goodluck Okonoboh.
Position: Shooting Guard
High School: Moss Point High School (MS)
Size: 6'6", 194 pounds
247Sports Ranking: 4-star (29)
In all likelihood, Devin Booker will not be a part of Duke's 2014 recruiting class due to the commitment of fellow shooting guard Grayson Allen in April.
Still, the contact between the two parties has yet to waver, regardless of how minimal it may be.
With Duke fading from the picture, other prestigious schools on Booker's list have stood out more, including Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State and North Carolina. However, Kentucky and Michigan are beginning to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.
Booker recently tripped to Ann Arbor last month for the Wolverines' College Practice Camp. He is also expected to attend Kentucky's "Big Blue Madness" event in October.
Once perceived as a "Duke-type kid," Devin Booker is now on a path that is leading him toward either the Bluegrass or the Great Lakes.