On Tuesday, Andrew Wiggins, Perry Ellis and No. 5 Kansas outlasted No. 4 Duke in a thrilling Champions Classic battle, grabbing the latest advantage between two of college basketball's most dominant powerhouses.
On Friday, the Blue Devils will get their revenge.
That will come in the form of point guard Tyus Jones and center Jahlil Okafor, two of the most coveted high school basketball stars on the planet who, according to ESPN's college basketball Twitter feed, will announce their college decision on national television:
They are announcing together because—save for some unforeseen twist—they will come as a packaged deal. Jones himself recently said he and Okafor are "100 percent" going to the same school, via his blog on USA TODAY.
And if you're judging by the Twitter game of Okafor's father, who is seen here asking Jones' mother where their sons will attend college, then things are still quite unpredictable:
Nevertheless, Mike Krzyzewski's Blue Devils have to be regarded as the front-runners right now. Their recruitment of Jones should be enough evidence.
As Laura Keeley at the Raleigh News & Observer noted this summer, Duke has pushed all of its chips into the middle of the table for Jones. Not only were the Blue Devils one of the earliest teams on the Jones Bandwagon when they offered him a scholarship two years ago, but they have zero other point guards on the radar for the class of 2014.
Ninety-one percent of experts, via 247 Sports' Crystal Ball, are predicting Duke as the future landing place for Jones, and considering Krzyzewski's strong relationship with the talented point guard, there isn't enough evidence to suggest otherwise.
As for Okafor, there would be more of an inclination to project him to Kansas if it wasn't so assumed his best friend was headed to Duke.
We saw Bill Self's upset potential last year when he secured the commitment of Wiggins, who was thought to be a Kentucky lean. But it would be shocking if Jones and Okafor didn't put on a Duke hat, or reveal a Blue Devil shaved into their hair, or whatever the kids are doing these days.
Should that happen, the Blue Devils will undoubtedly be the team to beat in 2014—no matter what happens to their current roster.
With 4-star shooting guard Grayson Allen as the only current member of Duke's recruiting class, Jones and Okafor may not be enough to give the Blue Devils the best recruiting class in terms of numbers or formulas, but they are enough to make it the class with the most impact.
Jones and Okafor are the best prospects at the two most important positions in the sport. Moreover, they are polished players who you build a team around.
One is an intelligent point guard with spectacular ball-handling ability who can see the court really well and distribute effectively. The other is a big man, already with a collegiate body, who can score from the block or step out to the free-throw line and make plays in a variety of ways.
Neither is a jaw-dropping athlete, but the U-16 and U-17 Team USA gold medalists can contribute right away at a high level. And both are going to win a lot of games playing side-by-side.
Get ready, folks. The future of the college basketball landscape is about to shift significantly in the direction of Durham on Friday afternoon.
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