Justise Winslow, the highly coveted 5-star small forward who hails from Houston, Texas' Saint John's High School, has joined a loaded 2014 recruiting class in announcing his decision to commit to the Duke Blue Devils on Thursday.
The university's Chronicle student newspaper Twitter page posted the news, alluding to the company Winslow will be joining in Durham:
DUKE GETS JUSTISE: Winslow just put on a Duke hat and joins Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones and Grayson Allen in Duke's class of 2014.— Duke Basketball (@dukebasketball) November 21, 2013
Winslow is the second-rated prospect at his position behind committed North Carolina Tar Heel Justin Jackson, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. He's also rated as the No. 11 overall recruit in the country and the fourth-best prospect coming out of Texas in the Class of 2014.
The storied history played a big part in his decision to attend Duke according to Winslow (via Adam Finklestein of ESPN.com): "The tradition, what Coach K has done, what we can do in the future. I loved the family environment on the official visit. It just felt right."
That gives Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski three of the site's top 11 players, along with the No. 1 overall prospect in center Jahlil Okafor and No. 2-rated point guard Tyus Jones.
While shooting guard Grayson Allen is no slouch as a 4-star recruit, Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com believes Winslow was the key component to topping off this exciting crop of incoming young players.
Justise Winslow is the perfect glue-guy to complete an already terrific recruiting class for Duke. Great defender and all-around team player— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) November 21, 2013
This gives the Blue Devils' powerhouse program continued promise moving forward, and CBS Sports' Eye on College BBall even implied Winslow's commitment clinched Duke's status as next year's preseason No. 1:
Justise Winslow picks Duke. He’ll play in 2014. Blue Devils will be preseason No. 1 next October.— Eye on College BBall (@EyeOnCBB) November 21, 2013
Will playing alongside other highly touted recruits get under Winslow's skin? Not a chance (via ESPN):
"I am very comfortable being around and playing with Jahlil and Tyus. And I don't know Grayson as well but we follow each other on twitter and I know Coach K only recruits good players and people. I am very excited about what we can do".
Winslow, who is 6'6" and 210 pounds, is highly acclaimed for his exceptional defense, which garnered a comparison to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in his DraftExpress.com scouting report.
The comparison is appropriate. From the small forward position, Winslow is regraded as a relentless competitor, an excellent rebounder and a player who thrives on shutting down the opposition's top scoring threat.
While his offensive game is still thought of as a work in progress, it isn't likely Winslow will be asked to shoulder much of the scoring burden as a freshman. Plus, having a pass-first phenom like Jones running the point should only expedite Winslow's development at that end of the court.
The Blue Devils are always a college basketball powerhouse. With Winslow now in the fold, 2014 should be no different.