The idea of players being a package deal isn't new to the recruiting trail, as players who have forged bonds on the AAU circuit or at certain festivals often express a desire to play together in college. Does it always happen? No.
But when it does, whether it was by design or not, it draws headlines. As does even the concept of a package deal nowadays, especially when it involves top-tier recruits.
Last year it was Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones, both of whom signed with Duke. This year it's Malik Newman, currently rated as the No. 2 overall prospect in the 2015 class, and No. 4 Diamond Stone. In mid-May Stone and Newman announced they would be following the same path.
"Diamond is a great player on and off the court," Newman told Gary Bedore of the Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World. "He’s like a brother to me. I look forward to playing with him in the future."
To grab both players would be a huge get, and a dynamic one since Newman is a 6'3" guard who can play the point or the two-guard, while the 6'10" Stone is one of the sturdiest built recruits at the top of the list for 2015 at a solid 246 pounds. And it stands to reason that most schools involved in their recruitment would go after both.
But to think that it's a done deal that you've got to take one to get the other seems foolish, especially if you look at how teams recruited Okafor and Jones.
Yes, both players did commit to and sign with Duke on Nov. 15, 2013 after both visiting the Blue Devils together three weeks earlier. But while Okafor had offers from 18 schools, Jones only had 11 offers. Only nine schools offered both.
The duo went on visits together to Duke, Baylor and Kansas, but Okafor also visited Arizona and Kentucky.
Newman, from Jackson, Miss., currently has offers from 12 programs, while the Milwaukee-based Stone has 17 offers. Between those, there are currently only four common suitors who have extended official offers: Arizona, Connecticut, Kansas and North Carolina.
Both are likely to pick up more offers over the summer, and it's very likely they'll try to schedule official visits together. But to assume that they'll play together in college is a little too much at this point.