Duke Basketball: Elite Recruits Duke Should Be After on Recruiting Trail

Amit BatraCorrespondent IIIJuly 30, 2012

Duke Basketball: Elite Recruits Duke Should Be After on Recruiting Trail

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    Duke University has always seen a very rich basketball program.  From one of the best coaches in college basketball to four national titles, the Duke Blue Devils have seen it all.

    Through a high recruiting class each year, the Blue Devils have become accustomed to winning.  The Cameron Crazies in Durham have helped the team to success over time.

    However, the Blue Devils were stunned last year by Lehigh.  With the addition of top recruits, the Blue Devils hope to get back to the national title picture.

    Here are some guys that Duke should be going after to get back to the elite program it's been known for.

Julius Randle

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    The 6'9", 225 pound forward out of Dallas, Texas has been offered a scholarship by Duke.  Randle has averaged 20.2 points per game at Prestonwood Christian Academy.

    According to ESPN's 100, Randle is ranked as the No. 2 player in the 2013 class.  While he is a presence in the paint, Randle is very capable of hitting the jump shot.  The athleticism and power is there.

    Other offers for Randle include Baylor, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Southern Methodist and Texas. 

    What's interesting about this situation is that Randle has played AAU ball with Duke verbal commit Matt Jones.  The two can join forces once again in Durham.

    However, Coach K and Duke will need to fight over Randle with some top programs in the country. 

Austin Nichols

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    Austin Nichols is a 6'8", 200 pound power forward out of Eads, Tennessee.  He will become a top prospect for the Blue Devils and Coach K.

    What Nichols brings is a tremendous shot-blocking ability, the skill set to run the floor, knock down jumpers for his size and bring length and athleticism as a big man.

    Duke has a strong chance of acquiring Nichols due to his lifelong fandom.  He's a solid 4-star prospect for the Blue Devils.

    At Briarcrest Christian High School, Nichols averaged 18 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks per game as a junior.

    He is the third best option in the state and 10th in the position.  He is ranked 30th on the ESPN's 100 list. 

    Other options include Auburn, Butler, Cincinnati, Clemson, Kansas, Louisville, Memphis, North Carolina, Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas and Vanderbilt. 

Jahlil Okafor

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    This man should be on many schools' radar in the future.  Jahlil Okafor is the top center and No. 2 player overall in the 2014 class, according to ESPN Recruiting.

    The 6'9", 270 pound center is a 5-star prospect and second in the ESPN's 60.  He has good size, foot work and a good post-up game.  He may have learned from a relative by the name of Emeka Okafor.

    Since seeing him play in December of 2011, Coach K has kept a close eye on the prospect.  He will need to convince Okafor to come to Durham over some top programs, however.

    Other offers include Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, DePaul, Georgetown, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas State, Michigan State, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio State and Wisconsin. 

Tyus Jones

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    Tyus Jones is a 6'2", 171 pound point guard who is a target for many schools.  At the position, Jones can shoot and dish it out very well.  He can be another Nolan Smith if his court vision and passing continue to be excellent.

    While he is good friends with Okafor, Jones is highly regarded as a top prospect in the class of 2014.

    The point guard is the No. 3 overall recruit in the class, according to ESPN Recruiting.  His other offers include Arizona, Baylor, Iowa, Iowa State, Kentucky, Marquette, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State and Providence.  

    The guard from Apple Valley High School in Apple Valley, MN is a 5-star prospect, first in his state and first in his position. 

Jabari Parker

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    The next LeBron James.  Or so they say.  The small forward out of Chicago is a 5-star prospect from Simeon Career Academy.

    Parker is No. 1 on the ESPN's 100 list.  The 6'8", 240 pound forward can make it a dream come true for Blue Devils fans if he commits to Duke.

    It won't be easy, though.  Other offers include Brigham Young, DePaul, Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina and Stanford. 

    Parker can make any of these teams an elite powerhouse due to his playmaking ability.  He is quick and extremely athletic.  One of these programs will be getting a winner.