5-Star Duke Commit Joey Baker Reclassifies to Join Loaded 2018 Recruiting Class

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2018

DURHAM, NC - DECEMBER 05: A general view of the Duke Blue Devils logo on a flag as held by the mascot during a game against the Buffalo Bulls during a 59-82 Duke Blue Devils win on December 05, 2015 at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Peyton Williams/Getty Images)
Peyton Williams/Getty Images

The Duke Blue Devils already have a loaded 2018 recruiting class, and it got even better Wednesday.

According to Evan Daniels of 247Sports, small forward prospect Joey Baker will reclassify from the 2019 class into the 2018 group. The 6'7" and 190-pound Baker is a 5-star prospect, per 247Sports' composite rankings.

"I talked to the coaches about it and we figured it was the best decision for my basketball game and off the court growth as well, like in the class room and socially," Baker said, per Daniels. "I feel like it will challenge me in all of those aspects and allow me to grow a lot faster than I would."

He shared the news as well on his Twitter page:

Duke already boasts 247Sports’ top-rated class for the 2018 recruiting cycle, which features 5-star prospects R.J. Barrett, Cameron Reddish, Zion Williamson and Tre Jones.

Baker's addition brings even more positional versatility into the 2018 class. He and Reddish are small forwards, Jones is a point guard, Barrett is a shooting guard and Williamson is a power forward. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski can mix and match them in small lineups with plenty of athleticism and matchup problems to go around.

Baker also recognized playing against such a high level of competition even just in practice will serve his game well moving forward.

"I think it'll help me tremendously," Baker said, per Daniels. "Playing against the top three players, R.J. [Barrett], Cam [Reddish] and Zion [Williamson], every day in practice and learning from them and competing with them is going to force me to really grow as a basketball player. I'll learn a ton from them and get a lot better."

Duke won the national championship in 2015 but has fallen short of the Final Four in the three ensuing years. This talented recruiting class is even better with Baker in it and figures to keep the Blue Devils on the short list of national title contenders as they look to break their recent streak of seasons ending before the Final Four.

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