5-Star SF Dariq Whitehead Commits to Duke over Kansas, FSU, G League

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2021

FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 19:  Dariq Whitehead #0 of Montverde Academy is introduced during the City of Palms Classic at Suncoast Credit Union Arena on December 19, 2019 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Highly touted wing Dariq Whitehead committed to the Duke Blue Devils, according to ESPN's Paul Biancardi.

ESPN @espn

"Growing up, Duke has always been my dream school.” Dariq Whitehead, No. 6 overall prospect in the ESPN 100 for the class of 2022, is heading to Duke, per @PaulBiancardi. (🎥: @TimLangPhotos) https://t.co/ZW3dhajtYh

Whitehead is the No. 3 small forward and sixth-best player nationally in the 2022 class, per 247Sports' composite rankings.

247Sports' Jerry Meyer evaluated the Montverde Academy star last November and compared him to Jarrett Culver, who spent two years at Texas Tech prior to getting selected in the first round of the 2019 NBA draft:

"Solid size for a wing. Has quick-twitch athleticism. Fast with the basketball. Loves to attack the rim, but has a smooth jumper. Three-level scorer. Has a great pull up jumper going left. Solid ball-handler and passer who plays with awareness and instincts. Rebounds his position well. Has tremendous potential as a versatile defender."


That hesi was TOUGH‼️ He’s about to take off at Montverde 😎 @dariq_whitehead https://t.co/XpQp4EgUN8

Whitehead is poised to be the next Montverde alumnus to thrive at the next level.

D'Angelo Russell, Ben Simmons and RJ Barrett suited up for the Eagles. More recently, Cade Cunningham, Scottie Barnes and Day'Ron Sharpe all ranked in the top 15 of 247Sports' composite rankings for 2020 when they moved on.

The current Montverde squad still has an abundance of talent, with Whitehead, Caleb Houstan, Jalen Duren, Jalen Hood-Schifino and Langston Love leading the way. The Eagles opened 2020-21 with a 109-31 victory over North Florida Educational Institute and reeled off four more wins, all of which came by 20 points or more.

Overtime @overtime

Montverde rly won by 78 POINTS last night 😶 @MVABasketball https://t.co/JAG6azWVbt

Although Culver has struggled with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Blue Devils will be thrilled if Whitehead replicates the Texas Tech version of Culver. The former Red Raiders star averaged 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 2018-19 en route to winning Big 12 Player of the Year.

Positional flexibility is critical at the moment. Excelling at one position generally isn't enough anymore for those at the top end of the talent pool.

Whitehead has the frame (6'6" and 190 pounds) and agility to defend either guard position and opposing 3s. He can also blow by bigger forwards or centers on switches with the ball in his hands. His two-way ability makes him perfectly suited to thrive.

Whitehead should make an immediate impact for Duke, and the only problem is he may not stick around for too long before he's off to the NBA.

That's not an unfamiliar position for head coach Mike Krzyzewski after he adapted to the times and welcomed more one-and-dones to Durham. Granted, Krzyzewski won't be around to coach Whitehead since the upcoming season will be the last of his legendary career.

Quickly announcing Jon Scheyer as Coach K's successor allowed the Blue Devils to provide plenty of clarity to prospective recruits about the next steps.

Scheyer will obviously have massive shoes to fill when he takes over, but securing Whitehead's commitment is obviously a great endorsement of his vision for the program.


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