On the eve of the 2017-18 season, the Blue Devils got a surprise announcement on the recruiting trail to help their long-term outlook.

Five-star Class of 2019 prospect Joey Baker tweeted that he is committing to Duke Sunday night. The 6-foot-7 power forward is No. 13 in ESPN's 2019 rankings and the top prospect in the state of North Carolina.


Baker is preparing to start his junior year at Trinity Christian School in Fayetteville, N.C., where he played with former N.C. State star Dennis Smith Jr. two years ago. Baker suited up with Team Felton on the Under Armour circuit with Team Felton last summer, averaging 13.6 points and 4.3 rebounds per game in 17 contests. He is a stretch four with range out to the 3-point line and could play more on the wing than in the post in college.

Baker was at Countdown to Craziness at Cameron Indoor Stadium last weekend and made another visit to Durham in late September. He is the Blue Devils' first verbal commitment in the 2019 class.

Duke's other top targets in Baker's class are five-stars Matthew Hurt, Scottie Lewis and Vernon Carey Jr.