High school senior Kyrie Irving, Scout.com’s No. 6 player in the country, committed to Duke yesterday, locking up one of the Blue Devils’ most prominent targets. Irving is a 6-foot-1, 165-lb. guard from Elisabeth, N.J. who plays mostly at the point.
“When I went on my official visit, it felt like home and the place for me,” Irving said on ESPNU’s Recruiting Insider.He also cited close relations with head coach Mike Krzyezewski and the coaching staff as contributing factors to his decision.
Irving had been rumored to be leaning toward joining Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils, and SNY’s Adam Zagoria even reported as much Tuesday night. Irving, however, refuted that claim via Twitter the same night. Despite rejecting Zagoria’s initial report—which cited three anonymous sources with knowledge of the recruiting process—Irving did indeed chose Duke over Kentucky and Texas A&M, the other two schools to make his final list. Irving and his father, Drederick, were unavailable for comment Thursday.
With Kyrie Irving’s announcement, the Blue Devils now have three verbal commitments from the Class of 2010. Guard Tyler Thornton and forward Joshua Hairston verbally committed to Duke months ago. Duke Basketball officials hope that Irving’s decision, and the publicity that surrounded it, can help attract another top recruit, Harrison Barnes. Barnes is the No. 3 player in the country according to Scout.com, and is taking his official visit to Duke Friday. Barnes is also considering North Carolina, Kansas and others.
Asked about what he wanted to tell Barnes on ESPNU, Irving said, “I’ll let the Duke coaching staff handle that.” Irving also called Barnes “like my big brother”.
During Irving’s official visit to Duke Sept. 23, students hung banners outside their dormitories urging him to become a Blue Devil. One of the signs included a reference to other Duke point guards from New Jersey—namely Bobby Hurley and Jason Williams, who led Duke to its three national championships in 1991, 1992 and 2001.