Recruiting roundup: 2018's No. 1 recruit reportedly considering reclassifying, playing this season for DukeBy Ben Leonard | 07/17/17 10:09am
After landing three 5-star recruits and the nation’s No. 2 recruiting class, the Blue Devils seemed settled with another contender next year.
But they might not be done just yet.
The No. 1 player in the class of 2018, Marvin Bagley III, is reportedly considering reclassifying and joining this year’s recruiting class—making him to eligible to play this fall—and Duke is one of his top choices, according to 247Sports. After impressing in this weekend’s Nike EYBL Peach Jam, the 6-foot-11 forward will take his official visit to Durham this week and eventually visit Arizona and USC, which is thought to be the Blue Devils’ biggest competitor in his recruitment.
Bagley would still have many hoops to jump through in order to become eligible to play this season, including finishing high school and receiving the necessary academic clearances. But if he was allowed to reclassify and join the 2017-18 Duke team, he would join a freshman class that already has the 2017 class' best power forward, top point guard and No. 1 shooting guard in Wendell Carter, Trevon Duval and Gary Trent Jr.
A rising high school senior that can move and shoot like a guard, his athleticism stood out on Nike’s elite circuit, making several highlight reel plays like this block and coast-to-coast dunk.
Some of Duke’s other top 2018 targets also made flashy plays in North Augusta, S.C. including 5-star Zion Williamson with a thunderous block.
Zion Williamson just demolished the ball and backboard with this jaw-dropping block. Whole gym went silent when he went down. pic.twitter.com/I74OPa9Eeu— SLAM HS Hoops (@SLAMonline_HS) July 13, 2017
247Sports' Crystal Ball predicts Williamson will sign with Kentucky, but Duke is one of the top few left vying for the 6-foot-7 small forward.
Another Blue Devil target, 5-star point guard Darius Garland, told Durham Herald-Sun correspondent Adam Zagoria that he would like to play alongside Duke’s other top targets in college.
“I mean, it’s a lot of us who are trying to make a package deal out of each other,” Garland told Zagoria. “Cameron Reddish, Tre Jones, me and Marvin, we played together a few years back, so we’ve been talking about it. Me and Romeo [Langford] have a really good connection, so I’m trying to get him over with me, too. Wherever I go, I want him to come with me.”
If that group all came to Durham, it would give head coach Mike Krzyzewski three of the top five players in the ESPN 100 and five of the top 19. According to the Crystal Ball, the Blue Devils are the frontrunners for all of their services, save for Langford, who 247Sports projects to sign with Indiana. Jones, a 5-star point guard, is the younger brother of Tyus Jones, who helped lead Duke to the 2015 national championship.
Another target, 6-foot-8 forward Emmitt Williams, caught Krzyzewski and his staff’s attention with a strong performance at Peach Jam, including a dunk over Bagley.
According to Zagoria, Williams was
“Getting a phone call from him, it was like talking to God,” Williams said. “I never thought I would be talking to the best coach in the world from his cell phone, so getting a call from him is a blessing.”