Summer recruiting kicks in to full speed this weekend as college coaches are able to evaluate players across the country in the first of three July evaluation periods.
The nation’s capital will play host to a handful of Duke targets for the Nike Global Challenge.
Thirty of the top players from the Nike EYBL regular season, and other Nike summer events, have been selected to represent the United States in the Nike Global Challenge. The players will be split into three different U.S. teams—East, Midwest and West—to compete against one another, as well as five other counties—Canada, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Lithuania and China.
Here is a rundown of the Blue Devil recruits that are slated to play, along with an update on their performances this summer and the current happenings in their recruitments.
Marcus Lee (2013): A long, slender power forward, Lee has been a force on the defensive end with his shot blocking abilities all summer long in AAU play. The Duke coaching staff offered Lee a scholarship in the spring and has reportedly been in frequent contact with him since.
Determining a leader in Lee’s recruitment is nearly impossible at this point, due to the long list of high-major offers he holds. Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana, Louisville, UCLA, Stanford, Kansas, Texas A&M and Texas, among many others, are all in the hunt as of now.
The Bay Area product reportedly took unofficial visits to Texas A&M and Texas two weeks ago, per a tweet from ESPN recruiting analyst Dave Telep.
Andrew Wiggins (2014): Suiting up for Canada, Wiggins will be the only Duke prospect not playing on a U.S. squad at the event. Averaging 18.6 points per outing, Wiggins led his AAU team, CIA Bounce, to a league-best, 17-3 record in the Nike EYBL regular season.
Given his tremendous upside and stellar play this summer, it was only a matter of time before one of the premier recruiting outlets declared Wiggins the No. 1 player in all of high school basketball. This week in a Sports Illustrated feature, Eric Bossi of Rivals.com became the first major recruiting anaylst to call the dynamic 6-foot-7 wing, “the best player in the land.”
Known for his elite athleticism and ability to get to the rim at will, the clear-cut No. 1 player in the class of 2014 recently gave a list of his top five schools—Duke, Florida State, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Syracuse—in no specific order. It comes as a bit of surprise to see the Blue Devils associated with Wiggins because most college basketball fans feel strongly that the Wildcats and Seminoles are the clear frontrunners in this recruitment.
Rumors that Wiggins' may reclassifying to the class of 2013 continue to swirl. A recent article by Adam Zagoria of Zag's Blog indicated that there is no plan for Wiggins to reclassify right now, but it is possible in the future.
Theo Pinson (2014): The local North Carolina product is very familiar with the Blue Devil program, having visited Durham numerous times already in his high school career, the most recent of which occurred in March for the Duke-North Carolina game.
Early in his high school career, Pinson was the No. 1 ranked player in his class, but has slid a bit since then. Now, he is the No. 13 overall player in the class of 2014 according to ESPN. The 6-foot-6 wing lists Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, Indiana, Wake Forest, Georgetown, Florida and Syracuse. The Blue Devil coaching staff, however, has not officially offered Pinson a scholarship yet.
Pinson averaged nearly 15 points per game over the span of four Nike EYBL sessions, helping his team, the CP3 All Stars, qualify for the Peach Jam.
Justin Jackson (2014): The Lone Star State is stockpiled with talent on the hardwood these days. Duke has cultivated it as well as anyone as of late by landing incoming freshman Rasheed Sulaimon and receiving a commitment from Matt Jones. The Blue Devil coaches hope to haul in more talent from Texas in the future too.
Jackson is another Texan whose name has recently emerged on Duke’s radar. Sitting at the No. 9 spot in the ESPN class of 2014 rankings, the 6-foot-6 small forward plays for the same AAU team—Houston Hoops-- that Sulaimon did in high school. Right now, interest between the two parties appears to be in the preliminary stages, but Jackson will likely be tracked by the Blue Devils more closely once the recruiting class of 2013 becomes more finalized.
Jackson led the team in scoring with 12.4 points per game and Houston Hoops finished with a 15-5 Nike EYBL record and a bid to the Peach Jam.
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