In one of the biggest recruiting weekends of the year, Duke basketball assistant coaches Jeff Capel and Nate James had the opportunity to see a vast majority of the Blue Devil coaching staff's top targets in action at the Nike EYBL Peach Jam.
While in Augusta, South Carolina, James and Capel had the opportunity to watch Matt Jones (committed), Julius Randle, Semi Ojeleye, Marcus Lee, Theo Pinson, Allerik Freeman, Justise Winslow, Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, Justin Jackson, and Andrew Wiggins, among others.
Jabari Parker, the top-ranked player in the class of 2013 and Duke target, did not play at the Peach Jam due to an injured foot.
Watching Randle appeared to be one of the biggest priorities for the staff over the weekend. He and Jones, who play together on the Texas Titans, played very well, but their team finished 2-3 in a tough pool, with losses coming to CIA Bounce, Howard Pulley, and the Mac Irvin Fire.
Over the five games, Jones, a point guard, averaged 13.8 points per game, while Randle—the No. 2 player in the class of 2013 according to ESPN—averaged an impressive 22 points and 13 rebounds per contest.
Randle, who may be the Duke coaching staff’s top target now given the dire need of an impact frontcourt player in 2013, had coaches from North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio State, Texas, Baylor, N.C. State and Duke, among others, at his games.
Leading his team to his MoKan team to a surprising semifinals appearance, Ojeleye played perhaps his best basketball of the summer in Augusta. The strong 6-foot-6 wing averaged 17.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per contest.
Lee posted averages of 9.4 points and 6.6 rebounds, while also drawing a slew of coaches to his games. His team, California Supreme, finished 1-4 in pool play.
Off the floor, Pinson’s recruitment has really heated up over the past week. After some confusion amongst the Duke fan base, various sources indicated that Pinson now holds a scholarship offer from the Blue Devil coaching staff. North Carolina also offered Pinson last week. The Tobacco Road rivals are now seemingly the schools to beat to land the 6-foot-5 wing, who is from North Carolina.
Pinson’s team, CP3 All Stars, reached the semifinals of the Peach Jam and Pinson led the charge with 16.4 points per game.
Another 2014 wing that the Duke coaches covet is Justise Winslow, from Houston, Texas. After a stellar showing for the U-17 U.S. team and a strong spring and summer with his AAU team, Houston Hoops, the versatile, 6-foot-5 swingman now holds a scholarship offer from head coach Mike Krzyzewski and his staff.
Okafor and Jones, the only other rising juniors with scholarship offers from Duke, had high-major coaches from all over the country at their games. Anchoring the post for the Mac Irvin Fire, Okafor averaged 11.4 points and 7.4 rebounds at the Peach Jam.
Jones and his upstart Howard Pulley team were one of the better stories of the weekend due to their upset wins over the Texas Titans and the Mac Irvin Fire, thanks in large part to Jones’ impressive average of 25.8 points per outing.
In regards to Jones’ recruitment, Kentucky has seriously entered the picture recently by offering the 6-foot-1 floor general from Minnesota last week.
As time wears on, Wiggins-- the consensus No. 1 ranked player in the class of 2014-- continues to impress more and more, which has many scouts and fans believing that he is one of the better talents to come through the high school ranks in quite some time.
Averaging 21.9 points and 8.9 rebounds, Wiggins led CIA Bounce to the championship of the Peach Jam, where they fell in hard-fought game to the Oakland Soldiers on a controversial foul call on Wiggins at the end of the game.
With Parker battling injuries for most of this summer, Wiggins has seemingly dethroned Parker as the best high school basketball player, regardless of class. And Wiggins' dominance this spring and summer have led many to believe that he will eventually reclassify from the class of 2014 to the class of 2013.
As the AAU circuit begins to slow down in the coming weeks, expect many of the prospects in the class of 2013 to begin narrowing their list of schools and taking visits to prospective schools.
The final July evaluation period will be this weekend.
In other news: Five-star power forward Chris Walker ended his recruitment on Sunday when he committed to Florida. The Gators now have commitments from two top-ten recruits in the class of 2013—Walker and point guard Kasey Hill.
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