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Top recruit closes in on decision

Kyle Singler, Duke's top target remaining for next year's incoming recruiting class, will likely announce his intentions toward the end of next week, his high school coach said.

The 6-foot-8 forward, ranked No. 4 overall in his class by recruiting website scout.com, visited Duke in late September. Singler also took official visits to Arizona last month and Kansas last weekend and is now taking time to discuss the decision with his family and coaches.

"Right now he hasn't made any determination," said Dennis Murphy, Singler's coach at South Medford (Ore.) High School. "He's probably thought about it a lot, but he hasn't shared it with anyone."

"I think it's probably going to be toward the end of next week," Murphy added.

Murphy said the factors Singler would be considering include the school's coaches, players, distance from home and academics.

"The visit to Duke went really well," Singler told scout.com. "I had a chance to hang out with the players and really get to know everyone involved with the program. It was a very relaxed atmosphere, and my parents and I were very comfortable."

For several weeks, many recruiting analysts believed Singler to be deciding between Duke and UCLA, where scout.com's No. 3 prospect Kevin Love verbally committed over the summer. But early last week, Singler informed Bruins' head coach Ben Howland that he had trimmed his list to three-Duke, Arizona and Kansas.

Now, coaches at the three remaining schools must wait as Singler, who has not publicly given any indication as to which he will choose, mulls over his final decision.

"It's a big game of Texas Hold'em and nobody is showing their cards," said Dave Telep, national editor of scout.com.

Should Singler commit to Duke next week, he would join wing Taylor King and point guard Nolan Smith in Duke's incoming freshman class for 2007. The Blue Devils currently have 10 scholarship players on their roster, and with the NCAA limit set at 13, Singler would appear to fill the roster out as there are no seniors on the current team.

Still, Duke continues to woo 6-foot-8 forward Patrick Patterson, a West Virginia product and the fourth-ranked player at his position. Patterson took his official visit to Duke the final weekend of September. He has also visited Florida, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia.

Telep said he believed Singler would make his verbal commitment before Patterson, meaning Duke could be without a scholarship to offer Patterson if Singler chooses to become a Blue Devil.

A scholarship could potentially open up if a current player chooses to leave school early for the NBA or if one agrees to pay his own way, as Lee Melchionni did his freshman year when the scholarship limit was used up.

"College basketball is a different game than it was 10 years ago," Telep said. "That's probably a situation where they'll cross that bridge when they come to it. I'd imagine Duke has a situation to handle that, otherwise they wouldn't recruit both guys."

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