Beyond the impressive contributions of this year's freshman class in Saturday's Blue-White scrimmage, the future continues to look bright for the Blue Devils.
Six-foot-8 forward Kyle Singler, the fourth-ranked recruit in the Class of 2007 and the top player at his position according to scout.com, announced he would attend Duke next fall at a press conference at his high school Friday afternoon.
"Duke has always been my dream school," Singler said. "This was a very tough decision for me, but I think going with Duke was the right one. I'm relieved that the recruiting process is over now."
The Oregon native chose Duke over two other finalists, Kansas and Arizona. After visiting Kansas on his last official visit two weekends ago, Singler took a little more than a week to evaluate his options before notifying Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski of his decision Wednesday.
"From what I've observed he doesn't normally get too excited about things, but he seemed pretty excited about this," Singler said of his conversation with Krzyzewski. "It was a good phone call."
Singler can make the verbal commitment official by signing a letter of intent when the early period opens Nov. 8. He is the third player in his class to give Duke a verbal, joining guard Nolan Smith and wing Taylor King.
Singler played with both Smith and King-as well as current freshman Lance Thomas-on this summer's U.S. Men's Under-18 National Team, which won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas U-18 Championship in July. Singler has also played with freshman Jon Scheyer on a previous national team and knows Gerald Henderson through AAU tournaments.
Singler's familiarity with his future teammates and his comfort level with Duke's program contributed to his decision, his father said.
"It really boiled down to where he felt most comfortable in the opportunity to grow as person and athlete," said Kyle's father, Ed, who was a three-year starting quarterback at Oregon State in the early 1980s. "At Duke, he could get a great education and be around the people and a program that could help him become the best person he could possibly be."
Although Kyle Singler did choose Krzyzewski's program, the decision was not as simple as some have made it out to be.
"Kansas gave him something to think about," Ed Singler said. "It wasn't a matter of a good program versus a bad program. They were all great programs."
The sweet-shooting Singler, who can play both forward positions, had been Duke's top remaining target for next season's incoming class.
"Singler has the whole package-he's the star that Duke was lacking in this class," said Jeff Goodman, who covers recruiting for scout.com and is the lead basketball writer for foxsports.com. "There are very few guys that don't have any holes in their game or character. In my mind, he's the guy in his class who will make the biggest impact in the college game."
The Blue Devils are also continuing to recruit 6-foot-8 forward Patrick Patterson out of West Virginia, even though Singler's verbal commitment would appear to fill the scholarship limit of 13 for next season.
"It's a foregone conclusion that [Josh] McRoberts is gone unless something dramatic happens," Goodman said. "Duke is one of three legitimate schools in there for Patterson, but from everything I've been told, it seems like Kentucky is the leader."
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