Duke's bleak backcourt picture just got a whole lot brighter.
Andre Dawkins, a 2010 commit ranked as the No. 3 shooting guard and No. 22 overall by scout.com, has been granted clearance to enroll at Duke one year early according to FoxSports.com. Dawkins' decision instantly bolsters the guard talent of a Duke roster that included only two scholarship guards in senior Jon Scheyer and junior Nolan Smith.
The 6-foot-4 Dawkins is known as a top-level athlete in his class with great leaping ability, a good shot and outside range. The Virginia Beach, Va. product became the first Blue Devil commit in the 2010 class when he made a verbal commitment in June 2008, but his recent decision to take advantage of Duke's dearth of guard talent a year early means he'll already be established by the time fellow 2010 commits Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton hit campus.
UPDATE, 7/16, 9:45 AM: A story by Dave Teel in this morning's in Hampton Roads Daily Press sheds a bit more light on how Dawkins may be eligible for college by the end of the summer.
When Dawkins' family moved from Washington, D.C. to Chesapeake, Va in the summer of 2005, Andre enrolled in public school at Deep Creek High School as a 9th grader. After playing a year on the JV at Deep Creek, Dawkins transferred to his current school, Atlantic Shores Christian School, where he again enrolled in the 9th grade to extend his high school basketball eligibilty.
Dawkins' father says in the Daily Press report that due to the extra year at Deep Creek, Andre is very close to meeting the credit threshold required to graduate this summer and that he's already taken AP Statistics and Chemistry this past academic year. Teel also adds that Dawkins is likely done playing at Atlantic Shores regardless of whether he enrolls at Duke or not, as Andre has also applied to Hargrave Military Academy with the goal of facing tougher basketball competition in his senior season. Still, Teel notes that Dawkins "certainly" could graduate this summer from Atlantic Shores and enroll at Duke if he so chooses.
Dawkins' father declined to confirm whether his son was heading to Duke, saying "Those are questions we don't want to answer," but clearly the possibility of early playing time made possible by Elliot Williams' transfer has turned the possibility of Andre Dawkins enrolling at Duke this fall from a pipe dream to a distinct and viable possibility.
Check back the Chronicle Sports Blog for updates as we continue to monitor this story.