On one of high school basketball's biggest stages at the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League Peach Jam finals in North Augusta, S.C., several Duke targets stood out in front of head coach Mike Krzyzewski, associate head coach Jeff Capel and assistants Jon Scheyer and Nate James.
Five-star Blue Devil target Trae Young and former Duke target Michael Porter, Jr. excelled throughout the event, with their Mokan Elite team dominating en route to the title. In the championship game against PSA Cardinals, which features two other five-star Blue Devil targets in point guard Quade Green and big man Mohamed Bamba, Young and Porter combined for 61 points in a 93-65 beatdown.
A 6-foot-2 point guard, Young had 28 points and 11 assists in the championship game. The No. 21 recruit in the Class of 2017 visited Duke last June, and is rumored to be considering several schools, including Kentucky, Kansas, the Blue Devils, Oklahoma and Washington. Young is one of three 2017 point guards Duke is recruiting, and the Norman, Okla., native has long been linked to package deal talks with his AAU teammate Porter.
A lethal swingman, Porter had 33 points in the championship game. The No. 4 recruit in the Class of 2017 according to ESPN is expected to go to Washington to play for his father, Michael Porter, Sr., who was recently hired as an assistant coach with the Huskies, and his godfather, head coach Lorenzo Romar. Porter Jr. cut his top five to Washington, Missouri, Virginia, Oklahoma and Indiana in late May, eliminating Duke from consideration.
Young and Porter Jr. also impressed in the semifinals, combining for 47 points in a 22-point win against top-ranked recruit DeAndre Ayton's team. The duo shared co-MVP honors at the event.
Although his team got crushed in the title game, Green had an impressive Peach Jam after recently visiting Duke and Kentucky and collecting offers from college basketball's premier recruiting schools. The Philadelphia native had 21 points in a semifinal win Saturday after his team trailed by as many as 20 points in the first half, pouring in 15 second-half points and several key jumpers to spark a 66-64 win.
Green is the No. 22 player in the class according to ESPN and 247sports analysts expect him to eventually commit to the Blue Devils. He also had 17 points and 10 assists earlier in the day Saturday in a quarterfinal win against Tremont Waters' team.
The third 2017 point guard the Blue Devils are recruiting, Waters is a four-star talent from Connecticut who trimmed the list of schools he is considering to seven Wednesday night. Along with Duke, the list includes Connecticut, Kentucky, Kansas, Georgetown, Indiana and Yale.
Which point guard Duke ends up with could depend on commitment timing, as Green and Young are both being recruited by the Blue Devils and Kentucky—247sports analysts expect Young to pick the Wildcats—and it is unclear if two of the point guards would be willing to commit to the same school.
Green's teammate, Bamba, was quiet toward the end of the event, but is the No. 3 player in the class according to ESPN. Duke is expected to be very much in the mix to land Bamba and fellow top-five recruit and big man Wendell Carter.
A third PSA Cardinals player in addition to Green and Bamba also has an offer from the Blue Devils—6-foot-10 big man Deng Gak. The four-star talent is the No. 79 player in the class according to ESPN.
Two other high-profile Duke recruits ranked in the top 10 of the class by ESPN, guard Gary Trent and wing Kevin Knox, also competed at Peach Jam. The Blue Devils are expected to be in good standingfor the duo, in addition to Carter, Bamba and Green. Carter, Trent and Knox recently won gold medals with the U17 national team in Spain.
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Green, Bamba, Young and Duke target Hamidou Diallo—ESPN's No. 12 player in the Class of 2017—were all named to the U18 national team Tuesday that will compete in the FIBA Americas U18 championship in Chile July 19-23.
Several of Duke's targets will likely cut their lists in the coming weeks as commitment season rolls around in the fall, so keep up with the Blue Zone for your latest recruiting updates.