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Five-star shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. commits to Duke

<p>Gary Trent Jr. (right) became Duke's first five-star commitment in the Class of 2017 Thursday.</p>

Gary Trent Jr. (right) became Duke's first five-star commitment in the Class of 2017 Thursday.

On the eve of their first regular-season game, the Blue Devils got a big piece of news that will help them next season.

Five-star shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. committed to Duke Thursday evening during a one-hour special on ESPNU. 

The Apple Valley, Minn., native chose the Blue Devils instead of Michigan State and UCLA and joins four-star shooting guard Alex O’Connell in Duke’s Class of 2017.

Trent Jr. is the No. 8 prospect in the 2017 ESPN 100 and one of the most coveted high school seniors in the nation due to his ability to rack up points in a hurry. At 6-foot-5, the guard has the stature and physicality needed to score against smaller defenders in the post and off the dribble. Trent Jr. was one of the best performers in the 2016 FIBA U17 World Championship games and could become even more dangerous offensively if he continues to improve his jump shot.

The Blue Devils’ ability to get a commitment from Trent Jr. bodes well for their chances of landing another top target in power forward Wendell Carter. The duo has expressed its desire to play together, and Carter—ESPN's third-ranked prospect in the Class of 2017—could be tempted to follow his friend to Durham. Trent Jr. and Carter were both in attendance at Countdown to Craziness earlier this year and could be two valuable pieces as the Blue Devils begin to build another top-five recruiting class.

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