With the first battle between Duke and North Carolina set to unfold in Cameron Indoor Stadium Thursday night, a handful of the best high school players in the country will be on hand to get a look at what playing in the Tobacco Road rivalry is like firsthand.
Five-star guard Trevon Duval will join future Blue Devils Wendell Carter and Gary Trent Jr. behind the Blue Devil bench when Duke takes the floor against the Tar Heels. Duval is the top-ranked guard and the No. 4 overall player in the 2017 ESPN 100. Although the Wilmington, Del., native is still considering Kansas, Arizona, Baylor and Seton Hall, the Blue Devils are considered the favorites to land Duval and hold a 69 percent chance at landing a commitment from the guard according to the 247Sports Crystal Ball.
Duval will have a chance to take the floor with Carter when the two compete for the East team in the 2017 McDonald’s All-American game. The duo will be opposed by Trent Jr., who was assigned to the West team for the game on March 29.
Although Duval will be in attendance, Blue Devil fans will not see Kevin Knox or Zion Williamson—the No. 7 player in the Class of 2017 and No. 2 player in the Class of 2018, respectively. Knox visited Durham back in early October and is strongly considering Duke along with North Carolina, Kentucky and Florida State.
Knox was expected to visit Chapel Hill last weekend but postponed his trip due to a water crisis in the city. The dynamic, five-star forward is now expected to take his official visit with the Tar Heels Feb. 18 when North Carolina takes on Virginia. Knox will also be joining the dynamic duo of Duval and Carter on the East team for the McDonald’s All-American game.
Williamson—who will miss Thursday’s game due to a game of his own—is one of the most highly-touted prospects in the Class of 2018. The 6-foot-7 forward is being recruited by all of college basketball’s premier programs and was in attendance with Knox at Rupp Arena last weekend when the Wildcats faced off against Kansas.
With the Blue Devils working to move up the ACC standings and the postseason nearing, Duke will have its eyes locked on this year’s team before getting ahead of themselves. But the Blue Devils remain in tremendous position to capture a fourth straight outstanding class.
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