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Wendell Moore commits to Duke men's basketball for 2019

Blue Devils get their first prospect in next season's class

Mike Krzyzewski landed his first Class of 2019 commitment from five-star forward Wendell Moore Monday night.
Mike Krzyzewski landed his first Class of 2019 commitment from five-star forward Wendell Moore Monday night.

In four of the last five years, Duke has finished with the nation's top recruiting class, bringing names like Jahlil Okafor, Marvin Bagley III, R.J. Barrett and Zion Williamson to Durham.

Until Monday evening, the Blue Devils' 2019 cupboard remained bare, leaving some fans anxious as to the program's future—especially with the departure of lead recruiter Jeff Capel.

But after a couple of defeats on the recruiting trail, Duke has its first commitment for next season.

Wendell Moore, a 6-foot-6, 215-pound Charlotte native and the No. 18 recruit in ESPN's Class of 2019 rankings, announced in a ceremony at his high school Monday that he will join the Blue Devils, opting to play for the five-time national champions instead of one of a trio of in-state ACC foes—North Carolina, N.C. State and Wake Forest. 

"Just seeing how the guys come back and that really hit home for me and I wanted to be a part of that," Moore told 247Sports' Evan Daniels. "When I was on the visit down there and just seeing all the Grayson Allen came back and Luke Kennard and Marshall Plumlee, and the day after I left, Jayson Tatum and Kyrie [Irving] were back. Just seeing the whole family atmosphere just put it over the top."

The five-star small forward gives Krzyzewski and his staff an initial piece of the puzzle for 2018-19, as Duke continues its quest for a few more blue-chippers. The Blue Devils remain in the hunt for four of the nation's top six prospects, all of whom remain unsigned, including point guard Cole Anthony and big man Vernon Carey Jr.—who is slated to be at Duke for Countdown to Craziness next Friday.

Moore, out of Cox Mill High School, played for Team USA at the 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup, helping the Americans to a gold medal in Argentina this summer, after earning back-to-back honors as the N.C. Coaches Association Player of the Year and state title game MVP in both 2017 and 2018. Moore has also averaged 25-plus points per game in each of his three high school seasons.

Although he was only a junior last season, Moore was pegged by one North Carolina-based recruiting expert as the state's top player ahead of seniors Coby White and Devon Dotson, who committed to the Tar Heels and Kansas, respectively.

Moore is not regarded as a great long-range shooter, but he has a nearly seven-foot wingspan and plenty of athleticism to play on the wing as a slasher. Some have also pointed to a high basketball IQ—his dad played college hoops and his cousin, Derrick Reid, played at Virginia Commonwealth from 2001-05.