With the departure of Zion Williamson, the Cameron Crazies were facing the prospect of no gravity-defying, awe-inducing slams that ignited the arena.
However, with Cassius Stanley announcing Monday afternoon at Sierra Canyon High School that he will be playing under head coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke this fall, Cameron Indoor Stadium might be in for another season of rim-shaking dunks. Stanley will bring another dose of elite athleticism to Durham.
The No. 29 recruit in the Class of 2019, Stanley joins Vernon Carey Jr., Matthew Hurt, Wendell Moore and Boogie Ellis in the Blue Devils' star-studded incoming class. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard chose the Blue Devils, who entered his recruitment very late, over the likes of Kansas, Oregon and UCLA.
Stanley was overlooked for much of his high school career due to a lack of a jumper. Now, his quick release and smooth stroke is arguably one of the best facets of his game. The California native is developing into a complete player, using his energy and athletic ability to become a disciplined and competitive defender, and using his agility, quickness and bounce to create space on shots or simply elevate over defenders a la Russell Westbrook. Stanley has solid floor vision, loves to get out on in transition and penetrates the paint with ease.
In the Jordan Brand Classic, Stanley scored 17 points on 5-for-11 shooting from the floor, 40 percent from deep and perfect from the charity stripe in just 16 minutes off the bench. On the Nike EYBL circuit, playing for Team WhyNot, Stanley averaged 15.5 points and 1.1 steals, but struggled shooting, connecting on just 37.1 percent of field goals en route to his team's .500 finish.
This commitment comes in the wake of the Javin DeLaurier and Marques Bolden announcing that they will test the NBA Draft waters Monday morning. Neither of the junior big men signed with an agent, so both DeLaurier and Bolden will be eligible to return to Duke for their senior seasons should they so chose.
With Tre Jones returning and other upperclassmen such as Jordan Goldwire and Jack White remaining in the rotation, Duke will finally boast some veteran leadership and experience. Hurt and Carey Jr. will give the Blue Devils important scoring down low and a paint presence. And, with Moore, Ellis, Stanley and Alex O’Connell all stashed on this deep squad, Duke should have the outside shooting that the 2018-19 squad lacked.
The way this group is constructed may be a sign of the change of the times after the past few seasons. Many of the new recruits do not figure to be one-and-dones, and the rotation will likely go at least eight-to-nine deep, with a mix of experience and young blood.
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