Countdown to Craziness has become Duke basketball’s premier recruiting event as the Blue Devil coaching staff looks to reload the roster with more highly-ranked recruits. While the basketball on display at this year's Countdown may not be as exciting as last year’s Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett dunk fest, the most important developments may be what happens off the floor with the recruits.
Previous editions of the event have featured recruits like Williamson, Vernon Carey Jr. and Jalen Johnson, and Duke fans can only hope this Friday will be similarly successful.
The Blue Devils will have four recruits in attendance this Friday night, including one current commit and three they hope to bring into the fold. Duke has nearly finalized its 2020 recruiting class with five current commitments—earning it the current No. 1 rankings on 247Sports—but are still searching for another player to fully complete next season’s roster as well as keeping an eye to the future with the Class of 2021.
Jaemyn Brakefield (No. 38, PF)
6-foot-8 / 210 pounds
Brakefield committed to Duke just under two weeks ago and this weekend will be his first visit to Durham. The Huntington Prep student has 3-point range and can be a dynamic threat off the dribble. He has good passing touch for his size and should develop a solid partnership with Jalen Johnson, the highest-ranked Duke commit of the Class of 2020, on the wing.
Hunter Dickinson (No. 34, C)
7-foot-2 / 255 pounds
The one thing the Blue Devils’ 2020 recruiting class is missing is size. Dickinson would certainly fill that void, as the 7-foot-2 Maryland native is a bruising inside presence. He is not a dominant athlete, but knows how to use his height to get easy baskets and anchor a defense. According to 247Sports' Crystal Ball, Michigan is the favorite to get Dickinson’s signature with new head coach Juwan Howard leading the recruitment, but Coach K will certainly give the big man the hard sell.
Paolo Banchero (No. 3, PF) *Class of 2021
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6-foot-9 / 235 pounds
Recruiting for the 2021 cycle is already in full swing, and while Duke has yet to secure a commitment, Banchero may be the first domino to fall. The Blue Devils are locked in a battle with hometown Washington for the Seattle native, who boasts an elite physical profile and has a similar playing style to former Duke star Wendell Carter Jr.
AJ Griffin (No. 8, SF) *Class of 2021
6-foot-7 / 200 pounds
The Duke coaching staff has made Griffin a top priority for 2021, visiting him on the first day of the summer recruiting period. The smooth swingman would fit right into the stretch four position pioneered by players like Jayson Tatum and Justise Winslow. There will be a war for Griffin’s services, as he holds offers from virtually every major program, but the Blue Devils like their chances as the White Plains, N.Y., native has repeatedly expressed his admiration for Coach K.