From staff reports

The men's basketball team won its first major battle of the season-even before stepping onto the court for its first game.

The Blue Devils received a verbal commitment Monday morning from top high school prospect Shane Battier, a 6-foot-8 high school All-American from Birmingham, Mich.

Battier, who is a consensus top-10 high school senior among recruiting services, had narrowed his list of prospective schools to five-Duke, North Carolina, Kansas and home state schools Michigan and Michigan State-before making his decision.

"I went to church and prayed about my decision," Battier said when he announced his choice at a press conference Monday. "Through prayer I knew by the end of the service that Duke was the place."

Battier averaged 21 points and 14 rebounds as a junior at Detroit Country Day School. For those efforts, he was one of only a few underclassmen ever honored as a Parade Magazine High School All-American when he was selected for the second team.

A strong student with a 3.95 grade point average, Battier had his choice of nearly any school in the country.

The Blue Devils are still actively pursuing three other major prospects: 6-foot-10 forward/center Chris Burgess, 6-foot-2 guard William Avery and 6-foot-8 forward Elton Brand.