Duke Basketball: Five-star G Cole Anthony could test schools’ patience

Duke basketball (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

While Duke basketball is still looking for the first member of its 2019 recruiting class to unveil himself, the speculation surrounding the college plans of the nation’s top guard will likely continue into the spring.

Not since George W. Bush was in office has the Duke basketball team entered a September without a single verbal commitment for the next year’s class.

But this year might be the first since 2007 for that to occur (keep in mind, though, that current Duke freshman Joey Baker originally committed to join the 2019 class before reclassifying so that he could play for the Blue Devils this season).

It’s no reason for Duke fans to panic — the Blue Devils are considered to be the favorites by 247 Sports’ Crystal Ball in the race for four of the top 10 prospects and six of the top 21 — and it also might prove wise for the coaches to be patient.

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In terms of guards, the Blue Devils could hurt their chances of landing the nation’s top prospect at the position, 6-foot-3 combo guard Cole Anthony, if they receive too many other commitments from other guards before he is ready to decide.

And it could take a while for Anthony — listed as the No. 3 overall prospect in the 2019 class by 247 Sports’ composite ranking — to make any moves. However, the Crystal Ball is in the Blue Devils’ favor with 83 percent of the experts currently predicting Anthony, a New York native who recently transferred to Oak Hill Academy for his senior season, to eventually commit to playing for Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.

However, Anthony recently talked with the New York Post and implied that it is foolish to think he has a favorite.

“I don’t know how people are going to tell me where they think I’m going before I even have an idea where I’m going,” Anthony said. “That’s what I find hilarious.”

Yet Anthony did express the importance of joining a program that is likely to be in contention for championships — something Duke is certainly familiar with.

“I’d like to be in a position, from day one as a freshman, to be able to go and win a national championship,” he said, according to The Post’s Zach Braziller.

In the meantime, five-star point guard Josiah James recently cut his list of potential destinations to four — including Duke — indicating that he will likely make a commitment in the coming months. Although the Charleston, S.C., native is a 6-foot-6 chiseled athlete with a tremendous wingspan and an ideal candidate to be a future leader as Duke’s floor general, he does not possess the same explosive playmaking abilities and killer instincts as Anthony.

While the Blue Devils could land both James and Anthony, it is possible that neither wants to have to compete for playing time with the other (Duke is also considered the favorite to nab Bryan Antoine, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from New Jersey who is ranked 10th overall in the composite rankings).

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Anthony is also reportedly considering North Carolina, Oregon, Kentucky, UCLA, and a host of others. He has already taken unofficial visits to UNC and UCLA, and he is expected to be seen at campuses across the country as he and his family take their time figuring out the best fit for his future.

Expect him to trim his list of schools several times before making a final decision.

Anthony is the son of Greg Anthony, a former guard for the New York Knicks who was also on the losing end of Duke’s magical upset over UNLV in 1991 at the Final Four.

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Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more updates on Duke basketball recruiting.