Duke Basketball: 2020 SF Jalen Johnson cuts list, keeps Blue Devils

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

 The Duke basketball coaches have so far only received signals that indicate a positive outcome is in store for their 2020 recruiting class.

It’s no surprise that five-star 2020 small forward and Duke basketball target Jalen Johnson included the Blue Devils when he announced through a tweet on Tuesday a list of 15 schools that he is still considering.

After all, Johnson has only scheduled one official visit, and it’s to Duke starting on Oct. 19. The 6-foot-8, 215-pound high school junior from Milwaukee, Wis., is expected to be a special guest in Cameron Indoor Stadium — along with 2019 center Vernon Carey Jr. and 2020 shooting guard B.J. Boston — during Countdown to Craziness, to be held on the same day that he will arrive on campus.

Johnson, who ranks No. 5 overall in his class and No. 2 at his position on the 247Sports Composite, holds 27 offers from programs across the country but has now narrowed them down to his favorites: Duke, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Missouri, Georgetown, Florida, UCLA, LSU, Minnesota, Marquette, Arizona, Ohio State, Kansas State, Kansas, and DePaul.

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Currently, four of the seven experts at 247Sports’ Crystal Ball who have entered picks for Johnson are predicting he is a future Blue Devil. The other three experts expect him to stay closer to home by choosing Wisconsin. However, don’t expect his final decision until at least this time next year.

“I’m going to wait until after next summer to cut down the list,” Johnson said, according to Evan Flood of 247Sports. “This upcoming fall though I’ll start narrowing and looking at schools in terms of my fit there.”

When trying to fit Johnson’s game to that of players who Duke basketball fans are most familiar with, three names come to mind: current Blue Devils freshman Cam Reddish plus former Dukies Jayson Tatum and Grant Hill. What makes Johnson resemble this strong group of talents is his similar frame and the graceful style that he displays on a court while making the game look easy.

In other words, judging just by his confident play and demeanor, it seems as if a Duke basketball jersey would fit him just right.

As for other 2020 prospects, the Crystal Ball also has the Blue Devils as the early favorites to land Boston (No. 11 on the composite rankings) and combo guard R.J. Hampton (No. 6). A fourth offer is also on the table for point guard Jeremy Roach (No. 16), who is currently seen as a future Kentucky player by the Crystal Ball but will be on his official visit to Duke this weekend.

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Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more Duke basketball recruiting updates, analysis, opinions, and predictions.