Duke Basketball: Signs point to 2019 C Isaiah Stewart becoming Blue Devil

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

The Duke basketball program’s first 2019 commit, who has been active as a recruiter since his announcement, has a hunch the Blue Devils will soon add a second five-star center to a class that is on its way to becoming the nation’s best.

If Wendell Moore’s gut feeling is correct, the 2019-20 Duke basketball roster — despite it not likely to include at least three and probably four of the headline-grabbing freshmen starters on the current roster — will likely have enough talent to start next season ranked somewhere in the vicinity of the top spot.

Moore, a 6-foot-6, 215-pound five-star small forward out of Concord, N.C., who already signed his letter of intent to pursue his collegiate endeavors in Durham, is friends with an undecided five-star from the 2019 class.

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And Moore has a hunch that he and high-motor center Isaiah Stewart will soon be continuing their friendship as teammates playing in front of the Cameron Crazies at Duke.

"“I feel like Isaiah will be the next one that commits to The Brotherhood,” Moore said, according to USA Today’s Jason Jordan, after scoring 25 points during his Cox Mill High School’s win over Greensboro Day at the Crown Town Classic on Saturday. “I’d say it’s close with us and a couple other schools, but at the end of the day I think we’ll end up getting him.”"

When Moore (ranked No. 24 on the 247Sports Composite) uses the word “we,”  he is broadly speaking of the Blue Devils as a whole and specifically speaking of Duke’s 2019 class, which to date also includes four-star combo guard Boogie Ellis (ranked No. 36) and five-star big man Vernon Carey Jr. (ranked No. 2).

The trio of future Blue Devils has been working, via text messages, to influence the decision of Stewart (ranked No. 6); the consensus among recruiting experts seems to be that the race is between Duke, Michigan St., and Washington.

ALSO READ: Blue Devil commits in group chat with Isaiah Stewart

As for the commitment from Carey Jr. — a bulky, vicious paint prowler who also possesses the handles and outside shot of a guard — serving as a potential roadblock in Duke’s pursuit of Stewart due to the fact that both are centers, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

"“I played with Vernon at Team USA, and I know what type of player he is,” Stewart said earlier this month, according to FloHoops’ Adam Zagoria. “We complement each other really well.“I just want to play with the best.”"

Speaking of the best, that is exactly what the Blue Devils’ 2019 class — currently ranked No. 6, according to 247Sports — would likely be if Stewart comes on board.

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The 6-foot-9, 245-pound native of Rochester, N.Y., who is playing his senior season for La Lumiere High School in Indiana, seems to specialize in swats — in a similar fashion to former Blue Devils Shelden Williams and Wendell Carter Jr. — due to his 7-foot-5 wingspan, innate instincts, and quick hops. But Stewart also has nimble feet and a silky touch around the basket on offense.

As for when to expect an announcement from Stewart, who took an official visit to Duke the last weekend of November, there is no definitive time period; one expert, though, indicated that it is likely to be much sooner than later.

"“I think Isaiah is not far off from committing,” Rivals’ Corey Evans said two weeks ago, as reported by The Detroit News’ Matt Charboneau. “I think he’s getting tired of the process.”"

But Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and his staff seem to never grow tired of recruiting, likely in part because they do it so successfully. If they haul in the top class again this year, that will make four straight years doing so; it would also make five out of the past six.

The only other 2019 recruit who has an outstanding offer from Coach K and Co. is five-star forward Matthew Hurt (ranked No. 7), who will be on his official visit to the Durham campus starting Jan. 19 and is not expected to announce his college choice until March at the earliest.

ALSO READ: Matthew Hurt to be in Cameron for Virginia game

dark. Next. Is Coach K close to the end of his career?

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