Duke Basketball: Blue Devils might not be out of RJ Hampton sweepstakes

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Duke Basketball program might not be entirely out of the R.J. Hampton sweepstakes after Tre Jones made his decision to return to Durham for his sophomore season.

As the former legendary college football coach and current ESPN analyst Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast my friend!”

After Tre Jones made his decision official to return yesterday to Duke for sophomore season, the assumption was that Jones’ return would take Duke out of the running for prized recruit R.J. Hampton.

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However, Hampton told Adam Zagoria over the weekend that Duke was in his final four of schools he is considering, and Tipton Edits posted a photo on Instagram with Hampton’s final four; Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, and Memphis.

R.J. Hampton is currently the No. 5 overall recruit in the Class of 2020 and the No. 1 point guard, but there is a strong possibility that Hampton could reclassify to the Class of 2019.

Hampton wrote a blog in the USA Today High School Sports Section and his comments should have Duke fans giddy.

In the blog, the prized recruit gave some of his thoughts on the four schools he is considering and had this to say about Duke, “With Duke, you can’t go wrong, you’ve got the best coach ever and just seeing what he did with the freshmen this year makes it a real hard option to pass up.”

However, the most important comments and most critical to the potential of R.J. Hampton landing at Duke came later in the post, when he said;

"“A lot of people think I just want to run the point and that’s it, and I do want to do that too, but if the coach needs me to play off the ball sometimes and guard the two or the three at times I’m fine with that too. I actually think playing with another elite point guard is a more attractive option because either one of us can bring it down and I can do what I do best and score the ball.”"

Hampton then acknowledge that Tre Jones would be returning to Duke and said that is “great”. He also noted Kansas’ Devon Dotson, but stated that he hopes to get to all of the schools that are recruiting him so he can talk to the coaches in-person.

Finally, Hampton said that a final decision would be made if he will be reclassifying in the next couple of months.

Duke is also in the running and the favorite for Matthew Hurt, as well as Trendon Watford, although Duke’s chances for Watford don’t seem as great as the possibility of Hurt landing in Durham.

Hurt is scheduled to announce his commitment on April 19, while Watford is targeting an April 20 decision.

These next few months will be vital for the roster development, continuity, and success of the 2019-20 Duke Blue Devils.