Duke Basketball: Jalen Johnson trims list, pits Coach K against Coach Cal

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Yet another probable one-and-done prospect has put out a final list that includes both the Duke basketball program and its top recruiting rival.

Jalen Johnson, arguably the No. 1 player in the 2020 class and the Duke basketball coaches’ No. 1 priority, has moved one step closer to taking his talents to Durham by trimming his list and keeping the Blue Devils.

That being said, the five-star small forward out of Milwaukee, Wisc., where he attends Nicolet High School, has also moved one step closer to attending what he has called his “dream school” in Lexington.

He announced his final four via a tweeted video on Saturday night:


This means the two most successful coaches on the recruiting trail during the one-and-done era — Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and Kentucky’s John Calipari have combined to haul in the past dozen No. 1 classes — have once again reached the final stage of a battle for a recruit who is likely to play only one year in college before becoming a lottery pick.

Johnson, a 6-foot-8, 215-pounder who ranks No. 3 on the 247Sports Composite and whose all-around game and mature demeanor quickly bring to mind former Duke great Grant Hill, is also still considering Arizona and Wisconsin.

At the moment, the 247Sports Crystal Ball pegs the Blue Devils as the favorites to land Johnson; five of the seven experts who have entered picks are going with Duke, while the other two see him staying close to home by choosing Wisconsin.

He took an official visit to Durham last October and was in attendance for Countdown to Craziness. Less than two weeks ago, he and his family hosted Coach K and his staff in their home.

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If Johnson does ultimately pick Duke — he has indicated he would like to have his decision out of the way before his senior season begins — then it’s possible several of his friends in the 2020 class could follow him and give the Blue Devils what would be their fifth consecutive top-ranked class (assuming their 2019 class remains at No. 1).

Those friends include five-star small forward Scottie Barnes, who ranks No. 4 on the composite; five-star shooting guard B.J. Boston, who ranks No. 8; and five-star point guard Jeremy Roach, who ranks No. 15.

ALSO READ: How Blue Devils may land 2020 SF Scottie Barnes

In addition to Johnson and his three buddies from his days playing for Team USA, Krzyzewski has offers on the table to five-star center Walker Kessler, who ranks No. 16, and four-star center Mark Williams, who ranks No. 45.

ALSO READ: Staff uses bold comparison to lure Walker Kessler

Duke has not yet received a commitment from a 2020 recruit.

Next. Jordan Goldwire faces a golden opportunity. dark

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