Duke Basketball: 2020 SG feeds package-deal dream by trimming list

Duke basketball mascot (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Duke basketball mascot (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

By naming four finalists, a five-star 2020 shooting guard moved one step closer to becoming a Duke basketball commit and an essential component to materialize a package deal.

As long as the Duke basketball program continues to survive every cut along the way, it will stay in play for what has a reasonable chance to become a monstrous package deal from the class of 2020.

The package could contain as many as four five-stars who hold Blue Devil offers and have reportedly tossed around the idea of playing together in college for one season before each fulfills his NBA dream: small forward Jalen Johnson, small forward Scottie Barnes, shooting guard Brandon Boston Jr., and point guard Jeremy Roach.

Via a tweet from Tipton Edits on Saturday night, Boston became the last of the four package-deal targets to unleash a round of cuts on his suitors by naming his final four: Duke, Kentucky, Auburn, and Florida.

Prior to the list from Boston, who stands 6-foot-6 with tree-like limbs and ranks No. 8 on the 247Sports Composite due to his smooth game that instantly brings to mind former Duke basketball one-and-done star Brandon Ingram, the following bits of news have all worked to keep the dream of a package deal intact:

  • Johnson, who ranks the highest among the targets at No. 3, trimmed his list to 15 back in October and, two weeks ago, to four: Duke, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Arizona.
  • Roach, who ranks No. 15, named his final four back in November and has since dwindled his list to one by committing on May 8 to becoming a Blue Devil.
  • Barnes, who ranks No. 4, released in February his top eight schools: Duke, Kentucky, Oregon, Cal, Kansas, Miami, Florida State, and Ohio State.

As for the next news to drop, the best guess is it will be a final decision from Johnson, who has said he would like to know where he will attend college before his senior year begins. Ever since the news of his final four, the Blue Devils have increased their lead in the 247Sports Crystal Ball for the Wisconsin native; currently, 93 percent of the experts see Johnson announcing he will join #TheBrotherhood.

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Meanwhile, Barnes has made it clear he has no intention of making a final decision until possibly this time next year; therefore, it seems unlikely he will further trim his list anytime soon. Although Duke does not appear in the Crystal Ball for Barnes, only two experts have thus far entered a prediction.

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Finally, like Barnes, Boston has suggested he would like to see where other recruits end up and how rosters figure to play out before making a final decision — meaning fans aren’t likely to know his landing spot until next spring.

Until recently, the Crystal Ball was 100 percent in favor of the Blue Devils snagging the Atlanta native whose high school squad is the Norcross Blue Devils; however, at the moment, five of the six experts who have entered a prediction see Boston as a future Kentucky Wildcat.

And Kentucky, which appears on the latest list of all three remaining package-deal targets, could stand in the way of one or more of them following Roach to Durham. That being said, Kentucky made the final four of Roach and was considered a heavy favorite while Duke was not — and we all know how that turned out.

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Besides the trio who would complete the package deal to Durham — of course, even just one of the three joining Roach would be sweet — the Blue Devils still have offers on the table to two other 2020 prospects: five-star center Walker Kessler, who ranks No. 16 and intends to announce his final choice before his senior season begins, and four-star center Mark Williams, who ranks No. 46 and told Tipton Edits last week he will likely decide on a school “sometime in the winter.”

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