Duke Basketball: Coach K may soon land his most underrated recruit

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

Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski’s late offer to an under-the-radar 7-footer could prove to be one of his slickest moves as a recruiter.

Charles Coleman does not bear a close resemblance to any past Duke basketball player. At first glance, he actually looks a lot like a guy who bypassed college and became the No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft: Dwight Howard.

And Coleman, a 2019 center who decommitted from Wake Forest on May 13 and picked up an offer from the Duke coaching staff two days later, absolutely brings to mind the type of big man who has given the Blue Devils fits in the past.

His limbs are so long he could literally be a backseat driver. His shoulders are wide enough to naturally save seats in a movie theater.

His instincts down low in a halfcourt setting, as well as his strong hands, already seem superior to those of Javin DeLaurier, who may or may not return to Duke for his senior year after declaring for the upcoming draft. And both his aggression and hook shot appear to have a leg up on those of Marques Bolden, who also declared for the draft and remains a question mark to play what would be his final season in Durham.

Taking into account all of the observations above — from watching all available YouTube footage, which is quite plentiful considering his three-star rating —  Coleman’s No. 331 ranking on the 247Sports Composite seems to be a few hundred spots too low.

Though Coleman has limited athleticism — his feet, which barely leave the ground whether he is shooting or reaching for a rebound, appear to account for a heavy share of his 240 pounds — the Boston native would have garnered more attention back in the day when the NBA and college valued paint-fillers with the type of advantages he provides.

His size is definitely unteachable. And the same can be said for his soft shots around the rim, which are certainly not out of a textbook but appear to be effective nonetheless.

Even his stroke from beyond the arc, though it looks like a disaster waiting to happen prior to the release, may turn out to be a floor-stretching weapon for whichever program he chooses.

And even if Coleman fails to turn out much better than his ranking suggests, he could at least serve as a source of extra fouls — much needed at Duke if neither DeLaurier or Bolden return — and thereby earn minutes as just a freshman.

Yet before the Duke coaches start salivating over his potential to blossom into a surprising talent as a Blue Devil, they first must beat out the new competition for his services.

Georgia, Pitt, and UConn are the other three programs to have extended him an offer since his decommitment. The battle for Coleman could represent the first time Jeff Capel, who was a recruiting guru for the Blue Devils up until he took over as head coach at Pitt last year, beats out his old boss on the recruiting trail.

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The coaches from Georgia, Pitt, and UConn can all likely offer more immediate playing time to Coleman than Mike Krzyzewski can.

That being said, the 247Sports Crystal Ball sees Coleman joining #TheBrotherhood (though only two picks are in).

Coleman has not indicated when he will announce a decision. If he chooses Duke, then he would be second to current guard Jordan Goldwire — who exceeded expectations last season, particularly in March — on the list of lowest-ranked scholarship players to accept an offer from Krzyzewski since the composite’s debut more than 15 years ago.

ALSO READ: Jordan Goldwire now has a golden opportunity

The 2019 class Coach K and Co. have compiled so far ranks No. 4 in the nation, per 247Sports, and includes two five-stars (center Vernon Carey Jr. and power forward Matthew Hurt) to go along with two four-stars (small forward Wendell Moore and shooting guard Cassius Stanley).

Due to Coleman’s low ranking and star-deficiency, his commitment would not be enough to nudge the incoming Blue Devil class to No. 1 on paper.

In hindsight, though, it just might.

Next. Predicting who will comprise Duke's 2020 class. dark

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