Duke Basketball: Five-star 2020 SF Cade Cunningham drops first list

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

A gift to the game has moved one step closer to adding his name to the 2020-21 Duke basketball team.

Until Thursday, Duke basketball target Cade Cunningham had dropped few hints about which programs have offered him a scholarship (247Sports only lists nine). Likewise, he had all but kept secret which coaching staffs had a legit chance to boast him as a 2020 class centerpiece.

But on Thursday, the 6-foot-6, 215-pound small forward, who ranks No. 7 on the 247Sports Composite and has all the makings of a point forward, let all coaches know who still has a shot to land him by announcing via a tweet his 10 finalists: Duke, Kansas, Memphis, Oklahoma State, Virginia, Florida, Kentucky, UNC, Texas, and Washington.

(For what it’s worth, Duke appears first on the list.)

Not only did Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and his staff make the cut for the Arlington, Texas, native, but they seem to have picked up steam in the race as of late after visiting him earlier this month at his Montverde Academy in Florida — the same school as recent one-and-done Blue Devil R.J. Barrett.

Despite Cunningham’s athleticism falling a few inches short of Barrett’s, like Barrett, the 17-year-old’s beyond-his-years confidence — combined with his multitude of methods for finding the bottom of the net — regularly forces oohs and aahs from spectators.

Apparently, Coach K confirmed as much. In a debut blog with USA Today, which came out moments after he revealed his top 10, Cunningham wrote the following:

"“Coach K came by the school and he was just telling me about how I have such a presence on the floor that it naturally makes everyone’s eyes stay focused on me. I’ve never heard anyone say anything like that. Coming from Coach K it meant more because he’s seen everyone. He said he wants me to be the next great player to come to Duke.”"

At the Nike EYBL in Dallas this past weekend, Cunningham put his greatness on full display — 115 points across four games, similar to his 25.6 average during his junior season — including one vicious posterization to earn enough votes on Twitter as the No. 1 dunk from the session:


Cunningham has not provided a definitive timeline for making his decision; however, as reported by 247Sports’ Evan Daniels, he plans to “begin taking official visits during football season.” Thus far, he has not scheduled any.

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Of course, rules limit official visits to five as a senior — i.e., whichever schools he visits will likely comprise his top five.

Currently, the 247Sports Crystal Ball only includes picks for Oklahoma State and Kentucky. Obviously, though, if successes at hauling in five-stars this decade are any indication, then Coach K and Co. could soon become the favorites after only recently making him the seventh prospect from his class to receive a Blue Devil offer.

One of those recruits, five-star point guard Jeremy Roach — whom Cunningham has expressed interest in playing alongside in college — has already committed to playing in Durham the season after next.

ALSO READ: 2020 PG Jeremy Roach commits to Duke out of blue

The five other than Cunningham with outstanding offers are five-star small forward Jalen Johnson, five-star small forward Scottie Barnes, five-star shooting guard B.J. Boston, five-star center Walker Kessler, and four-star center Mark Williams.

ALSO READ: Staff uses bold comparison to lure Walker Kessler

Next. Coach K's five best small forwards. dark

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