Duke basketball staff enters monumental recruiting battle

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

By extending an offer to a guy who looks to wrap up the one-and-done era in style, the Duke basketball coaches have signed up for potentially an all-out blue-blood brawl.

Jonathan Kuminga, who announced via a Tuesday tweet his becoming the fourth 2021 recruit to pick up a Duke basketball offer, may not know what a flaw feels like.

If the five-star small forward does have one in his memory bank, then it may not be long until he no longer remembers, because he’s been nothing short of flawless during his recent ascent to the top of the rankings.

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The 6-foot-8, 220-pound elongated F-16 with deadly range ranks No. 1 in New York, where he attends Our Savior New American School in Centereach (his hometown is Greenwich, Conn., but his native country is the Congo).

No. 1 at his position. No. 1 overall in the 2021 class. And at Peach Jam last week, his NY Rens’ coach, Andy Borman, who just so happens to be Mike Krzyzewski’s nephew and a former Duke basketball walk-on, explained the gem to Adam Zagoria this way:

"“He’s the best player in the country regardless of class,” said Borman, who scored 17 total points across his four-year stay in Durham. “He’s 16 years old. So let’s give him a little time just because he plays a very mature game and his athleticism is very mature.“He’s got a bright future ahead of him, and the best thing about him is that he works his tail off, man. When we’re not practicing during the week, he’s up at 5 a.m. to do conditioning and overall sports performance to work on his body. He’s put on 15 pounds of lean muscle in recent months.”"

Due to his all-around confidence in literally every aspect of the game — replay his above highlights from Peach Jam, where he averaged 27.4 points, and try to spot a blemish — Kuminga is already approaching 30 offers.

As is almost always the case with the cream-of-the-crop prospects, Kentucky is among the other heavyweights already in the mix. Per the 247Sports Crystal Ball, St. John’s is the current favorite to land him, but only one pick is in.

Whichever staff is ultimately lucky enough to benefit from his one-year college stay — the rising junior hasn’t given any sort of decision timeline — it should also feel fortunate to get him just in the nick of time before the one-and-done era comes to its likely end in 2022.

Kuminga is of the age to possibly reclass to 2020, but he told Zagoria, “I’m not really thinking about that right now.”

In addition to Kuminga, Coach K and his staff have handed out offers to three other 2021 five-stars: small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., who was No. 1 on the 247Sports Composite until Kuminga bumped him to No. 2 within the past month; power forward Paolo Banchero, who ranks No. 4; and small forward A.J. Griffin, who ranks No. 10.

Next. Five greatest small forwards under Coach K. dark

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