Duke basketball: Coach K seeks another trio of dynamite forwards

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

By pushing for a reclass while painting a picture of an epic triumvirate of small forwards, the Duke basketball coaches may pull in arguably the nation’s top prep prospect.

Jonathan Kuminga has no visible reason to put off what could be his as soon as the season after next: Duke basketball stardom. The college game’s all-time winningest coach evidently agrees.

According to a Sunday tweet from recruiting insider Adam Zagoria, Mike Krzyzewski is advocating a reclass from the Congolese small forward, who sits No. 1 overall on the 247Sports 2021 Composite and picked up a Duke offer in July. Kuminga, who turns 17 in October and has admitted a reclass remains an option, would possibly snatch the same top billing in the 2020 class.

Granted, the Blue Devils have already secured a commitment from five-star small forward Jalen Johnson, who ranks No. 4 in the 2020 class; moreover, they recently became a top threat in the race for five-star 2020 small forward Ziaire Williams, who ranks No. 7.

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No worries. Much like the three 2018 juggernaut forwards who shined together in Durham last season before becoming lottery picks — Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, and Cam Reddish — Kuminga, Johnson, and Williams have differing strengths.

Kuminga — a 6-foot-9, 220-pounder who attends Our Savior New American School in New York — is the lengthy slasher.

Johnson — a 6-foot-8, 225-pounder who hails from Wisconsin but will play his senior season for IMG Academy in Florida — is the poised facilitator.

Williams — a 6-foot-8, 190-pounder out of Sierra Canyon School in Los Angeles — is the shooting specialist.

And the diverse talents from each of the three far outweigh microscopic lists of weaknesses — evidenced by their rankings.

Keep in mind, however, adding both Kuminga and Williams to a 2020 haul that already includes Johnson might be little more than a dream at the moment. Of course, it would be silly to rule out such a feat from the Blue Devils — owners of four of the nation’s past six No. 1 recruiting classes.

With eyes on compiling one of the deepest classes in Duke basketball history, Coach K and his staff are also still pursuing five-star center Walker Kessler, four-star center Mark Williams, four-star combo guard D.J. Steward, and four-star power forward Henry Coleman.

In addition to Johnson, five-star 2020 point guard Jeremy Roach has already pledged allegiance to #TheBrotherhood.

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