No. 1 recruit watches Duke basketball beat Kansas, names finalists

A day after attending a Duke basketball game, the nation's most heralded high school junior unveiled his 10 finalists.

The Patrick School (N.J.) small forward Jonathan Kuminga will no doubt one day play inside Madison Square Garden far more often than he sits in the crowd. But on Tuesday night, the No. 1 prospect on the 247Sports 2021 Composite was just a spectator at the Champions Classic -- per insider Adam Zagoria -- where he saw the No. 4 Duke basketball team defeat No. 3 Kansas and then No. 2 Kentucky dethrone No. 1 Michigan State.

ALSO READ: Top four takeaways from Duke's season opener

Evidently, Kuminga liked what he saw enough to include Duke and Kentucky among the list of the 10 programs still in contention for his five-star services. As the 6-foot-9, 220-pound five-tool phenom announced on Wednesday by tweet, the other eight who survived the cut are Washington, Florida State, Memphis, Texas Tech, Michigan, Georgia, Maryland, and Auburn.

Up until Wednesday, Kuminga -- whose game and frame are essentially the equivalent of some combination of former Duke basketball one-and-done studs Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, and Luol Deng -- has remained relatively mum when it comes to offering hints about his favorites.

ALSO READ: The 100 greatest Blue Devils under Coach K

And he also has continued to deflect the reclass question. But if Kuminga was to jump up to the 2020 class, considering the Blue Devils have already produced a nearly full crop of commits from high school seniors, then one would imagine he would end up somewhere other than Durham. However, should the Congo native decide to stay put in his current class, there's no visible reason to think Mike Krzyzewski and his assistants wouldn't be among the top few contenders.

At the moment, Kuminga's Crystal Ball, which at one time unanimously favored the Blue Devils, only contains two picks: one pegging him to land at Duke and the other showing him at LSU. So taking into account the fact that LSU did not land on his list, one could deduce that Duke is again the consensus favorite. That being said, Kentucky's staff appears to have taken the most trips to visit with the versatile crowd-pleaser as of late.

ALSO READ: Duke faces a potentially decisive battle against Kentucky

Obviously, though, with so few hints coming out of Kuminga's camp, speculation and Crystal Ball picks this early in his recruitment -- he has neither taken nor scheduled any official visits and also has not expressed any hurry to make his final choice -- are likely meaningless.

Right now, Duke basketball fans should just be thankful the Blue Devils are still in the hunt. Of course, it's totally understandable if some fans choose to dream that Coach K and Co. will somehow reel in the explosive athlete who possesses a smooth outside jumper, a relentless motor, a guard-like set of handles, a spider-like set of limbs, and an overall presence on the court that is second to none among his current high school peers.

The Duke basketball recruiters have already landed one 2021 commit in five-star small forward A.J. Griffin, who announced his decision on Monday. And in addition to Kuminga, they are actively pursuing three other 2021 targets, all five-stars: power forward Paolo Banchero, small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., and shooting guard Max Christie.

ALSO READ: Blue Devils in position for another early 2021 commit?

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