Despite their reasonable observations about Duke basketball recruiting, some Rebels with a cause appear to have let their wishful thinking become a tall tale, thereby being a cause of a top prep talent's tweet.
At the beginning of October, less than 24 hours after announcing he had received an offer from Mike Krzyzewski and his staff, Huntington Prep (W.Va.) senior Jaemyn Brakefield committed to the Duke basketball program, adding to what is now the nation's No. 1 class.
Many fans of Ole Miss, one of the longtime favorites to win the Brakefield sweepstakes, were understandably bitter after hoping to see what would have been a rare four-star -- at least of the hoop variety -- land in Oxford.
Two months after the power forward said yes to his last-minute suitor, some of those upset Rebels supporters began spreading rumors across social media. They claimed Brakefield -- a 6-foot-9, 215-pound lefty who ranks No. 38 on the 247Sports 2020 Composite and fits the general mold of former Duke one-and-done Justise Winslow with his solid frame and inside-out game -- was considering backing out of his commitment to the Blue Devils.
These evidently still-heartbroken folks were attempting to fuel an evidently nonexistent fire in the mind of Brakefield by pointing out the Duke coaches' tendency this decade to recruit over players. They also brought up that more current players than expected might return to Durham next season (a legit concern for the Blue Devils considering 14 scholarships, one more than the limit, would be on tap next season should neither anyone leave early nor back out of a commitment).
By Monday evening, a day after Brakefield returned from his official visit to Duke after having also attended Countdown to Craziness on Oct. 18, the chatter had become so loud that the 18-year-old felt the need to give the public a lesson in common sense. He tweeted, "Don't believe everything y'all hear..." with the emojis for a blue heart and a padlock at the end (implying no doubt about his love for #TheBrotherhood on his end).
So as of Tuesday, Brakefield has done all he can do to mute the noise -- some of the noisemakers, of course, will choose to either not pay attention to or not believe his clear-as-day message. But by Wednesday, the start of the early signing period that runs through Nov. 21, he will have the opportunity to dismiss the rumors with ink.
The Duke basketball staff is also expecting early signatures from the other five commits: five-star point guard Jeremy Roach, five-star small forward Jalen Johnson, five-star combo guard D.J. Steward, four-star power forward Henry Coleman, and four-star center Mark Williams.
ALSO READ: Stacking up the six 2020 Duke commits
At the moment, the only uncommitted 2020 recruit holding a Duke offer is four-star center Hunter Dickinson, who has indicated plans to announce sometime in November but has not yet set a date.
ALSO READ: The latest buzz regarding huge Duke target