Major Duke basketball target schedules significant visit

Duke basketball mascot (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Duke basketball mascot (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

One of the most recent recruits to receive a Duke basketball offer now has plans for a visit, which could be both telling and pivotal.

Briarcrest Christian (Tenn.) point guard Kennedy Chandler is reportedly now set to watch the Duke basketball team in action twice this season. Coincidental? Maybe. Nevertheless, the news seems promising — with a possible package-deal outcome.

Chandler, who ranks No. 15 on the 247Sports 2021 Composite and has described Duke as “a dream school,” had already scheduled to be on an unofficial visit to UNC on Feb. 8 when the Tar Heels host the Blue Devils (the first meeting of the season between the Tobacco Road rivals).

As of Tuesday, per Stock Risers’ Jake Weingarten, the 6-foot-1, 165-pound five-star has in his calendar a trip to Durham for the third weekend of January (also of the unofficial variety, as he had already either taken or scheduled all five of his allotted official visits for his junior year prior to both Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and UNC’s Roy Williams officially entering the race within the past month).

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As part of his stay, Chandler intends to be inside Cameron Indoor Stadium on Jan. 18 when Duke hosts Louisville — No. 4 and No. 3, respectively, in the latest AP Poll.

One effect of impressing and then eventually landing Chandler — whose intensity, athleticism, scoring prowess, and stockiness all brings to mind a mashup of former Duke basketball backcourt teammates Chris Duhon and Jason Williams — would possibly be the reeling in of his five-star friend, O’Dea (Wash.) power forward Paolo Banchero, who took an official visit to Durham in October. The coveted prospects have on several occasions talked about joining forces in college.

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Though Chandler hasn’t named finalists, his offer list next to Banchero’s nine favorites implies those with the best chances to land him might be Duke, UNC, Memphis, and Tennessee (Kentucky’s John Calipari, a top suitor for Banchero, has visited Chandler, but there is no word yet on an offer from Lexington).

Obviously, the programs that either have hosted or are set to host Chandler for official visits — Tennessee, Syracuse, Ole Miss, Michigan, and Florida State — might argue they have the inside track. Either way, the Memphis native hasn’t put a timeframe on his decision; also, his Crystal Ball remains without predictions.

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Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) small forward A.J. Griffin still represents both the lone commit in the Blue Devils’ class and the nation’s lone five-star junior off the board.

The seven 2021 Duke offers awaiting answers are to Chandler, Banchero, Rolling Meadows (Ill.) five-star shooting guard Max Christie, Paul VI Catholic (Va.) four-star shooting guard Trevor Keels, Hamilton (Wis.) five-star small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., The Patrick School (N.J.) five-star small forward Jonathan Kuminga, and Andrews Osborne Academy (Ohio) four-star center Charles Bediako.

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