Duke basketball recruiting brings out big guns for No. 1

Two nights after two Duke basketball assistants checked out a gem who is No. 2 to no one, the head coach and his No. 2 man are making a second statement.

The Duke basketball recruiters' latest moves sure do suggest they are looking to make The Patrick School (N.J.) small forward Jonathan Kuminga the seventh piece to their 2020 class. Though the 6-foot-9, 220-pound 17-year-old is only a junior — No. 1 on the 247Sports 2021 Composite — his age, strength, skills, and past comments suggest it may only be a matter of time before a reclass announcement.

Some chatter in recent months implied the Blue Devils had tempered their interest in the five-star. Suggesting otherwise, though, was the appearance from staff members Nate James and Chris Carrawell to watch Kuminga on Saturday night at the semifinals of the John Wall Invitational in Raleigh.

Now, per recruiting insider Adam Zagoria, Mike Krzyzewski and his associate head coach, Jon Scheyer, will be on hand for the heavyweight championship game at 7 p.m. on Monday. Kuminga's squad will square off against a Montverde Academy (Fla.) club that features two former Duke targets in Oklahoma State signee Cade Cunningham and Florida State prize Scottie Barnes, who rank No. 2 and No. 9, respectively, on the 247Sports 2020 Composite.

HoopStateNetwork will live-stream the contest on YouTube.

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Granted, the tournament is only a 30-minute drive from Durham; nevertheless, the show of big guns points to Krzyzewski and his gang still being gung-ho about the monumental battle for Kuminga, who realistically could shine at any of the five positions against ACC competition.

The Congo native has yet to schedule any official visits and does not intend to decide on a reclass or a destination until after the season. He did, however, name ten finalists in November: Auburn, Duke, Florida State, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Memphis, Michigan, Texas Tech, and Washington.

To date, the Blue Devils have already landed signatures from three 2020 five-stars: Paul VI Catholic (Va.) point guard Jeremy Roach, Whitney Young (Ill.) shooting guard D.J. Steward, and IMG Academy (Fla.) small forward Jalen Johnson. Add in three four-star bigs: Trinity Episcopal (Va.) power forward Henry Coleman, Huntington Prep (W.Va.) power forward Jaemyn Brakefield, and IMG center Mark Williams.

ALSO READ: Stacking up the Blue Devils' six 2020 signees

By reeling in a reclassed Kuminga, the collection of incoming Duke freshmen next season would undoubtedly jump to No. 1 on 247Sports' class rankings — No. 2 behind Kentucky's six-deep crop at the moment — and also be in the discussion of the greatest hauls in college basketball history.

Coach K and his cohorts do not have any offers remaining on the table to current high school seniors.

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