A towering prospect on the Duke basketball wishlist for either 2020 or 2021 now seems certain of his graduation date.
The 2020-21 Duke basketball roster outlook says frontcourt depth is an issue. Current seniors Javin DeLaurier and Jack White will have graduated, whereas freshmen Vernon Carey Jr. and Matthew Hurt will likely have left for the NBA; meanwhile, the program’s 2020 class includes only one signee taller than 6-foot-9 in IMG Academy (Fla.) four-star center Mark Williams.
ALSO READ: Stacking up Duke’s six 2020 signees
So when head coach Mike Krzyzewski extended an offer on Dec. 9 to Andrews Osborne Academy (Ohio) center Charles Bediako — a 6-foot-11, 220-pound four-star junior who turns 18 in March and had left the door open to reclassing to 2020 — the assumption was he could be the solution.
Welp, scratch that idea. Rivals insider Corey Evans spoke to Bediako on Friday at the Cancer Research Classic in West Virginia and reported that the No. 39 prospect on the 247Sports 2021 Composite completely shut the door on early graduation.
Of course, this doesn’t mean Bediako, who hails from the Greater Toronto Area and has received roughly a dozen offers to date, won’t end up in Durham. But according to Evans, the big man he tagged “one of the best rim protectors and rebounders within the high school game” won’t begin taking any official visits until after the season.
One could predict a Duke visit is in Bediako’s future from his recent comments to Phenom Hoops Report about holding an invite to become a Blue Devil:
“It’s a great feeling. I take [the offer] as motivation…[Coach K] told me I could be something special, to just keep working hard and I won’t be in college for long. So just hearing that from one the best coaches in all of college basketball, it’s was a pretty good feeling.”
Coach K’s 2021 offer sheet includes one commit, Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) five-star small forward A.J. Griffin, and seven targets: Bediako, Briarcrest Christian (Tenn.) five-star point guard Kennedy Chandler, Rolling Meadows (Ill.) five-star shooting guard Max Christie, Paul VI Catholic (Va.) shooting guard Trevor Keels, The Patrick School (N.J.) five-star small forward Jonathan Kuminga, Hamilton (Wis.) five-star small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., and O’Dea (Wash.) five-star power forward Paolo Banchero.