Future Duke basketball big men set for primetime showdown

Duke basketball mascot (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Duke basketball mascot (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Two future Duke basketball players, who both figure to contribute the moment their college careers begin, will square off in a nationally televised game this weekend.

Want to spend your Friday night catching a glimpse of what the Duke basketball frontcourt will look like next season? ESPN2 has you covered at 9 p.m. when IMG Academy (Fla.) and four-star center Mark Williams play host to Huntington Prep (W.Va.) and four-star power forward Jaemyn Brakefield as part of the Ascender Classic.

IMG and Huntington Prep each face another opponent at the event on Saturday afternoon, but neither contest is on the ESPN slate.

Both Williams, No. 30 on the 247Sports 2020 Composite, and Brakefield, who ranks No. 40, inked their commitments to the Blue Devils in November.

ALSO READ: Stacking up Duke’s six 2020 signees

Those two plus four other signees — Paul VI Catholic (Va.) five-star point guard Jeremy Roach, Whitney Young (Ill.) five-star combo guard D.J. Steward, former IMG five-star small forward Jalen Johnson, and Trinity Episcopal (Va.) four-star power forward Henry Coleman — comprise what is currently the nation’s No. 2 class, per the 247Sports Team Rankings.

ALSO READ: Any need to worry about Jalen Johnson’s situation?

Assuming Duke’s current regular starters down low — freshmen Vernon Carey Jr. and Matthew Hurt — turn pro after this season, both Williams and Brakefield should see major roles upon their arrival in Durham.

Williams, a likely starter at the five-spot right away for the Blue Devils, is a 7-foot, 225-pound shot-blocking machine who is a strong finisher in transition and boasts an improving array of post moves.

Brakefield, who will probably often rotate in and out of Duke games with Coleman, is a 6-foot-9, 215-pound stretch-four candidate with high-level athleticism, a soft shot from all distances, and the ability to handle the ball on the perimeter.

At this time, although having at least one more big man for the 2020-21 Duke basketball roster sure seems like a necessity when looking at the projected spring departures, Mike Krzyzewski and his staff do not yet have any further 2020 offers on the table.

ALSO READ: Huge Duke target answers reclass question

Trending. Top 100 Blue Devils under Coach K. light

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