ESPN to aid Duke basketball in impressing five-star recruit

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

Adding to the experience, ESPN College GameDay’s presence for the next Duke basketball game coincides with a visit from a coveted target.

A Duke basketball home win over Louisville (Saturday at 6 p.m. on ESPN) certainly wouldn’t hurt the program’s pursuit of Briarcrest Christian (Tenn.) junior Kennedy Chandler.

This weekend, one week after dropping his top 10 schools — Duke, Florida State, Kansas, Kentucky, Memphis, Michigan, UNC, Ole Miss, Tennessee, and Southern Cal — the five-star point guard will be in Durham for a two-day unofficial visit, per Stock Risers’ Jake Weingarten.

Not only will Chandler be inside Cameron Indoor Stadium to watch the No. 3 Blue Devils vie for current ACC supremacy against the No. 11 Cardinals — they and the Seminoles comprise the three-way tie atop the conference standings — but the No. 15 prospect on the 247Sports 2021 Composite should also have a chance to take in the festivities outside:

ESPN College GameDay will make its season debut where it’s been nine times before (Kentucky, second only to Duke, has served as the show’s site on eight occasions). Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, though, analyst Jay Williams is no longer a member of the crew; otherwise, arguably the program’s all-time greatest floor general might have crossed paths with Chandler.

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After all, Williams represents the former Duke basketball player Chandler resembles the most on the court. From their compact shooting strokes to their low-to-ground driving styles and even their relaxed facial expressions — not to mention speed and hops — the two share more in common than just their 6-foot-2 stocky frames.

First, peek at one of Chandler’s recent performances:

Now, just for an excuse to take a fun ride down Duke basketball memory lane, check out Williams:

Chandler, who has not put out a timeline for either trimming his list further or making a final pick, also plans to be in the crowd to watch Duke on Feb. 8 as part of his unofficial visit to UNC.

Prior to receiving offers in late fall from the Blue Devils and Tar Heels, the Memphis native had already either scheduled or taken all five of his allotted official visits for his junior year. Tennessee, Ole Miss, and Syracuse (the Orange didn’t make his top 10) hosted Chandler in the fall, while Florida State and Michigan are on tap to do so in February.

The Chandler recruitment, which has still yet to register a prediction from the 247Sports Crystal Ball, holds extra significance due to the teen’s bond with a fellow 2021 five-star in O’Dea (Wash.) power forward Paolo Banchero, who ranks No. 3 overall in the class. In interviews and on social media, both have repeatedly mentioned the thought of teaming up with one another at the college level. Their lists of favorites overlap in five places: Duke, Kentucky, Memphis, Tennessee, and UNC.

ALSO READ: Duke among five still alive for a five-star package deal

Duke possesses 2021’s only five-star commit at the moment in Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) small forward A.J. Griffin.

Outside of Chandler and Banchero, unanswered Duke offers are out to three five-stars — The Patrick School (N.J.) small forward Jonathan Kuminga, Hamilton (Wis.) small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., and Rolling Meadows (Ill.) shooting guard Max Christie — as well as to two four-stars in Paul VI Catholic (Va.) shooting guard Trevor Keels and Andrews Osborne Academy (Ohio) center Charles Bediako.

ALSO READ: Five-star sharpshooter plans to visit Blue Devils

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