Duke basketball: Blue Devils bowing out of race for grad transfer

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

The Duke basketball program could be bowing out of the race for a coveted graduate transfer, but the Blue Devils might not have even been in the race.

After briefly shooting interest in Yale graduate transfer Jordan Bruner, it looks like Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Blue Devils will be bowing out of the race for the coveted forward.

CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein first reported that Duke was showing interest in the 6-foot-9 forward, but then Stock Risers’ Jake Weingarten reported on Monday that the Blue Devils were backing off the pursuit as Krzyzewski has not even had contact with Bruner.

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The situation is very similar to what transpired with Harvard graduate Seth Towns, who made his decision on SportsCenter between Duke and Ohio State on Saturday night despite not holding a scholarship offer from the Blue Devils.

It looked like Duke going after Bruner would fill a glaring hole that would be left after the 2019-20 season with Jack White, Javin DeLaurier, and Justin Robinson graduating while the expectation is that freshman Vernon Carey Jr. will declare for the 2020 NBA Draft.

The Blue Devils will bring in 7-foot freshman Mark Williams along with two 6-foot-8 power forwards in Henry Coleman and Jaemyn Brakefield.

Williams is ranked as the No. 29 prospect on the 247Sports Composite Rankings while Brakefield is ranked at No. 37 and Coleman at No. 44.

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Duke has grown accustomed to playing young big men in past seasons, but those like Marvin Bagley III, Carey Jr., and even Zion Williamson appeared to be way more polished than the freshmen entering Durham in 2020-21.

The program has also shown interest in Columbia graduate transfer Patrick Tape, who included the Blue Devils in his final four teams, but there have been no reports of a scholarship offer to the 6-foot-10 big man.

ALSO READ: An early look at the promising 2020-21 Blue Devils

Duke is still waiting on official word from Vernon Carey Jr. along with a decision from freshman Matthew Hurt, who was anticipated to be a one-and-done entering Duke, but a poor season exposed some flaws and another year in Durham could be beneficial for the Minnesota native.