Duke basketball recruiting bus must remain in garage awhile

Duke basketball (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

There’s no telling when the Duke basketball recruiters and others will again be in the same building as a recruit, but the chance of that happening by summer’s end now seems slim to none.

No in-home visits. No hosting visits. No scouting opportunities. Nothing more than calls and texts until who knows when. Yes, the National Association of Basketball Coaches essentially announced on Tuesday that the Duke basketball coaches and all their NCAA counterparts will not have access to the recruiting trail for at least another couple of months because of current world conditions:

“In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the NABC, WBCA, and NCAA have together initiated a review of potential alternative recruiting opportunities for prospective student-athletes from the class of 2021 and beyond. Additionally, the NABC Board of Directors and WBCA Executive Committee have recommended to the NCAA Division I Council Coordination Committee an extension of the current recruiting dead period through July 31, 2020.”

The dead period has been on schedule to come to an end on May 31. But Texas Christian head coach and NABC president Jamie Dixon explained the importance of the extension:

“The summer months are crucial to the recruiting process for coaches and prospective student-athletes alike…However, our highest priority must remain the wellbeing of prospects, their families, our current teams, and our fellow coaches. We must also be respectful of the financial burdens that many of our institutions and prospects’ families are currently facing.”

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Following the NABC’s recommendation, 247Sports recruiting analyst Brian Snow tweeted his translation of the statement in layman’s terms:

“If you were hoping for live evaluation periods in AAU, that dream is basically dead. If you were hoping for unofficial/official visits in June or July, that is all sorts of dead.”

Fortunately for Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and his assistants, they already have one 2021 commit in the bag in Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) five-star small forward AJ Griffin, the No. 7 overall prospect on the 247Sports 2021 Composite. Also, the Blue Devils, who will need to land a handful of players from the class, appear to already know the other rising seniors they desire most.

The six five-star prospects the staff in Durham has reportedly contacted in one way or another in recent months are Briarcrest Christian (Tenn.) point guard Kennedy Chandler, Paul VI Catholic (Va.) shooting guard Trevor Keels, Rolling Meadows (Ill.) shooting guard Max Christie, Hamilton (Wis.) small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., O’Dea (Wash.) power forward Paolo Banchero, and Andrews Osborne (Ohio) center Charles Bediako.

Insiders generally view Duke as the favorite for Chandler, Christie, and Baldwin Jr.

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As for how these seemingly inevitable changes to the recruiting calendar will affect Duke basketball efforts in the 2022 cycle and beyond, well, that remains to be seen. Currently, Coach K and his cohorts have extended no such offers.

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