Duke basketball makes interesting decision to reach out to UAB transfer

Makhtar Gueye of the UAB Blazers, now a Duke basketball target (Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images)
Makhtar Gueye of the UAB Blazers, now a Duke basketball target (Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images) /

The Duke basketball coaching staff is making an interesting decision in reaching out to University of Alabama Birmingham forward Makhtar Gueye.

Duke has one open scholarship for the 2020-21 season, and although Makhtar Gueye will be sitting out the upcoming season, the Blue Devils have still reached out to the Alabama Birmingham transfer.

Zach Smart, of zachsmart.com, reported that Mike Krzyzewski recently contacted the 6-foot-10 forward along with New Mexico, South Florida, Boston College, Fairfield, Troy, and several others.

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Last season, Gueye averaged 6.8 points and 5.1 rebounds on 40.6 percent shooting from the field. However, the Senegal native’s best season at UAB came in 2018-19 when he averaged 8.3 points and 6.7 rebounds on 45.5 percent shooting.

Duke’s interest in Gueye seems odd given the other schools that are also pursuing him and how much time the Blue Devils still have in trying to land big men in the Class of 2021 recruiting class.

Krzyzewski only has one prospect nailed down in the junior class, Adrian Griffin Jr., a 6-foot-7 small forward out of Archbishop Stepinac High School (N.Y.).

The Blue Devils have also been heavily linked to forwards Patrick Baldwin Jr. and Paolo Banchero.

This interest also comes on the heels of some expecting incoming freshmen like Mark Williams, Henry Coleman, and Jaemyn Brakefield to stay in Durham for more than one season.

ALSO READ: Potential Duke prospect leaving Durham for powerhouse school

Makhtar Gueye would be ineligible for the 2020-21 season and would only have one year of eligibility remaining starting in the 2021-22 campaign.

Duke landed Columbia graduate transfer Patrick Tape as the first graduate transfer under Mike Krzyzewski, and landing, and utilizing, transfers has not been a route the program likes to take often.

ALSO READ: Duke recruiting bus must remain in garage awhile

While the interest in potentially upgrading the 2021-22 roster is good, fans should proceed with caution, as where Gueye fits and his impact remain question marks for a roster that could have a lot of turnover from the previous season.