Duke basketball: Elite recruit’s cryptic post looks promising for Blue Devils

Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

A high school junior who had almost become a forgotten name among followers of Duke basketball recruiting efforts is now dropping hints that make him seem like a legit candidate to become a Blue Devil.

Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours. Yet those that come from a five-star prep and possibly pertain to the Duke basketball program’s chance of landing said prospect, well, they can cause a commotion for days — especially at a time when there is no actual hooping in the world to fuss about.

One particular slide from the Friday Instagram Stories of Paul VI Catholic (Va.) shooting guard Trevor Keels may or may not prove significant. However, for now, both the 2021 five-star’s brief message and its timing seem to support the notion that it’s another positive sign for the Blue Devils.

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See, three days after his virtual meeting on Tuesday with the entire Duke basketball staff, Keels included on his Instagram account a post from Recruits Zone that noted the combined 36.6 scoring average last season between himself and teammate Jeremy Roach, a five-star 2020 point guard set to debut for the Blue Devils in the fall.

No big deal, right? OK, but under the post, Keels tagged Roach with a cryptic “See you soon 👀” note, leaving one to wonder when and where exactly he expects to see him and why that future encounter would warrant an eyeballs emoji (often marking heightened anticipation concerning some noteworthy happening).

Sure, maybe Keels, who picked up his Duke offer back in December, was just referring to the next time he and Roach will have a chance to hang out. Of course, it’s also certainly possible that the 6-foot-5, 210-pound sharpshooter was just trying to mess with those of us recruiting junkies who would probably try to infer meaning from the brands of cereal and toothpaste a recruit prefers.

On the other hand, Keels could have been hinting at an official visit that he conceivably may have tentatively planned for next school year during his chat this week with Mike Krzyzewski and the gang. The 16-year-old, who ranks No. 18 overall on the 247Sports 2021 Composite, took an unofficial visit to Durham alongside Roach in early March, coinciding with Duke’s season-finale home win over North Carolina. He later summed up the trip to SI director of basketball recruiting Jason Jordan:

“The environment at Duke was crazy. It was even better than people say. I talked to Coach K after the game, and he was just telling me about the game plan that night and talking to me about how I’d be used there. I had a great time.”

Finally, for the sake of those Duke basketball fans who like to dream big, maybe the public memo from Keels to Roach implies the latter is planning to remain in college at least two years in order to reunite in the backcourt with the former. Advancing the speculation even one step further, maybe Keels intends to do like Roach did last May and suddenly commit to Coach K & Co. without any clear forewarning.

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Remember, as was the case with Roach a year ago, the 247Sports Crystal Ball for Keels doesn’t favor Duke right now; rather, Virginia is the outright leader. That said, unlike Roach a year ago, Keels has yet to name finalists (among the other perceived favorites are Connecticut, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio State, and Villanova).

The Blue Devils already boast one 2021 piece in Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) five-star small forward AJ Griffin. But they have now seen more than six months pass without a commitment from any class.

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All other Duke basketball offers on the table at the moment are also to five-star rising seniors: Briarcrest Christian (Tenn.) point guard Kennedy Chandler, Rolling Meadows (Ill.) shooting guard Max Christie, The Patrick School (N.J.) small forward Jonathan Kuminga, Hamilton (Wis.) small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., O’Dea (Wash.) power forward Paolo Banchero, and Andrews Osborne (Ohio) center Charles Bediako.

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