Duke basketball staff could snag five-star due to Tar Heel turmoil

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

A ding to recruiting in Chapel Hill should aid the Duke basketball program.

Was anyone else wondering whether recruits came across the brutal condemnation of Roy Williams on Monday from ex-Tar Heel Ty Lawson? Well, the harsh words evidently found Briarcrest Christian (Tenn.) point guard Kennedy Chandler, a Duke basketball target who also has North Carolina among the five finalists he announced at the end of April (Tennessee, Memphis, and Kentucky are the other three).

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On Monday evening, the 6-foot-1, 165-pound five-star rising senior officially “liked” Tipton Editsrepublished snippet of the anti-UNC message that Lawson had posted on his Memorial Day Instagram Stories (it came out of nowhere and to the amusement of Dukies, who will no doubt ensure the reprimand lives on forever in the rival’s history books). Here’s the censored version for those who missed Lawson’s Williams-bashing:

“Who talks s— about someone who won them a championship…your [sic] weird…I got messages from 10 NBA gm’s that said it came out your mouth. That’s why I don’t f— with Carolina or support anything y’all do…It’s a blessing that I don’t open my mouth about s—…they ask me why I don’t show love to North Carolina…Roy Williams knows why.”

Right now, some Duke basketball fan somewhere must be trying to coordinate a phone call between Lawson, the starting point guard and a top weapon for the Heels during their 2009 NCAA Championship run, and Chandler, who ranks as the No. 1 point guard and No. 13 overall prospect on the 247Sports 2021 Composite due to his electric playmaking ability, smooth trigger from deep, and quiet confidence on the floor.

Of course, it’s plausible Chandler has now ruled out playing for Williams after just taking in Lawson’s written account of his disgust for his former program and head coach.

Meanwhile, the two 247Sports Crystal Ball picks show Chandler as a future Blue Devil, which makes sense in light of his repeated claim that his “dream school” is in Durham and the fact that Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski has made the 17-year-old a priority ever since extending him an offer in December.

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That said, the staffs at Tennessee, Kentucky, and Memphis have all also hosted the Memphis native for either official or unofficial visits; furthermore, those three schools, along with Duke, are among the six finalists for his close pal and potential college teammate, O’Dea (Wash.) five-star power forward Paolo Banchero.

When a Kennedy Chandler commitment could come for the Duke basketball staff

As for when Chandler intends to announce his college destination, here’s what he said to Pro Insight two weeks ago:

“I’m not going to narrow my list again, but I’m trying to see how this all plays out because I plan to take five official visits to all of my top five schools and go from there. That’s my plan, to wait, take my five officials in the fall, and then see when the best time for me to commit is.”

Duke has already reeled in a commitment from Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) five-star small forward AJ Griffin and has 2021 offers out to Chandler, Banchero, and five other five-star prospects: Paul VI Catholic (Va.) shooting guard Trevor Keels, Rolling Meadows (Ill.) shooting guard Max Christie, Hamilton (Wis.) small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., The Patrick School (N.J.) small forward Jonathan Kuminga, and Andrews Osborne (Ohio) center Charles Bediako.

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