Duke basketball: Recruit’s move bodes well for Blue Devils

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

More news appears to favor the Duke basketball pursuit of Kennedy Chandler.

Every tidbit in the recent recruitment timeline for Kennedy Chandler appears to be a good sign for the Duke basketball coaches’ chances at landing the 6-foot-1, 165-pound Memphis native. That includes the five-star’s Friday tweet announcing his transfer from Briarcrest Christian (Tenn.) to Sunrise Christian (Kan.) for his final year of high school.

Before delving into what that move might mean, though, let’s look back at the events of the past few weeks:

  • At the end of April, Chandler, the No. 1 point guard on the 247Sports 2021 Composite (No. 13 overall), trimmed his list of potential destinations to five: Duke, Kentucky, Memphis, Tennessee, and North Carolina. This came the day after a virtual meeting with Mike Krzyzewski and his entire Blue Devil staff.
  • The same week, Chandler’s close pal and potential teammate at the NCAA level, O’Dea (Wash.) five-star power forward Paolo Banchero, included among his six finalists three of the same suitors: Duke, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
  • In mid-May, Chandler reiterated in an interview with Pro Insight that Duke is his “dream school.”
  • Earlier this week, Chandler “liked” the Instagram comments of former UNC point guard Ty Lawson that unquestionably bashed the Tar Heels, specifically head coach Roy Williams. 0ne could argue this signals the end of the road for Ol’ Roy’s chase.

Why Kennedy Chandler’s latest move benefits the Duke basketball recruiters

As the former sports editor of The Daily Beacon at Tennessee, I can confirm that loud UT fans extend to all corners of the Volunteer State. As for the folks who reside 400 miles away from Knoxville in Memphis, they predominantly side with both the Tigers and the Vols.

Therefore, by essentially escaping the Tennessean sphere of influence via his transfer to a prep academy in Kansas, Chandler’s own homegrown fandoms might diminish a bit; in other words, he should be able to hear clearly what his own heart is telling him (see “dream school” above).

ALSO READ: Five-star floor general discusses all five finalists

Sure, with all the uncertainty in the world, recruiting insiders have predicted more top prospects to stay close to home. But by choosing to relocate more than 500 miles from his family for his senior campaign, Chandler is hinting that distance won’t deter him from signing with the college program he deems to be his best fit. The two 247Sports Crystal Ball picks both see him as a future Duke basketball player.

Jerry Meyer, the director of basketball scouting for 247Sports, noted why Chandler is such a coveted prize:

“Plays with surprising strength and exceptional explosive athleticism at 6-1. Regularly gets to the rim. Draws fouls at a high rate. Tremendous passer on the move. Adequate three-point shooter but plenty room for improvement. Creative finisher off the dribble. Rebounds position and is a disruptive defender.”

In terms of picking a school, both Chandler and Banchero have expressed no intentions to do so anytime soon, implying instead that they will likely try to visit most of their finalists in the fall and then announce either just in time for the November signing period or not until Spring.

Offers from Coach K remain on the table to five other 2021 five-stars: Rolling Meadows (Ill.) shooting guard Max Christie, Paul VI Catholic (Va.) shooting guard Trevor Keels, The Patrick School (N.J.) small forward Jonathan Kuminga, Hamilton (Wis.) small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., and Andrews Osborne (Ohio) center Charles Bediako.

One Duke basketball commit from the class is already a done deal: Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) five-star small forward AJ Griffin.

light. Trending. Ranking all 40 Duke teams under Coach K

Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more news and views regarding Kennedy Chandler and all things Duke basketball recruiting.