Duke basketball: No. 1 recruit’s reclass should rule out Blue Devils

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

The Duke basketball roster doesn’t need anything, not even a bonafide stud?

In light of The Patrick School (N.J.) YouTube graduation ceremony on Sunday, the Jonathan Kuminga reclass question finally has its answer. Surely, this answer eliminates the Duke basketball program from contention.

Seeing that the No. 1 overall prospect on the 247Sports 2021 Composite was officially a part of the commencement proceedings, sporting a virtual cap and gown, one can safely assume the one place the five-star won’t be next season is in high school. So where will Kuminga land?

Two weeks ago, the 6-foot-9, 225-pound small forward — an aggressive, athletic, versatile playmaker — announced five finalists: Duke, Kentucky, Auburn, Texas Tech, and the G League. The 247Sports Crystal Ball for Kuminga gives a slight edge to Texas Tech over the pro option. Yet the most common opinion across social media is the Congo native will go ahead and cash in with the G League, where he’d likely receive a one-year deal worth $500K or more.

Mike Krzyzewski and his gang in Durham are already set to welcome six freshmen, who all sit within the top 60 on the 247Sports 2020 Composite, in addition to four solid returnees and a grad transfer. Therefore, the late addition of Kuminga — as enticing as it is — would seem like a slap in the face to a number of those already in the equation for next season.

This just doesn’t feel like a repeat of the August 2017 last-minute commitment to Duke from the top-ranked, reclassed big man Marvin Bagley III. No, unless Coach K & Co. are keeping secret their movements in this particular recruitment, it’s become obvious the Blue Devils have not been actively pursuing Kuminga for several months.

Who all remains on the 2021 Duke basketball wishlist?

Now, six 2021 recruits, all five-star talents, are still considering offers from Duke: Sunrise Christian (Kan.) 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.

ALSO READ: Ranking the chances of 10 finalists for Patrick Baldwin Jr.

Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) five-star small forward AJ Griffin represents the lone commit for the Blue Devils from the crop of rising seniors.

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