Duke basketball recruiters initiate mutually beneficial connection

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images)
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images) /

It’s not a bad thing for the Duke basketball program to seek out a project.

If nothing else, the call this week from the Duke basketball staff to Greenhill School (Texas) combo guard Noah Shelby should help boost the prospect’s status a smidge while reminding Mike Krzyzewski and his crew not to overlook potentially four-year players.

Shelby is not even yet a four-star talent; therefore, he’s not at all likely to be a future one-and-done. Furthermore, he’s not a guy who will wow crowds with aerial acts, flashy handles, or wideout-like speed. In fact, the 6-foot-2, 170-pound three-star sits only No. 92 overall on the 247Sports 2022 Composite, much lower than the rankings of almost every recruit the coaches in Durham have reached out to this early in any cycle across the past decade.

Nevertheless, 247Sports now places a “warm” tag on the interest from the Blue Devils. Considering the past two Duke basketball squads combined to shoot a disturbing 32.6 percent from beyond the arc, Shelby’s reputation as a gifted spot-up 3-point shooter surely has a lot to do with the suddenly significant attention.

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Krzyzewski, who has not yet extended an offer to any rising high school junior, probably hasn’t scouted Shelby in person. But it’s clear to see in the mixtape below that an accurate trigger — even if lacking a quick release — is indeed the Dallas native’s primary weapon (he holds roughly a dozen offers, most of which are from programs in Texas).

Plus, several of the qualities that Coach K tends to gravitate toward are evident in Shelby’s recent chat below with Kate Constable of The Season Ticket. The teen comes across as well-spoken, thoughtful, and humble (he openly pointed out his need to become more explosive). In other words, unlike some of his five-star peers, he’s in less danger of complacency stunting his growth on the court.

Shelby also explained to Constable his focus last season on embracing more of a role as a point guard:

“I like being a PG…The best part of being a PG is just having the ball in my hands and being able to make decisions, showing that I could do that. But I could also play the two if needed. For me, I just knew I wasn’t going to be 6-5, 6-6. So for me, I knew I had to be able to be a ballhandler. And at 6-2, most point guards are 6-2 anyway, so that factored a lot into the decision.”

What the scouting report says about the possible Duke basketball target

Here’s how Rivals recruiting analyst Eric Bossi once described Shelby’s game:

“With offers from Georgetown, TCU, Texas, and Vanderbilt, Shelby isn’t exactly an unknown, but the sophomore from Dallas’ game is rounding out. His calling card is shooting the ball, and he’s not a guy you want to give a clean look because he will burn you from deep. Now, he’s adding to his game off the dribble and becoming a bigger threat to create for himself and others, which will only enhance his jumper. When he matures physically, strength and more explosiveness should be huge for him.”

Yes, Shelby sounds like a longterm project. Yet there’s no reason to think the project wouldn’t be well worth the Duke basketball program’s time.

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