Duke basketball fans might have a shot to see another JJ in Durham one day.
The 2002 high school class featured JJ Redick, a picture-perfect shooter who went on to amass the most points in Duke basketball history (2,769) and a then-NCAA record 457 makes from 3-point land. Now, flash forward exactly 20 recruiting cycles to a silky JJ who has drawn the attention of the Blue Devils.
First, it's obvious 247Sports has some catching up to do when it comes to the growth, both in size and skillset, of Baldwinsville (N.Y.) guard JJ Starling. Not only does the premier recruiting site fail to give the 6-foot-3, 170-pound sensation a star rating or ranking, but it also still lists him at 6-flat, 150. Meanwhile, both ESPN and Rivals tab the rising junior a four-star, ranking him No. 57 and No. 91, respectively.
As for the folks at Umoja TWO TV who covered Baldwinsville games last season and watched Starling average more than 30 points as only a sophomore, well, they loudly proclaim him — in a most entertaining fashion — the best shooter in the 2022 class:
It's tough to argue with that title after viewing the above mixtape. Heck, just the vertical lift and gooseneck follow-through (seen in the video's still-frame cover image) are proof Starling has logged countless hours honing his craft. Plus, his quickness and handles seem on par with five-star guards.
What might have been this summer for the potential Duke basketball target
In May, Rivals analyst Eric Bossi tabbed Starling as a player who might have bolstered his rankings the most had coronavirus concerns not shut down most all scouting opportunities this spring and summer:
"Capable of playing as a point or a two-guard, Starling put up big numbers as a sophomore. He's started to fill out his body and is the kind of combo guard that many programs are seeking."
Starling, now looking like a possible steal for some lucky program, holds a handful of offers, including from ACC schools Syracuse and Wake Forest. Though he hasn't yet received the same from the Blue Devils — not to mention the call this week appears to be the first sign of interest out of Durham — keep in mind that Duke has yet to officially enter the race for any 2022 prospects.
Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more Duke basketball recruiting news and views.