Duke basketball: Incoming UNC guard wanted to be Blue Devil

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

Guards may again highlight the Duke basketball rivalry with North Carolina.

Many young players dream of playing under Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski. It wasn’t different for the No. 2 point guard in the class of 2020, Caleb Love, who is now set to be an important freshman for Roy Williams and the Tar Heels next season.

Being a North Carolina native, Love was lured by the aurora that Duke emitted. Through every stage of his basketball career, he always had his eyes set on the Blue Devils. And everything was aligning for it to happen. During an interview with St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Benjamin Hochman in November, Love’s dad, Dennis, put everything in perspective for those wondering:

“His dream school was Duke. And Coach K came here, we thought it was going to happen. And then it didn’t happen.”

Caleb Love was on the verge of an offer from Duke. Coach K had talked to him about playing in front of the Crazies in Cameron. Yet it didn’t come to pass.

So what exactly happened? Love’s father said there was one reason, and that was Jeremy Roach.

Blue Devil fans have become familiar with five-star recruit Jeremy Roach, who is the No. 4 point guard in the class and sits No. 22 overall, per the 247Sports 2020 Composite. His arrival in Durham is much anticipated, but the commitment from him turned off Love. Here’s what his father added:

“They were still recruiting him, but Caleb made it clear that he wanted to be a point guard, even though he can play off the ball. So we knew that wasn’t going to work.”

Although it would’ve been great to see Love and Roach suit up in the Duke blue and white together, there just wasn’t enough ball to go around.

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The decision by Love to be a Tar Heel makes things even more interesting leading up to the 2020-2021 season. The 6-foot-3, 175-pound five-star choosing to go to North Carolina will only fuel the rivalry more, especially since there are some feelings involved. Plus, both Love and Roach are top candidates for starting jobs seeing that UNC’s Cole Anthony and Duke’s Tre Jones are off to the NBA.

The next time we see the best rivalry in sports, it’s not going to be any ordinary game; there’s going to be something extra. Duke basketball fans should be thrilled to see this potential friendly rivalry between Roach and Love develop. It may be disappointing that Love isn’t a member of the Blue Devils, but the games to come will definitely be top-tier.

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