Fresh competition for the Duke basketball staff in a key recruiting battle?
The final five, consisting of the Duke basketball program plus Kentucky, Memphis, North Carolina, and Tennessee, might not be so final after all. Who says? Well, nobody for sure, but a pair of tweets from Sunrise Christian (Kan.) point guard Kennedy Chandler on Saturday sure suggest the 2021 five-star is at least pondering an expansion to his list.
Considering the recent five-star catch from Howard head coach and former Blue Devil Kenny Blakeney in the form of 2020 center Makur Maker — not to mention the surging popularity of HBCU schools in general among top recruits — the “top five” would be wise not to discount Chandler’s announcement of new offers from Philander Smith College and Tennessee State.
And Chandler’s tweet for Tennessee State:
Sitting No. 11 overall and No. 1 at his position on the 247Sports 2021 Composite, due in part to his powerful punch for a speedy 6-foot-1, 165-pound quiet assassin, Chandler exhibited even more evidence in June as to why his recruitment is worthy of so many headlines as of late.
In his hometown of Memphis, during an open run that included probable 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year in Grizzlies sensation Ja Morant, Chandler showed off some further refinements to his handles, gear-shifting, and outside stroke that could one day land his own name in a Rookie of the Year conversation. Have a look:
Two weeks ago, Tennessee swiped the lead from Duke inside the 247Sports Crystal Ball for Chandler, a likely fall signee. But though chances now seem slimmer for the Blue Devils — despite the 17-year-old repeatedly referring to the university in Durham as his “dream school” — his two new offers and his recent interviews do imply the winner isn’t in stone just yet.
The rest of the 2021 Duke basketball offer sheet
Mike Krzyzewski and his crew are still seeking someone to join Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) five-star small forward AJ Griffin in their 2021 class.
For now, Duke is only pursuing five-star rising seniors, others being Paul VI (Va.) shooting guard Trevor Keels, Montverde (Fla.) small forward Caleb Houstan, Hamilton (Wis.) small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., O’Dea (Wash.) power forward Paolo Banchero, and IMG (Fla.) center Charles Bediako.
Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more on Kennedy Chandler plus other Duke basketball recruiting news and views.