Where is Duke basketball freshman Jalen Johnson?

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

Understandably, Duke basketball supporters are asking about a star recruit.

Wendell Moore is back. We also have evidence to show that fellow Duke basketball sophomore forward Matthew Hurt has landed in Durham. The same goes for senior guard Jordan Goldwire, senior guard Mike Buckmire, junior wing Joey Baker, freshman center Mark Williams, freshman forward Jaemyn Brakefield, freshman guard Jeremy Roach, freshman guard DJ Steward, and a couple of walk-ons.

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However, across the two clips that Duke has released on social media in the days since all the players were presumably supposed to arrive on campus this past weekend, a few faces have yet to appear. Maybe they’re running late. Maybe they’re camera shy. Or maybe the producers have plans to showcase the missing ones in an upcoming video.

Regardless of the reason for not yet putting to ease fan worries, during these uncertain times, it’s reasonable to think some guys would be hesitant about entering a bubble far from home and without the opportunity for in-person interactions outside of the squad (and without knowing what the season will even look like).

Plus, given the mysterious departure of Jalen Johnson from IMG Academy (Fla.) last year and the fact the five-star is the consensus pick to anchor the 2020-21 Blue Devils, it seems a bit odd that the program wouldn’t put the 6-foot-8, 215-pound small forward on camera right away for its worrywart followers to see. Also, bear in mind the Milwaukee native, a frequent tweeter, has been silent on his account since last week.

Look, Johnson is the No. 13 overall prospect on the 247Sports 2020 Composite who at one time ranked as high as No. 3. In other words, it wouldn’t be all that crazy if the versatile 18-year-old — who has drawn comparisons to the likes of Grant Hill and Ben Simmons — decided to stay put in Wisconsin, train on his own, and still likely be in the conversation to become a 2021 lottery pick.


What the Duke basketball roster should look like assuming all is well

Dukies can hope this is all nothing. Besides, neither grad transfer big man Patrick Tape nor rookie forward Henry Coleman has wound up on the film yet as well. And the sports info team has noted that the Duke basketball team reported to campus, though it did not specify as to whether that means all the Blue Devils have checked in (no other outlets have filled in the blanks either).

With fingers crossed that Johnson is indeed gearing up right now for ACC domination, here’s what the roster ought to look like in terms of scholarship pieces: Roach, Steward, Goldwire, Buckmire, Baker, Moore, Johnson, Coleman, Brakefield, Hurt, Williams, and Tape.

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Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more on Jalen Johnson plus other news and views regarding all things Duke basketball.