Duke basketball player guarantees 2021 dream class

Per a current freshman, Duke basketball recruiting is set for a major haul.

On Wednesday, Tipton Edits unveiled the final three of Duke, Villanova, and Virginia for Paul VI (Va.) shooting guard Trevor Keels, No. 15 on the 247Sports 2021 Composite. Shortly thereafter, the most-used photoshopper by five-star hoopsters posted to Instagram a manipulated image (below) of Keels alongside three top 10 prospects, all in Duke basketball jerseys.

Two of the other three are the early Blue Devil commits, of course, in Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) small forward AJ Griffin and O’Dea (Wash.) power forward Paolo Banchero, who rank No. 6 and No. 3, respectively. And Hamilton (Wis.) small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., the No. 1 high school senior, is the other presently undecided piece in the proposed group.

Accompanying the drool-inducing image, Joe Tipton posed the following question to his 138k followers: “Do y’all want to see this happen?”


Among the responses was a clear message from current Duke basketball freshman Mark Williams. But the 7-foot center from Virginia Beach didn’t technically answer Tipton’s question. Rather, his following two-word reply asserts whether the dream quartet will indeed come to fruition for the Blue Devils: “It will.”

Simple as that. Now, whether or not Williams possesses any insider knowledge to support his predictions for Keels and Baldwin Jr. — outside of maybe the 247Sports Crystal Ball, which now forecasts both Duke targets to wind up in Durham with Griffin and Banchero — well, that remains to be seen.

Regardless, one way to look at it is that the piqued interest of Williams could be a sign that he himself, a former five-star who finished at No. 28 on the 247Sports 2020 Composite, plans to stick around for a sophomore campaign. After all, he’d perhaps be the centerpiece center for a roster showcasing what would surely be largely a one-and-done 2021 class.

More Duke basketball names chimed in with similar vibes

Williams wasn’t the only Blue Devil feeling Tipton’s post. The top two stars of the 2019-20 Duke basketball team in Tre Jones and Vernon Carey Jr., who are both now NBA-bound, pitched in with answers of “Yes” and “😈” in regards to whether they’d like to see Banchero, Griffin, Baldwin Jr., and Keels as teammates in college.

Should this latest dream of #TheBrotherhood come true, there’s no doubt that a segment of Duke basketball fans — this writer included — would reach complete la-la land by fully subscribing to the prophetic meaning from the combined jersey numbers in the photoshopped picture from Tipton Edits (even if one of the numbers, No. 23, is retired).

See, at the far left in the pic is Griffin, wearing No. 12. Next to Griffin is Baldwin Jr., wearing No. 23. Then comes Banchero, wearing No. 5. Pausing right there, 12+23+5=40. And on the far right is Keels, wearing No. 0. So then when putting the four together, that would equate to a 40-0 mark, right?

We will now just wait here for another “It will” from Williams…

Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more Duke basketball recruiting news and views.