Duke basketball: Jon Scheyer laying groundwork with underrated recruit

Duke basketball coach Jon Scheyer (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball coach Jon Scheyer (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) /

A sharpshooter with hops is now hearing from Duke basketball’s Jon Scheyer.

Razorback fans must’ve had fingers crossed for Morrilton (Ark.) small forward Joseph Pinion to continue flying under the radar as the No. 102 overall prospect on the 247Sports 2022 Composite. To their dismay, though, Arkansas recruiting insider Kevin McPherson recently tweeted about some initial contact from the Duke basketball program:

“[Pinion] had a very good conversation with [Duke associate head coach] Jon Scheyer…no Duke offers for 2022 have been made yet, but Pinion was told he’s one of only 13 players from around the country that Duke has reached out to.”

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One response to the tweet from an Arkansas supporter seemed to sum up the Razorback sentiments: “What a punch in the gut that would be.”

Currently, Pinion holds offers from in-state hopeful Arkansas — the early frontrunner, per the Rivals FutureCast — in addition to Creighton, DePaul, Kansas, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, Oral Roberts, and a few more schools in America’s heartland.

It’s clear why Duke basketball is interested in Joseph Pinion

Judging from Pinion’s impressive bounce, long stride, and silky stroke — he exhibits hints of both Duke basketball champ Grayson Allen and ex-Blue Devil Alex O’Connell — one would think that high-major offers from both coasts should soon be on the way. After all, the 6-foot-6, 185-pound four-star would probably rank higher if he played for some powerhouse academy.

In April, then-Rivals analyst Eric Bossi featured Pinion as an under-the-radar recruit and provided the following scouting report:

“Joseph Pinion has good size, is a good athlete, and plays with purpose on both ends of the floor. During the summer, he plays with the Joe Johnson Hawks on the Adidas 3SSB circuit, and his jump shot is a major weapon. He has effortless range, to well beyond the 3-point line, and great mechanics…”

Bossi continued:

“On top of that, he’s pretty capable of creating off the dribble, plays with some edge to his game, and is still filling out physically. He’s got confidence but doesn’t come off as too cocky.”

According to Bossi, here’s how Pinion described his own game:

“I would describe myself as a great shooter and ballhandler and also an unselfish playmaker. I believe my IQ separates me from others.”

Joseph Pinion, whose fitting surname is also a noun that refers to the flight feathers of a bird’s wings, is definitely a name to remember when the Duke basketball recruiting team shifts its focus from finalizing the 2021 class to handing out 2022 offers.

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Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more on Joseph Pinion plus other Duke basketball recruiting news and views.