Duke basketball contacts emerging recruit, would have to outwit Jeff Capel

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski and Pitt basketball head coach Jeff Capel (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski and Pitt basketball head coach Jeff Capel (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) /

Might the Duke basketball coaches eventually target a pair of twin big men?

Pitt head coach Jeff Capel and assistant Tim O’Toole — who each had tenures as Duke basketball assistants, though only Capel was also a former player in Durham — decided in early September to officially enter the race for Wilbraham & Monson Academy (Mass.) power forward Kyle Filipowski.

The offer from the Panthers wasn’t the first of the high-major variety for the 6-foot-10, 215-pound junior; in fact, Filipowski has more than a dozen such offers, including from the likes of UCLA, Louisville, Georgetown, Maryland, and Notre Dame.

However, Pitt is the first school from a major conference to also extend an offer to his twin brother and teammate, center Matt Filipowski.

See, Kyle Filipowski is a composite three-star (247Sports tags him a four-star) who ranks No. 159 overall on the 247Sports 2022 Composite but may soon rise given his impressive offer sheet and promising stretch-four attributes. Meanwhile, the 6-foot-11, 235-pound Matt Filipowski doesn’t even register a rating or ranking on any major recruiting sites.

Therefore, it’s clear that Capel and O’Toole made a strategic statement by simultaneously pursuing both twins, who are originally from Westtown, N.Y.

Now, apparently, the Duke basketball staff has taken notice, at least in regards to the higher-ranked sibling. According to a tweet this week from his school, the Blue Devils recently initiated contact with Kyle Filipowski.

It’s certainly possible that Duke will also reach out to Matt Filipowski, who plans to see an increased role for Wilbraham & Monson this season, per his chat with Mike Vukovcan of PGH Sports Now following his Pitt offer. There is precedence in Durham, after all, when it comes to brothers down low on the same team (see: Miles, Mason, and Marshall Plumlee).

Either way, the Filipowski surname is at least worth keeping an eye on for the time being.

Brief summary of 2022 Duke basketball recruiting efforts

Kyle Filipowski marks the 15th prospect in his class — the first three-star — who has heard from Duke ever since college recruiters could begin directly dialing up the current high school juniors back in June. Mike Krzyzewski and his gang have yet to extend an offer to any of them.

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Of the other 14, eight are five-stars: center Jalen Duren (ranks No. 2), guard Jaden Bradley (No. 7), forward Kijani Wright (No. 10), forward Mark Mitchell (No. 12), forward Jalen Washington (No. 16), center Lee Dort (No. 18), forward MJ Rice (No. 23), and guard Skyy Clark (No. 14), who is already set to announce his decision on Oct. 22 but doesn’t have the Blue Devils among his finalists.

The six four-stars on Duke’s radar are center Dereck Lively II (No. 38), forward Rylan Griffen (No. 46), guard JJ Starling (No. 50), forward Isaac Traudt (No. 55), guard Noah Shelby (No. 68), and forward Joseph Pinion (No. 102).

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Stay tuned to Ball Durham more on Kyle Filipowski plus other Duke basketball recruiting news and views.