Duke basketball program missed out on opportunity for another five-star

Duke basketball (Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports) /

News recently came down that the Duke basketball program missed out on another five-star prospect.

Recruiting never sleeps with the Duke basketball program, and most prospects like to tout their offers from Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils.

Well, one former five-star prospect recently revealed the juicy details that he almost opted to come to Durham and join another star-studded class for Krzyzewski.

On The Old Man & The Three podcast with JJ Redick and Tommy Alter, the former Blue Devil legend had current Washington Wizards superstar Bradley Beal on as a guest, and the topic was clearly basketball centered. But the topic then shifted to Beal’s younger days in the sport, and the two-time All-Star revealed what could have been.

“I’m telling you this now. You [Redick] were one of the reasons why I was going to go to Duke. That is no lie,” Beal said, “I feel like your passion that you play with on the floor was just unmatched, and you were confident. You had a little cockiness, a little swag to you, but (expletive) nobody could stop you.”

Bradley Beal, who eventually committed and played one season for the Florida Gators, then explained how his mother taught him to shoot and how she made him watch Redick shooting while he was in Durham.

“I watched you a lot in college, and you were definitely one of my heroes growing up for sure.”

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Credit Beal, and his mother, for taking a liking to Redick during his four seasons as a Blue Devil, because not many did unless you lived in Durham or were a diehard Duke fan.

A two-time consensus All-American, two-time ACC Player of the Year, Wooden Award winner, and Naismith Award winner, Redick averaged 19.9 points per game over his four seasons in Durham and is still one of the best players in Duke basketball history.

Why did Bradley Beal not commit to the Duke basketball program?

That still seems to be the million-dollar question because to the credit of Mike Krzyzewski, he knew Beal idolized Redick during his collegiate years and used that to his advantage on the recruiting trail.

“I didn’t know this until recently, that Coach K, when he was recruiting you, compared you [Beal] to me. Which is so highly offensive to you now, but maybe wasn’t at the time,” Redick jokingly said as Beal has become a do-it-all player at the professional level while the former Blue Devil has remained as a pure shooter through his NBA career.

“At the time, I loved it,” Beal said, “Because I was like damn, he [Krzyzewski] thinks I can be JJ [Redick]. That’s dope, and Duke was my dream school.”

But if Duke was his dream school, and he had an offer to Duke, why didn’t Beal commit?

Was it because of the recruiting class coming in with Austin Rivers, Quinn CookMichael Gbinije, Alex Murphy, and Marshall Plumlee?

Did Beal not think there was enough playing time to go around with Rivers, Cook, Tyler Thornton, Andre Dawkins, and Seth Curry on the roster?

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Or was there another reason? (Reminder: Bradley Beal joked in April over Instagram Live with Jayson Tatum about getting paid to go to Duke after Tatum mentioned that he would still go to Duke over the NBA G-League if offered $500K.)

Bradley Beal was a five-star recruit, ranked as the No. 4 player in the country, No. 1 shooting guard, and No. 1 player in the state of Missouri, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.

“And Coach K busts my (expletive) every day, to this day, every time I see him,” Beal said. “You know you should have been in a Duke uniform. I can’t stand the sight of it. I can’t even look at you,” Beal explained, impersonating Krzyzewski.

Maybe a humiliating loss to Lehigh in the NCAA Tournament would not have been the end result of the 2011-12 season if Bradley Beal had committed to Duke.

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