Duke basketball staff compares recruit to Marvin Bagley III

Are the Duke basketball recruiters making a late push for an elite big man?

In a recent conversation with Rob Cassidy of Rivals, Duke basketball target Charles Bediako mentioned he is looking to announce his college choice at some point in January.

Also, despite the 247Sports Crystal Ball and Rivals FutureCast squarely pointing to Bediako’s future being in Tuscaloosa, the IMG Academy (Fla.) senior maintained that all five of the finalists he named in October — Alabama, Duke, Michigan, Ohio State, Texas — remain in contention for his ever-improving services in the paint.

In fact, Bediako, a relatively nimble-footed center out of Canada who now ranks No. 25 overall on the 247Sports 2021 Composite, took the time to talk specifically about each contender and said his chats are frequent with all five. First, here’s what all the 6-foot-11, 225-pound five-star noted about his feelings toward the Blue Devils, including former one-and-done Marvin Bagley III:

“Obviously, they have great coaches. Everyone knows that. I like that they say the guy I’m most similar to is Marvin Bagley. They say we do some of the same things. That’s a mold I think I could fit into. I love the way they play.”

Of course, Bediako also spoke highly of the coaches at each of his other possible destinations. And what he said about second-year Alabama basketball head coach Nate Oats gave Cassidy enough confidence to proclaim the Crimson Tide as the solid frontrunner heading down the homestretch.

Apparently, Bediako is particularly smitten with Alabama’s playing style and, considering Tide assistant coach Bryan Hodgson’s proven track record with Canadian talent, the program’s ability to fine-tune big men:

“What Coach Oats did at Buffalo was incredible. He did a really good job. The thing with Alabama is that I love the pace they play with. They play fast…I play fast. Also, I feel like they can develop me. They do a great job down there.”

A few more 2021 pieces in store for Duke basketball?

On top of the offer from Duke to Charles Bediako, which came last December, Mike Krzyzewski and his gang in Durham are still in pursuit of two other five-stars from the class: Hamilton (Wis.) small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr. and Paul VI (Va.) shooting guard Trevor Keels.

ALSO READ: Patrick Baldwin Jr. denies rumors, talks timeline

According to the 247Sports Crystal Ball, the Blue Devils are the perceived favorites for both Baldwin Jr. and Keels.

During the November early signing period, Duke landed signatures from two 2021 five-stars in Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) small forward AJ Griffin and O’Dea (Wash.) power forward Paolo Banchero.

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