Three huge Duke basketball recruiting races nearing finish line

Duke basketball target Patrick Baldwin Jr. (USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball target Patrick Baldwin Jr. (USA TODAY Sports) /
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Where Duke basketball chances stand with Charles Bediako

  • Composite rank: No. 25
  • Hometown: St. Catharines, Ont.
  • Finalists: Alabama, Duke, Michigan, Ohio State, Texas

Of the three remaining 2021 Duke basketball targets, the chatter among insiders makes clear that Charles Bediako, who recently hinted at an announcement to come by the end of January, has the least probability of winding up a Blue Devil. Nonetheless, in October, the program did see its name in the 6-foot-11, 225-pound big man’s final five (above).

However, remember that Duke basketball signee Paolo Banchero is more than equipped to play center. Furthermore, consider the likelihood that current freshman center Mark Williams will stick around to become a sophomore in Durham, not to mention freshman power forwards Jaemyn Brakefield and Henry Coleman.

With all that depth in mind — in addition to the fact Mike Krzyzewski rarely gives minutes to true centers these days anyway — Bediako probably doesn’t see an opening to be a fixture in the paint for Duke, at least not right away.

Even if he did, though, as 247Sports recruiting expert Jerry Meyer suggested this week, the perceived frontrunner in the pursuit is not likely to change before Bediako unveils his college destination:

“I am in the group of six analysts who have predicted Alabama in the Crystal Ball for Charles Bediako. Many of those predictions have a high confidence rating as well…Bediako would help make a formidable duo with elite five-star point guard JD Davison.”

Ball Durham prediction: ALABAMA