Kentucky swoops in for major Duke basketball recruiting target

Duke basketball (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports) /

Out of nowhere, a familiar foe entered a Duke basketball recruiting battle.

Paul VI (Va.) shooting guard Trevor Keels, who ranks No. 20 on the 247Sports 2021 Composite, was already down to three finalists in his recruitment. That’s been the case since September. At that time, the 6-foot-5, 210-pound versatile five-star announced a list consisting of the Duke basketball program plus Virginia and Villanova.

Nevertheless, according to a Friday evening tweet from Tipton Edits, another mega force has suddenly joined the race. Yes, Keels said Kentucky has officially extended him an offer.

Minutes later, Tipton Edits tweeted that Keels is indeed considering the Wildcats and has added them to his favorites.

Now, given the recruiting prowess of John Calipari and his staff across the past decade, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they are legit contenders for Keels as they try to keep the coveted talent from Mike Krzyzewski and his crew in Durham.

Perhaps the coaches in Lexington received word of the five consecutive triple-doubles from Keels, including his brilliant Senior Night performance on Thursday, and decided it was worth a shot to gauge the 17-year-old’s potential interest.

At least for the moment, however, the Blue Devils continue to lead for Keels in the eyes of every insider who has entered a prediction into either the 247Sports Crystal Ball or the Rivals FutureCast. He could name a winner anytime between now and the spring signing period, which begins in April.

Recapping 2021 Duke basketball recruiting so far

In November 2019, Duke snagged its first 2021 commit in the form of Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) five-star small forward AJ Griffin, who now ranks No. 7 in the class. Roughly nine months later, the Blue Devils found paydirt once again with the pledge from O’Dea (Wash.) five-star power forward Paolo Banchero, who ranks No. 3 among high school seniors.

Griffin and Banchero each inked a national letter of intent during the fall signing period.

As the Duke recruiters are attempting to woo Trevor Keels, they are also still waiting to see if their other two five-star pursuits translate into 2021-22 Blue Devils. Those offers are to Hamilton (Wis.) small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., who ranks No. 4, and IMG (Fla.) center Charles Bediako, who ranks No. 26.

light. Related Story. Patrick Baldwin Jr. knows his decision, for now

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