Duke basketball: Top insider sees Blue Devils landing elite shooting guard

Duke basketball (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Duke basketball still appears to lead for Trevor Keels, though not by much.

Paul VI (Va.) shooting guard Trevor Keels, who ranks No. 20 overall on the 247Sports 2021 Composite, has visited the Duke basketball program, attending the Senior Night win over UNC last March. Also, the 6-foot-5, 210-pound five-star played alongside current Blue Devil freshman Jeremy Roach last season.

As a result of those tidbits and Duke’s consistent 14-month pursuit of Keels to date, it makes sense that the Blue Devils wound up as one of his three named favorites in September along with Virginia and Villanova.

Plus, factoring in Duke’s five-star recruiting prowess in recent years, it certainly hasn’t been a shock to see the Blue Devils as the unanimous 247Sports Crystal Ball frontrunners ever since Keels announced that final three.

But the three picks that popped up at that time all came from Duke experts. Furthermore, up until this week, there had been no other entered predictions.

Yet as of Wednesday, 247Sports lead insider Eric Bossi is the first non-Dukie there to officially project the coveted sharpshooter to Duke. He did so even though fellow recruiting juggernaut Kentucky extended an offer to Keels this past Friday and then managed to immediately join his list of potential destinations.

That said, Bossi did paint Kentucky as a genuine contender:

“The fact that Kentucky decided to go ahead and offer despite Keels being down to three for so long shouldn’t be taken lightly. John Calipari wouldn’t be jumping into this one if he didn’t feel that the Cats had a very legitimate shot.”

Bossi also noted that the race could last several more months as Keels gets a better idea of what the expected 2021-22 rosters will look like for each of his finalists. During this time, Bossi believes the speculation will only continue to ramp up, claiming the Keels race “should be the most interesting recruitment left to monitor in the class of 2021.”

Again, though, Bossi has now entered a pick for Duke, albeit at only a “medium” confidence level. And while he ultimately foresees Keels as a Blue Devil, he also made sure to point out that it might still be a three-team battle:

“As of today, Virginia is probably on the outside looking in while most have seen it as a toss-up between Duke and Nova. Keep an eye out on [Kentucky]…there’s just something about them jumping in this late that creates a hard-to-shake feeling, but for now, I’ll still give the slightest of edges to Duke.”

Here’s the brief scouting report that Bossi published on Monday to introduce Trevor Keels to followers of Kentucky basketball recruiting efforts:

“Keels is a powerful, tough, and skilled two-guard. He is a good shooter from deep, defends well, and is a vocal leader on the floor. This guy plays hard and knows how to use his strongly built frame.”

A small but loaded Duke basketball recruiting class

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski and his gang are also still chasing after two other five-stars in the class: Hamilton (Wis.) small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., who ranks No. 4 overall, and IMG (Fla.) center Charles Bediako, who ranks No. 26.

However, the Blue Devils are no longer the Crystal Ball favorites for Baldwin and never have been for Bediako.

ALSO READ: Updated forecasts for Patrick Baldwin Jr.

Already in hand for Duke are two 2021 signees: O’Dea (Wash.) power forward Paolo Banchero and Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) small forward AJ Griffin. With both anticipated one-and-done lottery picks in tow — ranking No. 3 and No. 7, respectively — the program in Durham remains the only one in the country with two five-stars from the class.

Related Story. Predictions pour in for potential Duke recruits. light

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