Experts weigh in as Duke basketball recruiting race nears finish line

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

Unless folks are mistaken, a Duke basketball target now seems out of reach.

IMG (Fla.) center Charles Bediako, who ranks No. 26 overall on the 247Sports 2021 Composite, gave some Duke basketball fans at least a glimmer of hope two weeks ago. He did so by pointing out during a chat with Jamie Shaw of Rivals that Mike Krzyzewski and his assistants in Durham have continued to prioritize him as decision time nears.

ALSO READ: Charles Bediako implies Blue Devils still have a shot

But now, with probably only two weeks or so to go until the 6-foot-11, 225-pound five-star’s announcement, no reputable recruiting insiders have budged from their prediction that Alabama will come out on top in the end.

Alongside Duke and Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, and Texas comprise Bediako’s final five.

This week, Jerry Meyer of 247Sports reiterated his pick for the burgeoning big man from Canada:

“I am expecting Charles Bediako to end up at Alabama…so is the Crystal Ball. Currently, there are five predictions in his Crystal Ball with all of them reading Alabama.”

Similar outlooks elsewhere regarding the Duke basketball recruiting pursuit

Rob Cassidy of Rivals gave a clear forecast for Charles Bediako this week as well. While he doesn’t appear to hold quite the confidence level in his pick as Jerry Meyer does in his own, it’s evident he also doesn’t much like the Blue Devils’ chances at all:

“Alabama seems to be the frontrunner. Bediako’s relationship with Nate Oats and his staff is strong…[Bediako] sees the work the program has done with fellow Canadians. Ohio State and Texas certainly have punchers’ chances here. Michigan and Duke seem like less likely landing spots.”

Earlier in the week, Eric Bossi of 247Sports chimed in with what he’s hearing in regards to the final days of the chase, again making it look dreary in terms of any final Duke basketball push:

“Recently, sources close to Bediako’s recruitment have indicated to me that he should be choosing by mid-March…The Crimson Tide have received 100 percent of the predictions and are certainly in a great spot. There has been some recent buzz that Michigan and Ohio State (who like Alabama are having strong seasons) could be making this one a little closer.”

Meanwhile, the Blue Devils are still closely monitoring their standing for two other 2021 prospects: Hamilton (Wis.) five-star small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr. and Paul VI (Va.) five-star shooting guard Trevor Keels. The Crystal Ball shows Duke still leading for Keels but now running in second behind Milwaukee head coach Pat Baldwin for his son.

Two early signees are already in the bag for the Blue Devils: O’Dea (Wash.) five-star power forward Paolo Banchero and Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) five-star small forward AJ Griffin.

light. Related Story. Duke showing interest in an intriguing recruit

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