Insider weighs Duke basketball’s chances with decommitted point guard

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

Duke basketball could become a major contender for a coveted floor general.

The 247Sports Crystal Ball for Compass Prep (Ariz.) point guard TyTy Washington is devoid of new picks since his decommitment from Creighton earlier this month.

And the same goes for the Rivals FutureCast.

That said, on Tuesday, Rob Cassidy of Rivals pointed out perceived leaders as well as potential players in the late 2021 race, with the latter including the Duke basketball program.

First, Cassidy sees the three top suitors for Washington as Illinois, Kentucky, and Arizona State, in that order. As for those that have expressed interest but have yet to fully enter the fray for the 6-foot-3, 175-pound four-star — who presently sits No. 30 on the 247Sports 2021 Composite — the recruiting insider noted four high-majors that might be appealing to the crafty 18-year-old:

"“Schools such as Duke, Oklahoma State, Kansas, and Pitt are among those that have involved themselves since Washington parted ways with Creighton. Any of those three seem like somewhat viable options depending on how hard they plan to push in the weeks ahead.”"

Then, Cassidy touched on the Blue Devils’ possible chances, making mention of an AAU-spawned friendship between TyTy Washington and O’Dea (Wash.) power forward Paolo Banchero, a 6-foot-9, 235-pound five-star who ranks No. 3 among high school seniors and has already signed up to take his talents to Durham:

"“Duke is in the market for a guard and has a commitment from five-star prospect Paolo Banchero, with whom Washington has some semblance of a relationship.”"

To date, the 2021 Duke basketball haul consists of only one other piece outside of Banchero: Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) small forward AJ Griffin, a 6-foot-7, 205-pound five-star who ranks No. 7 overall.

Now, while Mike Krzyzewski and his staff do hold the Crystal Ball lead for Paul VI (Va.) shooting guard Trevor Keels, who ranks No. 20 and is set to announce his college destination on April 4, it remains far from a guarantee that the 6-foot-5, 210-pound five-star will choose the Duke Blue Devils over fellow finalists Kentucky, Villanova, and Virginia.

ALSO READ: Crystal Ball lead grows for Blue Devils

Doesn’t the Duke basketball roster already include a promising point guard?

True, former five-star prep Jeremy Roach is likely to return as a Duke basketball sophomore after an up-and-down — yet mostly encouraging — freshman campaign. Plus, combo guard DJ Steward is another former five-star who started more than half of the 2020-21 team’s games as a newbie and will probably also become a second-year Blue Devil.

However, it looks as if combo guard Jordan Goldwire plans to decline the opportunity to return for a fifth season.

Furthermore, judging from a recent scouting report on TyTy Washington by Eric Bossi of 247Sports, the multi-tooled playmaker could complement another point guard and provide the Blue Devils with another sharpshooter:

"“What makes him really attractive on the college level is that Washington is just as dangerous playing off of the ball because of his scoring. The ability to play him with another point guard and give an extra ball handler is a strong selling point to those looking to get involved.”"

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In addition to Trevor Keels, the Duke basketball coaches are still awaiting 2021 decisions from Hamilton (Wis.) five-star small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr. and IMG (Fla.) five-star center Charles Bediako.