Duke basketball staff loses battle for promising big man

The Duke basketball recruiting team has not added to its momentum, for now.

It would seem as if the 2021-22 Duke basketball roster still needs a tad more depth in the paint department. But as of Tuesday, it is now 100 percent clear that the lone 2021 big man who had remained on the program’s radar will not be a Blue Devil next season.

Instead, as most every insider had predicted for months, IMG (Fla.) center Charles Bediako chose unanimous 247Sports Crystal Ball leader Alabama over fellow finalists Duke, Michigan, Ohio State, and Texas.

Joe Tipton of Tipton Edits, who had recently been hinting on social media that the Bediako news was about to break, was the first to report the commitment from the 6-foot-11, 225-pound four-star on Twitter:

Where the Duke basketball recruiting class ranks after Alabama’s gain

Charles Bediako, an ever-improving post presence out of Canada who presently sits No. 26 on the 247Sports 2021 Composite, gives the Crimson Tide the nation’s No. 3 class right now. According to 247Sports, their Bediako prize has knocked the Blue Devils’ haul to No. 4 overall.

Class rankings aside, though, the Duke basketball staff is the only one with three 2021 five-stars in store. And all three are among the top 20 prospects in the country.

Paul VI (Va.) shooting guard Trevor Keels, who pledged his allegiance to #TheBrotherhood on Friday, ranks No. 20. Meanwhile, the Blue Devils’ two early signees are Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) small forward AJ Griffin at No. 7 and O’Dea (Wash.) power forward Paolo Banchero at No. 3.

However, those three are the only members of the class.

Now, the only reported 2021 offer that Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski still has on the table is to Hamilton (Wis.) five-star small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., who is also likely to announce at any moment in the coming days or weeks. Currently, the Crystal Ball points to Milwaukee head coach Pat Baldwin landing his namesake son, yet two of the eight picks still favor the Blue Devils.