Duke basketball has ‘major interest’ in slick blueblood recruit

The Duke basketball recruiting team appears to be ramping up its 2022 work.

Still, the Duke basketball coaches have yet to publicly join the race for any 2022 recruits. That said, with the Patrick Baldwin Jr. saga now in the rearview and their star-studded 2021 haul seemingly complete, there could be several offers from head coach Mike Krzyzewski and his assistants to rising high school seniors in the coming weeks.

One such potential recipient is Sylvan Hills (Ark.) shooting guard Nick Smith Jr., who sits No. 27 overall on the 247Sports 2022 Composite.

According to a tweet on Thursday from Stock Risers recruiting insider Jake Weingarten, the Blue Devils have “entered the mix” and are showing “major interest” in the 6-foot-4, 185-pound playmaker.

At the moment, 247Sports shows Smith holding 22 offers, most of which are from programs in major conferences. And the Crystal Ball, while containing only one pick to date, favors Kentucky.

Now, it’s worth noting that Smith already named finalists in his recruitment back in early January. At that point, his top 10 consisted of Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, Ole Miss, Oral Roberts, Texas Tech, and UNC. Speaking of the Tar Heels, they seem to have been significant players in the battle since extending an offer in December.

However, with Smith’s stock continuing to rise — a year ago, he ranked only No. 47 in the class — he reopened the chase to new suitors in April.

Scouting the Duke basketball recruiting prospect

Judging from the available mixtapes, Nick Smith Jr. is a slick ballhandler with a fairly silky outside shot to boot.

But perhaps the four-star’s greatest weapon is his tenacity when attacking the basket. Furthermore, Smith appears to be relatively athletic with a generous wingspan for his position.

Last season, after leading his squad to the Class 5A state semifinals, Smith took home the honor of Arkansas High School Basketball Player of the Year from MaxPreps.