Duke basketball: How many 2022 recruits do the Blue Devils need?

Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Forecasting Duke basketball needs is basically an impossible task nowadays.

The 2022 Duke basketball recruiting haul remains empty. But it’s way too early to panic.

After all, it’s not as if Mike Krzyzewski’s successor-in-waiting, Jon Scheyer, has suffered any rejections thus far from the six rising high school seniors who have received Blue Devil offers:

  • Westtown (Pa.) five-star center Dereck Lively
  • Montverde (Fla.) five-star small forward Dariq Whitehead
  • Sunrise Christian (Kan.) five-star small forward Mark Mitchell
  • Wilbraham & Monson (Mass.) four-star power forward Kyle Filipowski
  • Coppell (Texas) four-star combo guard Anthony Black
  • La Lumiere (Ind.) four-star point guard JJ Starling

As for how many 2022 prospects the staff needs to land, well, that answer isn’t cut and dry at this juncture. Yet the total might not be as great as most folks suspect given some recent significant changes to the college hoops landscape.

New incentives and opportunities affecting Duke basketball plans

Remember that the payout from being among the top two or three Blue Devil sensations in this new NIL era — where college athletes can now profit off their name, image, and likeness — may swell into the millions. With that in mind, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise if several presumed early departees on the 2021-22 roster wind up sticking around another year or two.

ALSO READ: Duke closing in on its first commit of the NIL era

Also, the new transfer rule — allowing guys to switch schools one time without having to sit out a year — means Scheyer and his gang won’t necessarily have to fill next year’s roster vacancies with prep talent alone.

Furthermore, note that Duke’s lone rising senior, Joey Baker, will have the option to play a fifth season since the NCAA decided not to count the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 campaign against anyone’s eligibility.

Nevertheless, of the 10 scholarship players in Durham right now, it’s likely no more than half will still be in town this next time year.

Fifth-year grad transfer forwards Theo John and Bates Jones will have exhausted their eligibilities.

Meanwhile, judging from 2022 mock drafts, chances are freshman forwards Paolo Banchero and AJ Griffin will have bolted to become lottery picks.

And there will likely be no more than four returnees on tap between junior forward Wendell Moore, sophomore guard Jeremy Roach, sophomore center Mark Williams, freshman guard Trevor Keels, and freshman guard Jaylen Blakes.

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Therefore, the prediction here is that the Duke basketball staff will reel in four or five 2022 recruits and then fill any remaining gaps with transfers.