Will Duke basketball receive more good recruiting news before summer’s end?
Recent commitments from four-star power forward Kyle Filipowski and five-star small forward Dariq Whitehead guarantee a solid Duke basketball recruiting haul. After all, Filipowski and Whitehead rose this week to No. 31 and No. 4 overall, respectively, on the 247Sports 2022 Composite.
Yet consider the anticipated departures next year of Paolo Banchero, AJ Griffin, Joey Baker, Theo John, Bates Jones, and perhaps a few others. With all those names in mind, it seems Jon Scheyer must land three or four more recruits to fully restock the shelves for the 2022-23 campaign, which will be his first as head coach following Mike Krzyzewski’s preplanned spring retirement.
Either that or Duke will need to reel in multiple transfers once again.
Fortunately, Scheyer and his crew still have offers on the table to five others in the class: five-star center Dereck Lively (ranks No. 5), five-star small forward Mark Mitchell (No. 10), four-star point guard JJ Starling (No. 36), four-star combo guard Anthony Black (No. 38), and three-star shooting guard Jaden Schutt (No. 167).
Encouragingly, of those remaining five targets, 247Sports currently has placed a “warm” or “warmer” tag on Duke’s recruitment of all but one: Black. Therefore, although not necessarily the leader for all the rest, the Blue Devils appear to remain squarely in the mix for Lively, Mitchell, Starling, and Schutt.
Predicting the next Duke basketball recruiting prize
From that bunch, only Lively has revealed favorites. Furthermore, the 7-footer’s list is still seven deep with Duke, Florida State, Kentucky, Michigan, Penn State, Southern Cal, and UNC.
As for the thoughts of the 247Sports Crystal Ball on ongoing Duke pursuits, well, there is pretty much little to no info to draw from when it comes to predictions.
While the Blue Devils are now the perceived frontrunners for Mitchell, only one expert has cast a pick thus far. At the same time, the Starling and Schutt races are entirely devoid of forecasts, and only one has popped up in the Lively battle (suggesting Kentucky is leading).
Sure, the momentum boost from the Whitehead and Filipowski announcements could somehow result in an undeniably dreamy summer on the Duke basketball recruiting trail. That said, when reviewing some recent comments from the current 2022 targets, one might deduce that none will make up their minds on a college destination before their senior prep seasons begin.
So on that note, the bold prediction here is that a 2023 talent will become the next to pledge allegiance to the Blue Devils.
Specifically, keep an eye on the most recent offer recipient, Oak Hill (Va.) point guard Caleb Foster, who presently sits No. 14 overall on the 247Sports 2023 Composite. Not only is the 6-foot-5, 190-pound electric five-star a North Carolina native — from the outskirts of Charlotte in Harrisburg — but he’s also an admitted lifelong Duke basketball fan.
Now, it’s no surprise that the two Crystal Ball picks for Foster point to Scheyer & Co. coming out on top.
In late July, Foster told 247Sports that he’s already thinking about unveiling a shortlist. Then last week, he hinted to Rob Cassidy of Rivals that Duke, Louisville, and Virginia are most heavily involved in his recruitment.
It just has the feeling of a notably early decision, one that might be to the delight of Blue Devil fans when assessing the extended outlook under Scheyer.
The other three rising juniors holding Duke basketball offers are five-star small forward JJ Taylor (ranks No. 3), five-star small forward Mackenzie Mgbako (No. 6), and five-star power forward Greg Jackson (No. 24).