New Duke basketball recruiting prospect may reclass to 2022

Duke basketball (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

A Duke basketball offer may be in the works for one bright foreign big man.

Evangel Christian (Ky.) center Cyr Malonga has neither a rating nor ranking at 247Sports or Rivals. And he’s received only a few college offers. That should all soon change, though, as the 6-foot-11, 205-pound Congo native has recently caught the eyes of several blueblood coaches, including the staff of Duke basketball chief-in-waiting Jon Scheyer.

Why all the interest? Well, as Jason Jordan of noted this week, the towering force displayed “one of the most productive summers of any big in the 2023 class.”

Malonga, a natural star on the soccer field, averaged a double-double in addition to more than four blocks per game for Team Thad (Tenn.) on the Nike EYBL circuit. Some of his suitors compare him to Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, the top overall pick from the 2018 NBA Draft.

Another possible factor in the heightened attention is that the intelligent teen — a reported 3.8 GPA — may not remain in 2023 for long. The athletic director at his school, Brandon Bender, told Jordan that Malonga plans to make up his mind about a reclass to 2022 in the spring.

Potential Duke basketball recruiting target planning to visit Durham soon

Cyr Malonga mentioned to Jason Jordan that he’s in the process of scheduling a trip to check out the Duke campus. And he’s also marked his calendar to attend Big Blue Madness at Kentucky. He’s already been to Memphis, Michigan, and Oral Roberts.

At the moment, according to tweets from recruiting insider Andrew Slater, the Duke Blue Devils are hosting two 2023 recruits: Oak Hill (Va.) five-star point guard Caleb Foster and Gill St. Bernard’s (N.J.) five-star small forward Mackenzie Mgbako.

Two other high school juniors also hold Blue Devil offers in Kenwood (Ill.) five-star small forward JJ Taylor and Ridge View (S.C.) five-star power forward Greg Jackson.

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Duke is still awaiting its first 2023 pledge.