Predictions pile up in huge Duke basketball recruiting race

Duke basketball (Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball looks like the outright leader for another coveted recruit.

Sunrise Christian (Kan.) small forward Mark Mitchell has thus far scheduled only one visit for the fall, according to 247Sports. Yes, the 6-foot-8, 205-pound five-star talent, who ranks No. 7 overall on the 247Sports 2022 Composite, plans to attend the Duke basketball program’s annual Countdown to Craziness in mid-October.

With that in mind, it would make sense if the 247Sports Crystal Ball unanimously favored the Duke Blue Devils over the other three finalists that Mitchell named a few weeks ago: Kansas, Missouri, and UCLA.

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Well, it does. And the predictions from experts are pouring in, with three of the four appearing since Tuesday.

Sure, Mitchell has given no reason to believe he’ll commit anywhere before winter.

Also, it’s worth noting that all but one of the Crystal Ball picks are from Duke insiders. Perhaps, though, that suggests some further encouraging intel beyond the versatile prospect’s scheduled second stay in Durham (Mitchell was on campus the last week of June following his trips to Kansas, Missouri, and UCLA).

Already a fairly stacked Duke basketball recruiting haul

At this juncture, the Blue Devils’ 2022 class ranks No. 3 on the 247Sports 2022 Class Rankings with three relatively early pledges in tow: five-star small forward Dariq Whitehead, five-star power forward Kyle Filipowski, and four-star shooting guard Jaden Schutt.

Plugging in the potential addition of Mark Mitchell, Duke would leapfrog Kansas and Ohio State for the top spot — if all else remained the same, of course.

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Meanwhile, the Blue Devils are pursuing another five-star high school senior: center Dereck Lively. Plus, offers are still on the table for four-star combo guard Anthony Black and four-star point guard JJ Starling.