Duke basketball: Ranking the 5 finalists for JJ Starling

Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski and his successor-in-waiting, Jon Scheyer (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) /

1. Duke basketball

Around the same time that JJ Starling revealed his five finalists on Thursday, the first 247Sports Crystal Ball pick popped up in the race. It favors the Duke basketball staff, albeit with only a “medium” confidence level.

Over at Rivals, however, the FutureCast remains empty for the Starling sweepstakes.

In other words, the Blue Devils are far from a sure thing to lure Starling into a class that already contains three heralded prospects. The trio of pledges consists of five-star small forward Dariq Whitehead, five-star power forward Kyle Filipowski, and four-star shooting guard Jaden Schutt.

Speaking of those commits, though, Starling pointed out to Joe Tipton that a couple of them are consistently in his ear about him joining the club:

“I’m cool with Kyle. I’m cool with Dariq. We’ve been playing against each other for so long. We see each other all the time. We just saw each other at the Slam [Summer Classic], you know, and they’re always going to be like, Come to Duke, come to Duke, come team up, and stuff like that.”

Plus, Starling implied that he could see himself putting his trust in Jon Scheyer despite the naysayers who project the 34-year-old to fail in trying to fill Mike Krzyzewski’s unfillable shoes:

“I’m not really listening to any outside voices…You’re gonna have the people who say, Oh, he’s not gonna do well, or, This program is gonna start off bad because it’s a new coach. But Coach Scheyer has been in the program for a while…He played there. He was an assistant there. And everybody started somewhere…Coach K didn’t get there by having a big name starting out.”

Perhaps the one thing that could keep JJ Starling from donning a Duke basketball jersey is the uncertainty surrounding the stay-or-go-pro decisions in the spring from current sophomore point guard Jeremy Roach and freshman shooting guard Trevor Keels.

Next. Projected Duke basketball starters for Coach K's farewell season. dark

But Starling’s last scheduled official visit is to Durham on Sept. 24. And that should bode well for Scheyer’s chances in wrapping up yet another 2022 gem.