Top-notch recruit says Duke basketball program ‘is just different’

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

Duke basketball appears to be the leader in its last five-star 2022 battle.

There is some reason to believe that the Duke basketball coaches might be falling behind in their recruitment of La Lumiere (Ind.) four-star point guard JJ Starling. But there has been no shift in insiders’ perception of the program’s frontrunner status in another 2022 race.

ALSO READ: Jon Scheyer may soon receive first recruiting rejection

Yes, all four 247Sports Crystal Ball picks still point to the Duke Blue Devils eventually coming out on top for Sunrise Christian (Kan.) five-star small forward Mark Mitchell, who ranks No. 16 overall on the 247Sports 2022 Composite. And both of the Rivals FutureCast picks agree with that prediction; the most recent one popped up just last week.

However, Mitchell is still considering three other finalists in Kansas, UCLA, and Missouri.

Significant praise from the Duke basketball recruiting target

The succession plan in Durham, where Jon Scheyer will assume Mike Krzyzewski’s throne as the program’s head coach in the spring, doesn’t seem to deter Mark Mitchell one bit. No, judging from his recent comments to Dan McDonald of Rivals, the 6-foot-8, 205-pound elite athlete still sees the Blue Devils as the definition of college basketball royalty:

“I think the transition there has been pretty smooth. They were really transparent with me from the beginning. My relationship with [Jon Scheyer] is great. We talk all the time. And Duke basketball is just different. It’s almost like the mecca of college basketball.”

It shouldn’t hurt that Mark Mitchell has scheduled a follow-up visit with the Duke Blue Devils for mid-October, coinciding with Countdown to Craziness. That trip should be his last before announcing his decision, which he doesn’t plan to do until December at the earliest.

Projected Duke starters for this season. dark. Next

Currently, the Blue Devil staff’s 2022 class ranks No. 1 in the country. It consists of three five-stars — center Dereck Lively, power forward Kyle Filipowski, small forward Dariq Whitehead — plus four-star shooting guard Jaden Schutt. Meanwhile, per 247Sports, offers remain on the table to Mark Mitchell and JJ Starling in addition to four-star combo guard Anthony Black.