Duke basketball: 3 huge visitors for Countdown to Craziness

Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

A pair of Duke basketball pledges is helping to recruit a fellow five-star.

Sunrise Christian (Kan.) five-star small forward Mark Mitchell, an undecided Duke basketball recruiting target sitting at No. 16 overall on the 247Sports 2022 Composite, marked his calendar weeks ago for a return journey to Durham. It’s for this weekend and will overlap with the program’s annual Countdown to Craziness festivities at 7 p.m. ET Friday (ACCNX).

Now, it looks as if Cameron Indoor Stadium will also welcome a couple of five-star high school seniors who have pledged allegiance to the Blue Devils. Those two are center Dereck Lively and small forward Dariq Whitehead, who rank No. 2 and No. 5, respectively, in the 2022 class.

Both Lively and Whitehead have confirmed the plans on their social media accounts. And those plans appear to include some in-person recruiting of Mitchell, whose listed position and 6-foot-8, 205-pound measurements just so happen to be identical to Whitehead’s.

Summarizing the Duke basketball chase of Mark Mitchell

Mark Mitchell’s recruitment is already down to a final four of Duke, Kansas, Missouri, and UCLA. By the time the long-armed playmaker wraps up his trip this weekend, he will have visited each of his finalists twice. Then he’ll be eyeing December for a decision timeframe.

Speaking of his eventual decision, Mitchell talked about the stress and the contenders involved during his chat this week with SI.com recruiting insider Jason Jordan:

“It’s tough. Duke wants to build a superclass for Coach [Jon] Scheyer’s first year. Kansas is close to home. Mizzou is a different type of program than all of them. UCLA is a really good program, and my brother lives out there. So it’s a lot of different perspectives that make it harder. Then I’ve got recruits in my class from all four schools that are recruiting me.”

Mitchell continued, touching on the type of fit he is looking for on the court:

“I want to be able to initiate offense — playing multiple positions, setting screens, posting up small guards, just everything. All of them feel like I fit that mold, so I’m pretty confident that I’d be successful no matter where I decide to go.”

At the time of this article, the 247Sports Crystal Ball for Mark Mitchell still favors the Duke Blue Devils with four of the five entered picks. However, the most recent one projects the Kansas City native to head west and become a Bruin.

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The 2022 Duke basketball recruiting class currently consists of Dereck Lively and Dariq Whitehead to go along with five-star power forward Kyle Filipowski and four-star shooting guard Jaden Schutt. Meanwhile, the list of outstanding offers shows only Mark Mitchell and five-star combo guard Anthony Black.