Duke basketball, North Carolina battling for supremacy in Class of 2023

Duke basketball head coach Jon Scheyer (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball head coach Jon Scheyer (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

It is a battle of familiar foes as the Duke basketball program fights North Carolina for the top spot in the Class of 2023 rankings. 

As both legendary head coaches are departing from the Duke basketball program and North Carolina Tar Heels, the battles on and off the court between the two programs are not lessening.

The two schools currently hold the top spots in the Class of 2023 recruiting rankings, with Duke slightly edging North Carolina based on percentage points of its recruits.

Jon Scheyer landed a verbal commitment from five-star Caleb Foster, the No. 9 recruit in the junior class, in September while the soon-to-be head coach continues to find new talent to bring to Durham in a couple of years.

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However, the Tar Heels got their recruiting cycle off to a hot start with the commitment of five-star guard Simeon Wilcher last week.

Wilcher, the No. 14 player in his class, also had interest from Duke but never landed an offer from the Blue Devils.

No other school in the country has landed a five-star prospect in the Class of 2023, based on the 247Sports recruiting rankings, although it seems like Kentucky is poised to land a large haul of players.

Duke basketball adds to list of players its targeting in Class of 2023

Prior to Thursday night, Jon Scheyer and the Blue Devils already had offers extended to five-star forwards Mackenzie Mgbako, J.J. Taylor, and G.G. Jackson, but that list has since grown by two.

Duke offered a pair of teammates, Matas Buzelis and Taylor Bowen, from Brewster Academy.

Both players are five-star targets as Buzelis stands at 6-foot-10 and is ranked as the No. 12 player in the Class of 2023 while Bowen is listed at 6-foot-9 and the No. 23 player in the junior class.

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Matas Buzelis also holds offers from schools such as North Carolina, Kansas, Syracuse, Michigan State, and UCLA while Taylor Bowen is being recruited the hardest by Arkansas, UConn, and Providence, according to 247Sports, while also holding an offer from Kansas.

Jon Scheyer, who currently has the No. 1 recruiting class in 2022 since being named as the replacement for Mike Krzyzewski after this season, certainly will be looking for an encore performance with another monster recruiting haul in 2023.

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