UNC looking like lock for Duke basketball recruiting target

UNC basketball head coach and Duke basketball rival Hubert Davis (Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports)
UNC basketball head coach and Duke basketball rival Hubert Davis (Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) /

It seems likely Duke basketball will fall to UNC in at least one 2023 race.

Following a trip to Durham in June, Ridge View (S.C.) power forward Gregory Jackson was among the first in his class to receive a Duke basketball recruiting offer. And then a few weeks ago, Blue Devil head coach-in-waiting Jon Scheyer plus assistants Chris Carrawell and Nolan Smith gave the 6-foot-8, 210-pound five-star some special attention by sitting courtside at one of his practices.

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Even so, the Duke Blue Devils might now face quite the uphill battle in pursuit of Jackson, who ranks No. 10 overall on the 247Sports 2023 Composite. Furthermore, it looks as if they could have to figure out ways to contain the energetic bruiser in the paint on a couple of occasions a few years from now.

Momentum favoring Duke basketball’s rival in Gregory Jackson sweepstakes

Last week, renowned national recruiting insider Andrew Slater tweeted a “lock” emoji and gif to imply that, in his mind, UNC basketball head coach Hubert Davis and his crew have the key to the Jackson jackpot. Then this week, Eric Bossi of 247Sports explained his thinking in subscribing to pretty much the same observation:

“Jackson recently took what by all accounts was a great visit to North Carolina. Sources throughout the industry have been buzzing since, and the word is that Carolina is the team to beat. Skilled, bouncy, and still just scratching the surface of how good he can be, Jackson would be a monster pickup.”

But Bossi didn’t completely count out the competition, including the Duke Blue Devils:

“I do feel that he’ll take more visits with Georgetown coming up and others like Duke, South Carolina, and Virginia in play. Ultimately, though, I really like the Heels’ chances…I’ve gone ahead and logged a Crystal Ball pick in their favor.”

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And the only other Crystal Ball prediction for Gregory Jackson points to UNC as well.