Weighing Duke basketball’s chances with KJ Evans
KJ Evans begins his official visit to Kentucky on Friday, per multiple sources. And seeing that the Wildcats host Miles College that night — their final tuneup before facing Duke on Tuesday night at the Champions Classic in Madison Square Garden — one must assume their heralded visitor is likely to be in attendance for the exhibition game.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Evans, whose 247Sports Crystal Ball remains void of predictions, leave Lexington with an offer in tow. In light of the recent visits from the staff in Durham, though, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him receive an offer soon from the Duke Blue Devils either.
Consider that one of Evans’ teammates at Montverde is a 2022 Duke basketball pledge in five-star small forward Dariq Whitehead. Furthermore, the Blue Devils have a track record with Montverde talent, including current New York Knicks starter RJ Barrett.
On top of all that, Ben Roberts of the Lexington Herald-Leader reported on Thursday that Evans has an official visit to Duke on tap a few days after he returns from Kentucky.
Yes, all those nuggets above might help Jon Scheyer’s chances down the line should he and his gang decide to join the fray.
However, keep in mind that a 2022 Kentucky basketball pledge, five-star point guard Skyy Clark, is also at Montverde. Also, the Wildcats have fared exceptionally well in molding uniquely gifted big men into lottery picks across the past decade or so (see: Anthony Davis).
Now, back to Duke. The program has extended seven 2023 offers thus far and has already landed a commitment from one of them: Oak Hill (Va.) five-star point guard Caleb Foster.
But of the six undecided targets on Duke’s list, Ridge View (S.C.) five-star power forward Gregory Jackson is the only one at either the four or five, and he is looking like a UNC lock at the moment. In other words, when putting all the recent pieces together, it appears that the Blue Devils must be eyeing Evans as a power forward of choice among the nation’s present-day juniors.
Finally, it’s worth noting that multiple other major-conference schools have recently entered the mix for Evans. Syracuse did so a few weeks ago.
Meanwhile, KJ Evans has not indicated an exact timeline for deciding on his destination after high school.