Duke basketball freshman entering Durham with lofty expectations

Duke basketball recruit Dariq Whitehead
Duke basketball recruit Dariq Whitehead /

The expectations entering the Duke basketball program are large for Dariq Whitehead. 

Pressure is all Dariq Whitehead has known in his basketball career, but the five-star small forward will have lofty expectations when he steps foot in Durham as a freshman on the Duke basketball team.

Whitehead just won the third GEICO Nationals High School Championship in his high school career as Montverde Academy (Fla.) bested Link Academy (Mo.), 60-49, on April 2.

The 6-foot-6 forward won his first National Championship as the only 8th grader on the RJ Barrett-led Montverde squad. Whitehead did not play on that 2018 championship squad but posted six points on 3-of-7 shooting for the 2021 title team against Sunrise Christian (Kan.).

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However, as the official star of the Eagles squad this year, Dariq Whitehead posted 14 points and four rebounds on 5-of-17 shooting to heighten the hype surrounding him ending his high school career.

Whitehead was named the MVP of the McDonald’s All-American Game in late March with 13 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists.

If that wasn’t enough in the two-week time frame, the projected Top-5 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft posted a team-high 17 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals in the Nike Hoops Summit on Friday night as Team USA downed Team World, 102-80.

Not truly known for his shooting prowess, Dariq Whitehead was 5-for-7 from 3-point range over the weekend and showcased a professional offensive skillset.

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A new era of Blue Devil basketball begins this month as Jon Scheyer officially takes over as the head coach of the program. He welcomes the No. 1 recruiting class in the country to aid the transition from Mike Krzyzewski.

Dariq Whitehead was named the 2022 Naismith Boys’ High School Player of the Year, but he will be joined in Durham by Dereck Lively II, Kyle Filipowski, Mark Mitchell, Jaden Schutt, and Christian Reeves.

Four of the recruits are five-star prospects while Schutt is listed as a four-star and Reeves as a three-star.

Expect Dariq Whitehead to be the offensive perimeter alpha on this upcoming Duke team and to become a household name by next March.

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