Duke basketball: Blue Devils could be presented with unique opportunity

Villanova guard and potential Duke basketball target Bryan Antoine (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images)
Villanova guard and potential Duke basketball target Bryan Antoine (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images) /

Duke basketball may have a second chance to land a former recruit.

In 2018, Bryan Antoine was a top 25 recruit deciding between several powerhouses, such as Kansas, Kentucky, Villanova, and Duke.

Nearly four years later, most college basketball fans wouldn’t even recognize Antoine’s name if they were to hear it.

Antoine, who ranked No. 17 in the nation on the 247Sports 2019 Composite, ended up committing to Villanova in the fall of 2018.

The Blue Devils were long considered the favorite for Antoine, who would’ve joined the 2019 class that featured Vernon Carey Jr., Matthew Hurt, Wendell Moore Jr., and Cassius Stanley.

Across three years as a Wildcat, Antoine has struggled to find time on the floor.

The 6-foot-5 guard failed to ever score double-digit points in a game and only once amassed over 20 points in a five-game span.

With that said, many of Antoine’s struggles were due to unfortunate injury luck. A shoulder injury in 2019 ended up lingering and affecting his availability in the 2020-21 season. Then he injured both his patella tendon and ankle this past season, once again sidelining him.

A potential second-time Duke basketball target?

With the transfer portal becoming increasingly popular, Bryan Antoine may be looking for a fresh start to revitalize his career at another school.

Jay Wright’s retirement as head coach at Villanova on Wednesday evening only makes that possibility stronger.

This presents Duke basketball with the possibility of a very rare second chance for a guy they once missed out on.

While Antoine’s numbers certainly don’t pop out at you, there is still a reason he was once considered one of the best young players in the country. Once seen as a potential first-round selection for the NBA, he possesses a three-and-D style of game that the Blue Devils could use.

Not only that, but Antoine’s experience in a championship-caliber program such as Villanova could bring added leadership to what will once again be a young Duke basketball team.

Question marks remain around the Blue Devils’ roster next season — particularly on the wings with Wendell Moore Jr. leaving for the NBA and a decision from Trevor Keels forthcoming. If Antoine decided to transfer following Wright’s retirement, first-year Duke head coach Jon Scheyer and his staff could be in a prime position to bring him in.

Antoine has not officially announced that he is transferring as of today. But the possibility of him looking to revitalize his career in Durham is something for Duke basketball fans to think about.

Next. 5 players for Duke to target in the transfer portal. dark

Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more Duke basketball news and views.