Duke basketball program lands another experienced transfer

Duke basketball head coach Jon Scheyer (Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball head coach Jon Scheyer (Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball now has two new additions from the transfer portal.

No, Ryan Young isn’t Theo John. The transfer from Northwestern, who announced his Duke basketball commitment on Saturday after playing three seasons for the Wildcats, is a different brand of big man than the grown-man workhorse who provided the Blue Devils with crucial minutes last season.

But Young could be a vital asset in 2022-23 just the same. Although the 6-foot-10, 245-pound backup center has extremely limited athleticism and probably won’t be much of a rim protector, his post moves appear a bit more refined than John’s were at Duke last season.

As a junior, Young averaged 9.0 points and 4.2 rebounds, primarily off the bench, while shooting 55.9 percent from the field and 67.6 percent from the charity stripe.

With potentially two years remaining in college — due to the NCAA not counting 2020-21 against anyone’s eligibility — Young could serve as a reserve in the regular rotation for Jon Scheyer’s first two seasons at the helm in Durham as he works toward a graduate degree.

He’ll likely receive a handful of minutes per game next season while relieving incoming freshmen Dereck Lively II and Kyle Filipowski.

A quick pickup from the Duke basketball staff

Ryan Young took an official visit to Duke on Thursday and Friday. According to several reports, he intended to check out a few more programs before deciding on a destination. Of course, his instant pledge to the Blue Devils is no surprise considering Jon Scheyer’s recruiting prowess these days.

In addition to Young, Duke has reeled in a commitment from grad transfer Kale Catchings, a 6-foot-6, 220-pound small forward out of Harvard.

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Interestingly, both Young and Catchings played under former Blue Devils in Northwestern head coach Chris Collins plus Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker.

They will join a six-deep 2022 recruiting class that ranks as the nation’s consensus No. 1 overall haul. Meanwhile, Duke will return at least three full-time scholarship players in fifth-year small forward Joey Baker, junior point guard Jeremy Roach, and sophomore point guard Jaylen Blakes.

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