The 2023 Duke basketball recruiting class still needs one tall prize.
More times than not, first-year Duke basketball head coach Jon Scheyer gets what he wants. He has proven as much on the recruiting trail by putting together the nation’s top-ranked 2022 and 2023 classes, not to mention two additions in the past week via the transfer portal.
Scheyer’s six-deep 2022 collection looks 100 percent complete. But given the widely presumed one-and-done status of the two five-star big men in that 2022 haul — Kyle Filipowski and Dereck Lively II — the five-deep 2023 bunch appears to be missing a vital piece.
And that would be a top-notch five-man.
Surprisingly, there aren’t yet any reported Blue Devil offers to 2023 centers. However, it’s still early in the cycle. Plus, Scheyer and his gang have expressed interest in a few towering prospects from the class, including one now clearly on the rise in Cathedral (Ind.) four-star Xavier Booker.
After openly hoping for Duke’s interest a few months ago, Booker has now mentioned the Blue Devils on multiple occasions as one of several bluebloods who have reached out to him in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, Booker’s offer sheet is lengthening rapidly. Also, his calendar is beginning to fill up with official visits; he took a trip to Michigan State earlier this month and is planning to check out Notre Dame shortly.
Assessing Duke basketball recruiting prospect Xavier Booker
Although Xavier Booker currently sits only No. 103 on the 247Sports 2023 Composite, some suggest that such a low ranking is now a total injustice to the versatile lefty.
Recruiting analyst Eric Bossi of 247Sports argued that the 6-foot-11 junior — a possible stretch-four or even a stretch-five — should see a significant boost in light of his “main attraction” performance at the Bill Hensley Memorial Run N Slam in Indiana on Friday night:
“For years, the Run N Slam has served as the jumpoff point for many big-time prospects…Derrick Rose vaulting onto the national landscape in 2004 and a junior Anthony Davis coming out of nowhere in the spring of 2010 come to mind. This isn’t to say that Xavier Booker is going to reach the lofty levels that those two have, but there is little doubt that he’s about to see his stock take a serious jump…”
Bossi then dissected Booker’s potential-rich build and skillset:
“Booker is still lean, but he’s starting to fill out a little and looks to have everything you would want in a modern big man. He runs the floor with grace almost as if he’s floating, gets his eyes at rim level on open floor jams, softly drains 3-pointers from the corner, and beats up one shot after another as a rim protector.”
For the time being, the 2023 Duke basketball class consists of top-30 pledges only.
They are Windermere (Fla.) five-star power forward Sean Stewart, Gill St. Bernard’s (N.J.) five-star small forward Mackenzie Mgbako, Centennial (Calif.) four-star shooting guard Jared McCain, NBA Global Academy (Australia) five-star combo guard Tyrese Proctor, and Oak Hill (Va.) five-star point guard Caleb Foster.
Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more Duke basketball recruiting news and views.