Duke basketball among finalists for game-changer transfer

Duke basketball (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) /

Does Duke basketball have a shot to land Baylor Scheierman?

There have been no reports of a Duke basketball offer in the hands of South Dakota State transfer Baylor Scheierman, a 6-foot-6, 205-pound guard who is one of the best available players in the transfer portal. However, per a tweet on Monday from Jonathan Givony of Draft Express, the Blue Devils have conducted an in-home visit with the 21-year-old.

Whatever first-year Duke head coach Jon Scheyer and his staff have done, it’s been enough to wind up in Scheierman’s final five, which he announced on Monday morning. His list also includes Arkansas, Clemson, Creighton, and Nebraska.

Last week, Scheierman revealed a top 10 for his services. From that top 10, Kentucky, Kansas, Mississippi State, Texas, and Wake Forest are the five that didn’t make this latest cut.

He could play college ball for up to two more seasons. Although he’ll be a senior next season, the 2020-21 season didn’t count against his or anyone else’s eligibility.

According to a tweet on Monday from SI.com recruiting insider Jason Jordan, Scheierman hopes to visit all five of his finalists before deciding on a destination. Given Duke’s penchant for spinning visits into quick commitments (see: the Ryan Young news over the weekend), one could expect those plans to work in the Blue Devils’ favor.

Still, many believe he’ll stay close to home by ending up at Creighton or Nebraska. And Scheierman’s agent, Austin Walton, told Givony that a decision should come as early as next week.

On the other hand, Scheierman’s potential NIL earnings as a Duke basketball player could lure him to Durham. Perhaps he’ll hold off on a decision long enough to see if Trevor Keels keeps his name in the NBA Draft — June 1 is the deadline to withdraw — or returns for a sophomore campaign. If Keels comes back, there probably wouldn’t be a starting spot available for a guy like Scheierman.

It’s worth noting that Scheierman is also an NBA Draft entrant who has maintained his eligibility by hiring an NCAA-approved agent.

Plenty to like about the potential Duke basketball target

Baylor Scheierman was unrated as a recruit out of Aurora (Neb.) in 2019. But his college career has been prolific.

As a slick-handles junior for a Jackrabbits squad that finished atop The Summit League standings with an 18-0 record in conference play, Scheierman averaged 16.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 4.5 assists. He did so while shooting 50.8 percent from the field, 46.9 percent from downtown, and 80.2 percent from the charity stripe.

Thus far, the Blue Devils have reeled in two transfers: small forward Kale Catchings from Harvard (one year of eligibility remaining) and center Ryan Young from Northwestern (two years of eligibility).

ALSO READ: Updated look at next season’s growing Duke roster

Due to the NCAA’s relatively new one-time transfer rule, all transfers who have not transferred before this year can play right away at their new schools next season.

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