Duke basketball loses top recruiting ranking to blue blood rival

Duke basketball mascot (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball mascot (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball program no longer holds the best recruiting class in 2023. 

It felt like it was just a matter of time before the Duke basketball program was overthrown for the top recruiting ranking in the Class of 2023, and that time officially came on Monday.

Top ranked prospect D.J. Wagner, the No. 1 player in the high school senior class, committed to the University of Kentucky on Monday afternoon after his choices were narrowed between the Wildcats and Louisville Cardinals.

It is the first time Kentucky has landed the No. 1 player in a class since Nerlens Noel.

It always felt like Wagner, who joins his Camden High School (NJ) teammate five-star center Aaron Bradshaw in committing to head coach Jon Calipari, would land at Kentucky despite the efforts of Louisville head coach Kenny Payne to try and lure the coveted prospect to the Cardinals.

ALSO READ: Injured Duke freshmen hint at playing status

Payne hired Milt Wagner, D.J. Wagner’s grandfather and former Louisville standout, as the Director of Player Development & Alumni Relations this offseason.

D.J. Wagner’s father, Dajuan Wagner, played for Calipari during his tenure at Memphis.

Kentucky now has four Top-10 players, including Wagner and Bradshaw, committed in its 2023 class in five-star forward Justin Edwards and five-star guard Robert Dillingham.

The Wildcats also have a commitment from four-star guard Reed Sheppard as all five of the pledges have signed their National Letter of Intents.

Duke basketball potent class looking up at Kentucky

Jon Scheyer cultivated the top ranked recruiting class in his first season as the head coach of the Duke Blue Devils but the young leader of the historic program could not close in on the top ranking yet again despite his best efforts.

ALSO READ: Jon Scheyer gets surprise attack after first victory

Duke has five, five-star prospects committed in Mackenzie Mgbako, Caleb Foster, Jared McCain, Sean Stewart, and TJ Power.

All players have signed their NLIs with the exception of Mgbako, who is expected to sign on Tuesday afternoon at Roselle Catholic (NJ).

Next. Jon Scheyer makes first major coaching decision. dark