Duke basketball: Dylan Harper recruitment takes wild turn in late stages

Duke basketball recruiting target Dylan Harper
Duke basketball recruiting target Dylan Harper /

Duke basketball target Dylan Harper’s recruitment still has some more twists and turns. 

It felt like things were finally coming to a close in the recruitment of Duke basketball target Dylan Harper.

For the vast majority of the last year it felt like this was a two team race between the Blue Devils and Rutgers Scarlet Knights with Harper’s home-state squad taking the lead in the last few months and a commitment looming.

As iconic college football analyst Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast my friend.”

Harper’s final five schools consists of Duke, Rutgers, Kansas, Auburn, and Indiana but the latter two programs really have not been involved in this process for quite some time.

Kansas, at least to many on the outside, were not looked at as a main threat to stealing the Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) superstar from either Duke or Rutgers but Bill Self works in mysterious ways.

College basketball’s anonymous social media insider Trilly Donovan dropped a bombshell on Thursday morning that quickly woke up the recruiting world.

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“Rutgers has been considered the favorite in this race since early May. The timing coincides with the decommitment of fellow 2024 guard Dellquan Warren,” Donovan stated in a blog post.

“The consensus among various sources is that Warren got wind of a silent commitment from Harper to Rutgers and did not want to play second fiddle to him.”

Harper still has all three 247Sports Crystal Ball Predictions logged for him to land at Rutgers, all which were placed in early August and have a high level of confidence.

The 6-foot-5 guard recently dropped to the No. 2 player in the Class of 2024 after Cooper Flagg, the biggest Duke recruiting target on the open market, reclassified from 2025.

“Another rumor that quieted down around that time was that the Harper camp was split on where they wanted Dylan to go,” Donovan continued.

“He had one faction pushing him to stay home and play for Rutgers, while the other insisted he go play for Jon Scheyer at Duke. The whispers of a split camp calmed down for a few months…until recently.”

New school finally emerges for Duke basketball recruiting target

Enter Bill Self.

Self and Kansas shocked the college basketball world earlier this month when the Jayhawks landed a commitment from 5-star forward Flory Bidunga.

Bidunga was seemingly down to either Auburn or Duke but many believed he would become a Tiger only until minutes before his announcement when word spread that he would be spurning both for Kansas.

“In recent days, Kansas has made a strong push to get the highly-touted prospect on campus for a visit,” Donovan explained.

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Dylan Harper has only taken official visits to Duke and Indiana but has been on countless unofficial visits to Rutgers.

“Self is hard to bet against in these situations. He has a knack for swooping in at the last minute and reminding people that Kansas is the premier program in college basketball.”

It seems like Duke is officially out of the Dylan Harper sweepstakes with bigger things on the mind of head coach Jon Scheyer but it will be fascinating to watch if the highly coveted prospect stays home to play for Rutgers or caves in to the late pressure applied by Kansas.

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