As many of you know, Duke had a large group of recruits on campus for their win over UNC on Saturday night. Along with 2014 commits, Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow, Duke hosted three Official Visits, Myles Turner, Chase Jeter and Luke Kennard, as well as four Unofficial Visits, Josh Langford, Dennis Smith Jr, Brandon Ingram and Harry Giles. The game was considered a major success, as it was a huge Duke win and many of the recruits had a great time. I was able to talk to four of the recruits at the game who gave me their thoughts on Duke, their visit, and the game.
Luke Kennard has recently cut his list to seven schools (Ohio St, Duke, Kentucky, UNC, Louisville, Michigan and Florida) , but many believe he will ultimately choose between Duke, Kentucky, and Ohio St. He has taken many visits to Kentucky, but last weekend was his first Official Visit. When I asked him about his visit, he told me "I loved every moment that I spent down there. It's such a great place to be and it's a place where you can develop not only as a player but as a person." Whenever I talk with Luke, he always talks about Duke's ability to develop well-rounded people. Kennard's great character and basketball ability make him a great fit for Duke. I believe Duke's emphasis on character, as well as basketball, could definitely be an influence in his decision.
Speaking about the visit, he loved being around the other top recruits, "I really enjoyed being around the other recruits and hearing their perspectives about Duke. ALL of them are great guys and they would be a joy to play with." From his quote, it appears Jahlil and Justise were doing their best to convince him to choose Duke. With many potential teammates at the game, it was great to see that Luke had a good time with them. Right now, I think it is 50-50 that Luke commits to Duke, but I think he will be a great fit for the Duke basketball program. Luke will likely take a few more Official Visits before he makes his decision, which he hopes to do before his senior year.
Chase was the other 2015 recruit on an Official Visit at the game. I was extremely glad to hear that Chase enjoyed his time at Duke. When I asked him about it, he told me "The visit was great. Cameron Indoor is a great atmosphere and the game itself was unbelievable. The players were all really cool, genuine guys along with the whole staff." Just like with Luke, Chase usually stresses the character usually associated with Duke players and coaches. As a great person himself, I also see Chase as a great fit for the Duke basketball program. While the saying "Duke kid" may be cliché, Chase embodies all of the qualities.
Chase also talked about all the other players at Duke for the game, "It was awesome. I'm cool with all those guys and there people I can rely on to tell me what Duke is like while they are there (Jahlil and Justise) and guys I see myself keeping in touch with." Again, Okafor and Winslow prove that they are great people for the Duke basketball program. As you can probably tell, I really like both Kennard and Jeter and I believe that they could be a great duo in the 2015 class. Both are top notch basketball players and people, who could be very valuable for Duke if they ultimately decide to attend. Time will tell where they both go but Duke is in good shape for both.
Dennis Smith Jr. has been to many Duke games this season and had a great time on Saturday. On the game, he told me "It was loud, energetic, and exciting the whole game. I think the toughest thing would be having to play against Duke." While Smith does not have a Duke offer yet, this athletic guard has shown a lot of interest in Duke. With Duke's need for a point guard in 2016, I expect him to be a real option for Duke. He is an incredibly athletic guard who will be able to play well with an up-tempo style. He is definitely a player I will have my eye on as the 2016 class begins to form.
Langford was not on the radar for me, or many other Duke fans, until it was announced that he would be at the game. He is currently ranked 13th by ESPN in the 2016 class and is one of the top shooting guards in the class. Like all the other recruits at the game, Josh was very impressed by the game "It was a great experience to see two of the greatest rivals go head to head. It was a great atmosphere at the game and it was awesome to be in the locker room and listen to Coach K. It was just a great experience." I got the sense that Josh was beginning his search to find where he will best fit. It is too early to say how much interest there will be between both sides, but there appears to be a potential fit.
When I asked Langford about the other recruits at the game, his humility really came out "I already knew Harry Giles and Chase Jeter. I've seen Myles Turner, Justice Winslow, and Jahlil Okafor play before. They are all great players and it's always a great and humbling feeling to be in that type of company." Josh does not act conceited because of his high ranking and he is very humble. There is still a long time left in Josh Langford's recruitment but he is someone to definitely keep an eye on.
I will end with a question from @Josh48623, who asked me "Where does Duke stand after the Myles Turner visit? What are their chances?" I believe the visit went well for Duke and they are definitely an option. Unfortunately, I do not believe Duke will be the team that Turner ultimately chooses. If Turner chooses to go to a top school with good NCAA Championship chances, I expect that he would choose Kansas. I also think Texas and Oklahoma St are options, as he would be the star of the programs. Turner has kept his recruitment very private so it is hard to get a good read on him. I believe Duke has a chance to land the top rated big man, but I do not believe they will ultimately land him.
If you missed last week’s update, make sure you check it out here. Also, make sure you havent missed a recruiting interview by checking them out here. I hope you enjoyed and there will be another recruiting update coming next week.