With the NCAA Tournament in full swing, there is not much recruiting news to cover. I figured I would take this time to look at the 2014, 2015 and 2016 recruiting classes for Duke over the next three weeks. I will be starting today with 2014, where Duke already has the top class in the country. With four recruits that were invited to the McDonald's All-American Game, Duke already has a solid group of players coming in next season. Along with the four already signed, Duke appears to be looking for one more player to supplement this class. How big of a role will these recruits have for Duke next year? Will Duke be able to bring in another recruit? Find out here.
Most people have already written in Okafor as Duke's starting center next season and rightfully so. Okafor is one of the most talented big men that has ever played for Duke. He will give Duke much needed paint scoring and a true center to defend the paint. Coach K will play Okafor as much as fatigue will allow and Okafor will be a huge factor in how successful Duke is next year.
As the second part of the heralded Duke duo, Tyus Jones will also be influential to Duke's season. With Quinn Cook playing off the ball more this season, I believe Jones and Cook will be able to coexist well. Along with Rasheed Sulaimon and Matt Jones, Duke's guard play will be a huge strength. Jones may end up coming off the bench, due to the depth Duke has at guard, but he will have a large role on the team. Expect over 20 minutes per game from Tyus Jones and I would not be surprised if he led the team in assists.
Regardless of how he plays on offense, there will always be a space for Winslow because of his defense. Duke has lacked elite perimeter defending since their last National Championship but Winslow could bring it back into the equation. The amount of minutes Winslow receives is dependent on NBA decisions of Rodney Hood and Jabari Parker. If both leave, there is a chance that Winslow could be a starter from opening day. Even if one of them stays, Winslow will find the way onto the court because of his defense.
Despite rising up the recruiting rankings since his early commitment to Duke, minutes will be hard to come by for Grayson Allen. As I mentioned before, Duke has great depth at the guard spot. Allen may be able to find sporadic minutes throughout the year but consistent minutes will be hard to come by. I expect Allen to have an impact during his Duke career but it will be tough for him to do so next season.
Turner has become the recruit I am most frequently asked about. He is an extremely talented player that will have a huge impact for whatever school he chooses. Should he chose Duke, I expect him to get regular minutes, playing with Okafor and as the primary big man. Duke's biggest weakness is usually their lack of height and Turner would make it a strength. Unfortunately, I believe it is very unlikely that Turner choses Duke. He has many schools that will allow him to be the star, Oklahoma St and Texas, and of the top rated schools, I believe he is more likely to choose Kansas. I will be rooting him to choose Duke but I do not expect it to happen.
Other potential options
If Duke tries to bring in another player in this class, it will likely be a player that will provide depth and potential as a big man. For recruits, two names have emerged, Trey Mourning and Michal Cekovsky. I believe it would be helpful to bring in one of these big men and hope that they will develop, it is not something that Coach K usually does. Coach K does not usually bring in transfers, but I believe it is more likely that Duke goes in that direction. Many names will emerge as senior graduate transfers, like Tarik Black, and transfers that will have to sit out a year, like Rodney Hood. It is definitely something to follow, as Duke will have an extra scholarship if both Hood and Parker leave for the NBA.
If you missed it, make sure you check out last week’s recruiting update. As always, if you missed any recruiting interviews, check them out here. I hope you enjoyed and I will be looking into Duke's potential 2015 recruiting class next week.