In a day that may determine Duke’s 2014-15 season, Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor will be making their college choice on Friday. They will be making their decision between Duke and Kansas, two teams who just played each other in the Champions Classic. Many people claim to have inside information but no one truly knows where this dynamic duo is going. Their decision will be huge for whichever team they chose and may propel either class into the stop spot. With the number of Duke recruits dwindling, this may be Duke’s last chance to make a splash in the 2014 recruiting class.
Tyus Jones, who has been ranked either one or two at point guard by every recruiting website, is an extremely talented scorer and passer. He is not as dynamic as Kyrie Irving, but he has a game that reminds me greatly of Irving. If he comes to Duke, he will likely be forced to fight for playing time with other guards Quinn Cook, Rasheed Sulaimon, and Matt Jones. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, he will receive a lot of minutes for Duke. Despite his high rank, he is not regarded as a guaranteed one-and-done player and could very well lead Duke’s offense for two years. He is a dynamic player that would add a very explosive option to Duke’s already good group of guards.
Based off of his skill and position, Jahlil Okafor is likely the bigger piece for Duke to get. He has a good chance at going down as the best big man in Duke basketball history, should he commit. Unlike Jones, Okafor is viewed as a likely one-and-done player but has the skill to make a huge impact in just one season. He will start from day one and will play as many minutes as his body allows. He will give Coach K a very skilled post player and a young man with a huge will to work. His game reminds me and many others of Tim Duncan. He will not be as skilled while he is playing for Duke but he will provide Duke an amazing offensive and defensive weapon. As the best big man and likely player in the 2014 class, he would be a huge get for Duke.
If Okafor and Jones do commit to Duke, I believe that would be good news in their attempt to get Justise Winslow. Winslow had his official visit to Duke with Jones and Okafor and has mentioned wanting to play with them before. He will have difficult competition for minutes on the wing but is skilled enough to take them. If Jones and Okafor go to Kansas, I do not believe they have a great chance at landing Winslow. Duke cannot guarantee him much playing time and I believe a huge selling point for Duke would be playing with Jones and Okafor.
If Jones and Okafor go elsewhere, Duke’s 2014 class may be in trouble. They will likely make a hard push for Myles Turner, some lesser named recruits, and some senior transfers. While their recruiting class may not be great, Duke will still have a talented upper class team. They will not be the National Championship favorites that they will likely be with Okafor and Jones but they will be talented nonetheless.
This is a huge decision for Duke. Make sure you tune in to ESPNU for 4 pm EST. Many rumors have come out but do not believe anything until you hear their announcement!