Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski may have spent the weekend in the hospital, recovering from knee replacement surgery, but that didn’t stop him from dominating the recruiting trail.
Duke added two top-10 recruits in a two-day span, giving the Blue Devils their first 2018 commitment, as well as a key piece for the 2017-18 team.
Duke got its first commitment from the 2018 class on Sunday, when Tre Jones announced that he would be a Blue Devil.
Jones is the top point guard in the class and the No. 9 prospect, overall. The five-star is a 6-2, 175-point playmaker from Saint Paul, Minnesota. Last season, he averaged 23 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds per game. On the Nike summer basketball circuit, Jones averaged 20.4 points, 7.3 assists and 5.3 rebounds.
Jones follows his brother, Tyus, who was the point guard for the 2015 National Champions in his only season at Duke. Jones also had offers from Minnesota, Ohio State, UCLA, USC, Arizona and Baylor, but Duke appeared to be the favorite from the very beginning of his commitment.
Next season, Jones will likely replace Trevon Duval, an incoming freshman at Duke who is expected to be a one-and-done, declaring for the NBA Draft after a season as Duke’s point guard. Another incoming 2017 freshman, Gary Trent Jr., was Jones’ teammate at Apple Valley High School.
On Monday night, Duke added a player that will help him this upcoming season. Marvin Bagley III, a 6-foot-11, 220-pound power forward, committed to the Blue Devils.
Bagley was originally expected to be a rising senior in high school, and he’d been rated the top prospect in the 2018 class, according to the 247 Sports Composite Index. However, Bagley plans to graduate early and has petitioned the NCAA to allow him to reclassify to the class of 2017. That would allow him to enroll in college immediately and be eligible for the 2017-18 season.
Bagley announced on ESPN’s Sportscenter that he will reclassify and “forgo my senior year.”
The NCAA hasn’t officially approved the request yet, but a confirmation is expected shortly.
The five-star big man then announced that he was choosing Duke over USC and UCLA, who were the other two finalists in his recruiting battle.
Duke was the favorite to land Bagley, but he had one last surprise to unveil.
Bagley reached into a bag and pulled out a Duke jersey, announcing his future college home. He then unfolded the jersey to display the number 35. Bagley said he would wear the number, even though it was retired in 1989.
“I would like to thank Danny Ferry and Coach K for allowing me to wear his retired No. 35 at Duke University,” Bagley said.
Ferry wore the number during his four-year Duke career. He was a two-time ACC Player of the Year, the National Player of the Year in 1989, and he led Duke to three Final Fours, twice being named Regional MVP.
Bagley is expected to play the stretch-four position for Duke. He’ll team with five-star forward Wendell Carter Jr. and returning sophomore center Marques Bolden to give the Blue Devils a powerful front line.
Duke’s freshman class now has three of the top five recruits in the class in Bagley, Carter and point guard Trevon Duval. Shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. is in the top 20. The Blue Devils also bring in four-star shooting guard Alex O’Connell, four-star small forward Jordan Tucker and three-star shooting guard Jordan Goldwire.