The first player in the Duke Blue Devils recruiting class for 2014 is Grayson Allen. He gave a verbal commitment on April 24th. With high school players starting to commit for next season this is a big recruit for the Blue Devils to get. He is a shooting guard from Jacksonville, Florida and since his commitment to Duke; his player rating has only gone up.
Allen is currently the number 24 recruit coming in to next year according to ESPN. He still might be under rated, moving up from 37 from this past summer. His shot is one of the best in his class and he also has more athletic ability than J.J. Reddick did coming in to college. He has great size for a shooting guard at 6-foot-4 and 185 pounds, and will only get better in college. His ball handling is good enough to play point guard when needed and has the passing skills of a true point guard. The greatest thing about his offensive game is his basketball IQ; he is really smart when taking on double teams and doesn’t force plays.
The area Allen needs to improve the most before next year is on defense. He needs to work on that side of the ball or it could lose him some minutes in his first year at Duke. This should improve next year under Coach Mike Krzyzewski. If Allen can improve with his defense, he should see playing time right away in his freshman season.
There are so many good things that Allen brings with his game at Duke next season, but his vision, getting players involved, and understanding the situation will put him ahead of most freshmen coming in next season. He probably will not be a one and done, so Duke fans can see how he progress from one year to the next.
This may only be the first recruit coming in for the Blue Devils next season, but it is an important one, a guard who can play both positions and stretch the floor is an important thing to have in the college game. This could be a big recruiting class depending on the players who are going to stay at Duke or leave for the NBA draft, but getting Allen is a big first step to making this class a great one.
Some other recruiting news about the 2014 class is that Kevin Looney visited Duke in September, but is still deciding on which school to attend. The other big news for the month of October is that three of the biggest recruits of the 2014 class will be visiting in Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, and Justise Winslow. They are all visiting in late October and are visiting together, and have said that they would all like to play together.
The 2014 recruiting class could be a great recruiting class for the Blue Devils, but their main focus should be adding depth to the post players. The trio of players could be great for the Blue Devils, but with only two players to play the post after this season that should be their main focus. This season’s team should be a great but it is a little fun to think about the possibilities of next season.