Three of the top fifteen recruits from the 2014 recruiting class were in Durham this past weekend. The Duke Blue Devils hosted Justise Winslow, Tyus Jones, and Jahlil Okafor. They all visited together and have said they would be open to playing together in college.
For Jones and Okafor, that is virtually a guarantee–they have made it a point to tell every school that they will be attending the same college next year. There are only three teams that are on both Jones’ and Okafor’s list and they are Baylor, Kansas and Duke.
They have visited all three of those schools together, with the visit to Baylor being over two months ago. The recent ones have been Kansas and Duke, the favorites to get both players. Okafor has said he wants to make the decision before the beginning of his high school season, making it seem likely that they will make a decision after their visit to Duke. This is a big weekend for all three schools to see if Duke can land all three of these players.
Kansas is the other college that has all three players looking to commit to them. The only problem with Kansas that they already have a commitment from Kelly Oubre at small forward, and could take time away from Winslow. Kansas has the history and has players to put around them; if either of them chooses Kansas they would be National Championship contenders next season.
Whichever school can land Jones and Okafor will contend for a National Championship next season. This is a big weekend for Duke because they could potentially get three players to commit in just one weekend. The most important player for Duke is Okafor because of their lack of depth up front; it would be a great start to get a player with Okafor’s skills and size. It would bring stability to the front line immediately with someone who could play right away.
Duke’s problem in this recruiting war is that they have Quinn Cook. He is a junior this year and could potentially return for his senior season. This could cause Jones to hesitate on the Blue Devils, because he might not get as much playing time. Kansas has a young team as well and could look as some competition, but none with the talent level of Jones.
If all three of them want to commit to the same college, the choice is easy and it should be Duke. All of them will have the potential to start or play big minutes for the Blue Devils.
Duke needs a post player like Okafor, and he would start from day one. Jones will only have to worry about Quinn Cook next year, and he might leave for the NBA if he has the kind of season he is capable of having. There are a bunch of wing players for Duke, but Rasheed Sulaimon, Jabari Parker and/or Rodney Hood could all be leaving early after this season.
If all three of them commit to the same college the choice will be Duke. However, if Winslow does go to a different school, Okafor and Jones could end up at Kansas, and this could leave Winslow at Arizona or Kentucky. This would put Duke in a bad position for next season.
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