A couple weeks ago, I took a look at Duke’s top recruiting targets in the class of 2021. Since then, Paolo Banchero shocked everyone by committing to Duke. Now, with two commitments so far, Duke’s 2021 recruiting class is beginning to look like another loaded class for Coach K. Here’s a look at how I think Duke’s 2021 recruiting class will look when it’s all said and done.
Griffin was the first player to commit to Duke in the class of 2021, and he’s a five star small forward. He’s gone first overall in several way too early 2022 mock drafts due to his immense potential. Griffin is not only insanely athletic, but he also has some skill and shooting ability. He’s a good ball handler for someone of his size (6’7’’ 200 lbs.) and shot 63% from three on 19 shots at the 2019 EYBL (he played in just four games). That athleticism with that shooting ability? Unstoppable.
Banchero committed to Duke very recently, which shocked a lot of people. That was huge for Duke. He, like Griffin, will be a star immediately at Duke. Banchero can play at the four or the five, and can play either on the perimeter or out of the post. However, he’s at his best when working out of the elbows where he has the ability to hit the mid range jumper, drive to the rim, or use his passing ability to find an open teammate.
Baldwin Jr. became the youngest player to ever receive a scholarship offer from Coach K back in 2018. That shows just how big of a priority Baldwin was, and continues to be. It isn’t hard to see why Duke has put such a priority on Baldwin. At 6’10” Baldwin has one of the smoothest shooting strokes that you’re going to find at the high school level. He has a high basketball IQ, and has improved a ton as a shot creator over the last couple years. Duke is considered the favorite for Baldwin as of now, but beating out his dad at Wisconsin-Milwaukee could be difficult. Still, I think that Duke will eventually land the top three prospect.
Virginia and Villanova were once considered the heavy favorites in the recruitment of Keels. However, in recent months Duke has put a priority on Keels, and have become the favorites. If Duke were to get a commitment from Keels, it would provide a major boost to the backcourt. The five star guard is strong, and a solid perimeter defender. But, the most important skill that Keels brings is his high level three point shooting ability.
It’s looking more and more likely that Duke will land these four 2021 prospects. And, that would make for a spectacular recruiting class. How could a team possibly hope to defend Patrick Baldwin Jr., Paolo Banchero, AND A.J Griffin? Add in Trevor Keels, and this class could rival Duke’s 2018 recruiting class, if my prediction is correct.
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