Recently I had the opportunity to interview Clint Jackson, who covers ACC basketball recruiting at Rivals. We discussed Duke recruiting and much more. The interview is below.
How do you feel about Duke’s chances with Patrick Baldwin Jr. and Trevor Keels?
Well I’m actually going to have a conversation hopefully tonight or tomorrow with Trevor Keels head coach Glenn Farello over at Paul VI. So, I’ll get a better gauge on that. But, it seems like Duke’s really focused on him, and Duke generally keeps a really small net when they feel good about a kid. So, they don’t seem to be recruiting a lot of big guards like Trevor Keels in this class which makes me think they feel pretty good about him. And, I do know that he likes Duke, and there are some other schools involved like Villanova and Virginia. But, you know Duke’s tough to beat when they zero in on a kid like this.
Baldwin I haven’t talked to in a couple of months. But, I think the competition there would be his father. His father’s the Head Coach at UW-Milwaukee. But, Duke’s got a ton of examples of guys that have similar skill sets to him that have done really well and gotten out of college in one year. So, I think the fact that they have an offense that spreads the floor, and allows the freedom to make basketball plays, and have just lots of movement, lots of freedom. Those power forwards who can play on the perimeter like Patrick Baldwin tend to do well at Duke.
After up and down freshman seasons, what do you expect from Wendell Moore and Matthew Hurt as sophomores? And In what areas do you expect them to improve the most?
I think Wendell Moore will make a big jump this year, he’s really worked hard over the summer. He’s added strength. I think he’ll be more aggressive this year, and I think he’ll be more consistent. I think we’ll see Wendell Moore make a big jump.
And then Matthew Hurt; he’s really put on some strength and some weight. And, his mindset this year is focused on being more aggressive, and I just spoke with his dad last week, and just put out an article for Devil’s Illustrated. And, he’s really worked on his skillset and really worked on his aggressiveness. So, I think they’re both due to make a big jump, and I’d be surprised if they both did not start this year. I expect both of them to start this year and do really well at duke in their sophomore years.
Between Duke’s two five star freshman guards (Roach and Steward) which do you expect to have a greater impact as a freshman?
That’s a tough question. I would say that they could both have a big impact as a freshman. But, Jeremy Roach because I think he’s going to be the best point guard on the team. So, I think he’s probably a starter as a freshman.
Whereas I think DJ Steward might have a little more competition at that two guard spot. He’s more of a two. But, I think Steward can really help them by scoring and shooting. He’s a sniper from the outside. He tends to go on big scoring runs, like he’ll run off 12, 15 points in a matter of 10 minutes because he’s such an explosive scorer. I think they could both have a really good impact.
But, if I had to make a choice I’d say Roach just because I think the competition at the point guard spot is a lot less crowded than it is at the two guard spot which is where I think Steward would play.
What stands out to you about Jalen Johnson? What are your expectations for him at Duke?
I think Jalen Johnson will be the next in line of one and done big wings at Duke. Or hybrid forwards, whatever you want to call them. Jalen Johnson, what stands out to me is he’s 6 foot 9 and he handles the ball really comfortably. He’s a good driver, the game comes really easy for him. He’s a big time athlete, he’s going to be difficult to match up with as a hybrid power forward. So, He’ll probably be that 4-3 role at Duke.
And, guys that have skill set, like guys before him. You know Jayson Tatum’s, Brandon Ingram’s, Mike Dunleavy’s, Luol Deng’s, Jabari Parker’s, guys like that. They just do so well at Duke because of the spacing that they have. And, I think that Jalen Johnson will be probably Duke’s best chance at a one and done prospect this year.
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