Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski has already secured a commitment from a member of the Texas Titans AAU team—2013 shooting guard Matt Jones. Krzyzewski is also courting Jones’ teammate, Julius Randle, the No. 2 player in the class of 2013, according to ESPN.com. Now, the Blue Devil coaching staff has reached out to another player on the Texas Titans—Damian Jones.
Jones, a 6-foot-9 big man, is reportedly a stellar student in the classroom and a capable rebounder, finisher and shot blocker on the court. The one knock on Jones, who is the 70th ranked player in the class of 2013, may be his lack of strength and offensive polish.
Given his strong academic track record, it’s no surprise that Stanford and Vanderbilt are also strongly involved with Jones, as is Florida, according to a tweet by Future150, a college basketball recruiting website.
Right now, the interest between Duke and Jones appears to be in the beginning stages. Depending on how the recruitments of fellow 2013 big men targets Marcus Lee and Austin Nichols shape up, Jones could become a priority for the Blue Devil coaching staff in the coming months.
Speaking of Lee, Kentucky now appears to be getting involved in his recruitment, per a recent tweet by scout.com’s Evan Daniels.
This past weekend was the final July evaluation period for college coaches. And for the third straight week, it was assistant coaches Jeff Capel and Nate James on the recruiting trail for Duke, while Krzyzewski and top assistants Chris Collins and Steve Wojciechowski are preoccupied with the U.S. National men’s basketball team, which won its first Olympic game on Sunday over France.
Orlando, Florida and Las Vegas, Nevada were two of the biggest scenes for the final weekend of major summer AAU tournaments. Capel and James watched numerous prospects, including Justise Winslow, Justin Jackson, Lee, Nichols, Robert Hubbs, Jahlil Okafor, Theo Pinson, Randle, Matt Jones and Damian Jones, among many others.
For the third straight week, Jabari Parker–the top-ranked recruit in the class of 2013–was out of commission due to a foot injury.
As the month of July and the summer AAU circuit come to a close, college basketball fans can expect the top players in the class of 2013 to begin narrowing down their lists of schools, taking official visits and getting more serious about their college decisions.
There are a few more new names surfacing on the Blue Devil coaching staff’s tracking list— Kevin Looney (2014), Grayson Allen (2014) and Austin Grandstaff (2015).
Looney, a 6-foot-7 forward from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a top-20 player in his class.
Allen, meanwhile, is a 6-foot-3 shooting guard who hails from Riverview, Florida. At the moment, he holds offers from Florida Sate, Illinois, and Georgia, among others, according to scout.com.
And Grandstaff, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Texas, might be visiting Durham in the near future, according to a tweet by Andrew Slater of Blue Devil Nation last week.
Analysis: The 2013 recruiting situation is still very foggy in regards to who the Blue Devil coaching staff will land, however, Duke’s blueprint for the 2013 class could look something like this:
- In addition to Matt Jones, bring a transcendent, one-and-done talent, a la Randle or Parker, to Durham.
- Secure a commitment from a big man. Aside from Randle, Nichols and Lee are the only 2013 post players with scholarship offers right now.
- Add another versatile wing. Hubbs, Ishmail Wainright, Semi Ojeleye and Allerik Freeman all hold scholarship offers for what may end up being a first-come, first-serve spot.
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