This week, Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski will have the chance to sell his program face-to-face to a recruit for the first time since leading the U.S. men’s national team to an Olympic gold medal this summer.
On Thursday, the Blue Devil coaching staff will host Karl Towns, the No. 1 ranked player in the class of 2015 according to both scout.com and ESPN.com, for an unofficial visit, per his twitter account.
Towns is a very versatile 6-foot-11 combo forward with terrific long-range shooting ability, solid perimeter skills and quality athleticism. His unique blend of offensive polish and size make him an elite prospect, prompting some to label him as a stouter version of Kevin Durant.
Off the court, Towns is an exceptional student that ranks atop of his class at Saint Joseph high school (Metuchen, N.J.), and has aspirations to be a doctor one day.
Leading St. Joseph to its first New Jersey state title this year, Towns made a statement in his first season of high school basketball.
Since then, very few high school basketball players in the country benefitted more from this summer than Towns did. While his peers were playing on the AAU circuit, Towns played on the Dominican Republic National Team and faced some of the best players in the world each outing.
Led by Kentucky head coach John Calipari, the Domincan Republic fell just short of qualifying for the London Olympics this summer.
Krzyzewski’s Team USA, headlined by LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant, among others, squared off against Towns and the Dominican Republic in a July exhibition game. The Americans routed the Dominican Republic 113-59 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nevertheless, the unique experience to be on the same court against the NBA’s best proved to be extremely beneficial for the 16-year old Towns, who had three points, two rebounds and an assist in 9:24 minutes of action.
Having played for Calipari over the summer, many college basketball fans feel like the Wildcats may be the team to beat in Towns’ recruitment.
Towns’ first visit to Durham this week should lay the foundation between the two parties for what promises to be a hotly contested recruitment in the coming years.
Before visiting Duke, Towns will pay a visit North Carolina on Wednesday.