It is now wait-and-see mode for the Duke basketball coaching staff.
This past weekend, Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski and his staff hosted Jabari Parker—the No. 2 overall player in the class of 2013—and his family for an official visit. Parker sat right behind the Duke bench as the Blue Devils beat Western Washington 105-87 in the the team’s first exhibition game of the season. The Cameron Crazies chanted Parker’s name a number of times, but the stoic wing player remained focused on the game and those around him without acknowledging the cheers.
The Chicago product will officially visit Florida, Stanford and BYU in the coming weeks before announcing his college decision.
Michigan State, however, is considered by many to be the leader for Parker, with the Blue Devils perceived to be in second place.
Krzyzewski is also awaiting a decision from his other top target in the class of 2013—forward Austin Nichols. The 6-foot-9 big man from Tennessee is expected to make his college choice public in the next week or two. Nichols was in Durham earlier this month for an official visit and will pick between Duke, Tenneessee, Auburn, Virginia, Memphis and Vanderbilt.
Current rumblings, that may or may not carry any merit, indicate that the wind may be blowing in Tennessee’s favor for Nichols.
At this point, there are no other 2013 recruits that are publicly known to be on the Blue Devil coaching staff’s radar. That could quickly change though, in the event that Duke strikes out on both Parker and Nichols.
In other news: The class of 2013 received a major face lift when Andrew Wiggins—previously the No. 1 overall player in the class of 2014—reclassified to the class of 2013. The move makes this year’s recruiting class one of the most special collections of talent in recent memory.
Wiggins’ reclassification has also stirred up the recruiting landscape.
Until now, Kentucky and Florida State were thought to be in a two-horse race to receive Wiggins’ pledge. That notion, however, appears to be losing a little bit of traction. Last week, national recruiting analyst Evan Daniels of scout.com reported that Wiggins would like to open up his recruitment more by having North Carolina, Syracuse, Kansas and Ohio State get involved more seriously.
The turn of events has excited the Tar Heel fan base and for good reason. Kentucky already has a stable of alpha-male players—Aaron (SG) and Andrew Harrison (PG), as well as James Young (SF) and possibly Julius Randle (PF)—heading to Lexington in 2013. Thus, schools like North Carolina, among others, feel like they may have a realistic chance at Wiggins.
Florida State, which is where both of his parents went, will likely be a player until the very end, although some question the likelihood of Wiggins attending a football school.
Helping their sales pitch, the Seminoles recently picked up a commitment from Wiggins’ friend, who is also his AAU and high school teammate—shooting guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes.
Duke, on the other hand, will most likely not enter the race due to its pursuit of Parker.
Realistically, it is still too early to tell if the Tar Heels, and other schools, are legitimate contenders to land Wiggins, who many scouts feel is the best high school player since LeBron James. As he schedules and takes his official visits in the upcoming months, it will certainly be a story to watch because whatever program Wiggins chooses will instantly become a contender for the national championship.