Basketball

Duke basketball staff lands underrated prospect on recruiting trail

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Depth concerns regarding the Duke basketball backcourt are now in the past.

Just as the 247Sports Crystal Ball had hinted at in recent days, the Duke basketball recruiting team has picked up a commitment from Blair Academy (N.J.) point guard Jaylen Blakes.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound four-star prospect, who announced his college destination on Monday evening, ranks No. 102 overall on the 247Sports 2021 Composite. That said, Blakes seems a tad underrated due to his 6-foot-8 wingspan, smothering defense, and overall aggressive style of play.

Blakes is now set to join at least three other freshmen at Duke next season. And all three of those fellow future Blue Devils are five-stars: Paul VI (Va.) shooting guard Trevor Keels, Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) small forward AJ Griffin, and O’Dea (Wash.) power forward Paolo Banchero.

With the addition of Blakes, Duke’s haul moves to No. 4 on the 247Sports Class Rankings. However, it is still the only bunch in the country that includes a trio of five-star talents (Keels, Griffin, and Banchero all rank inside the top 20).

Will this latest Duke basketball prize see much playing time?

At the very least, Jaylen Blakes should provide the 2021-22 Duke basketball roster with solid depth at floor general behind the projected returning starter in sophomore guard Jeremy Roach.

Given Blakes’ competitive demeanor and undervalued defensive intensity, though, there does seem to be a strong chance that head coach Mike Krzyzewski will look his way quite often.

Now, Coach K and his assistants have an offer remaining on the table to only one prep senior: Hamilton (Wis.) five-star small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., who ranks No. 4 overall in the class and has not provided an exact timeline for his decision.

Meanwhile, the Blue Devils have also received commitments this offseason from two graduate transfers in former Marquette power forward Theo John and former Davidson power forward Bates Jones.

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