Writer: Andrew Martin
Zion Williamson Adds to Duke’s Recruiting Class
Saturday evening, Zion Williamson, one of the most hyped up recruits coming out of high school for a long time announced his college decision. Despite 247Sports crystal ball prediction which had Clemson as an 85% favorite, and just 4% odds for Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Duke. However, Zion shocked the nation with his commitment to Duke, giving the Blue Devils the #1, #2, #3, and #10 recruits in the 2018 class. Now with R.J. Barrett, Cameron Reddish, Zion Williamson, and Tre Jones, Duke has once again established a top recruiting class, and looks like a serious threat to the rest of College Basketball for the 2018-19 season.
Zion Williamson has gone viral over the past couple years for his outrageous athletic ability, with some calling him “the next Lebron”. At 6’7, 272 pounds, it makes no sense whatsoever that he can get above the rim the way that he does. Videos all over the internet show him throwing down absolutely ridiculous dunks and smacking opponents shots into the stands. He’s been one of the focuses of recruitment due to his mixtapes produced by Ball Is Life, and while other recruits use Ball Is Life, no one has shined in their videos quite like Zion. I could sit here and continue to tell you how special of a player he is, or I could tell you to watch this video, and you will understand very quickly.
Going into next season, these four recruits could be playing with names like Marques Bolden, Alex O’Connell, Javin DeLaurier, Jordan Goldwire, Jack White, and maybe even Gary Trent JR. if he decided to come back for another year. That kind of team could more than likely place Duke at an early top 5 ranking and possible final four favorite in the 2018-19 season. Coach K and the Blue Devils recruiting staff have made a great habit out of locking in top recruit’s year after year. In fact, since 2014 Duke has gotten 16 recruits ranked in the top 15 of their class, including the #1 overall player in four out of those five years. Year after year, Coach K brings the best high school talent across the nation to Durham to play for him, and by the time the players leave, they’re NBA ready.
Obviously most of these top recruits are all one and done guys, but in the current state of CBB, that’s what it takes to be successful now. Coach K has figured that out, and learned how to make top athletes want to spend their one college year at Duke. Put yourself in the shoes of a top recruit, you’re getting all kinds of attention from coaches and analysts all across the country. You’re getting calls from Coach Cal, Bill Self, Roy Williams, Shaka Smart, and Coach K. However, what sets Duke apart from the rest of the competition is Duke itself. When a recruit is invited by the all-time wins leader and former US Coach to Cameron Indoor Stadium, and has thousands of Cameron Crazies screaming his name, it quickly becomes very hard to say no to being a Blue Devil.
With a new one and done era in full effect, it’s up to college coaches to find out what recruits are looking for, and what makes them want to be apart of what you’re offering. Coach K has mastered that, which is the exact reason Duke is dominating, and continue dominating recruitment.