Kelly makes his call

Ravenscroft senior says Duke is the best fit for him

Staff WriterOctober 10, 2008 

Ryan Kelly, a 6-foot-10 basketball forward at Ravenscroft, announced Thursday that he has accepted a scholarship offer from Duke.

Kelly is ranked as the No. 11 prospect in the country by scout.com and the No. 14 prospect by recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons of All-Star Sports.

As he drove back to Raleigh from Charlotte, where he made his announcement, Kelly said he thought about his choices on Sunday and made lists of pluses and minuses for each school.

There were reports that he had narrowed his list to Duke and Notre Dame, but Kelly said all of his finalists -- Wake Forest, North Carolina, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, Georgetown and Duke -- were still being considered until a couple of days ago.

"I sat down and sifted through the information," he said. "I took my time. Eventually, it came down to a gut feeling that Duke was the best place for me."

Kelly said it was hard to look back and think about how close the schools were.

"Right now, I am totally, 100 percent, sure that Duke is the right place for me," he said.

Gibbons ranks Kelly as the top high-post player in the country. Gibbons lists Duke recruit Mason Plumlee of Arden (N.C.) Christ School as the No. 2 high-post prospect.

Miles Plumlee, Mason's older brother, is currently a freshman at Duke.

"Duke landed the top high-post prospect in the country, in my estimation," Gibbons said.

"Getting Kelly doesn't solve Duke's low-post problem, but perhaps Duke's Mike Krzyzewski is looking at a different way to play. He coached a U.S. Olympic team that had only one low-post player, and it won the gold medal."

Kelly said he and the Plumlees are similar players but different enough that they could play different positions.

He envisions himself in a role similar to current Duke player Kyle Singler or former Blue Devils standout Mike Dunleavy.

"Duke has a rich tradition with players at my position," Kelly said. "We will be competing with each other in one way, but we could all play at the same time."

Kelly said making the decision removed a weight from his shoulders.

"I can concentrate on school, my final season at Ravenscroft and hopefully winning a state championship," he said.

Kelly took official visits to Georgetown, Notre Dame, Wake Forest and Vanderbilt. He visited Duke and North Carolina unofficially.

Kelly averaged 24 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots last season at Ravenscroft, which is coached by former Duke guard Kevin Billerman.

Kelly made his announcement on ESPNU.

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