Top prospects Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones commit to Duke

Posted by Laura Keeley on November 15, 2013 

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Duke basketball recruits (left to right) Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones watch as the Blue Devils defeat the Bowie State Bulldogs.

CHUCK LIDDY — cliddy@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

Pencil in Duke as the early frontrunner for the 2015 national championship.

The No. 1 overall recruit in the class of 2014, center Jahlil Okafor, and the top point guard and No. 4 overall recruit, Tyus Jones, simultaneously committed to Duke on an ESPNU broadcast. That puts the Blue Devils in the driver’s seat to land the top 2014 class and see the benefits on the floor for the 2014-15 season.

Find full coverage of the duo's announcement here.

Duke had landed four top-five prospects since ESPN began its top 100 rankings in 2007—forward Kyle Singler (2007, No. 4), point guard Kyrie Iriving (2010, No. 3), point guard Austin Rivers (2011, No. 3) and now Okafor and Jones.

Their package deal is believed to be the first among top prospects from different states, and it was something Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski encouraged, Okafor said, as he told the two he that it was special and encouraged them to stick together.

Both Jones and Okafor cited Krzyzewski as a main reason for their decision.

"With Duke I felt more comfortable going to play with the winningest coach in college basketball.," Okafor said. "And me personally getting a chance to help Coach K with his 1,000th game…that was the tipping point for me."

Neither one had to sell the other, Jones said. They both agreed that was the best fit for them to go and make an impact in their freshman year while also growing as players and people.

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