A year after he outdueled Tom Izzo for the services of Jabari Parker, Mike Krzyzewski pulled off another recruiting coup Friday. By landing the package deal of Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones, Krzyzewski positioned Duke for another national-title challenge even if Parker departs for the NBA after this season.
Jones, ranked No. 4 by ESPN, has been Duke’s top point-guard target for two years, so his commitment was not unexpected, but the Minnesota native was able to bring along his AAU teammate as well. Okafor, the nation’s consensus top prospect, is a 6-foot-10, 265-pound post presence from Chicago who will give Duke the powerful big man in the paint the Blue Devils lack this season.
Throw in shooting guard Grayson Allen, and Duke has three top-25 recruits coming in next year to go with returnees Quinn Cook, Rasheed Sulaimon, Amile Jefferson, Matt Jones and Semi Ojeleye – and possibly Rodney Hood as well, if he doesn’t turn pro.
Parker was the No. 1-ranked recruit in last year’s class until Andrew Wiggins reclassified; Okafor is the No. 1-ranked player in this year’s class. It’s quite a set of back-to-back pick-ups for a 66-year-old coach who, along with his recommitment to USA Basketball, has never seemed further from retirement.