Duke’s Coach K talks about his special group of freshmen
Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski got a commitment from a class of 2020 five-star player on Thursday.
Jalen Johnson, a 6-8, 215-pound small forward from Nicolet High in Glendale, Wisc., posted a video on his personal Twitter account Thursday to announce his commitment to the Blue Devils.
“I’m excited to announce that next year I will be playing for Coach K and Duke University,” Johnson said in the one minute video. “Go Duke.”
Johnson, the No. 4 player in the class of 2020, picked Duke over Arizona, UCLA, Arizona State and Arkansas. He is the top-ranked player in Wisconsin and the No. 1 small forward in the nation, according to 247Sports. Last season at Nicolet, Johnson averaged 20 points per game and 11.4 rebounds.
Johnson will play in the Nike EYBL Peach Jam next week with Phenom University. He has averaged 17.0 per game during this summer’s EYBL circuit, while helping Phenom University to an 11-2 record.
He’s the second 2020 five-star commit for Krzyzewski. Fairfax, Va. guard Jeremy Roach committed to the Blue Devils on May 8. Roach will also be at Peach Jam next week with Team Takeover.
Krzyzewski has secured commitments from at least two five-stars since the 2014 season. From 2016-2018, the Blue Devils brought in four five-star recruits with each class. The 2019 class ended that streak with just two five-star prospects (Vernon Carey, Jr., Matthew Hurt) in the four-man class. Wendell Moore dropped to a four-star in the final rankings.
Of the 21 five-star prospects who enrolled at Duke from 2012-2018, 15 were one and done. Of those 15, 12 were first-round draft picks. Johnson is projected to follow the trend of previous big time freshmen who have played for the Blue Devils. Whenever he and Roach leave campus, they are both already projected to be first-round picks.
With Johnson and Roach, Duke currently has the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation. If that ranking holds up, it will give Krzyzewski the top class for the fifth time in the past seven years. Krzyzewski brought in three straight top-ranked classes from 2016-18, before the class of 2019, which was ranked No. 4 in the country, but still finished as the top class in the ACC.