Duke

Oak Hill point guard Matt Coleman chooses Texas over Duke

Four-star prospect Matt Coleman will play basketball at Texas and not Duke, he announced early Monday afternoon on an ESPNU broadcast.

Coleman, a 6-foot-1, 174-pound guard from Norfolk, Va., was one of the top-rated point guards in the country. He plays basketball at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia.

His decision was down to two schools, Duke and Texas, coached by Shaka Smart.

During the broadcast, Coleman pulled a Texas hat out of a box, and said he’d be going there. He thanked his parents and the coaches who recruited him. Coleman said he has watched both teams closely and decided on Texas because he knew the Longhorns needed him more.

“Shaka, he’s a players’ coach, watching them play, and you’re just constantly hearing like ‘Texas needs a point guard,’ ” he said. “ ‘Things would be different if they had a point guard.’ The way they play up and down fast-paced, and I know the ball will be in my hand from day one.”

Coleman played for Team USA’s Under-18 team last summer, where Smart was the head coach. He said he got a good feel for his playing style. Smart also recruited him when he was Virginia Commonwealth’s coach, and Coleman was in eighth grade.

“He wants the best for his players, and he only wants you to be great and good as you can be,” Coleman said. “He said ‘Matt the keys are yours. Now lead us to a national championship.’ I said ‘I got you.’ 

Coleman would have been Duke’s fourth commit, all of which are rated among the top 100 prospects in the country.

In 2016, Duke secured commitments from five-star recruits Wendell Carter Jr., a 6-10, 262-pound forward and Gary Trent Jr., a 6-5, 213-pound guard. Alex O’Connell, a 6-5, 170-pound guard and four-star prospect also committed to Duke.

There are still three top-10 prospects who have interest in Duke. Trevon Duval, the top-rated point guard in the country, announced last November through Twitter that he had narrowed down his top-five choices to Duke, Baylor, Kansas, Seton Hall and Arizona.

Kevin Knox, the No. 7 rated recruit in the country has narrowed his list to Duke, UNC, Florida State and Kentucky. And Mohamed Bamba, the No. 3 rated prospect in the country, according to 247sports, is also said to be interested in Duke, along with Kentucky, Michigan, Texas and Arizona.

Jonathan M. Alexander: 919-829-4822, @jonmalexander

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