Losing Kevin Knox II to Kentucky was a big blow for the other schools – Duke, North Carolina, Florida State and Missouri – that recruited him.
Knox is the No. 8 recruit in the country and would likely have been a game-changer for any program.
But landing Trevon Duval, the top point guard in the country, could be bigger for Duke than Knox would have been. Duval is perhaps the Blue Devils’ most important prospect because he would fill a hole the Blue Devils have been missing since they won a national championship in 2015.
A true point guard.
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Senior guard Grayson Allen, who has handled point guard duties some for Duke, led the Blue Devils in assists last season as a junior. He also had 3.5 assists per game and averaged 2.2 turnovers.
Guard Frank Jackson, who was a freshman last season, took over toward the end of the year and averaged only 1.7 assists per game. He was primarily a scorer, as was Allen.
Allen will return for his senior season. Jackson, who declared for the NBA draft without signing with an agent, is still eligible to return if he chooses to.
Duval, who is 6-3, 185 pounds, is the No. 1 point guard in the country, and rated No. 5 overall by 247sports’ composite rankings. He is a true point guard.
Duval, a Delaware native, attended IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., his senior year of high school. IMG Academy is a boarding school and sports training program.
There, Duval averaged 16.2 points per game, 7.7 assists, 3 rebounds and 2.9 steals.
Brian Nash, the director of basketball at IMG Academy, said Duval helped boost the basketball program and helped the team make it to nationals this past season.
Nash says Duval is a humble kid whose talent is “elite-level.”
“He has (Russell) Westbrook athleticism and length,” Nash said. “He’s a great passer. He has great vision. When he plays with better players, you see how gifted he is as a teammate, and he can get players open shots.”
Nash said as Duval continues to improve, his stock will continue to rise. He has no doubt Duval will succeed at the next level.
“Tre has played competitively on the high school level against the best players in the country, and on the AAU circuit,” he said. “He’s won championships. He’s a winner. He loves to win and will find ways to will his team to win.”
Duke is among the five schools Duval is interested in. Also on his list are Seton Hall, Kansas, Arizona and Baylor.
Nash said he expects Duval to publicly announce this week when he will make a decision. The deadline to sign a National Letter of Intent is May 17.