What do you do when you lose two first-team AP All-Americas, one of which was Zion Williamson? If you're Mike Krzyzewski and Duke, you reload, of course. The Blue Devils continued to do just that on Friday, when five-star forward Matthew Hurt committed to add a second top-10 recruit to their 2019 recruiting class.
Hurt is ranked as the No. 8 recruit in his class on the 247Sports composite and joins No. 3 Vernon Carey, No. 22 Wendell Moore and No. 34 Boogie Ellis as high school players that are Durham-bound. Hurt's decision was not unexpected, as he had been considered a Duke lean, but the 6'9" big man from Rochester, Minn., chose the Blue Devils over a top four that also included North Carolina, Kansas and Kentucky.
In beating out the bevy of fellow bluebloods for Hurt, coach Mike Krzyzewski ensured yet another elite recruiting class. The Blue Devils' group had been ranked 11th nationally prior to Hurt's commitment, but jumped to No. 1 following the news. If it stays at No. 1, it will be the fourth straight top-ranked class for Duke on the 247Sports composite.
What is Duke getting in Hurt? SI.com NBA draft expert Jeremy Woo breaks down the game of the McDonald's All-American:
"Hurt is a college-ready forward who can run the floor, space it out to three, and should be a readymade rotation piece for Duke. He’s skilled as a finisher and passer and is a bit more athletic than he’s given credit for. While he needs to get stronger physically, he has a solid feel for the game and should be productive as a freshman. Hurt is not a clear-cut one-and-done case at this juncture, but he stands as a major addition to Duke’s recruiting class and should provide valuable frontcourt minutes out of the gate."
Duke could get even more good news very soon. After making a late charge, it’s also the favorite to land four-star guard Cassius Stanley, who is ranked as the nation's No. 29 recruit. Stanley, who has also considered Kansas, Oregon and UCLA, is expected to announce his decision on Monday.
The Blue Devils, of course, are losing a trio of one-and-done players from their 32-win team that made the Elite Eight: Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish, who are all projected as likely top-five picks in June's NBA draft. Point guard Tre Jones, however, will be back for his sophomore season, giving Duke a steady presence with a year of starting experience to run the offense. Role players poised to return barring a future departure include forwards Javin DeLaurier and Jack White, center Marques Bolden and guards Alex O'Connell, Joey Baker and Jordan Goldwire.
Duke was ranked fifth in SI.com's Way-Too-Early Top 25 for 2019–20.