Duke Misses on 2021 Point Guard Kennedy Chandler


2021 point guard Kennedy Chandler has referred to Duke as his “dream school,” but the five-star playmaker chose not to follow that dream.

Chandler announced on Friday that he would be playing in college for the Tennessee Volunteers. Chandler chose the Vols over Duke and the rest of a top five that included Kentucky, North Carolina and Memphis.

“They’ve been recruiting me hard from the beginning, and I have a great feeling with them,” Chandler told SI earlier this week. “Coach (Rick) Barnes and Coach (Kim) English are great guys and they are really prioritizing me.”

Chandler averaged 24 points, five assists and five rebounds a game for Briarcrest (Eads, Tenn.) last season.

The 6-foot-1, 165-pounder is the consensus top point guard in the class and was one of Duke’s primary targets. It is the second big setback in the class for the Blue Devils, after shooter Max Christie chose Michigan State earlier this summer.

Chandler’s decision could lead to another setback to the Blue Devils in their 2021 recruiting efforts. Duke has prioritized power forward Paolo Banchero, but Chandler has said repeatedly that the two have considered teaming up in college as a “package deal.”

“I think we’ve got a good chance of teaming up. If it doesn’t happen, he’ll always be my brother, but I like our chances,” Chandler told SI.com. “We’ve got great chemistry on the court and that’s what makes it work so well.”

Duke does not appear to have a scholarship offer out to a 2021 point guard at this point and perhaps is banking on getting either Jeremy Roach or DJ Steward, both freshmen in the 2020 class, back for a second season in 2021.

Duke has a commitment from 2021 small forward AJ Griffin and is pursuing shooting guard Trevor Keels, forward Patrick Baldwin, power forwards Banchero and Caleb Houstan and center Charles Bediako.