Should years of recent history repeat again next spring, multiple underclassmen will leave Durham, N.C. to fulfill life-long dreams of playing in the NBA. What would prove a death-knell for the vast majority of college basketball programs across the country, though, is bound to serve as the annual opportunity for Duke's incoming freshmen to lead their team to NCAA championship glory.
And if early returns from the recruiting trail are any indication, Seattle big man Paolo Banchero and his future classmates seem destined to follow in the footsteps of so many star-studded Blue Devils freshmen before them.
Two Duke verbal commits and three key Blue Devils targets from the high school class of 2021 have been named Sports Illustrated All-American candidates.
Listed below is the full breakdown of Duke commits and prime targets who rank among SI's top-99 high school seniors in the country.
C Paolo Banchero/6-10, 230/Seattle, Wa.
SF A.J. Griffin/6-6, 195/White Plains, N.Y.
SF Patrick Baldwin Jr./6-9, 200/Sussex, Wisc.
C Charles Bediako/6-10, 210/Bradenton, Fla.
SG Trevor Keels/6-5, 210/Fairfax, Va.
Hundreds and hundreds of student-athletes were evaluated for the SI99—Sports Illustrated’s ranking of the top-99 senior high school basketball players in the country—before the list of All-American candidates was finalized. Video highlights, scouting analyses and a breakdown of each player’s college verbal commitment and/or top college contenders can be found on their bio pages at SIAllAmerican.com.
The SI99 was unveiled on Dec. 2, accompanied by lists of prospects ordered by state and college choice/contenders. Position rankings, in-depth videos on top-rated players and more will be released throughout the remainder of December. Sports Illustrated’s final All-American teams for the 2020–21 prep hoops season will be announced in coming months.