As is often the case in life, the rich got richer in the world of college basketball on Sunday, as the Duke Blue Devils added to a 2016 recruiting class currently ranked as the top in the nation by Hoopniks.com.
6′-8′ power forward Javin DeLaurier, a top-50 prospect from Virginia, announced his pledge to Duke. He joins a pair of previously pledged prospects in top-5 wing forward Jayson Tatum and top-15 point guard Frank Jackson. Nabbing DeLaurier should make Duke fans forget that Auburn picked up a player who potentially could have been one of Duke’s top targets in the 2017 cycle, center Austin Wiley.
DeLaurier came on strong during the spring and summer as a frontcourt prospect for Team Loaded, which was one of the better grassroots teams nationally. He gained a rep as perhaps the top energy player on the circuit, but that description sells his ability level short. DeLaurier looks like the perfect fit to eventually fill the role Amile Jefferson will have on the 2015 Duke squad, and perhaps be a better four year player.
His playing time as a freshman is likely to be impacted by the potential NBA early entry decision of Chase Jeter, but either way he should be provide an active substitute early with the potential to develop into much more down the line.
Duke Scholarship Grid
|Point Guards||Frank Jackson (Fr)||Frank Jackson (So)||Frank Jackson (Jr)||Frank Jackson (Sr)|
|Wings||Matt Jones (Sr)||Grayson Allen (Sr)||Luke Kennard (Sr)||Jayson Tatum (Sr)|
|Grayson Allen (Jr)||Luke Kennard (Jr)||Jayson Tatum (Jr)||Jack White (Sr)|
|Luke Kennard (So)||Jayson Tatum (So)||Jack White (Jr)||Alex O'Connell (Jr)|
|Jayson Tatum (Fr)||Jack White (So)||Alex O'Connell (So)|
|Jack White (Fr)||Alex O'Connell (Fr)|
|Posts||Amile Jefferson (Sr)||Sean Obi (Sr)||Chase Jeter (Sr)||Javin DeLaurier (Sr)|
|Sean Obi (Jr)||Chase Jeter (Jr)||Antonio Vrankovic (Sr)||Harry Giles (S)|
|Chase Jeter (So)||Antonio Vrankovic (Jr)||Javin DeLaurier (Jr)||Marques Bolden (Sr)|
|Antonio Vrankovic (So)||Javin DeLaurier (So)||Harry Giles (Jr)|
|Javin DeLaurier (Fr)||Harry Giles (So)||Marques Bolden (Jr)|
|Harry Giles (Fr)||Marques Bolden (So)|
|Marques Bolden (Fr)|
Manic day set for Monday
Depending on how you stack them up, at least five or so top 150 prospects in the 2016 class are set to make their collegiate intentions known on Monday.
The package deal of lead guard DeJon Jarreau and Brison Gresham are set to announce between UMass and Miami, and the lanky Jarreau has the potential to develop into a dynamite college guard. With length and athleticism at the guard slot, Jarreau has nothing but upside. The same can be said for Gresham, who comes in around 6′-9″.
Georgia guard Brandon Robinson also came on strong during the summer, and seems quite likely to become the second player in the North Carolina Tar Heels’ recruiting class. He made the trek to Chapel Hill last weekend, so North Carolina has to feel good about the timing of the decision.
Guard Xavier Sneed is also on the clock to announce his decision between Xavier, Kansas State and Illinois, and New Jersey point guard Breein Tyree will make his pledge following an official visit to Ole Miss.
Rams and Rebels get busy
Both Oregon State and Oregon made a splash over the weekend with top-100 commits, as the Beavers nabbed guard JaQuori McLaughlin and the Ducks picked up center M.J. Cage, but it was actually Rhode Island and UNLV who have arguably made the most impactful pickups on the recruiting trail over the last several days.
The Rebels significantly bolstered their depth at the three backcourt positions, in adding prep school guard Christian Vital and Findlay Prep (NV) wing Carlos Johnson in short order. Vital projects to help at both guard slots while Johnson has the strength and size to be a mismatch at the “2” or “3” in the Mountain West. Vital and Johnson join lanky wing Justin Jackson in a class which could end up ranked in the top 30 nationally if the chips fall right.
Meanwhile, Rhode Island has continued to upgraded their roster, year after year, under head coach Danny Hurley. The Rams and Hurley added more significant pieces to their effort in Washington, D.C. guard Jeff Dowtin and burgeoning New Jersey big man Cyril Langevine, who is thought to be one of the highest-upside posts in the Garden State this year. Each player can develop into an all-conference performer down the line in the Atlantic-10, and each joins two other big man in what is likely to compose the 2016 incoming class at Rhode Island, barring unforseen circumstances.