Talented Trio Considers Duke

Photo Credit to

It’s been known for a while that Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones, respectively the number one ranked center and point guard in the ESPN 60 2014 basketball class, are going to play college hoops together. However, as published in a June 19 SportingNews article by Roger Kuznia, Jones said he believes this package deal might soon become over 200 pounds heavier.

            As Jones hinted in the article a week ago, the two high school superstars feel like Justise Winslow, the second ranked shooting guard in the 2014 class, is ready to join the duo in their pact to play college ball at the same school.

            Right now, all three players have received offers from Baylor, Duke, and Kansas. If the talented trio decides to become Blue Devils, what would their prospective roles be on the team for the 2014-2015 season? Let’s take a quick look.

            After the the 2013-2014 season, Okafor, Jones, and Winslow would need to compete with a number of players at their position for a starting job or playing time. For Okafor, the only foreseeable competition for the starting spot at center would be Marshall Plumlee. Plumlee did not show a great deal of promise in his redshirt freshman campaign, playing only 50 minutes and scoring one field goal over the course of the entire season.

            Jones would certainly see minutes at the point, but could potentially be the team’s starting point guard based on Quinn Cook’s decision whether to leave for the NBA draft or stay in Durham for his senior season. However, Cook’s absence wouldn’t necessarily secure the position for Jones. As we saw in Duke’s 2010 national championship run with Jon Scheyer, Coach K is not afraid to have a strong ball handler and floor-spacer run the point even if he’s not a traditional point guard.

            Winslow would likely see more quality players competing with him for playing time. Rasheed Sulaimon, who had a fantastic freshman year starting 33 of the team’s 36 games and scoring 11.6 ppg, would undoubtedly be the top choice at the shooting guard position if he has not chosen to forgo his junior season and enter the draft. Winslow would also face competition from 2013 commit Matt Jones and 2014 commit Grayson Allen.

            It would seem that at Duke, each player would have a good chance to make an immediate impact as a freshman. If the pact remains intact, whatever school lands these three prospects will be both lucky to do so and undoubtedly better for it.