Duke working hard in the heart of Texas

Duke is working hard in the state of Texas. With two commitments and another huge target in the state, Duke hopes to continue their strong run in the Lone Star State

The state of Texas is known for producing elite level football talent, but things aren't shabby on the basketball side either. The Lone Star State is producing an unprecedented amount of big time talent, and the Duke Blue Devils are doing their best to take advantage of it.

In the 2012 class the Duke Blue Devils had great perimeter options in their own backyard. While they no doubt put a lot of early effort into recruiting Rodney Purvis, as time went on, and even after Purvis de-committed from Louisville, Duke seemed focused on Rasheed Sulaimon.

The sharp shooter out of the Houston area eventually picked Duke, and is now their only signee in the 2012 class and a top 10 prospect.

Well that worked out so well for the Blue Devils that they decided to do it again in 2013. Duke evaluated Matt Jones as maybe the premier shooter in the class, and their perimeter recruiting focus shifted toward getting his commitment.

Jones visited Duke for their Midnight Madness festivities, and the Blue Devils seemed like the team to beat for him starting off very early in the process. Along with Duke, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio State, Texas, Kansas, and others were firmly involved with Jones. Still it was the Blue Devils that won out.

Despite the distance involved from Jones' home in suburban Dallas to Durham, North Carolina, Duke had no real trouble luring the commitment. As they did with Sulaimon previously, they got Jones on campus, sold the combination of basketball and academics, and then ultimately landed his commitment.

Now the question for Duke is can they keep this up. While there are stars in the Houston area like Aaron Harrison and Andrew Harrison, the big prize for the Blue Devils would be Julius Randle.

Randle, like Jones, lives in the greater Dallas area, and they both actually are on the same AAU team, the Texas Titans. Given their familiarity with each other, Jones' presence can do nothing but help out Duke when it comes to Randle's recruitment.

Randle is the No. 2 player in the 2013 class currently, and is a power forward in the mold of Chris Webber. At 6-foot-8 and 225 pounds, Randle has offers from nearly every team in the country.

Along with Duke, Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, and all of the heavy hitters are after Randle. However the Blue Devils aside from Jones now have another in, in the form of assistant coach Jeff Capel who recruited Randle very hard when he was the head coach at Oklahoma.

Time will tell if the Blue Devils can land a third Texan, or possibly even more, but to this point the Blue Devils are doing an excellent job of mining one of the most talented states for talent in the entire country.

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