2014 Rankings Report: Duke

Here is a look at where the Duke Blue Devils commitments come in, in the final 2014 rankings, and why they are ranked where they are.

Duke has pulled in the top class in 2014, and did so by landing an impressive group of four prospects. Now in the final rankings all four of Duke's signees rank as five-star prospects and within the top 22.

Still leading the way is Jahlil Okafor. The massive center held off all challengers and retained the top spot in the rankings. The reasoning was honestly pretty simple in terms of keeping Okafor No. 1. He not only dominates right now, but he also projects to get better, and at his size, 6-foot-11 and 270 pounds, there is always a place for Okafor on a basketball court.

There was no serious debate given to Okafor sliding down. The decision was made unanimously that he was going to stay as the No.1 prospect, and he showed why not only with dominant performances during the season, but with solid showings in all-star games as well. It was pretty clear that Okafor was the top prospect in this very strong 2014 class.

After Okafor is Tyus Jones. Jones dropped five spots to No. 9 in the rankings from No. 4. That doesn't take away from how good we think Tyus is, but he just didn't seem to dominate against his peers in a way that justified holding on to the top five spot. His shot seemed to leave him some during the season, and then he wasn't quite as dynamic a playmaker during the week at the McDonald's game as some others.

Still Jones has elite feel, is excellent in ball screen situations, and is a true point guard. Whether Jones is a one and done prospect is now clearly up for debate, but he will be the type of guard who can run the show effectively from day one in the ACC. One concerning thing with Jones that was probably most behind the drop was his defensive struggles against the other elite guards. That is one area he will definitely need to improve on going forward. Since he does so much well, this is a kid who will be nearly impossible to keep off the floor, and should have a massive impact from day one for Duke.

Justise Winslow now finds himself at No. 12 in the final rankings. He dropped two spots to make room for the huge improvements shown by Karl Towns (now in the top 5) and Rashad Vaughn. Still Winslow is everything we thought he was, and could be the most immediately productive wing in this class.

Winslow was excellent during the Nike Hoops Summit Game, and also was voted as the best defender in his class by his peers. That combined with his toughness and athleticism make him a clear top 15 prospect. As compared to the other wings in this class he isn't the most skilled, so that kept him out of the top 10, but if he can develop a jump shot going forward the sky is the limit.

The Duke recruit who made the biggest move was Grayson Allen. Allen jumped up from No. 36 and a four-star prospect to No. 22 and a five-star prospect on the basis of his very strong senior year and also a good showing at the McDonald's All-American Game.

Allen is a tremendous athlete who can be a big time defender on the wing, and also someone who can get into the lane off the dribble. Also Allen showed improvement with his jumper to be more of a factor on the offensive end as well. Still his bread and butter is attacking off the bounce and making plays, but the improvements clearly justified a bump up and into the five-star range.

Overall Duke clearly has an elite class that should help fill the losses of Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood. Okafor provides the muscle inside, Winslow and Allen give athletic wing defenders, and Jones is the type of pass first playmaking point guard that the Blue Devils have been looking for. Overall this class is one that should put Duke in a position to make some long NCAA Tournament runs.


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