Jeter excited for Duke

CHICAGO - Chase Jeter is wrapping up his high school career and gearing up for the next step at Duke.

Duke landed an important piece to its 2015 recruiting class when 6-foot-10, 225-pound Las Vegas Bishop Gorman center Chase Jeter pledged to the Blue Devils.

Jeter had a successful final senior season, putting himself in position to make an early impact in Durham.

“I kind of got off to a slow start – it wasn’t exactly how I planned it – but to finish the way my team did and I did heading into these April games, it’s been special,” Jeter said.

“Being named a McDonald’s All-American, Gatorade Player of the Year and making the Hoop Summit team were some of my goals since my freshman year. That was [pretty special for me.”

Jeter has followed Duke closely this season, which has only reassured him that he made the right college choice.

“There have been so many times where I’ve told myself that I made the perfect choice for myself and my family,” Jeter said. “The Duke brand and alumni open so many doors for you off the court. Having my name tied with Duke was the best decision I ever made.”

The five-star prospect was hoping to join some current Blue Devils on next year’s squad, but realizes that’s looking less likely.

“There are certain guys I thought I would be playing with who are probably gone,” he said. “Justise (Winslow) has been so good lately. It would be awesome if he stayed but I wouldn’t blame him if he left.”

With the expected departures, Jeter realizes he may be asked to have a bigger role next season than initially expected.

“That’s something I’m looking forward to,” Jeter said. “I’m lifting hard to get stronger because I want to be a force right away in the ACC. I’m looking forward to getting there in the summer and getting into the swing of things.”

Continuing to gain strength will be a big part of Jeter’s success at Duke.

“You see how physical guys are and being there at the Syracuse game showed me I have to be strong to be ready,” he said. “I’m a different kind of player and I know a lot of people expect me to fill a Jahlil (Okafor) role but I’m kind of a 4/5 combo.

“I’m not going to be 270, but I’ll put some good weight on and keep my agility and versatility. However coach decides to play me, I’ll be happy with that role.”

Okafor is arguably the best player in college basketball and Jeter knows replacing him won’t be easy.

“Any pressure that comes with it, I would put it on myself anyway,” Jeter said. “It’s definitely big shoes to fill but going in there, I have to know who I am as a player and I’m not going to try to be someone I’m not. I’m just going in there and doing what I do best.”

Jeter is a proud future Blue Devil and hopes to bring some of his peers to Durham with him.

“I’m working on Brandon Ingram and I think we’re looking good on his list,” he said. “I’m also recruiting Caleb Swanigan and I think we’re good on his list too.

“I’ve also talked to Jayson Tatum when we were out there together and I think he’s in a good spot with Duke. I’m also recruiting Harry (Giles), Dennis (Smith) and we’ll see what Derryck Thornton ends up deciding to do; that would be pretty cool.”

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