Expect Duke To Land Randolph
On Wednesday, Shavlik Randolph will get up in front of throng of media, family members and students and announce that he will play his college basketball in the Atlantic Coast Conference, according to sources close to the situation. Informed speculation tells us that the choice will be Duke. The commitment would give the Blue Devils a six-man recruiting class worthy of a nickname. We'll call it "The Selected Six" as the Blue Devils completed a sweep of their 2002 recruiting targets.
The press conference will be at Broughton's Holliday Gymnasium at 4 p.m. and will be open to the public.
Not since the likes of David Thompson in the early 70s has the state of North Carolina seen such an intense recruiting battle. Nearly 30 years ago, Thompson opted for the Pack over North Carolina and since then, UNC dominated the landscape of recruiting in the state. While Duke and North Carolina routinely tangle over top national prospects, in-state tussles haven't been common since Mike Krzyzewski took over in Durham. This one went as far as to involve all three Triangle-based programs.
Randolph's popularity reached its height when on a weekday in February of 2000, over 12,000 fans packed Reynolds Coliseum to watch Broughton take on Leesville Road. Despite a slate of ACC games that evening, fans rushed down Hillsborough St. in Raleigh to wait in line to get tickets. It was something to marvel at and spoke to the enormous amount of attention that Randolph generated since his sophomore season at Broughton.
Randolph, a consensus Top 10 recruit nationally, was the state player of the year as a junior and The Sporting News National Junior of the Year last year. His recruitment spanned three conferences – ACC, SEC, Big 12 – but in the end home was where his heart was and the fact that two of the nation's strongest programs resided less than half and hour from his home in Raleigh made the choice less stressful, despite a serious run from Billy Donovan's Gators.
This site will provide coverage from the press conference as well as an in-depth interview with Randolph on Wednesday evening.