Recruiting Rewind: Justise Winslow

The No. 10 overall prospect in the class of 2014 will announce his college decision on Thursday afternoon. Here's a review and update on his recruitment.

Evaluation by Rob Harrington:

Unlike most of the players to receive evaluations here, Winslow's primary attributes are more scattershot. He does so many things well that he's difficult to encapsulate, and that's precisely why he brings such enormous value to a team.

He's a fine scorer who uses a strong body and unyielding aggression to attack off the dribble. The southpaw is a capable finisher in traffic thanks to his muscle and admirable body control, and he possesses a soft touch to make contested shots at awkward angles. Meanwhile, he has become an adequate three-point shooter who can step in with one- and two-dribble pullups as well.

His work on the offensive glass = may prove to be just as beneficial. He gets a running start toward the rim and out-jumps and out-wills defenders for the ball, and again, he's a fine finisher in traffic who seems to like contact and then deliver from the foul line.

He's also a fantastic handler and passer for his size. That's the area he enjoys the most separation from his Hoops teammates, as Winslow can play point guard in a pinch and is a talented, unselfish playmaker. He'll never slot as a full-time lead guard, but the fact that he can play there at all underscores his versatility.

He also projects as a staunch defender. Winslow has the size, desire, quickness and instincts to lock down opposing wings and also loves to jump passing lanes to come away with steals.

Improving his inconsistent jump shot looms as a key. Though he has improved, that remains an uncertain element of his game and opens the window for foes to back off him and play him for the drive.

Winslow also is 6-6, so you might wonder how some of his interior work will manifest in college and potentially the NBA. He isn't a combo forward but isn't quite a pure wing, either, and if his outside-in style isn't a viable option he'll need to cultivate a more persistent perimeter attack.

Video Highlights


By the beginning of his sophomore campaign, he'd drawn offers from Texas, Arizona, Baylor, Houston (of course), Arizona State and others.

But he kept things simmering from that standpoint, focusing instead on his high school and travel exploits. Winslow's all-around contributions impressed throughout the 2012 travel circuit, and he played his way into a national top-15 ranking.

By the end of his junior season, his offer list grew to include Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, UCLA and many others. The ball clearly belonged in his court.

After taking more than 20 college visits, Winslow will announce his decision on Thursday. Sources say he's taken at least seven trips to Arizona, six to UCLA, four to Texas A&M, three to Duke, two to Florida and one to Stanford.

Winslow won a Gold Medal with the USA Basketball U19 team this past summer. Recent Duke commits Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones were also on that team, while Florida coach Billy Donovan was the head coach of the team.

A 6-foot-6, 205-pound wing, Winslow is regarded as the No. 4 small forward and the No. 10 overall prospect in the 2014 recruiting class.

Duke Projected Depth Chart:

The Blue Devils certainly have a ton of depth on the wing with the 2013-2014 roster, but the lure of the NBA will likely thin out that portion of the roster in June. With Winslow projected to play the small forward position, at Duke he'd likely be the only pure wing on the roster. Duke stands to lose Rodney Hood, leaving a handful of stretch power forwards or shooting guards left to play the three spot. Players such as Rasheed Sulaimon, Matt Jones, Alex Murphy, and Semi Ojeleye will all be battling for time.

Blind Duke player comparison with Jim Sumner:

Click Here for full eval and comparison

Sumner Says…: Grant Hill (1991-1994

Perhaps the most defining characteristic of Grant Hill's game over his four years in Durham was his versatility. From 1991 through 1994, Hill lead the Blue Devils to three NCAA Finals appearances, winning two in 1991 and 1992, and nearly pulling off the upset of Arkansas in 1994. All of this was accomplished with Hill playing all five positions on the court at some point during his career - though he was listed as small forward at Duke.

Similarly, Winslow projects as a small forward at the college level, but has spent the summer playing mostly point guard for the Houston Hoops AAU team. Back home for his high school team in Houston, Winslow has run the offense, but he's been known to go inside where he's too quick and fluid for bigger players to deal with, and much too strong for those who are smaller.

During his last few seasons as a high schooler, Hill was also known for his versatility while playing for South Lakes High in Reston, Virginia. Hill is still the school's second all-time leading scorer with 2,028 points (Former Duke player Joey Beard is first with 2,138). He holds the school records for rebounds (942), blocked shots (160), steals (274) and assists (311). He was named to the McDonald's All-American game in 1990.

With the ability to beat his opponents in so many ways, it was no surprise that Hill had his pick of high major programs. He committed to Duke and was immediately inserted into the Blue Devils' starting lineup as a freshman. Almost from the start, Hill was a difference maker for Duke. During the 1990-1991 season he appeared in 36 games, starting 31. As a true freshman he averaged 11.2 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 52 percent from the floor.

Much like the scouting report on Winslow, Hill entered Duke needing to work on his jump shooting ability. Getting to the rim and finishing in traffic was easy for Hill, but he needed that extra component to keep defenders honest. Over the next two seasons, Hill would steadily work on the rest of his game, upping his scoring averages to 14.0 and 18.0 as a sophomore and junior. Through three seasons, however, Hill had attempted just 17 perimeter jumpers, and made five of them (29 percent).

During his senior season, Hill would solidify himself as one of the all-time best players in Duke history. He averaged 17.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting 46 percent from the field, 39 percent from the perimeter, and 70 percent from the foul line. He started all 34 games and lead Duke all the way to the national title game. He finished his career as the first player in ACC history to score more than 1,900 points, 700 rebounds, 400 assists, 200 steals and 100 blocked shots.

At the college level, Winslow will has all the tools to produce similar numbers to Hill. Though he's a few inches shorter than Grant, Winslow is versatile enough to handle the ball (he leads the Houston Hoops with 54 assists in 13 Nike EYBL games), and he'll likely make a living scoring the ball off attacking the basket early on in his career.

Much like Hill, however, he'll need to continue to diversify his game in order to take the next steps. That means refining his jump shot, and improving his shooting percentages from the perimeter, or at least out past the mid-range area (he's shooting just 2-go-16, or 13 percent from the perimeter in the EYBL).

Turning to recruiting, Duke has been involved with Winslow for quite a while, and the Blue Devils have made it clear that the five star prospect is their top choice at the small forward position in the class of 2014. The reasoning is the same as it was more than 20 years ago when Mike Krzyzewski recruited Hill: Versatility.

During his March visit to Durham, Winslow had a chance to sit down and talk about his game with Coach K. And while the Duke coach compared him with Gerald Henderson early on, much was made of the lineage of versatile wing players to come to Duke under K. And that seemed to hit home with Winslow.

"The Duke staff covered a lot of things with me on that visit," Winslow told TDD. "Stuff like style of play, how they would utilize me, the academic setup,and just what they would expect of me as a player. They did a great job at explaining to me what they expect of their players."

"I had quite a few meetings with Coach K and the staff over breakfast and other topcs. All were on campus, and we just had a lot of time around each other where they were honest with me and I was honest with them about how I felt about myself as a player, what their expectations are about the players in the program, what our feelings are about the recruiting process, academic side of things, how do they blend guys together in the program. I felt like it went really well with what we talked about."

Last Word:

Duke has long discussed a potential package deal that involves Winslow joining Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones in Durham. Should the Houston area forward move in that direction, the Blue Devils would have three top 10 players committed from 2014 and another top 30 player added in.

"We've talked about playing together," said Winslow of his discussions with Jones and Okafor, "but we haven't talked about when we're going to decide or how we're going to do anything. The thing with Tyus and Jahlil is that they are pretty set on going to school together, and I've talked with them about it but I have to do what's best for me and they each have to do what's best for them, so if we decide to go play together it would be great, but we have to do what's best for each other and our families."

Heading into the final day of this long and winding recruitment, the national team appears to believe that the Blue Devils are "getting the most buzz".

Winslow confirmed to that he will announce his college choice at Houston (Tex.) St. John's School at 4:30 ET. Winslow is considering Arizona, Duke, Florida, Stanford, Texas A&M and UCLA.

Technically Winslow could sign a Letter of Intent on Wednesday and send it in tomorrow. Winslow informed that he hasn't decided if he will do that or not.

The Devils Den Top Stories