Duke will host five star center prospect Myles Turner for an official visit, and while the Blue Devils are considered somewhat of a dark horse in this race, getting the nation's No.2 overall prospect in for a visit is a big first step.
Turner visited Kansas on Wednesday and Thursday before heading to Duke on Friday. He's being joined by both his parents, and is expected to make a decision around the post-season All-Star games. Prior to that, however, there will be a fair amount of soul searching and evaluation done by the five star prospect as he narrows his list. For Duke to have a chance, it'll come down to the Blue Devil coaching staff's ability to convince Turner that he can play with fellow five star big man Jahlil Okafor.
"We believe he can play with a guy like Jahlil Okafor, certainly," Turner's father, David told TDD. "[Myles] is a player who has the skill set to work with most anyone. A frontline of Myles and Jahlil…what coach wouldn't want that?"
And speaking of Okafor, the nation's top overall player and Duke commitment will be on campus this weekend as well for an unofficial visit. It'll give the nation's top two players a chance to sit down with one another and the coaching staff to outline what could one of college basketball's best front lines in 2014-2015.
A third member of the class of 2014, Justise Winslow, is also expected to be back in Durham for yet another unofficial visit. The five star wing was on hand for the Syracuse and Virginia games earlier this season. Each of the three 2014 visitors have been named as McDonald's All-Americans and will compete in the annual All-Star game next month.
Class of 2015:
While Duke's class of 2014 didn't come together until the last day of the fall signing period, it appears as though the Blue Devils have a chance to get some early returns in the class of 2015. Saturday night the team will host a pair of five star prospects for early official visits.
Five star wing Luke Kennard and five star power forward Chase Jeter are both making the trip to Durham for official visits, and both prospects have indicated that their decision making processes are likely coming sooner than later.
"I've kind of sped up my [recruiting] process a little bit," said Jeter. "A lot of guys wait until the summer or their senior year, but I decided to move things up. I may actually take a couple more visits before the summer."
Duke coaches were in the stands to witness Jeter score 21 points and grab 20 rebounds (11 offensive) to help Bishop Gorman to a 13 point victory in the state championship game last week.
Much like Jeter, Duke has made Kennard a priority over the last six months.
"Coach K has been to one of my high school games and I have communicated with him and the assistants quite often. I have gotten really close to all of them, and I think that is a special thing that a recruit needs to have with every school."
Aside from the Blue Devils, Kennard is being heavily recruited by a "who's who" of college basketball. He has offers from Kentucky, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, and Louisville to name a few. And while he's declined to name a top choice or two, he did offer some insight into who he will schedule his visits and what the order could mean.
"If I take an official visit and I just feel right at that school, I'll probably have a Top 5 by then, so I'll start with #1 and go there first, and if I think I really like that, then I'll go ahead and commit. But if not, I can start working my way through #s 2, 3, 4 and 5. I'm pretty open, I probably won't need to take all 5, but just in case you need to have that Top 5, just in case."
Classmate Brandon Ingram, a 6-foot-8 power forward from Kinston, NC will also make the trip to Durham on Saturday for an unofficial visit. The lanky, four-star prospect has been to several games this season due to his close proximity, and has hosted the Duke coaches a number of times for games during the season. The Blue Devils have not yet offered, however.
Class of 2016:
Giles, of course, is finishing up recovery from an injury that cost him his sophomore season. Despite the time off, the 6-foot-9 forward is considered the best prospect in the country according to Scout.com.
The five star prospect will be visiting Durham for the second round of the rivalry between the Tar Heels and Blue Devils after attending the game at North Carolina. Two days after he saw the Blue Devils upset in Chapel Hill, Giles returned to Durham to watch the Blue Devils knockoff then No.1 Syracuse.
Smith is another in-state prospect garnering national attention. The 6-foot-2 point guard from Fayetteville is considered the nation's sixth best floor general in the class of 2016.
He is described as an explosive athlete who loves to attack from the baseline, plant and dunk with leaners not unlike a young Steve Francis. He changes speeds very well and uses fakes to lock defenders' knees, making him difficult to keep out of the lane.
Finally, Duke will welcome Langford, a 6-foot-5 wing guard from Alabama who has recently appeared on the Blue Devil recruiting radar. He currently has offer from Alabama, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Florida, Louisville, Mississippi State and others.
Langford is a highly physical player who gets the most out of his body. At 6-5, 200 pounds, he's far more advanced in terms of musculature compared with his peers. He loves to slice into the paint, draw contact and take a shoot off the glass or simply get fouled. Though a wing handler and defender, Langford is a very talented passer as well.