Duke Interest May Delay Decision For Gabriel

The Blue Devils are tracking this 6-10 forward who is blowing up this week in Las Vegas. While he was hoping to make an early decision, the new high major suitors could cause him to push back that timeline.

LAS VEGAS -- Duke has started to turn it up in regards to recruiting Class of 2016 forward Wenyen Gabriel. The active 6-foot-10 big man drew Coach K and assistant coaches Jeff Capel and Jon Scheyer during a Thursday morning contest at the adidas Uprising Summer Championships this week and the Blue Devil coaching staff has been showing increased interest in the Mass Rivals forward.

"Duke has been showing a lot of interest, especially after [Wednesday]," Gabriel said.

"I've been texting with Coach Scheyer and Coach K after yesterday and I'm really excited about it."

Gabriel is currently regarded as a three-star prospect, but he's definitely outplayed that status during the month of July. With Mass Rivals in Las Vegas, Gabriel has averaged 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. Showing improved offensive versatility besides being a do-it-all defender, Gabriel has also shot 59 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range in Las Vegas.

Playing on the adidas circuit has helped Gabriel improve his game because he's consistently playing against high-level competition. Playing at Wilbraham and Monson during the high school season, Gabriel doesn't get to face high-major big men with regularity like he does on the adidas circuit.

"Before this I was up in New Hampshire with not a lot of competition. Being out here and getting exposure, it makes me want to work that much harder when I get home," Gabriel said.

Some of the schools who have already offered Gabriel include Maryland, Miami, Notre Dame, Providence, Texas, UConn and Virginia. But with the recent interest from Duke and other blueblood programs like Kansas, it might change things in Gabriel's recruitment.

"Earlier I was hoping for a fall cut but obviously since my recruitment is starting to change a bit more, I'll probably take all five of my visits and go from there," Gabriel said.

"Probably sometime next month in August [I'll take some visits]. None that I've planned yet."

When looking at future college programs over the next few months, Gabriel wants to find the best fit for himself in terms of how the program plays and how he'll mesh with the coaching staff.

"Obviously style of play. I want to play somewhere that fits me," Gabriel said. "Obviously uptempo. Having a good relationship with a coach. I want to see how the players and coaches get along. A coach that pushes me a lot and teaches me while I'm out there."

Although the recruiting process has quickly picked up for Wenyen, he has some family experience to fall back on when it comes to elite basketball recruiting, Wenyen's older sister, Karima, played college basketball at Boston College and she has given her brother some advice on the process.

"She wants me to go to a high academic school too. She really likes Duke," Gabriel said with a laugh. "[She wants] a school I feel comfortable at."


The Devils Den Top Stories