From a Blue Devil perspective, several current top prospects will be making the trip led by current class of 2016 commitment, Jayson Tatum. Fellow rising senior target Harry Giles will also make the trip, giving the former multiple time Team USA members a chance to reunite.
Giles and Tatum, of course, have continually commented on the potential of playing together at the next level and have been roommates at each of the Team USA functions. That’ll likely be the case this time around as well, and the topic of where Giles, the nation’s top overall prospect, will end should come up.
With Tatum a future Blue Devil, Giles has noted that his view of Duke is influenced a bit more these days.
“I mean, that’s my best friend. So it’s going to impact me a little bit,” he previously told Scout.com “At the same time I have to make the best decision for me. Regardless if he went to Duke or not, if he didn’t go there, I would still consider Duke just as much.”
TOP UNDERCLASSMAN TARGETS ALSO ON BOARD
While Giles and Tatum are the headliners of the team, several Blue Devil targets from the rising junior class are also on the roster beginning with Georgia big man Wendell Carter.
The 6-foot-10 Carter had a very strong EYBL campaign leading the Georgia Stars to the Peach Jam, but missed the Nike Global Challenge with an injury.
Though he took a break from basketball during the second week of July, recruiting has remained busy for the 6-foot-10 native of Georgia. Carter continues to hear regularly from Duke during the recruiting process as well as SEC programs, all of the Georgia schools, Wake Forest and North Carolina. The Blue Devils have differed their approach from some in the pack by maintaining regular communication with Carter.
"They're a pretty good program. I hear from them every day knowing that they want me," Carter said of Duke. "Some schools, I don't hear from often. "I only hear from them and when I do I hear from them every so often. Duke has been on me since the day that they called me."
That effort has been led by associate head coach Jeff Capel, who reported speaks to Carter at least three times per week.
“He just kinda checks in with me, see how my day goes, things like that. Coach K is the one who talks about the program the most, he talks about it, but he tries to not just talk about the program, he tries to learn more about me.”
Carter has discussed the possibility of playing in college with Minnesota scoring guard Gary Trent, who is also one of, if not the top scoring guard target of the Blue Devils in 2017. At the Global Challenge, Trent told the media that the possibility of playing with Carter was “very serious” due to his long-standing relationship with Carter.
As for Trent himself, the communication with Duke has continued to gain momentum since the Blue Devils offered this Spring.
"[Duke] gave me an offer right when we came back from Argentina from USA,” said Trent. “When I talk with them I soak it all up and they love my game and want me to come in.”
A second potential package deal in 2017 is the match-up of point guard Trae Young and super wing Michael Porter. Both will make the trip to the Bahamas next week armed with official Duke offers.
Young visited Duke in late June following the NBPA Top 100 Camp and came away impressed with the time in Durham.
“It was awesome,” Young told Scout. “Just walking around campus and seeing the facilities and spending time with Coach K for basically four hours. It was fun.”
During that time he received an offer.
“It was a humbling experience being able to talk to him,” Young said. “It was pretty cool.”
“He said as of right now that I’m the only one they are recruiting in the 2017 class at point guard,” he added. “They don’t offer very many people, but they may offer one more.”
Following the visit we spoke with both Young and his father, Ray, and the Duke recruiting plan for 2017 was laid out.
“He and Michael Porter want to go play together in college. [With Duke’s 2017 recruiting plans] they have only offered 4, maybe 5 kids, they probably aren’t going to offer any more this year unless they completely blow them away. They’ve offered Wendell Carter, Austin Wiley another big kid, Gary Trent Jr who is another good friend with Trae and Michael Porter, Jr.”
For his part, Porter recently cut his list down to 10 schools with Duke making the cut, which was no surprise given Porter’s comments on the Blue Devils this summer.
“Players go there and they get better for the next level,” Porter told TDD at the NBPA Camp. “I really, really like Duke and I watched almost every single one of their games last season. I really like them.”
In late July the Blue Devils extended their offer sheet in the class of 2017 by offering five star center Mohamed Bamba.
Prior to the offer, the Blue Devils had been tracking Bamba and made themselves known to the 6-foot-11, 200 pound prospect, which allowed him to develop an initial impression of Coach K’s program.
“They are national champions, that’s all I really know and that they really develop their bigs really well.”
The final member of the roster fielding Duke interest at this time is 2017 power forward Jarred Vanderbilt, a 6-foot-8, 200 pound athlete from Houston, Texas. Vanderbilt has been tracked by the Blue Devils for a while, but has yet to receive an offer according to his father, Robert.
“They said they like his game and feel he’s really progressing and Coach K, he’s impressed with his play,” said the elder Vanderbilt.
Could an offer be coming soon?
“[Coach Capel] said they had requested the transcript from the school, they didn’t request it directly from me, the person at school mentioned that Duke had called and requested his transcript, said it was a part of their procedure with kids.”
EYBL SELECT ROSTER
Mohamed Bamba - 2017 - Duke offer
Miles Bridges - 2016
Wendell Carter - 2017 - Duke offer
De’Aaron Fox - 2016
Harry Giles - 2016 - Duke offer
Jonathan Issac - 2016 - Florida State commitment
Malik Monk - 2016
Michael Porter - 2017 - Duke offer
Jayson Tatum - 2016 - Duke commitment
Gary Trent - 2017 - Duke offer
Jarred Vanderbilt - 2017 - Duke target
Trae Young - 2017 - Duke offer