SchoolSports Examines Duke's Class
In this week's Basketball Recruiting Roundup, we continue our 10-part series breaking down the nation's Top 10 hoop recruiting classes.
Last week we tackled No. 1 Kansas, which landed three Top 20 recruits. Now it's time to move on to No. 2:
Last month when we unveiled our ranking of the Top 10 recruiting classes, we noted that Duke's class was a little hard to peg because the recruiting situation of Christian Brothers Academy (N.Y.) point guard Greg Paulus was up in the air.
Paulus, a two-sport star who is also one of the nation's top quarterback recruits, had long been a Duke commit for hoops. But lately, rumors had begun swirling that he was considering football, and it was thought that he failed to sign with Duke during last month's early-signing period.
But earlier this week, Paulus announced that he has already signed his letter of intent to play basketball at Duke. According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, Paulus signed his letter back on Nov. 16, but he and Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski wanted to keep it a secret so Paulus could focus on leading his football team in the playoffs (they recently won the state title).
So, with Paulus now firmly in the fold for the Blue Devils, we can say with confidence that Duke has the No. 2 recruiting class in the country.
Along with Paulus, Duke inked three other Top 50 recruits: Carmel (Ind.) power forward Josh McRoberts, St. Andrew's (Del.) center Eric Boateng and Fairfax (Calif.) power forward Jamal Boykin. Add in underrated shooting guard Martynas Pocius from Holderness School (N.H.) and the Blue Devils have once again landed a stellar recruiting class.
McRoberts, a 6-foot-10, 230-pounder, is Duke's top recruit. Rated the No. 4 player in the Class of 2005 by SchoolSports.com, McRoberts is a versatile, athletic big man whose stock skyrocketed this summer.
McRoberts, who averaged 16.8 points, 10.9 rebounds and five assists per game as a junior, can back defenders down in the post, step out and drill jumpers from the perimeter or take it to the rack for powerful dunks. He also has the ability to bring the ball up the court and is a strong rebounder and solid passer.
Assuming his stock doesn't continue to rise and make the NBA an option, McRoberts should be an immediate impact player for Duke.
Paulus, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound playmaker, is rated the No. 1 point guard and No. 15 overall recruit in the country by SchoolSports.com. Having him on board is huge for Duke, which lost its top point guard recruit last year to the NBA (Shaun Livingston).
Paulus is the epitome of a point guard and will be a great fit at Duke. A heady playmaker with tremendous vision, he is a pass-first floor general with sick ball-handling skills and a high basketball IQ.
Boateng, a 6-foot-9, 230-pound center, will give Duke a nice defensive presence in the paint. As a junior, he averaged 20 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks per game.
Rated the No. 4 center and No. 29 overall recruit in the Class of 2005, Boateng is still a raw prospect. But the London native has only been playing basketball for a few years and has shown much improvement over the past year. He's very active around the hoop and already has a nice hook shot and a variety of moves.
Duke's fourth and final Top 50 recruit is Boykin, a 6-foot-6, 225-pound power forward who is rated the nation's No. 44 recruit by SchoolSports.com. He helped lead Fairfax to the Division I state title as a junior, averaging 19.5 points and 11.4 rebounds per game.
Boykin's work ethic and competitiveness allow him to maximize his abilities and outwork players who might possess more natural talent. His hard-working style is similar to Fairfax grad and current Boston College star Craig Smith and should make Boykin a fan favorite at Duke.
Finally, there's Pocius, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound shooter who played for the Lithuanian junior national team this past summer. He averaged 18 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last season and possesses solid athleticism.
So, with two immediate impact players (McRoberts and Paulus), four Top 50 recruits and five guys who should eventually crack the rotation, it's easy to see why Duke ranks as the nation's No. 2 recruiting class.
Check back next week for our breakdown of the No. 3 recruiting class from North Carolina.
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