Opinion: Recruiting From Here

A few weeks ago, no one would have expected Kris Humphries to sign with Duke, and it has changed the picture somewhat for Coach K's recruiting.&nbsp; So, in a nutshell: where to now?</

A few weeks ago, no one would have expected Kris Humphries to sign with Duke, and it has changed the picture somewhat for Coach K's recruiting.  So, in a nutshell: where to now?

Not that anyone has discussed recruiting strategy with us, but our guess is that Deng is still the number one target.  Humphries, as you have learned by now, is a very versatile player. His coach says he can play any position except point guard. In college, we'd expect that to drop from four positions to three, since he likely won't see much time at center.  We haven't seen him play, but we have heard him compared to Mike Miller, the former Gator star who was Rookie Of The Year in the NBA his first year out. If so, he's pretty damn good.

Having a very versatile 6-9 guy is a real plus, but it probably doesn't override the desire to sign Deng.  He is also a highly versatile player, and is from all accounts a guy with excellent leadership potential.   A class with Deng and Humphries offers Duke the equivalent of two queens in chess. They can move these guys all over the place and plug them in in several different spots.

This wouldn't actually change too much on the talent front if Duke got Ndubi Ebi instead of Deng - he's taller than Humphries, and has excellent defensive potential.  But given Duke's track record, and the kind of kids they look for, our guess is that Deng would be a perfect compliment to Humphries.  Add them to Shavlik Randolph - depending on how long he decides to stay at Duke (we're not excpecting four years, and you probably shouldn't either), Daniel Ewing, JJ Redick, Sean Dockery, Michael Thompson and Shelden Williams, and you have a potentially dynamic team with enormous flexibility.   Redick and Dockery are the only guys who are truly one-position players - ok, Thompson will probably play center, so that's three - but the flexibility of this group, if Deng signed, would be impressive. 

And lest we forget Lee Melchionni will be developing quietly as the others move through the system. 

At any rate, Humphries allows the next class to be one with enormous flexibility, whether Deng or Ebi signs, or someone else entirely.   But Deng would make Duke very, very difficult to defend, because so many players could do so many different things.


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