“I'm happy and never thought it'd happen, but I'm going to keep grinding cause I still have more doubters than anybody out there,” Dukes said. “I kind of have a feel for the players he likes and I think I'd fit right in. Plus, I think he's a genius honestly. I mean he's had success on the nba level. Can't beat that.”
Dukes also had this to about SMU’s end to last season, “still think they got screwed out of the tournament too.”
Dukes is looking for a school to give him a chance to achieve his dream of making it to the NBA. Whether that’s SMU, is another story.
“Arkansas is the favorite right now, but I know things can change. SMU and Oklahoma State are the only offers I've gotten this summer though,” Dukes said. “Honestly I’m not going to lie Arkansas is still the favorite because its closer to home.”
Even though Arkansas is the favorite, that doesn’t mean that Dukes has ruled out SMU.
“I think I'd grow and be productive under coach Brown and I'm actually pretty good friends with Emmanuel Mudiay. He congratulated me for it (the offer),” Dukes said.
Dukes has visited SMU, but not for an actual visit and “loves Dallas” and plans on getting back to SMU to visit Moody Coliseum.
“I hope to visit SMU sometime this year but I don’t know when,” Dukes said. “I've heard it's one of the most underrated arenas. I'm looking forward to it.”
The 6-5, 215 pound wing moved to Jonesboro HS this year after spending last year at Nettleton HS. Dukes is also a teammate of SMU prospect Malik Monk. The pair plays on the same AAU team, Arkansas Wings.
“I love Monk. He’s a good dude. First kid that made me feel welcome when I moved here,” Dukes said. “Just doesn’t like to pass but I loved playing with him.”
Dukes averaged 14 points playing with Monk, but averaged nearly 23 points per game with Nettleton.
Dukes got national recognition for his highlight dunk in a game and even without the dunk, he was already garnering attention.
“Honestly a lot of people were on to me locally before the dunk. The dunk just put my name out there on a national level,” Dukes said. “People are probably going to be talking about that dunk for a while.”
Aside from his great athleticism, Dukes said he’s a slasher, who can score from pretty much anywhere. The one area Dukes needs to work on is man-to-man defense he says.
“I get Vince Carter comparisons all the time. I hate it though,” Dukes said. “Me and Vince are actually good friends off the court. We work out together when he's off, but I really just want to be my own guy. Not the next somebody. Plus everybody says we play alike and I don't see it.”
Their relationship grew from their families knowing each other. Carter did give Dukes one good piece of advice to go by.
“Keep God first and stay in the gym.”
Dukes has been staying in the gym and working on his game like his favorite player told him to. That has helped him get offers from his favorites, Arkansas, UCLA, Michigan, Oklahoma State, plus Texas A&M, Baylor, Oregon State and Marquette.
Dukes wants to decide on a school late in the spring, saying he believes everyone should wait even as late as after they graduate high school.
SMU does have a fan in Dukes, who admires SMU’s smallest player.