Mar 31, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Quinn Cook (middle) sticks out his tongue as he huddles with teammates in the second half during the finals of the Midwest regional of the 2013 NCAA tournament against the Louisville Cardinals at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Duke Favourites to Get Okafor and Jones


It looks like the Duke Blue Devils may just out-Kentucky the Kentucky Wildcats in the class of 2014. According to Sporting News and author Roger Kuznia, all indications are currently pointing to both Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones committing to Duke. Okafor is the top ranked player in the class according to ESPN and Jones is 3rd.

Both players have often mentioned in the past few months that they would like to play together in the NCAA. When they released their respective final lists of schools, Duke was one of the teams that both players had listed. During the AAU tournaments going on last week, Duke coach Mike Kryzewski was everywhere Okafor was, scouting him heavily and making a push for the big man to go to Durham.

For a school that has often stayed away from the higher ranked recruits because of their tendency to go one and done, getting both Jones and Okafor would be quite a shock from the Duke camp. It would instantly make them title favorites for 2015 and would probably almost immediately give them the best recruiting class for the year.

From a skill perspective, Okafor is one of the purest big men recruits that has come around in a long time. He thrives in the post and likes to go down low for most of his points. While he has good athleticism, Okafor’s real strengths lie in his ability to outwork the opposition in the paint. The young man has a great motor and an excellent feel for the game and should be an excellent NCAA player. He compares very well to a bigger and more polished Jared Sullinger who was at one time tops in his class.

As for Jones, he would be the perfect complement for Okafor’s low post game. While he is not the type of player who will put up 40 points games, Jones will find his teammates with the ball and makes all of his players better. Basically he does exactly what you would hope from your point guard and does it better than anyone in his class. At the AAU events, Jones and big man Reid Travis looked almost like John Stockton and Karl Malone running the pick and roll and while Travis is extremely talented, there is no doubt that Okafor is much more so.

Of course, nothing is official and both players could end up not committing to Duke. At this point and time though, it looks closer and closer to a sure thing that the Blue Devils will be rolling out one of the scariest one-two punches in the NCAA in a long time.

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Tags: Basketball Duke Blue Devils Jahlil Okafor Tyus Jones

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