Duke adds 4th jewel to basketball recruiting class

Nov. 21, 2013 @ 06:14 PM

Duke’s star-studded basketball recruiting class gained another potential superstar on Thursday.

Justise Winslow, a 6-6 small forward from Houston, announced at his high school that he has signed to play for Duke next season.

Winslow, rated the No. 14 player in the Class of 2014 by ESPN, becomes Duke’s fourth recruit among the top 25 in the class.

ESPN’s No. 1 player in the class, 6-10 center Jahlil Okafor of Chicago, signed with Duke last week. So did ESPN’s No. 4 player, point guard Tyus Jones of Apple Valley, Minn.

Grayson Allen, a 6-4 shooting guard from Jacksonville, Fla., committed in August and signed with Duke last week. Allen is rated No. 24 in the class by ESPN.

All four are five-star recruits on a five-star scale.

“We’re ecstatic about the four young men that are coming to Duke,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “Grayson Allen committed to us very early. We believe he’s an explosive wing. Terrific offensive and defensive player.

“We consider Jahlil Okafor as good a big man as there is in the country, but not just a big man, we think he’s a great basketball player. He’s had an amazing amount of experience playing for the United States and for a great high school program.

“In Tyus Jones, I think we have the best point guard in the country. Someone who has won state championships, USA championships and is the consummate leader on the court.

“Justise Winslow is a great wing player. He is a guy that can guard every position and is an amazing rebounder and scorer. The great thing about all four of the kids is that they want to share a spotlight and they want to be on a great team. They’re team-first guys, even though they have this excellent amount of individual talent.”

Winslow, from St. John’s High School in Houston, picked Duke over finalists that included Arizona, UCLA, Florida, Texas A&M and Stanford.

Winslow visited Duke on Oct. 26, the same weekend that Okafor and Jones were on campus. After pledging to Duke last week, Okafor and Jones set about heavily recruiting Winslow via social media.

USA Basketball also played a role in Winslow’s decision. He played for Team USA at the U19 World Championship’s last summer along with Okafor and current Duke guard Rasheed Sulaimon. That team posted a 9-0 record and brought home a gold medal from Prague, Czech Republic.

He also led USA Basketball’s U17 team to a gold medal in competition in Lithuania a year earlier.