Less than 24 hours after Kevin Knox picked Kentucky as his college destination over Duke and North Carolina, the Blue Devils quickly pivoted and offered Georgia small forward Jordan Tucker.
Duke had hoped to land the 6-8, 203-pound Knox, a five-star player from Tampa. But Tucker, a four-star player from Wheeler High School in Marietta, Ga., wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize.
Tucker is rated as the No. 77 player in the Class of 2017 by 247sports. Indiana, Syracuse, Georgia Tech and Villanova were among his finalists before Duke made its offer.
With last season’s two leading scorers, 6-8 small forward Jayson Tatum and 6-5 shooting guard Luke Kennard, having entered the NBA Draft and hired agents, Duke is in need of an athletic forward that’s been highlighted so often in its offense. Over the last four years, Jabari Parker, Justise Winslow and Brandon Ingram have played one season at Duke before becoming top-10 NBA draft picks. Tatum is projected to be a top-five pick next month.