Duke

Why Duke could land RJ Barrett, the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2019, a year earlier

Duke target RJ Barrett has reclassified from the class of 2019 to 2018. He’s the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2019.
Duke target RJ Barrett has reclassified from the class of 2019 to 2018. He’s the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2019. AP

After turning heads with a dominant performance at the FIBA U19 World Cup earlier this summer, R.J. Barrett will arrive on the college basketball scene a year earlier than expected.

Barrett, the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2019, announced Monday morning in a USA Today blog post that he will graduate from high school next year and reclassify to the 2018 class. Duke is one of the eight schools the 6-7 wing said have shown the most interest in his recruitment, along with Kansas, Arizona, Kentucky, Michigan, Oregon, Texas and UCLA.

In the semifinals of the U19 World Cup, Barrett led Canada past the United States with 38 points and 13 rebounds in a shocking 99-87 upset, handing the U.S. its first loss in any age group since 2011. Canada went on to win the gold medal, with Barrett earning tournament MVP honors.

Barrett attends Montverde Academy in Florida, a boarding school that is a consistent high-school powerhouse.

With his reclassification, Barrett will join Marvin Bagley and Zion Williamson as the headliners in what is thought to be a strong high school class, though Bagley may not remain in that group much longer. He is still considering reclassifying to 2017 and playing in college this season, with Duke also one of the top contenders competing for his services.

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