Duke

Some of the country’s top recruits will be at Duke this weekend. Among them, Zion Williamson

Zion Williamsson, from Spartanburg Day School, goes up for a dunk at the South Carolina Hoops Festival held at Irmo High School.
Zion Williamsson, from Spartanburg Day School, goes up for a dunk at the South Carolina Hoops Festival held at Irmo High School. online@thestate.com

Zion Williamson, the No. 2 recruit in the Class of 2018, is expected start his official recruiting visit to Duke on Friday.

He will be among a number of targets at Duke’s Countdown to Craziness, the school’s annual basketball event that features an introduction of the team’s players and a Blue-White scrimmage.

Williamson, a 6-6, 230-pound forward from Spartanburg, S.C., is known for dunks that often go viral on social media. He’s often compared to NBA star LeBron James for his athleticism and is one of the most highly sought-after recruits in the country. Duke is one of many schools trying to land him.

Williamson is interested in Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, UCLA, North Carolina, South Carolina and Clemson.

Duke will be the third school where he has made an official visit. He took an official visit to Kansas on Sept. 30 and to Kentucky on Oct. 13. He also has an official visit to UCLA set for Oct. 27. Williamson has not set his fifth official visit.

Recruits are allowed to take five official visits. Official visits are usually an indicator of a recruit’s top choices. Kentucky has emerged as a favorite for Williamson in recent weeks. Kansas is also said to be favored by Williamson.

But Duke has also pushed hard for him.

UNC is battling with two schools in Williamson’s home state – South Carolina and Clemson – for that final official visit spot.

Williamson has not set an official timetable for his decision, but he hopes to make his announcement before the end of 2017. The early signing period for recruits starts on Nov. 8 and ends on Nov. 15.

Other top recruits visiting Duke

Williamson is the not the only recruit who will be at Duke this weekend.

Class of 2019 prospects Joey Baker, Matthew Hurt, Armando Bacot and Class of 2020 prospects Isaiah Todd and R.J. Hampton are all taking unofficial visits.

Baker, a 6-7, 190-pound small forward, plays for Trinity Christian School in Fayetteville. The five-star recruit is ranked No. 20 in the Class of 2019, and received an offer from Duke on Sept. 30. He is also interested in UNC and N.C. State.

Hurt, a 6-9, 199-pound five-star power forward from John Marshall Senior High in Rochester, Minn., is ranked No. 5 in the Class of 2019. He’s also interested in UNC, and is expected to take an unofficial visit there this weekend, too.

Bacot, a 6-9, 225-pound power forward, plays for Trinity Episcopal School, in Richmond, Va. The five-star recruit is ranked No. 16 in the Class of 2019. UNC coach Roy Williams visited him on Sept. 25.

Todd, a 6-10, 195-pound power forward, plays for John Marshall High School, also in Richmond. He is the consensus No. 1 prospect in the class of 2020.

Hampton, a 6-4, 170-pound point guard, is ranked No. 5 in the Class of 2020. The five-star recruit plays for Little Elm High School, in Little Elm, Texas.

Jonathan M. Alexander: 919-829-4822, @jonmalexander

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