Top-ranked recruit R. J. Barrett, who reclassified to the Class of 2018, announces he will take his talents to the Duke Blue Devils.
ESPN No. 1 recruit R. J. Barrett announced his commitment to Duke on Friday.
„Next year I will be attending Duke University,“ Barrett announced on TSN’s Sportscentre in Canada.
Barrett chose the Blue Devils over Oregon and Kentucky, with the Canada native visiting all three schools in September.
Barrett’s recruiting process accelerated on July 31, when he announced that he was reclassifying from the 2019 class into 2018.
Barrett, a 6-foot-7 small forward who attends Montverde Academy (Florida), played eight games on the Nike EYBL circuit last spring and was a dominant performer when on the court. He averaged 28.0 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists, while also getting to the free throw line nearly 14 times per game.
„I think he sees the floor very well,“ Dwayne Washington, his coach with the UPlay Canada AAU program, told ESPN. „Underrated playmaker. He’s a professional scorer, does that very well, has a knack for that. Gets to the foul line at a very high rate, has some James Harden in his game in that sense. His lateral quickness is off the charts. Has an ability to get by people, gets to his spots. His jump shot is developing, very capable. Overall, he’s a winner and could lead a franchise one day.“
Barrett, the son of former St. John’s standout Rowan Barrett, also led Canada to the gold medal at the FIBA U19 men’s basketball world championships over the summer, averaging 21.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists. He went for 38 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists in a win over the John Calipari-coached USA team.
„When he’s on the court, the guys with him are going to enjoy playing with him,“ Washington said. „Coaches are always trying to get young guys to play together. For that one year, the impact he can have to make it fun for the other stars on the court. He’s a giver. I can see him with the ball in his hands. You want him with the ball in his hands, so he can make the play or pass, and he can rebound. He’s shown the ability to be a willing assist guy, a willing defense guy. He’s selfless.“
Should Barrett remain at No. 1, this would mark the third straight class in which Mike Krzyzewski has landed the No. 1 recruit in the country, following Harry Giles in 2016 and Marvin Bagley in 2017.
Barrett is the third top-10 commitment in the 2018 class for Duke, joining Cam Reddish (No. 3) and Tre Jones (No. 10). The Blue Devils now likely have the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, a spot they have occupied in three of the past four recruiting cycles.
Duke opened the college basketball season ranked No. 1 in the AP Top 25. The Blue Devils host Elon on Friday night.