Duke basketball adds a fourth player to its recruiting class

Steve Wiseman
·2 min read

After a season of inconsistent backcourt play, Duke added another new player to its guard rotation for next season.

Jaylen Blakes, a 6-2 guard from Franklin, New Jersey, committed to the Blue Devils on Monday night.

“Next year I’ll be going to Duke,” Blakes told NJ.com. “Just the understanding that Duke has from an academic and athletic perspective with a legendary coach, historic and prestigious university, their talented professors and students and amazing alumni, I’m looking forward to immersing myself into the Duke experience and joining ‘The Brotherhood.’

Duke is coming off a 13-11 season when it missed the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1995. One starting guard from that team, freshman DJ Steward, declared for the NBA Draft after averaging 13 points per game.

Senior guard Jordan Goldwire entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal and said Monday he’ll play his fifth season of eligibility at Oklahoma.

The Blue Devils have point guard Jeremy Roach returning for his sophomore season after starting 18 games and averaging 8.7 points per game last season.

Blakes joins Trevor Keels as Duke’s incoming guards. Keels is a five-star player, the No. 19 player in the class, from Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, where he was Roach’s teammate.

Blakes is a four-star player rated No. 102 nationally. With a 3.8 GPA his other offers included Rutgers, Boston College, Colgate, Pittsburgh, UConn, Georgetown, Illinois, Texas, Harvard, Yale and Stanford.

“Individually, Jaylen is an explosive combo guard who can score at three levels, guard multiple positions and whose intensity raises the level of those around him,” Joe Mantegna, who coached Blakes at Blairstown Academy, told NJ.com. “Most importantly, Jaylen is an Ivy League student and a top notch character kid who has been a school leader from the day he walked onto campus four years ago.

Duke’s class is rated No. 2 nationally in the 247sports.com composite rankings, trailing only Michigan. In addition to Blakes and Keels, the other two players in the class are five-star players Paolo Banchero, a 6-9 forward, and A.J. Griffin, a 6-7 forward.