Re: duke recruiting a trend already?
Last year's class was wholly unique because it featured top level prospects at the three tiers of positions. Big, Wing, and PG. And then on top of that Okafor was an honest to goodness post big (you have Towns up there, but I'm assuming anyone in here knows what you mean). Not just some tall athlete playing dive roll basketball. He for sure has weaknesses, and I'm not the biggest fan of his as a prospect (although I'd still take him top four pretty much regardless of need), but that post skill is so rare, and still has a lot of value.
The other big skill you look for is shooting, and they got it out of Jones, and Grayson Allen and Winslow to a degree.
Next years class is good, and may even rank as well, in part because I don't think the class as a whole is quite as good. Ingram may in fact be a plus prospect, with that level of length and the ability to score and shoot. But he's a Winslow type player. Not a post big. Jeter looks like a decent big prospect, but he's more energy change ends defend type big, closer to Amile Jefferson than a real post big.
Kennard I like. But he's gonna bring a lot of what Grayson Allen already provides. Although the notion of putting that much shooting on the court at the same time is interesting, so long as you can survive on the glass.
Thornton would have to be the magic piece in this class. And I haven't seen enough of him to know a ton. But from what little I've seen and read, he feels more like a real pick and role type attacking PG, which fits a little better with the dive bigs and shooters that they'll have, than it would have with a true post big like Okafor. And Jones was a real floor general, and a space up shooter to boot. He was really a perfect fit.
This class has no answer for Okafor. Maybe it can be more dynamic than Jones, but it's not gonna be easy. Ingram has a chance to be excellent, but even at his best probably is a notch below where Winslow wound up, and Kennard and Allen are similar with Kennard probably a bit better prospect. But it's the lack of Okafor that means this team will have to change how it plays.
I'm not a Duke fan, but seeing Coach K shift his tactics is one of the coolest things in the college game.