With Kansas Visit Down, Duke Up Next for Jones & Okafor
Having visited Kansas over the weekend, Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor will now take their final trip to Duke this coming weekend, giving legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski the chance to close the dynamic duo.
Houston St. John’s wing Justise Winslow will also visit Duke following his trip to Arizona this past weekend.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the campus, the general atmosphere, talking to the players, talking to the coaches, getting a feel for it,” the 6-foot-10 Okafor out of Chicago Whitney Young recently told SNY.tv.
Duke has been widely perceived as the leader for the two players, but Jones and Okafor have (understandably) disputed that, maintaining they have no favorites and are wide open.
Okafor also lists Baylor and Kentucky, while Jones is also considering Baylor and Minnesota.
If anyone else can land the duo, it just might be Kansas.
The Jayhawks can match Duke in terms of tradition and by all accounts the visit — which included Jones and Okafor watching a basketball scrimmage Saturday morning before the football game — went well.
“Our visit was great,” Debbie Jones, Tyus’ mother, told SNY.tv. “Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it.”
Whatever happens, Jones and Okafor insist they will end up playing together.
“That’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to go to school together,” Okafor said.
Whether Winslow joins them is less clear. He has long maintained that he isn’t as committed to joining them as they are to playing with one another.
Winslow is also considering Arizona, UCLA and Florida.
“I also really like Florida,” Winslow told PointGuardU. “They’ve been recruiting me as hard as anyone so they’re definitely an option. And UCLA is still recruiting me.”
Winslow told the site he wanted to see the teams recruiting him play some games before making a decision.
“I’m getting closer to making a decision, but if I had to decide today I couldn’t do it,” Winslow told PointGuardU. “Arizona is going to be in it until the end, but right now I’m going through the process to make the best decision for me and my family.”
Meantime, a decision from Jones and Okafor could come shortly after the Duke visit, as Jones has said he wants to get it over with in late October or early November.
“I think we’ll all feel good when it’s time to commit,” he told SNY.tv in August.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.