Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Gary Trent Jr., the 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Prolific Prep (CA), committed to Duke over Michigan State and UCLA on Thursday on ESPNU.
“In the fall of 2017, I will be attending Duke University,” he said. “The thing about Duke University, the brotherhood behind it, Coach K, there’s so many things about it that are top-tier, there’s no way you could turn it down.
“Just from how the practices are run to how they play together. Everything about it was just top of the line and I just loved everything about it.”
Prolific Prep coach Billy McKnight said Trent Jr. is on track to be in the NBA soon.
“Gary gets a lot of credit for his scoring ability and for good reason,” he said. “He’s a fantastic shooter from deep and can score from all three levels. What’s really impressed me is his ability to read the floor and make the right play. His unselfishness and passing ability to create for others really stands out. His father (Gary Trent Sr) and previous coaches have done a great job of teaching him how to play.
“Despite his offensive talents, he’s actually defensive-minded. Coach K will love his intensity and ability to guard. He’s tough. He uses his strong body as an asset. I’m really excited for him and the Duke program. There’s no doubt that he’s got all the tools to be a great player there. He’ll be in the NBA in short order.”
Ranked the No. 1 shooting guard in the Class of 2017 by ESPN.com, Trent has been linked to 5-star big man Wendell Carter Jr. for a package deal. The only school both players have in common is Duke. The 6-10 Carter Jr. is also considering Harvard, Georgia and Georgia Tech.
“I went with one of my best friends Wendell Carter, who’s like a brother to me,” the Michigan native wrote in his recent USA Today blog of their joint official visit. “Of course everyone knows that we want to play together so we scheduled the visit so we could see it together.
“We went to Countdown to Craziness and that was just crazy! You hear about the Cameron Crazies, but it definitely surpassed what I thought. Those guys really are in awe of their basketball team. I loved it.
“I went and sat with them and everything.
“I saw their practices and sat in on actual classes and everything like that.
“It’s a beautiful campus.”
“Jayson Tatum was our host and he did a great job showing us what the school had to offer, and Coach K talked to me about what he could offer me and how I could fit in there and how playing at Duke could have a great impact on my life.
“I think both of us loved the visit!”
Trent Jr. joins 6-6 shooting guard Alex O’Connell in Duke’s 2017 class.
The Blue Devils, No. 1 in the preseason polls, remain in the mix for point guards Quade Green and Matt Coleman, wing Kevin Knox and big man Mohamed Bamba, among others.
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